The theme this week is to pick anticipated reads…well, you can see. I’ve done that a few times already, so I thought it’d be fun to pick from one of the old topics that I hadn’t done yet. Thus, I picked: Top Ten “Older” Books I Don’t Want People To Forget.
1. The Diary of Anne Frank. I think it would be devastating to forget about this book. Anne’s voice is so pure and honest, painting the portrait of life in hiding, her hopes, dreams, fears. Her ideals. She was wise beyond her years and to forget her would be a tragedy. She died far too young and for what? Because she was Jewish. As though Jews were useless. One should never forget the Holocaust nor those who lived, who died and those who told/tell the story.
2. Little Women. I always live in fear that someday this will be an obsolete book, one that doesn’t inspire little girls as it did me. They won’t come to know Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy and to appreciate their unique stories, to learn how to forge a path when the odds are dead set against you. To grow as a person and experience the growing pains that come with age…such as when childhood events no longer have the same appeal, but instead have a warm place in your heart. This, to me, would be devastating were it to be forgotten.
3. Gone With The Wind. Don’t judge, haha. But Scarlett is a character that I think everyone should read at least once. Her life is the ultimate soap operator and yet, we come to see moments where Scarlett is the bamf we know her to be. She’s a pure spitfire and I adore her, even when she’s being bratty, for lack of a better term. Scarlett doesn’t accept things, she works for them. She is just a hell of a character.
4. In Cold Blood. Truman Capote wrote this and it’s absolutely heartbreaking, anger-inducing, it is a tumult of emotions. It is considered the first True Crime book and people just couldn’t get over it nor the author himself. Capote went to the town where the murders occurred and researched; with him, he brought Harper Lee, his best friend. It’s a sensational view.
5. To Kill A Mockingbird. I was one of the few in my class who enjoyed the book. It’s important to history because it spotlights a true miscarriage of justice. And it also questions Human Nature, which I always thought a fascinating thing. There is no frivolous nature in this book. It is to the point and it is truly a masterpiece, in my opinion. I found I was always reading ahead in class when we were reading it. (If my old English teacher is reading, hi!)
6. The Phantom of the Opera. It’s one of my favorite musicals, though I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing it in person yet. I love the story, which is essentially a Beauty and the Beast retelling. It’s splendidly written and I truly adored the story. (Susan Kay’s ‘Phantom’ was also brilliant.) I maintain I’d have chosen the Phantom. I’ve never liked Raoul.
7. The Color Purple. I don’t know if you’d consider it a classic, but to me it is. It’s one of those books that once you read it (or even see the film), it will forever stick with you. It’s full of tragedy and triumphs, joy, sorrow, for every good, there is a bad. But you stick with it because it’s so realistic. Miss Celie is one of those characters I will forever carry in my heart as is Sophia. (You may recall Oprah played her in the film and Whoopi Goldberg played Celie.)
8. The Portrait of Dorian Gray. I confess that I added this because I saw the movie before I read the book. I blame Ben Barnes (you may know him from The Punisher, Narnia, Westworld) for it. He is the perfect embodiment of this young man who slips further and further into corruption. A portrait keeps him young and youthful, the portrait ages and shows the effects. It’s a cautionary tale and a splendid read. (I am an unabashed fangirl, lol.)
9. Anything from Shakespeare. I know some find him terribly boring, but I think going back and reading his works are very beneficial. Besides, he coined many different terms that we keep in our lexicon today. It is also fun to see how the language evolves through the ages and how problems tend to remain the same, despite the eras changing.
–“Dead as a doornail” — (Henry VI Part II)
–“For goodness’ sake” — (Henry VIII)
–“Foregone conclusion” — (Othello)
–“Full circle” — (King Lear)
–“Wear my heart upon my sleeve” — (Othello)
–“Wild-goose chase” — (Romeo and Juliet)
10. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. I admit that I read an abridged version when I was 11 or 12, but I do mean to read the full novel. I absolutely adore the story. Quasimodo, born misshapen and abused, Esmeralda, a Romani (‘Gypsy’ as they refer to her) dancer/performer, Phoebus, the head guard, Frollo, the judge who is disgustingly corrupt though he tries to hide it by justifying it as “righteousness.” These characters are so fascinating and slip into your head, never leaving. All of their lives intertwine in a highly dramatic manner. As they ask in the Disney film–“Who is the monster and who is the man?”