In All Things English, Lifestyle, Reading on
18 May, 2017

16 Must-Read Classic Novels

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Have I ever mentioned how much I love to read? Let me give you a little look into just how much and how it all started.

When I was in high school, I was given the task to choose from a list of classic novels about which to write a thesis paper. This was really the first time in my education that I was able to choose for myself which book I wanted to read (rather than being assigned a specific book).

Being that I cherished my childhood memories of living in England, I wanted to choose something British. I chose Wuthering Heights, and I have never quite been the same since. From that moment on, I couldn’t get enough of the classics, particularly those published in the 19th Century. After that, I was so passionate about reading in general that I would devour any assigned novel and write my thesis papers at least a week before they were due.

There were a few instances in both high school and college when I walked into my English class (about a week after turning in a thesis), and was greeted by a photocopy of my own paper sitting on my desk. “Hmm, that’s weird,” I would think to myself. “That doesn’t look like the original paper I turned in, especially since it doesn’t have my name on it anymore.”

And, to my own mortification, the teacher would proceed to walk into the classroom and say something along the lines of, “Okay students, you will be receiving your papers back today. But first, I want to show you an example of what a good thesis looks like. Would anyone like to volunteer to read the example paper I’ve passed out?

And, well, it’s safe to say that even though the teacher made sure not to include my name on the photocopies, my reddened cheeks were enough to give me away.

So….yes. Yes, I was that student. #nerdstatus

Fast forward a few years (okay, more than a few), and here we are today. Even though I am no longer in school, I still love to read, and it’s even more fun now that I have no one telling me what I have to read and when. However, I do still want to practice some self-discipline. So, when I read, I try to read a good mix of genres. This way, I am getting a well-rounded experience that improves my mind and even my writing ability.

My 2017 Reading Goals:

  • Every month, my goal is to read at least one classic novel and one newer novel. That might sound like a lot of fiction, but this is my main source of entertainment. Reading almost entirely replaces the time I used to spend unwinding from the day with television or social media. (Try this. You’ll be amazed at how many books you can read!) I also listen to audiobooks in the car. I find that listening to fiction while I drive makes traffic seem much less annoying.
  • Per quarter, my goal is to read at least one Christian living book and one other type of nonfiction book, such as a book about finance, a biography or a healthy living book.

In total, if I meet these goals, I will have read 36 books in a year. However, I set my Goodreads goal at 30 books in order to give myself a little grace and wiggle room. Either way, anything more than 20 books will be a personal record for me. Plus, seeing as it’s May and I’ve already read 19 books, I think I’m on the right track to meet my goals. I’m pretty excited about it!

I plan on sharing more reading lists with my readers on a regular basis (have you checked out 10 Books to Read if You Love Jane Austen?), so today I am rounding up a few of my favorite classic novels and also sharing with you the ones that are next up on my list.

A Few of My Favorites:

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Villette by Charlotte Bronte

Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Classics I Want to Read:

War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Nicholas Nickelby by Charles Dickens

North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen (haven’t read it in 10+ years)

Persuasion by Jane Austen (same as above)

What are some of your favorite classic novels? Comment below so I can add them to my reading list!


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1 Comment

  • The Best Historical Fiction for Jane Austen Fans – Jennifer's Hope

    […] week, I shared about how much I love to read and how my love for reading first started. If you caught that post, you probably know that classics are my favorite and nothing can compare […]

    25 May, 2017 at 6:36 am Reply
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