I was always an avid reader. I was that kid who read everything she could get her hands on. Yes, that included every book that was assigned. I found some I never would've read that I really enjoyed (The Count of Monte Cristo, All Quiet on the Western Front) and others I found horrid (Siddhartha). Okay okay. I didn't finish Siddartha. I finished Anna Karenina for AP English my junior year out of spite. I wanted to prove that I could do it. Especially once most of my class didn't finish it. I HATED that long, long book. I wanted to read ten classic books before I turned 30. I wanted to pick a mix of books that were on English teachers' book lists, things a lot of people I knew had read in middle or high school and classic works by black authors.
This list was just like a trip back to school. There were some I loved and wished I read earlier and others I never want to even think about again. Let's start with the highs. Number one hands down is.... PRIDE AND PREJUDICE!!!!!! I love this book!!! I want to read it again and again and again! It's so awesome!! I also loved Their Eyes Were Watching God. Awesome. The Grapes of Wrath. I did NOT expect to love this book! I was marginally optimistic about the first two but this was the sleeper hit! So good! I'll tie these at number two! The top three are COMPLETELY different books set in different times, different countries but they have one thing in common: they're all incredibly well-written.
I really liked Oliver Twist but it would come in fourth on the list of the ten books I read. Invisible Man was the most thought-provoking for me, though it got off to a slow start. After the first 150 or so pages (there were 400 more), it was quite good. It's number five. Coming in at number six, Uncle Tom's Cabin. It was just there for me. I liked it at times, other times didn't. Overall, it was fine. Number seven: Lord of the Flies was similar but more toward the don't like side.
Number eight is Catcher in the Rye. Not at all my kind of book. Overly-indulged rich kid goes around doing whatever he wants. Stream of consciousness. It made me exasperated with people who relate to this book. No thanks. Number nine is The Great Gatsby. I know! It's a true classic. Whatevs. I couldn't connect with the characters or relate to them. That normally doesn't matter to me. But in this case, the characters all felt frivolous. Number ten is Catch 22. I picked it because I've seen the cover blown up to poster size on the walls of Barnes and Noble. It took me months to read. MONTHS. No more picking books like that. Yech.
Overall? This was a great goal! AND my reading bug is officially reignited! For my 35 before 35 (LOLOL), I'm going to read 35 more classic books that I've never tackled. I only need 5 more. Suggestions?