Tonight I spent Halloween in Barnes and Nobles. I came home with
- The Complete Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf - Edited by Susan Dick (Second Edition)
- Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
- Ernest Hemingway on Writing - Edited by Larry W. Phillips
very cute but probably gay register guy talked to me for a bit about “the classics” and told me to have “a very good night”. He also sold me the books one cent cheaper (I was one penny short, and he didn’t want to take a nickle) and joked with me about taking forever to find the coins. How sweet.
The Hemingway book is essentially little snippets from Hemingway’s correspondences with various people, sorted into topics. I’m excited.
Expect lots of quotes from these soon.
Hey Everyone! Guess what? I can’t choose just one book! What a surprise.
Anywho, here are my three favorite classic books. They aren’t in any sort of order, other then the order I google searched for images…
For me, Jane Eyre is that book with the incredible ending. I don’t even care about the Deus Ex Machina because I just want Jane with Rochester by the end. I JUST WANT A HAPPY ENDING, DAMNIT! And I get it with this book. I encountered Jane for the first time in 8th grade and I loved it. I still read it from time to time (although, sometimes I will just read the ending over. It’s just so happy. Everyone needs some happy in their life).
I first read Mayor of Casterbride for the first time as a senior in high school and was blown away. Hardy’s syntax and diction are definitely not for everyone (lets be honest: I really dislike Tess of the d’Ubervilles. Like really really dislike it.) But for some reason, I LOVE Casterbridge. I love the ups and the downs; I love wanting to yell at the characters, wanting to give them hugs or strangle them (or both). For me, this book is Hardy’s best.
And then there’s To The Lighthouse. I know, I know. You’re saying that Virginia Woolf might be too modern to be considered a classic, what with Lighthouse being published in 1927, but I beg to differ. Woolf’s novel and writing style will always be relevant. Definitely a classic in my opinion. I first encountered Lighthouse in college. Reading Woolf was like looking into my mind, as if someone took my thought process and put it down on paper. For some people, following Woolfs dialogue can be tricky, but for me it’s like thinking. I wrote a ten page paper based on one page of this book, and I’m pretty sure I only unpacked half of what could have been said. Woolf has become one of my favorite authors.
I highly recommend all of these books.
Yes, Jane Eyre is very ridiculous and is a textbook example for the gothic style, but it’s still so good. And yes, Hardy’s writing style is such that you would think he was writing in the early 1800s and not the 1890s (yes, he talks about nature for pages and pages and pages for no reason) but he is still worth reading. Even if you hated Tess, give Casterbridge a chance. Finally, Woolf. Always read Woolf. Above all else, read Woolf.
Or don’t, you know. Whatever.