5 of my favourite classic books

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

I want to circle back to the classics. Because a) they are guaranteed test-of-time-standing joyous reads, and b) I majored in English Literature so I am biased!

I recently reread some classic books that provoked feelings different of the previous reads, and I found them somehow more relevant to my life and our current world.

And here they are:

1984

 

A dystopian society that is trapped under the all-seeing, all-hearing eyes and ears of big brother and the thought police. This is most probably a familiar book to you.

Putting the story of Winston aside (the character that we follow in the plot), I am fascinated by the ideologies and solitary musings of Winston, the glaring oppressions versus subtle manipulations.

This book bares truths and lessons about any society or members of the society to take a step back and evaluate their path. Some “fictitious” examples in here are eerily applicable to our current society, but we shall not be scared and instead search for the whys in this read, because positive change cannot be born out of ignorance!

1984 is riveting and the language is poetically political. (if that’s a thing!)

I also wrote a short poem about each book, here a few lines about 1984:

 

chained in thoughts
yet, compelled to shove them
out of your skull
and blow them in to the memory hole
into blazing fire
that is fueled by your soul

 

Frankenstein

 

Can you believe that this book was published two centuries ago?

And it is still the star of halloween, or any other fear-inducing occasion.

Victor Frankenstein, who is the doctor not the monster, sets ambitions to interfere with life creation, bringing to life a seemingly bright yet vicious monster.

 

Mary Shelley wrote this story as a contest with his husband and their neighbour Lord Byron. They embarked on a quest to write the scariest of the stories after reading horrifying german folk stories.

Looking at this book from the angle of creation, women’s role in birthing life, god, and the consequences of being an irresponsible creator, attracted me the most in rereading of this book. Not to mention that the story itself is a strong drive to turn the pages and every sentence is nearly perfect.

 

a womb
a uterus
pain and life
mingled in a lovely hate battle
dead flesh strangles breaths
a monster is risen

 

Lord of the Flies

 

The author of this book, William Golding, won a well-deserved Nobel prize in literature.

A group of stranded english boys on an island tragically fail to establish a united society. With conflicting forces of the desire to be rescued and enchantment with hunting pigs.

To me, one of the most important practical takes from this book was to set priorities straight and identify what distracts me from treading the right path. Greed of any kind is blinding and all-consuming.

Expect no dull moments in this book and a flawless language.

 

the abyss is
hopelessness
surrounded by salty water
and infested with
thirst for flesh

 

 

Crime and punishment

 

This book is originally written in Russian, so I read the translation. In hopes that one day, I can read the original!

A fairly long and brilliant depiction of moral conflict, dissection of mental anguish, and inner struggle with self-punishment. I can’t say I cared for the ending, but I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, stepping into the chaotic mind of “criminal” and living his nightmare alongside him.

This might be a slower read because of the sheer volume of the book and the heavy concepts, but it is time well-spent.

 

spilled water
soaking ground
irreversible shattering
how will you sleep tonight?

 

Great expectations

 

Pip (the main character) has great expectations, his ambitions and persistence on a dream are rewarded, but will he ever be satiated?

This book scrapes beneath the surface of superficial attraction of wealth and beauty. It takes you on a rollercoaster of granted wishes and burst bubbles, it sharpens your eyes to dig beneath the surface, encourages your wit to judge slower, and provokes your ego to be self-aware.

An enjoyable read with Charles Dickens’ smooth writing.

 

dreams shine and twinkle
until their light dims
into a sad dying flame
of a candle
caught in the cruel wind

Let me know if love any of these books as well, or planning on reading them?

15 Responses

  1. Frankenstein is great! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s the only classic book, that was not a subject back in school days.
    Unfortunately, a lot of classic books, become kind of annoying to read, when you have to read them as a part of your literature studies. But maybe that’s just my experience…

    1. you’re right, i didn’t enjoy these books when i read them in school, but when i reread for pleasure it was . a completely different experience.

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