There are openings to some classic novels that I have heard:
“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”
“There was no possibility of taking a walk that day.”
Despite this, I haven’t actually read any of them. And this is the reason I’ve written this list.
Below are the top ten classic novels I want to read:
1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy – Who hasn’t heard of the doomed love affair between the “sensuous and rebellious” Anna and the “dashing officer,” Count Vronsky? Everyone should, even those who haven’t read the book. I’d definitely like to read it. Back in early February, my desire to read it intensified when Melissa and I watched the newest adaptation starring Keira Knightley.
2. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë – I’d like to read it because it’s about a woman’s journey for independence and love on her own terms. In her childhood, Jane was abused both physically and emotionally by her aunt and cousins, and despite this she managed to stay strong.
3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen – Melissa adores all of the Jane Austen novels. She was the one who influenced me to want to read them. I’ve seen the 2005 movie adaptation starring Keira Knightley, and definitely plan on reading the novel.
4. Dangerous Liaisons, Pierre Choderlos de Laclos – I’ve seen Cruel Intentions, which is a modernized movie adaptation of this book, and the thing that makes me want to read it is because I want to compare and contrast it with that movie.
5. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald – I would like to read this because I’m interested in this period. Melissa read it and liked it, and recommended it to me. Plus, there is a new movie adaptation by Baz Luhrmann coming out soon.
6. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen – I started to want to read this after I saw a little bit of the 2007 mini-series.
7. Emma, Jane Austen – One day, I picked my sister’s little pink copy of this book and the opening line reeled me in:
“Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever, and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition, seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence; and had lived nearly twenty-one years in the world with very little to distress or vex her.”
I like how Jane Austen knows her character so well.
8. Evelina, Frances Burney – I discovered Frances Burney while reading one of the author bios of Jane Austen, her early works were read and enjoyed by her. And I’d really like to read this because of the time period its set in.
9. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë – What most interests me about Wuthering Heights is that the narrator is what you’d called an “unreliable narrator.” The main characters are Catherine Earnshaw and Healthcliff, but it’s Lockwood (in the beginning) and Nelly Dean (the main narrator) who tell the story.
10. Camilla or a Picture of Youth, Frances Burney – Much like Evelina, I’d like to read Camilla because I’m interested in the time period its set in.
By Luke Parkes