Top Ten Tuesday

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish held every Tuesday. Each week revolves round a different theme and people from the book blogsphere pitch in with their lists. 

This week the theme is Top 10 Classic Books.
Now, ashamedly, I haven't actually read that many classics. This is somthing that I want to remedy and have a whole plethora of classics on my ever-expanding TBR list. 
That being said I thought I would list 5 Classics that I have read and enjoyed and also 5 Classics that I want to read/plan on reading in the future!

Lets begin with the Top 5 Classics that I have read:

1. Wuthering Heights
I don't think any list of top 10 Classics would be complete without Wuthering Heights. I studied this book whilst taking a 19th Century fiction module at university and it was my introduction to the Gothic fiction genre. As soon as I started reading it I realised why people covet it it the way they do. With its heady mixture of spooky settings and intriguing characters Wuthering Heights is a book that kept me turning the page, something that I have to admit is rare for a classic. What really captured my attention with this book is the way in which Bronte presents such a volatile relationship. In my eyes it was not romanticised through rose tinted glasses, she wrote Heathcliffe and Cathy in such a way that, as a reader, you know that you aren't supposed to root for them (even though you do.) 

2. Jane Eyre
Jane Eyre is another Classic that I picked up because of a university module, something for which I will always be grateful. Lets just clear something up, I do not love Jane Eyre because of Rochester or his romance with Jane. In all honesty Rochester is a horrible man. What makes me love this book so much is Jane herself. Apart from the fact that she does return to Rochester, I believe that she is a great role model. She sticks to her beliefs and knows what she wants out of life. She also values intelligence and knowledge, something which I sometimes find is lacking in some 19th Century heroines. I also love the many layers that can be analysed in the book, such as the possibilty that Bertha represents Janes hidden double. 

3. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the life of Francie Nolan, a young girl growing up in New York City during the early part of the 20th Century. What I adore about this book is its simplicity. Whilst following Franice's life the reader is given an insight into what life was like in the poorer, ethnic parts of the city during that period. It uses themes such as love, poverty and the American Dream to comment on the way people had to live. It is just a beautiful bildungsroman tale that allows the reader to be transported back to a different era. 

4. The Hobbit
The Hobbit is a fantastic, imaginative, riproaring fantasy ride. I read The Hobbit whilst on a cruise a few years ago and I remember taking it all over the ship with me because I couldn't put it down. Tolkein's writing is so vivid and so detailed that you become fully immersed in the world he created. Rivendell is one of my favourite fictional places and after seeing the films, Tolkein's own description of it just made me love it even more. A lot of people think Tolkein is a dense writer and even find The Hobbit a little too much but I disagree. What makes The Hobbit so special to me is its denseness, the way the writing pulls me so fully into the story. It is a book I will definitley pass on to my children. 

5. Peter Pan
Growing up the Disney version of Peter Pan was an absolute favourite of mine but it wasn't until a few years ago that I read the actual book. There has been a lot of debate surrounding the darker aspects of J. M. Barries original Peter Pan story, namely the idea of Peter Pan never growing up and the links this has to Barries own life. Whilst I can see where this debate has stemmed from I still think that Peter Pan, as a children's story, is full of happiness and wonder. Neverland is another fictional place that I adore. Fairies, pirates, mermaids and the ability to fly is a tantallising prospect for any child (or inner child) and I believe with the way the story captures the imagination, Peter Pan will continue to stand the test of time. 

And now on to the 5 Classics I would like to read:

1. Anna Karenina
I have had Anna Karenina sat on my shelf for a few years now but I just haven't had the time to read it. I've only read a part of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment for university and even though I did not manage to finish that because of time restraints I did enjoy what I read. I'm looking forward to reading some more Russian fiction and the plot of Anna Karenina seems like something I would enjoy.

2. Great Expectations
The only Charles Dickens book I have read is Oliver Twist and even then I don't think I finished it (again due to university.) He's one of those writers with whom I have a strange relationship. I love the way he writes, own a few of his books but have never ventured to read them. The reason I have put Great Expectations on this list is because I fee like it is the one Dickens novel everyone should read. I would also like to read A Tale of Two Cities as my Mum has told me she really enjoyed that when studying it for her O Level.

3. Northanger Abbey
I actually started reading this a few weeks ago but my timing conicided with the release of a book I had been waiting for for a while so it fell by the wayside. I loved what I did read and will definitley be picking it back up at some point soon. The one thing I was really enjoying whilst reading Northanger Abbey was the way in which Austen satirises the type of novel she is writing. After completing an 18th Century module in my last semester of university it was interesting for me to pick up this book and instantly recognise the devices Austen used. I own all of Austen's novels and I will eventualy get around to reading them all. 

4. Les Miserables
A part of me wants to read Les Miserables simply to say I have read 'the brick', it would be a huge achievement. Although the main reason I want to read it is because I have never read anything like it before. I am a fan of big books but this one is going to require a hefty amount of time. It entices me because of the epic storyline and the plethora of characters it has. When I do find the time I can't wait to delve into it. 

5. To Kill a Mockingbird
I am a little unsure as to whether I have actually read Mockingbird or not. I do remember watching the film at some point whilst at school but I don't know if it was a viewing that coincided with reading the book. In any case I would like to read this as I believe it is a book that everyone should read. I am aware of the issues it deals with and I am going to make a point of picking it up soon.

So there we have it! Classics is a genre that I have skirted around for so long and I am now determined to add a few more to my 'read' list. What Classics have you enjoyed and what Classics do you want to read? Let me know in the comments!