This past week I got sidetracked from my book reviewing schedule. For several weeks now, I had been simultaneously reading Wuthering Heights along with whatever book I was supposed to be reading for a review. While I enjoy reading new authors’ books, I always like to be reading one of the classics. TIME Magazine has a great list of the 100 Best Novels of All Time; there’s also a site called thegreatestbooks.org I reference when perusing for the next ‘essential’ book.
There’s no way I will get through all of TIME’s 100 novels in my lifetime, and I don’t mean to. Wuthering Heights had always been on my British lit list of must-reads, and this past week the story pulled me in. After finishing it last night, I became inspired to make a list of my 10 favorite books of all time. Well, so far. Keep in mind I’m 25 now, and if I’ve left out one of your favorites, it’s very possible I haven’t gotten to it yet!
I can only say I can’t believe I hadn’t read this sooner. I always believed Pride & Prejudice was the quintessential love story, and yes, I am very fond of Jane Austen. Wuthering Heights however is about a love so maddening, so powerful, it’s stronger than death. I do not comprehend the distasteful reviews of this book on Goodreads. Yes, the character Heathcliff is at times unlikable but I’m assuming these readers didn’t really ‘get’ this story.
This is a fascinating tale about a group of rich students at an New England college. This elite group is not only unapproachable because of their over-priveleged snob status, but also because they are knowledgable worldly Greek scholars. When a new student is invited into the group, he uncovers the real reason these five students tend to keep to themselves. Ancient rituals, murder, and scandal ensues.
The fact that The Razor’s Edge is number three here is irrelevant; this is still my all-time favorite story ever since I read it freshman year of high school. I don’t know if it’s Maugham’s prose, or the enchanting characters, or the fact that setting himself in the story as the narrator, or if all three of these aspects of the novel together make it so endearing and uniquely diverting. The Razor’s edge is an illustrious work of writing without needing to be action-packed; I think that’s why I love it so much.
This is NOT on my list because the move is soon to be released (and I love the idea of Leo as Gatsby). Typically, I am drawn to any book set in the 1920’s Jazz Age, because I think I would have loved to live in New York during that time. And gone to one of Gatsby’s Long Island parties. Fitgzerald is also one my favorites; This Side of Paradise, Franny & Zooey, etc.
I am a Tolkien-ite, and though I love everything he has written related to Lord of The Rings (even the Silmarillion, the Appendices) the first book in the trilogy is my favorite. I’m not sure why — perhaps because it’s the beginning of Frodo’s journey, and the only book in which the Fellowship is unbroken. Maybe I just want to live in the Shire. (That’s probably true, but unrelated to my preference for this book over the other two).
If I had to make a top 10 list, these would be the other 5:
6. Candide by Voltaire
7. The Odyssey by Homer
8. A Room with A View by E. M. Forster
9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
10. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
Are any of these your favorites? What other books should I include on my must-read list?