5 Classics everyone should read at least once.


Dear reader, 

As you may know, I am an avid reader. I feel like nowadays, numerous people tend to scorn “classic books”, mainly because they are sure they are boring… even tough they often never read them. In my eyes, the main reason for that issue is that numerous students are forced to read a certain amount of those “classic books” at school and that makes them associate them with school related memories which are not always that great. I decided to follow a “Foreign Literature and Regional Studies” major so I am obviously not one of these students but even I have been feeling overwhelmed at times by the amount of books a student is asked to read. For that reason, I would like that post to be a guide that you may use to connect with those “classic books” without having to suffer at all (it may even be cool, yes yes yes!)


Rebecca, Daphné du Maurier

That is the very first book I would recommend as it is a “Classic” that does not look like one. I mean, that novel was first published in 1938, which makes it a relatively “recent” one compared to Shakespeare’s plays for instance. Thus, the vocabulary used as well as the imagery and problematics are more or less “easy” to understand and are not blocking at all the enjoyment of the reading-session.

Rebecca is a novel that follows the journey of a young woman marrying an older widower. She seems to be living as a shadow of his previous wife, even though he is not the one responsible for the way she feels. He is indeed a rather kind husband, even though a little bit strange. However, every other character who knew Rebecca (her husband’s previous wife) knows how to have her feel like she is not welcomed in that life. Characters make her feel as if she had stolen Rebecca’s life but was not worthy of it. However, the truth may be far different, and our main character may be far worthier of that life than she thinks.

For those of you who may be interested in my review, click here

A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens

That novel is more complicated than the previous one, but the reason for it would be linked to the topic more than to the writing. Charles Dickens is indeed an author who is known to have a writing style easy to understand and extremely agreeable to read. The topic of the book being the French Revolution, it is however quite hard at times as a small historical background on that period is needed to understand to whole of the plot.

The novel takes place between “two cities” that are Paris and London. As always with Charles Dickens, characters are astonishingly well-designed and the reader easily gets attached to them. One of those characters, Sydney Carton, knows the most incredible evolution, going from a despicable character to a true hero: that book is worth reading for him only, I assure you.

For those of you who may be interested in my review, click here

Agnes Grey, Anne Brontë

Agnes Grey is the first book I read by Anne Brontë, one of the three famous “Brontë sisters”. I love reading novels about the moral evolution of women, especially as far as the XIX century is concerned. Agnes is a young governess leaving her family to taste independence (and help her parents financially) but she encounters hardships as she is sent to a rather evil family. She ends up changing families and through the novel, she discovers what is important in her life, what she wants to do, who she wants to become, and with whom she wants to be. I think that is a perfect novel for all romantics around here who would like to follow the journey of a XIX century “normal” woman like you and me.

For those of you who may be interested in my review, click here

The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood

I am not sure whether or not I need to give an introduction for that one as given the movie and Hulu series derived from it, lots of people have already heard form that novel, even slightly. However I could go on and on about it so I will give you a little taste of what it feels to read The Handmaid’s Tale (and that feels sooooo good!).

We are facing a dystopian novel and not any dystopian novel, a FEMINIST dystopian novel. That book follows the journey of Offred, a woman who has to become, after the fertility rate started decreasing all over the country, a “walking-womb”. Really, though, she is not considered as a woman anymore and none of the so-called “handmaids” are as they are considered “useful” only for their fertility. We readers witness her evolution, her inner-thoughts and the way she copes with what happens to her in a dystopian novel frightfully close to our own reality.

For those of you who may be interested in my review, click here

I also wrote another in-depth review over here.

(yes, I love that novel so much as you can tell!)

The Fall of the House of Usher, Edgar Allan Poe

I could not end that post without referring to one of my favorite authors of all times: Edgar Allan Poe. His works are far less cheerful than the ones I mentioned before, let’s be honest, but they are so deep and astonishingly interesting to read. I may write a post dedicated to him only as he wrote wonderful poems, short-stories and essays that deserve to be discussed but today, I would like to share with you my absolute favorite short-story: The Fall of the House of Usher.

In that novel, the author tells from the point of view of an unreliable narrator (that starts quite well, right?) a visit to a friend that… goes wrong, that is the least we could say! In such a short amount of pages, Poe refers to incest, death, drugs, madness and even inbreeding. If you only have thirty minutes to read today, may these thirty minutes be dedicated to that short-story as you will feel dreadfully different after reading it.

Here is a link to a free PDF version: The Fall of the House of Usher

Hoping that post  helped you see how interesting classic books can be,

Lots of love,

TABOULOT Camille 

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