If you’re looking for some summer reads, may I recommend this list?
If you haven’t already discovered some of these, you don’t want to miss out on some excellent literature.
Many years ago I found a similar list. With a goal of reading one or two from the list each year, I started with some books that I thought I could stomach: romances by Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte, My Antonia by Willa Cather, The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder, Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (only because it was very thin).
All of them were fascinating. Who knew?
Then I got brave and read some that looked endlessly boring and painfully long–The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes–only to be pleasantly surprised at how easy they were to read and how hard to put down (Don Quixote made me laugh out loud!).
It gave me a feeling of satisfaction to check them off the list one-by-one. I also noticed that a sense of camaraderie with other readers of classics as I started to understand cultural references to these stories.
Soon I discovered an online classic book club through my public library. One of them sent the first three chapters of a classic novel by email at the beginning of each month. That was do-able, and I found more authors I liked.
That was the beginning.
These led me to lesser-known old books, and the best books I’ve ever read (hence, my posts!). This is how I began collecting old books at book sales, and my experience has shown that I can trust most books written more than fifty years ago to be a quality read.
I no longer carry that list in my purse because my “list” is now on my shelves, each awaiting its turn–as time allows!
And here is a list for classic children’s books.
What are your favorites on the list? Or if you aren’t yet into the classics, how about taking the challenge? One or two from the list each year?
Happy reading this summer!
My appreciation to the following for open source images: