Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Classics in Literature
            I must admit, I had a hard time coming up with this list. I discovered that I haven’t read a lot of classics aimed at adults. I’ve tried reading some, but just couldn’t seem to get into the story. Perhaps it’s due to my lack of patience. I do tend lose interest relatively quickly.
However, I’ve read a bunch of children’s classics, and thus placed them on the list accordingly. Without further adieu, here’s my Top Ten Favorites in Classic Literature.

Centennial by James A. Michener
This heavy book centers around the making of a town called, aptly, Centennial. With a keen interest in westerns, I had to include this one. The first section didn’t get my attention until the story progressed to the year 1795. A man called Pasquinel, a Scotsman named McKeag and an Indian lady, Clay Basket scratch out a living. Later, a wagon train comes through with Levi Zent. When Levi loses his wife and their baby, I nearly put the book down for good, but sighed and picked it up again. Next part of the story centers around a cattle drive. That’s my favorite part.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
I love this children’s classic about true friendship. Fern stood up for Wilbur, even before he knew she existed. Then Charlotte stood up for him, and used creative methods to save him. Templeton the Rat really cracked me up. He had such wit. The story teaches us about loss, grief, and moving on. I think we can all relate to losing somebody we love, and I believe everyone should have at least one friend like Charlotte. Call me a romantic sap, but I think the world would be a much better place if we were all willing to make such sacrifices for others.
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
I read this as a child and really enjoyed it. I thought Heidi had a lot of spunk and rooted for her to be reunited with her Grandfather the moment her Auntie took her away. I must say, though, that I felt for Clara, and was glad when she learned to walk. She’d have probably never done so without the encouragement of Heidi, so some good did come of the situation. I for one would prefer the green rolling hills of the Swiss Alps with farm animals and lots of fresh air, as opposed to the stuffy big city. I guess that’s the country girl in me.
The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This is a series of books that accurately depicts pioneer life, chronicling the life of Laura Ingalls and her family. In these books she describes the joys and hardships of growing up on the American frontier. Her family faces crop failures, hard winters, and the tragic loss of her sister Mary’s sight. But they also find contentment in working together during the hard times and realized the dream of Mary going off to college. And in no difficulty did their faith ever waiver. I’ve always found that extremely inspiring. It’s no wonder I can’t count the number of times I’ve read these books, but then again, I do have a passion for stories set in 1800’s America.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
I love this classic dealing with the March sisters. I never had sisters so naturally, I latch on to any story that encompasses a plethora of female siblings. I loved everything about them, from their names to what they became in life. When I read this as a kid, I thought Jo was crazy for turning down Teddy’s proposal, but as I got older I saw the wisdom in it. Even though Jo and I are/were both writers, I think the gentle and tender Beth is who I relate to the most. Meg and Amy found their happiness which made for a satisfying ending.
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
This is a classic I read in one sitting. It’s a well written story about friends, and sticking together in the midst of real tribulation. It deals with two hard working men in the Great Depression, when hard manual labor meant something. The mentally handicapped Lenny loved things that were soft but didn’t know his own strength. George was the epitome of a faithful friend. Often times, Lenny got them into a mess of trouble, unintentionally of course, due to his lack of understanding. In spite of all this, George truly cared for Lenny, and would do anything to protect him. The ending was sad, but I think that brings realism to the story. 
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
A classic love story, filled with drama and passion. I liked Mercutio, I consider him a loyal friend to Romeo. Every time I see the movie, I can’t help but imagine scenario’s that might have saved the ill-fated couple. I think if any one little thing could have gone in their favor, they might still be alive. But there rests the crux of the issue, had they not died, would their parents ever have buried the proverbial hatchet? In spite of the tragic ending, I’m still a romance writer and had to include some romance somewhere on the list.
Thumbelina by Hans Christian Andersen
This is such a cute fairy tale, yes, another by Hans Christian Andersen. I admire Thumbelina’s lust for adventure. Although, I’m of a quiet nature, I long to see the world, experience new things and live life to the fullest. One character that helped her along the way was a butterfly, and we all know how partial I am to those creatures. Let’s not forget that Thumbelina found romance in the end, after she had matured dramatically. It doesn’t get much better than that, at least for most romance novelists.
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This one is my favorite classic for several reasons. Not only is it set in American history, but it deals with issues near and dear to my heart. Fighting racial discrimination and standing up for justice, even if it means standing alone or facing danger. Scout has to be one of the spunkiest and wisest kids I’ve ever read about. Jem, Scout’s older brother, did a good job of protecting his little sister and Dill had a sense of adventure I can relate to. I admire and respect the character of Atticus Finch. His integrity and devotion to justice inspire me. This is a masterpiece worthy of reading over and again. To this day I cry when I read it.
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
This is an honest and gritty coming of age tale that kept me turning pages. Billy Coleman’s biggest dream was to acquire dogs of his own. His tenaciously worked hard for the money to get Old Dan and Little Ann, and took great care of them. Admirable qualities in my opinion. The animal lover in me sobbed at the ending, but I still loved the book.

Okay, that’s it, but I’m reading Sense and Sensibility now, so that could change with time. Feel free to comment below and tell me about your favorite classic in literature.