Classically Trained Reader

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Every week they post a new topic/top ten list and invite everyone to share their own answers. I'm so obsessed with lists - so it makes perfect sense that I'd love this feature!

Top Ten Favorite Classics

If you've read my blog before, you probably know just how much I love classics. Case in point:
Those posts are just ones where I remember focusing on classics! I know they've showed up in my Top Ten Tuesday lists before. As excited as I was about this topic, it's hard for me to narrow this list down to ten favorites. So, I chose to focus solely on classics available on my shelves. If I didn't have a hard copy, it wasn't making today's list. In the process, I found a few holes in my collection that will definitely need to be filled! And then there are the books where I had five versions to pick from... Ha!

1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 
Oh man,  I love this book! I think I watched the 1996 movie before I ever read this, and I remember being so delighted when I realized how much more there was to this story. This book has only one major flaw, and it involves a couple WHO WAS CLEARLY MEANT TO BE TOGETHER, LOUISA MAY. I'm still not over it.

2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I shouldn't even need to explain this one. I'd read and loved childhood classics when I was younger, but this was the book that made me want to read more adult classics. This will likely be my forever favorite book. Yes, I said it. Witty and sharp writing, swoonworthy love story, amazing characterization - it's got it all! I can't think of a single thing that I don't like about this book.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen
I may love Pride and Prejudice the most, but Persuasion is a close second. There's something special about this book. You can it's an older, wiser Austen, and there's a depth of emotion here that I just love. This one is perfect when you want a thoughtful and romantic read.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
I'll confess that I read this book in middle school, and I haven't revisited it since. I keep meaning to re-read it because it's hard saying a book is one of your favorites when it's been more than ten years since you last read it and you're not sure if you'd love it the same way today. Either way, it deserves to make this list!

5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
I read this book in high school and had an excellent teacher leading the discussion. A great teacher can make all the difference for a book like this one! Dickens writes compelling stories, but they can be hard to get into and a bit slow for me. But there are so many threads that come together in an amazing way in here!

6. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Of course this book had to be on my list! This is one of those books that I'm so glad is often considered required reading in high school. It's such an important work, and it's written in such a moving and accessible way. I'm just sad this is the only book Lee has ever written.

7. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
Here's another "one book" author! As a Southern girl, this book was obviously something I had to read growing up. Like Jane Eyre, I actually first read this book in middle school and have never re-read it! I know the racism and slavery will be harder to read now that I'm older and more aware of what I'm reading, but I know I need to re-read this book. I know I'll still love it though!

8. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
My love for L.M. Montgomery in general cannot be contained. I think she's the only author that I love as much as Jane Austen. The Anne of Green Gables books were some of my earliest "childhood classics," and they've remained so to this day. I re-read all eight of them in the last year or so, and I just love them even more. Anne is one of my favorite (if not my favorite) literary heroines!

9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
I know I've talked about this book before on my blog, but I probably need to do my own edition of "Consider This Classic" and push this book. Francie Nolan is another favorite literary heroine, and this coming-of-age tale is one of my favorite reads. I somehow managed to read it twice in high school for reading assignments (pretty sure I was supposed to pick something I hadn't read before) because I just loved it that much. Bonus: some of my all-time favorite quotes come from this book!

10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Oh, this book. I read this for my AP English class my senior year of high school, and I've probably never been so glad to have been "assigned" to read a book. I'm not sure I would have ever read this book on my own or that I would appreciate it as much as I do without being able to experience it in a classroom setting. There are some majorly boring parts in here, yes, but everything else about it is just fantastic! My copy is so marked up, which makes me look forward to (hopefully) reading it again some day with new eyes.


  1. Little Women remains one of my favorite ever movies (the 1994 one), but I have yet to read the book!
    I love the idea of re-reading Anne of Green Gables as an adult; I loved those books so much as a kid!
    I didn't read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn until a few years ago, but it's one of my favorites.

    Great list!

  2. Lovely choices! I have that Penguin Threads edition of Little Women and it's so pretty :)

  3. I've been looking forward to reading your post ever since I saw the TTT topic! Like they picked it just for you. :)

  4. Your editions are all so pretty! Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel (with Pride and Prejudice being a close second) for exactly the reasons you mentioned. I love the wisdom, all the thought-provoking observations in the story. And Wentworth's amazing love letter, won't lie. Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favorites, too - the atmosphere of it is just amazing, and Jane is such an inspiring, honest heroine. Gone with the Wind I read at fifteen or so and I was obsessed. So much obsessed (or maybe it just took me so long to read it) that a good chunk of the pages fell out of my copy, so I'd really like to get a fully-functional edition one of these days and hunker down for a reread. Anne of Green Gables and Little Women are two books I haven't read and I've been kicking myself about them for years! Little Women especially is probably the most-neglected ever on my to-read list. (I haven't even watched any of the adaptations because I'm determined to read the book first - though I found out a long time ago about the two characters not ending up together, so I guess it's good that I'm prepared for that at least?)

  5. Anna K!!! Love it.
    Still shaming myself over not having read Gone With the Wind yet. And P&P.
    But yay for my Little Women re-read .That was one of my favorite decisions lately. (:

  6. Re-read Jane Eyre! I love it! I'm jealous of your hard copies, I only have ebooks of my classic favorites and should purchase my favorites. And, Persuasion is my favorite Austen. There is just so much internal turmoil, you can't help feel for Anne!

  7. I still love the fact that you collect copies of Pride and Prejudice. That's just such a unique, awesome thing to collect!
    I love all the books you've picked here that I have read, and those I haven't (Anna Karenina, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women) I'm planning on reading as soon as possible. And yay! A Tale of Two Cities is my absolute favorite Dickens book, but I feel like it doesn't get as much love as some of his others.
    Those books all have such pretty spines, too!

  8. You're making me think I need to hurry up and try Persuasion.

  9. Hooray for classics! I've read 4 of the ones on your list - To Kill a Mockingbird, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice and Anne of Green Gables. But I've also had Anna Karenina and Persuasion on my list for what feels like forever! I really should make it happen, huh?

  10. OMG THAT EDITION OF P&P!!!!!!!! SO PRETTY!!!!!!!!!


  11. URGH LITTLE WOMEN. One of my all-time favorites, but so frustrated with the final pairings. I would have been much happier has Jo stayed independent if things weren't going to work out with her clearly meant-to-be other half. But this is a whole giant conversation that could last days I could go on about it for so long...

    Cassie @ Happy Book Lovers


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