When the Classics Club originally asked this question in August 2012, I waffled on a bit about my love for all things Jane Austen, but eventually I came to the conclusion that my favourite classic of all time was Persuasion by Jane Austen.
Eight years later, it is hard to top this.
However in the eight years since I last answered this Classic Club question, I’ve read so many more classic titles and authors, from a far more diverse range of genres, regions and cultures. None of them have had the pleasure of multiple rereads, like my Austens. But some of the titles listed below are classics I do plan on rereading one day.
- French – Germinal by Emile Zola
- Russian – Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
- I have read many more foreign classics, from all around the world, but these are the two books I really want to reread and delve into deeper…so far!
- Both these books packed an emotional punch that still reverberates years later. They are both set in radical, rapidly changing times – times that the authors also lived through. The personal, the facts and the fiction are interwoven into a seamless, satisfying, epic whole.
- Katherine Mansfield – I’m still making my way through her short stories. Each and every one is like peeling an onion in reverse. Each story adds another layer of understanding and insight into Mansfield’s mind and heart.
- The Fortunes of Richard Mahony by (Ethel) Henry Handel Richardson – how on earth this book is not required reading for anyone serious in their English studies at high school, is beyond me. Yes, all three volumes together are HUGE, but the insights into colonial Australia, wrapped up as they are, in the story of Richardson’s own childhood, are exceptional.
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell – this list is for the books discovered by me in the last eight years. If I was to include an all-time reading list, then Jane Eyre, David Copperfield and Middlemarch would also have to be listed here.
- Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston – Janie has an astounding voice. She keeps whispering my name hoping to tempt me back into her world again soon.
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville – the effort required to read this book is worth it if you have the time and patience to do so.
- Absolutely anything by John Wyndham. Yes, I’m pretty tame when it comes to sci-fi.
- My recent reread of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J R R Tolkien only confirmed how magnificent these books are. For pure escapism, detailed world building and characters to love (and hate), they are hard to bet.
- Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain. If you haven’t read this extraordinary account of WWI yet, you really should stop everything and source a copy now.
- Herodotus’ The Histories – what a wonderful old gossip he was! One day I will write a post about my own history with Herodotus….
- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Anne of Green Gables by L M Montgomery
- Diary of Young Girl by Anne Frank
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
- Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
- Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
- The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy