General Fiction

Hungry for the classics!

I am a 150 pages away from finishing Mansfield Park and I’m still hungry for classics. Last semester was not as literary as I would have liked, with all the readings belonging to the 10th to the 15th century.

Visiting your blogs, I’ve recently noticed that February is the 200th anniversary of Dickens’ birth and you are all reading one of his works. I feel like doing it too since I only read Great Expectations a while ago (and, to be sincere, I didn’t like it that much).

Also, I am re-discovering Jane Austen. I was one of these people who would literally run away from her books after reading Pride and Prejudice. However, Mansfield Park is proving me wrong. I really like the characters and how Austen criticizes a set social order.

Basically, I’m all for 19th century to 1950’s classics these days. I think I need to explore the century in depth, both in the UK and in the USA. So, these are some of the titles I can’t wait to read:

  • Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  • Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  • Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  • Anything by Dickens
  • The American Transcendentalists
  • The Southern Renaissance female writers
  • Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë
  • More Daphne DuMaurier
  • The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  • Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Anne of the Green Gables – Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith (thanks Iris!)
 Penguin clothbound editions. Love them!

Does this list mean that I’m reading them all? No, it just means that I am lists freak because they help me organize my thoughts. But I am really happy to be re-discovering classics and willing to read some of them (the ones I’m really interested in). However, I will not fall into the “gotta read them because they are classics” mood. I think some people oblige themselves to read classics because someone said there were so. That is not how I see literature. I will read those stories or those authors that attract me, but I will not force myself to read something just because they are classics, that is what college is for.

P.S I will update this list all through the day, because I keep discovering new books on your blogs. Big thank you!



  • Rikki

    Oh, those editions look lovely!
    I alos have I capture the castle on my reading list for sometime this year. I have heard such good things about it. As for Dickens I will honor him by watching rather than reading. I have a 20 DVD collection waiting for me which I haven’t touched yet.

    • Elena

      That DVD collection sounds perfect… and expensive! I’d love to read your reviews of the movies. Maybe that’s how I’ll get to like Dickens, through the movie adaptations!

  • Risa

    I’ve got du Maurier’s Cousin Rachel sitting on my shelf and I’m expecting my copy of Rebecca any time in the next one week. The first I began reading and then set aside for other books. I’m not sure I’ll be reading it completely. As for the second, I’m really looking forward to it! If is strike gold with Rebecca I might complete the first, and try my mom’s copy of Frenchman’s Creek. Let’s see…. 🙂

    All the best with your re-discovering the classics!

    • Elena

      Thank you, Risa! Rebecca is an almost perfect book (we can talk about it when you’re done, would love it) but if it’s not your kind of reading, just leave it besides and spend your time reading something that you really like.

  • mollyspring

    I very randomly stumbled here, and just had to say, Anne of Green Gables and Little Women were books I read when I was young that really stuck with me as I grew up.

    And Fannie Price has always been my favorite Austen heroine. I am always baffled when people say they prefer Elizabeth Bennet 🙂

    • Elena

      Hi and welcome, Molly! I agree with Fannie… although I am not really supportive of those kind of characters, I really like her and would like to shout to the rest of the characters to leave her alone and fully appreciate her. I think I’ll review it in a few days, so stay tunned, because I think I’ll need some backup defending her as a great heroine!

  • amanda

    Oooh, some great books on your list! I love Wilkie Collins (maybe you’ve said that before, too? I can’t remember…) and Anne of Green Gables is one of my all time favorite books. I’d say that 19th century literature is probably my comfort area of literature, which makes it shocking to me to realize that I haven’t actually read any in ages. I’ll remedy that this year as I have several Victorian writers planned.

    I’ve never felt as if I’m reading classics “because they are classics,” but rather because they’ve pretty much always been what I loved. Sometimes I see it as “someone’s already weeded out the really bad stuff,” although I know that’s not entirely true, as some authors have been unfairly neglected. (I can’t believe, for example, that Elizabeth Gaskell wasn’t well known in the first half of the 20th century–she’s one of my favorites!)

  • Marie

    Oh dear – I understand your frustration with your last semester. I took a 16th Century Renaissance class at university and it pained me! Great list of reads. Would thouroughly recommend Little Women!

    I’ve always tended to avoid Dickens, so I’ll perhaps get in on the challenge with that one!

  • rebeccareid

    yeay for classics! I personally read classics because I love them: the unfolding plots, the writing styles, etc. And I just love Victorian the best. I like your list above, and I hope you enjoy whatever you decide to read. I agree, just because something is a “classic” doesn’t mean any one person will like it. But there is so much to choose from, there’s sure to be something else you’ll like.

    And Mansfield Park is the last of Austen’s novels for me to read! Glad you are enjoying it.

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