As an admitted “Book Fanatic”, I read constantly, averaging about 100 books per year. Lately though, I have found myself so overwhelmed by all the new books being released that I haven’t made time to read the classics.
Every once in awhile it’s refreshing to look back at the titles that have lasted through generations of readers and figure out what makes them so great. I’ve decided classics are always better the second time around. I find myself able to appreciate the writing, the tone, the foreshadowing and other literary elements because I’m not worrying about what happens next… I already know the ending. Below are the titles I believe are worth a second reading (or first, if you’ve never read them). Yes, there are MANY more that I could add. These are just my favorites …
My first choice is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and a remake of the original film is rumored to be in the works.
“First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads, driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity.”
“The explosion of racial hate and violence in a small Alabama town is viewed by a young girl whose father defends a black man accused of rape.”
“A Chinese peasant overcomes the forces of nature and the frailties of human nature to become a wealthy landowner.”
“An unlikely pair, George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream in a tale of commitment, loneliness, hope and loss.”
“Huxley’s classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.”
“A young man newly rich tries to recapture the past and win back his former love, despite the fact she has married.”
“A poor fisherman dreams of wealth and happiness for his family when he finds a priceless pearl.”
“The classic study of human nature which depicts the degeneration of a group of schoolboys marooned on a desert island.”
“When Buck is stolen from his kind family, he must quickly learn a new set of survival rules as he is taken away to the gold-crazed North by unsavory men.”
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
“Growing up in the home of a cruel aunt and a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre, an orphaned young woman, accepts employment as a governess at Thornfield Hall and soon finds herself in love with her employer, the enigmatic Rochester.”
*All descriptions from the Publishers.
- Posted by Jackie Ranaldo, Head of Readers’ Services