Top Ten Favorite Classic Books


Oh my goodness, choosing ten favorite classics was almost an impossible task. I’m a former English major so the task was rife with questions that I spent four years of college not answering. Canterbury Tales or Shakespeare? British Victorian novels or American Modernists? How do you even define what a classic?

After a lot of figurative hair pulling, I decided to define a classic as something written at least two generations ago (completely ignoring the question of how to define a generation) and went through my five star goodreads and picking 10 books on instinct. Here’s what I came up with, let me know what your favorites are in the comments!

*Sticking with my only one book by the same author per list rule almost killed me. Little Women and Sense and Sensibility were close seconds … also Persuasion. My hands are getting sweaty just thinking about leaving them off the list.

Thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this weekly book meme.

31 thoughts on “Top Ten Favorite Classic Books

  1. I haven’t read anything else by Louisa May Alcott, only Little Women. I need to try to read An Old-Fashioned Girl. Great list!

    1. It was a huge toss up for me whether to put Little Women or An Old-Fashioned Girl. I highly recommend it. Also the sequels to Little Women – Little Men & Jo’s Boys are pretty fantastic as well!

  2. Also love P&P and The Catcher in the Rye – so many brilliant classics, it was difficult to restrict the number to 10. Thanks for visiting our blog too (Tea in the Treetops) 🙂

  3. A lovely list! I love Oscar Wilde. I remember being at university and having to read one text by the next dat and not being able to start because I’d picked up The Importance of Being Earnest and couldn’t put it down. Only sad that I’ve never seen it being performed.

  4. The Great Gatsby, Frankenstein, Much Ado About Nothing, The Importance of Being Earnest. All YES! I don’t know how I forgot about The Importance of Being Earnest for my list!! Such a great classic! I’m a former English major as well, so I chose to do mine as the top ten books I was “forced” to read. 🙂
    My TTT!

  5. P&P, Catcher, and Frankenstein are on my list too. And I love The Importance of Being Earnest. I almost listed Jane Austen as my first book , but that would be cheating and I had to cheat later…
    My TTT

    1. I wanted to list all of Jane Austen as one book as well. Which felt like it might be fair, since I do have one big book that has all six of her novels in it … but then I decided that wasn’t in the spirit of things. Thanks for commenting!

  6. 1) Absalom, Absalom
    2) East of Eden
    3) Jane Eyre
    4) Middlemarch
    5) Pride and Prejudice
    6) I Capture the Castle
    7) Flowers for Algernon
    8) Catch 22
    9) A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
    10) Rebecca

    1. Biff! Such a good list (and a great call on having Rebecca on your list). I really need to read Flowers for Algernon. It’s been on my to-read list forever.

  7. I really need to get on reading The Catcher in the Rye. I also liked Pride and Prejudice! It was basically the only high school read that I actually enjoyed!

    1. Catcher in the Rye was one of my favorite books from high school. I think people either love it or hate it … but it is definitely worth reading to try it out!

  8. I’m very excited that P&P and Much Ado both made your list as well! Also, I love An Old-Fashioned Girl, which is probably my favorite Alcott (along with Rose in Bloom). And The Importance of Being Earnest is just fantastic — great list!

  9. I adore P&P and S&S by Jane Austen though I enjoy Northanger Abbey just as much and Emma even more so. The Catcher in the Rye is also great as well. Great list!

  10. Interesting list! I was not an English major and a few of yours made me want to run and hide when I was in high school (mostly Fathers and Sons). I love Hemingway and just recently listened to The Great Gatsby which I enjoyed but had forgotten how grim it was. I’d love to read more Wilde and Alcott. I think I have the Alcott you mention. I definitely need to go give it a try.

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