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Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Geeks #3

I am intimidated by classic literature, but I find myself loving the books I actually do read. It just takes me a while to break down and read an older book.

I know that in the Weekly Geeks post, a classic is defined as a book that is over 100 years old, but I don't want to have to check to see if each book I mention is that old. I usually consider books that are over 50 years old to be classics though.

I was scared to read To Kill A Mockingbird for English last year, but it has become one of my favorite books. East of Eden is mt favorite classic book, and is tied with another as my favorite book of all time.

I'd reccomend for people new to classics to read something written simply with an easy to follow plot, with minimal symbolism. Most people my age did not like To Kill A Mockingbird because they were not able to enjoy the story without having to analuze a bit.

East of Eden is wonderful because one can read it freely without picking it apart and still enjoy it, but more experienced classics readers can enjoy all the hidden gems the book has to offer. I know it is long, but I think East of Eden would be a good starting point.

For a smaller classic, The Pearl by John Steinbeck is good too. It is a simple story with a strong moral. I'd suggest it to any 13-17 year old who wants to get their feet wet because it is not too demanding.

I recently read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. For a classic, it is a nice change of pace. It is not stuffy. It is written beautifully but is easy to understand. The story is simple but captures the reader from the very beginning and doesn't stop until the end.

8 comments:

farmlanebooks said...

I loved To Kill a Mockingbird when I read it in school.

I think your suggestion of reading younger classics is a great idea. I find books written within the last 100 years to be a lot easier than older ones.

Maybe it's just the way language has changed over time, but it requires so much concentration for me to read some of the older books that I lose all enjoyment.

I'll keep an eye out for The Pearl and East of Eden - thanks for suggesting them!

Becky said...

I'm thinking about reading East of Eden.

Kerrie said...

This year is Edgar Allan Poe's 200th birthday. You might enjoy some of his spooky stories and I'm sure there'll be many reprints around

Marg said...

I really enjoyed East of Eden when I read it! Reading the classics feels harder to me as well, which is part of the reason why I don't seem to get to them as often as I should.

Ali said...

Great reading recommendations--all the books you mentioned are "classics," I think, if you define Classic as a book that has staying power. I have no doubt that To Kill a Mockingbird and Steinbeck's books will still be read when they've passed the century mark. I haven't read A Tree Grows In Brooklyn but from what I've heard, the same is true of it.

Thanks for participating in Weekly Geeks! --Ali

claire said...

I like your younger classics choices. :)

grayskyeyes said...

I liked East of Eden quite a bit when I read it a few years ago. I like Steinbeck's writing style a lot; it's clean, without being too dry.

Dorte H said...

To Kill a Mockingbird is such a wonderful book! But as a teacher I am sorry to acknowledge the fact that school often destroys good books for the pupils. I felt the same way when I was 10. Analysing a book meant "destroying" it and I was not able to put it together again at that age.
So maybe we should use bad books for analysis practise? :)