Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Recommendations: Classics

I use to read alot of classic books for school and personal reading. Since I started blogging, I've been caught up reading more recent releases but I can't ignore my love of a great classic. It's amazing that so many books have managed to stay around for so long. Today, I will be sharing some of my favorite classics. I think these classics are not as well known, but I highly recommend them!




Adam Bede by George Eliot 

Goodreads Description:

In Adam Bede (1859) George Eliot took the well-worn tale of a lovely dairy-maid seduced by a careless squire, and out if it created a wonderfully innovative and sympathetic portrait of the lives of ordinary Midlands working people--their labors and loves, their beliefs, their talk. This edition reprints the original broadsheet reports of the murder case that was a starting point for the book, and detailed notes illuminate Eliot's many literary and Biblical allusions

Thoughts: I read both Adam Bede and Middlemarch by George Eliot and Adam Bede really stuck with me. I was so surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did.



Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens

Goodreads Description:

Dombey and Son, Charles Dickens’s story of a powerful man whose callous neglect of his family triggers his professional and personal downfall, showcases the author’s gift for vivid characterization and unfailingly realistic description. As Jonathan Lethem contends in his Introduction, Dickens’s “genius . . . is at one with the genius of the form of the novel itself: Dickens willed into existence the most capacious and elastic and versatile kind of novel that could be, one big enough for his vast sentimental yearnings and for every impulse and fear and hesitation in him that countervailed those yearnings too. Never parsimonious and frequently contradictory, he always gives us everything he can, everything he’s planned to give, and then more.” This Modern Library Paperback Classic was set from the 1867 “Charles Dickens” edition.

Thoughts: I loved Dombey and Son, it is a very large novel but it was fantastic. I loved the ending, and felt really satisfied when I finished it. I think it was a great timely novel, when sons had priority over daughters. Dombey and Son made me realize that readers shouldn't feel overwhelmed by the size of a novel.


Both of the following novels were required reading for my African-American Literature class.

Passing by Nella Larsen

Goodreads Description:

First published to critical acclaim in 1929, Passing firmly established Nella Larsen's prominence among women writers of the Harlem Renaissance. The Modern Library is proud to present Passing — an electrifying story of two women who cross the color line in 1920s New York—together with a new Introduction by the Obie Award- winning playwright and novelist Ntozake Shange

Thoughts: I still have a notebook with all of the quotes that I took from this novel. I haven't read any other of Nella Larsen's books but I loved this one!





Daddy was a Number Runner by Louisa Meriwether

Goodreads Description:

Recently chosen by Essence magazine, this beloved modern classic tells the poignant story of a spirited young woman’s coming of age in -Depression-era Harlem. While 12-year-old Francie Coffin’s world and family threaten to fall apart, this remarkable young heroine must call upon her own wit and endurance to survive amidst the treacheries of racism and sexism, poverty and violence. "The novel’s greatest achievement lies in the strong sense of black life that it conveys: the vitality and force behind the despair . . . a most -important novel."—New York Times Book Review



Thoughts: Daddy was a Number Runner reminds me of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. A great classic, and coming of age novel. I loved Francie, and her story. This one is more of a modern classic. but highly recommended.

14 comments:

  1. I love reading classics and I am surprised I have not read any on your list. Thanks for the suggestions, I think I would enjoy Adam Bede the most.

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  2. I've never read a lot of classics - all those you mentioned are new to me.

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  3. I haven't read any of these classics! Thanks for the recommendation. I will take a note of them.

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  4. I haven't read any of these! I feel like I really don't get enough classics in my literary diet!

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  5. I just ordered Passing from the library after reading of your love for it. As you know, Aarti and I are reading Middlemarch, and I might try to tackle Adam Bede sometime in the near future. Great recommendations today!

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  6. I have read none of these. *puts reader dunce cap on head* My dad really loves reading the classics, I'll be making a note of these for him, thanks Jennifer!

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  7. Wonderful recommendations, Jennifer! I haven't read 'Adam Bede' though I have read 'Middlemarch' and liked it. I haven't heard of 'Passing' or 'Daddy was a Number Runner'. I will look for them. Thanks for the recommendations :)

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  8. I read Eliot a long time ago in college and have forgotten the novels. Time to revisit them, perhaps. I think I have both as free Kindle books.

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  9. I love Dickens and agree with your assessment of Daddy was a Number Runner. I also enjoyed Angelo's Ashes.

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  10. I haven't read any of these before and I always like trying a classic or two every year. Thanks for these recommendations!

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  11. I haven't heard of any of these. I'll have to look into these further, especially Passin.

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  12. You and your awesome classic recommendations! <3 I usually don't read these sort of books because I'm more of a modern-day-butt-kicking-paranormal sort of girl, but I love taking new books that are out of my genre under my wing! :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your recommendations, Mrs. Q! <3

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  13. I haven't read any of these, although I know my "classics" knowledge is lacking. Someday I would really love to go and catch up on them, although it'll probably be when my to-read shelf is a little smaller.

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  14. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of these, but to be fair, I've read a lot of other Dickens. I'll make note of these titles.

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