15 Classics I Really Want To Read

Unpopular opinion: I LOVE analyzing books in English class. Hear me out! English teachers definitely have a propensity to read a little too deeply into a text- arguably putting more thought into analyzing a book’s meaning than the original author, but I think there’s real value in interpreting the message of a book for yourself, even if you go a little overboard with symbolism. And most of the books we read are classics for a reason: they’re good books.

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Unpopular opinion: I LOVE analyzing books in English class. Hear me out! English teachers definitely have a propensity to read a little too deeply into a text- arguably putting more thought into analyzing a book’s meaning than the original author, but I think there’s real value in interpreting the message of a book for yourself, even if you go a little overboard with symbolism. And most of the books we read are classics for a reason: they’re good books.

Sure, the pop quizzes and excessive worksheets can get annoying, but having class discussions about literature and exploring the ideas in books is just so fascinating. Sometimes I legitimately watch Crash Course Literature or read Sparknotes about the book we’re doing in class, just for fun… what can I say, I’m kind of a nerd. (But Sparknotes’ Twitter is hilarious!) Recently, I’ve been making an effort to read more classics on my own. Here are some of the titles on my TBR…

  1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding– I would be reading this in school RIGHT NOW if it weren’t for the coronavirus. And I was looking forward to it too! I loved every single other book we read this year. Ugh.
  2. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck– I’ve heard this book is extremely sad. I mean, The Pearl was too, so I’m a little nervous…
  3. Life of Pi by Martel Yann– I’m very curious as to what even happens in this book.
  4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– I found the audiobook for this on YouTube, so I will hopefully be getting around to it soon. So many people love this book, and I really want to try it for myself!
  5. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte– Another Bronte! I’ve heard this described as super angsty and therefore “good for teenagers” so… we’ll see…
  6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens– I’ve never read anything by Charles Dickens, unless you count those dumbed-down “Young Readers Editions” they sell at Target that I used to read when I was seven… I remember being very very scared of the illustrations in the Oliver Twist one…
  7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen– next up on my Jane Austen list! So far, I’ve read Pride & Prejudice, Northanger Abbey, and Emma– which I reviewed back in March (review here)
  8. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini– Pretty sure I’ll have to read this in senior year English, and I heard it’s also very sad.
  9. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy– Haha, someday. All I can think about is that one Charlie Brown movie where he tries to do a book report on “Leo’s Toystore” by “Warren Peace”
  10. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne– Upperclassmen have told me this book is terrible, but I tend to like school books and I have a high tolerance for slow pacing so maybe I will enjoy it.
  11. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley– I was BLOWN AWAY by 1984 so I definitely want to read this too! I love dystopian books.
  12. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood– another ~dystopia~
  13. Hamlet by William Shakespeare– right now Macbeth is my favorite Shakespeare play but then again I’ve only read two. I don’t know if I’m going to be reading Hamlet for school soon, but I hope so.
  14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde– The synopsis sounds very… intriguing… and I heard this is a really good classic to start with.
  15. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott– I don’t know how, but I STILL have yet to finish the actual version of Little Women. I read half of it a few years ago, but never got around to finishing. I remember being horrified when I got to a certain major plot event that had been completely cut out of the young reader’s edition. I was not emotionally prepared.

I am planning to read a lot this summer, so hopefully I can check some more of these classics off my list!

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