Friday, March 07, 2014

Five classic novels well worth reading if you haven’t yet

At the Barnes & Noble Book Blog, Amelia Schonbek came up with five approachable must-read classics, including:
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen

There’s a reason this book has inspired so many retellings and spinoffs, in film and in print: Pride and Prejudice is both a love story and a thriller. (What more do you need?!) From the first paragraph, Austen wastes no time getting into the plot: Mrs. Bennet has five unmarried daughters, and a single man has moved into the neighborhood. Things move quickly from there, though the path isn’t always clear. Austen’s story is full of switchbacks and dead ends, and unforeseen circumstances that frequently get in the way of tidy resolutions. All these intricacies make the book fun to read even if you think you know what happens—there are many small dramas you’re bound to have forgotten.
Read about another book on the list.

Pride and Prejudice also appears on Melissa Albert's list of recommended reading for eight villains, Jane Stokes's top ten list of the hottest men in required reading, Gwyneth Rees's top ten list of books about siblings, the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Paula Byrne's list of the ten best Jane Austen characters, Robert McCrum's list of the top ten opening lines of novels in the English language, a top ten list of literary lessons in love, Simon Mason's top ten list of fictional families, Cathy Cassidy's top ten list of stories about sisters, Paul Murray's top ten list of wicked clerics, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best housekeepers in fiction, ten great novels with terrible original titles, and ten of the best visits to Brighton in literature, Luke Leitch's top ten list of the most successful literary sequels ever, and is one of the top ten works of literature according to Norman Mailer. Richard Price has never read it, but it is the book Mary Gordon cares most about sharing with her children.

The Page 99 Test: Pride and Prejudice.

--Marshal Zeringue