Thursday 27 November 2014

My Modern Classics TBR List

I believe that one of the easiest ways into classic fiction is through the slightly more recent classics, but those written far before even my parents were old enough to read. They have the complexity and the literary standing of the traditional classics but with language that’s easier to access and a setting that is more familiar. Here are the ones I’m hoping to read in the next year:

The Handmaids Tale, Margaret Atwood
I actually read the first third of this a few years ago and I was really enjoying it, but I had to take it back to the library before I had a chance to finish it. It was engrossing and a fascinating world that I need to get back to soon.

Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
This was one of the options that we got to choose between to read for my A-Levels and it wasn’t picked – I was so disappointed! One of the original dystopias, I’m dying to see how much the genre has changed an developed over the last 80-odd years to what we know of it now.

Farenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
In all honesty, the thing that draws me to this novel is the book burning. I want to discover the world, the people, the events that put this horror in motion.

The Color Purple, Alice Walker
This is an important and powerful novel that I bought ages ago with the intention of reading straight away, but you know, time flies away and all that... I think I’d have to be properly prepared and in the mood for this or it might be a little too much. But I’ll eventually get around to it.

Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
I recently saw Non Pratt (I think...) talking on Twitter about how she has bypassed this for so long and then fell head over heels in love with it when she finally got around to it. It reminded me how long I’ve been meaning to read it for. It’s one of my classics TBR books for 2015.

The Secret History, Donna Tartt
This is a chunky book so I keep putting it off but I’ve only heard amazing things about it. With the recent release of The Goldfinch my awareness of The Secret History has gone back into high again.

The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
A teen classic that I’m ashamed I haven’t read. I worry that I’ve missed the prime moment of reading this, but then again, I’m still pretty angsty, world-weary and terrified of adulthood so I’ll probably still love it!

Lolita, Vladimir Nabikov
I have a worrying enjoyment of forbidden love stories, but this, between a  much older man and a teenager, has the potential to squick me out. I want to read this so bad, though.  

It’s shameful that I haven’t read some of these, especially as I own most of them...



  1. I've only read The Handmaid's Tale, which was very good - welcome to borrow it if you need! As for the others, I know I ought to read Catcher in the Rye and Lolita but I haven't had a chance or a real inclination to pick them up.

  2. Some of these are on my TBR too. I'd like to read The Handmaid's Tale, Fahrenheit 451, and Rebecca. I've read The Catcher in the Rye; I really enjoyed it. :)

  3. Excellent goal! I agree that while recent "classics" can appeal readers, finding something likable has the same effect. For instance, writers such as Edgar Allan Poe hold a better appeal to teenagers and then you rope them in with areas that may interest them.

    I read "Fahrenheit 451" in my sophomore year of high school and then again this year. When I reread it, I realized how much more I appreciated it. Ray Bradbury is just a brilliant author! I also read "The Martian Chronicles," "Dandelion Wine," and "Farewell Summer."

    I also read "Brave New World" and thought it was pretty good, but I need to read everything else you mentioned, especially "Lolita." Very good list and goals!

  4. I've been recommended the The Secret History as well and really need to get round to it. Brave New World is great - it reminded me a lot of Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, so if you like that you'll probably enjoy Brave New World.


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