For the past two weeks, I’ve been devoted to the classics—those ever-present works that have appeared on every reading list since the dawn of the high school book report. Those books that, while they might show some age around the binding, prove that they still have staying power. Those books that get a special section and fancy covers at Barnes & Noble.
I’ve written previously about my clunky transition into reading ‘adult’ books. To make a long story short: a teacher shamed one of my reading choices and, out of spite, I started reading books well above my reading level.
There’s a second part to this story that didn’t reveal itself until fairly recently.
During my spite-filled reading frenzy, I stumbled through a lot of classic novels that were so exciting and vibrant—supplemented by a healthy dose of random fantasy and Janet Evanovich novels. But by the time I arrived at college, that style of reading dried up. I was ripping through more contemporary stories and class readings, which more often than not were plays.
Recently I was browsing the shelves at my local library when I stumbled across a much-loved copy of Jane Eyre. It’s a story I’ve heard countless times, but it felt right to finally give it a chance.
Reader, I loved it.
Since then, it’s opened me up to so many great books I’ve never made time for. War and Peace. The Wind in the Willows. A Tale of Two Cities. The Turn of the Screw. Of course, I have a to-be-read pile that’s back to growing—with Pride and Prejudice sitting right on tip.
That’s where you come in: what’s your favorite ‘classic’ novel that I just have to read?
And as always, read on for more of my bookish updates and other news on this week’s State of the Stacks.
Currently Reading: All the Devil’s are Here: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis by Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera
Just Finished: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Up Next: Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
TBR Pile: Miss MacIntosh, My Darling by Marguerite Young
One book reviewed here at Plucked from the Stacks recently celebrated its Publication Day, meaning it’s officially out in the wild in libraries and bookstores.
- The Box Turtle by Vanessa Roeder
Reading About Books
If you’re not reading a book, the next best thing is reading about books. Here’s a selection of news and essays I enjoyed this week:
- Anika Burgess for Atlas Obscura showcases some of the posters created for libraries by President Roosevelt’s WPA during the 1930s and 1940s.
- Author Nancy Coco explores some of the cozy mysteries that embody the Pacific Northwest for CrimeReads.
- Olivia Rutigliano explores how playwright Ben Jonson beat a murder charge … by translating some Latin.
That’s that— the State of the Stacks.