Running With The Classics

At the beginning of the summer, I set a goal for myself: read 5 classic novels. This may not seem like that big of a challenge to you, but for me, making any kind of goal and sticking to it just isn’t something I do well. Plus, I never liked the classics. I was actually an English major who didn’t like to read anything older than a handful of years. Pathetic, right?

Well, if you read my page about ME, you might understand that I can be a bit of a reluctant reader.

I’ve always been a little down on myself about not liking the classics, but I tended to fall asleep every time I tried reading one. But this summer was going to be different. I was SO going to do this.

And, actually, I’ve been doing pretty well. The way I keep from falling asleep and enthralled is I stream the free audio book (either through Audible or the iPhone app) and read the free e-book (at Amazon!) or get it through the library. The combination of reading along and have someone perform it for me is so much better!

I took the advice of some of my friends on Facebook and Twitter and collected a list of all their favorites. Out of the 5 I am supposed to read, I have finished 2, gave up one 1, and am in the middle of my 3rd. The list of books I want to read keeps changing, but here is the most updated:

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde By Robert Louis Stevenson

Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker — Finished! Mini review: not so great. I don’t know if I was just burnt out on vampires or if the multiple POVs threw me off, but it was a bit of a yawner. This was also my first attempt at reading the classics and was doubtful of my perseverance.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — Finished! Mini review: I LOVED this one. Afterward, I bought the movie, the miniseries, writing gloves with quotes on them, and a necklace with a Jane Austen quote inscribed inside a medallion. (A bit overboard, I know. But there it is.)

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte — Done! And a new favorite.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain — So I gave up on this one. Audible had this amazing version performed by Elijah Frickin’ Wood (for free!) and he did an AMAZING job. I couldn’t believe Jim (the slave) was actually Elijah. He was so believable. But, still. The story did not do anything for me.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett — I’m in the middle of this one and I fell in love with it hard and immediately, but now, toward the middle, I am slowly enduring it. There’s only so many times a girl can read about green things poking through the earth. I mean, I know it is about a secret garden, but dang. UPDATE: I FINISHED IT!

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton–My fellow teachers at a middle school at which I taught wanted me to do a unit around this novel with them, and I had to tell them I hadn’t read it . They were a bit more than shocked and disappointed.

Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (stories) by Arthur Conan Doyle — I really want to read these, mostly because of the series Sherlock with which I am currently obsessed.

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut — This story might be one that I just dive into without reading the premise first. I have no idea what it is about and I don’t really want to know until I get into it.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum–Done! And it was fun!

old books

Mostly I tried to pick books with which I already was familiar and I know this is more than five, but I wanted to have the freedom of choice and the ability to give up on a story if I needed to.

Is there a classic I missed that you just love and want to add? There’s still time to put in your vote. Plus, I might just keep going after I finish my goal.

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2 thoughts on “Running With The Classics

  1. I tried getting through Dracula with my non-college bound seniors last year. We listened to it because I knew they would not actually read it. We used Librivox (which is a fabulous resource) but some of the readers were just awful. I swear one reader was auditioning to be a phone sex operator, which was not lost on my streetwise 18-year-olds. haha
    I actually volunteered to ditch the unit completely 3/4s into it. All rejoiced. Apparently, their is a much abridged version which I might try with a different group in a couple of years. We’ll see.
    Great job on trying to get through the classics. There are a ton I haven’t read too. Husband is trying to push Faulkner on me.

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