Do modern novels make you cringe? Does it feel like everything written after 1950 is shallow, immoral, or ridden with sloppy language?
If your soul is slowly shriveling away inside of you and your eyes are screaming at you to find something, ANYTHING, worth their time to read, I have a solution for you!
First, spend a couple minutes of cathartic laughter with Terrible Writing Advice, where you can enjoy that someone besides yourself notices just how awful most modern novels actually are!
Then… take a look at my list below! With 50 recommendations of classic, first-rate literature, you’re sure to find something new and wonderful to read! I have personally read every title, and not only do I recommend them, but I love talking about them! Please comment about your favorite classic, any modern books and authors that are gems in this current ocean of mediocrity, or anything else book-related!
- George Elliot’s Middlemarch
- Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea
- Antoine de Saint Exupery’s The Little Prince
- Gail Carson Levine’s Fairest
- Elizabeth George Speare’s The Witch of Blackbird Pond
- Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
- Lloyd Alexander’s The Book of Three
- Lloyd Alexander’s The Black Cauldron
- Lloyd Alexander’s The Castle of Llyr
- Lloyd Alexander’s Taran Wanderer
- Lloyd Alexander’s The High King
- Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman
- Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
- Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray
- Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
- Robert C. O’Brien’s Frisby and the Rats of Nimh
- Peter S. Beagle’s The Last Unicorn
- Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time
- William Goldman’s The Princess Bride
- T.H. White’s The Once and Future King
- C.S. Lewis’s The Great Divorce
- Anne Bronte’s The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
- C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces
- Noel Streatfeild’s Theater Shoes
- Shakespeare’s The Tempest
- Louis Sachar’s Holes
- Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth
- Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz
- George McDonald’s The Light Princess
- Charles Dicken’s Great Expectations
- Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera
- Frances Hodgson Burnett The Secret Garden
- Elizabeth Russell’s Halfbreeds (Yup, my shameless plug! But I’m not ashamed – I love reading my book, and I highly recommend it!)
- Aldous Huxley’s A Brave New World
- A.A. Milne’s Winnie-the-Pooh
- Mary Ann Shaffer’s The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
- Sigrid Undset’s Catherine of Siena
- Mark Twain’s Joan of Arc
- Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
- J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan
- Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon
- Roald Dahl’s Matilda
- Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas
- Louisa May Alcott’s An Old Fashioned Girl
- M. Montgomery’s Anne of the Island
- Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy
- Fanny Fern’s Ruth Hall
- Catherine Marshall’s Christy
- Jane Austen’s Persuasion
- Gail Carson Levine’s The Two Princesses of Bamarre
BONUS: If you read ONLY 25 of the books on the list and email me with a 1-sentence comment for each of the ones you’ve read, I will send you a free copy of my next book Trinian, An Epic Fantasy!
I can’t wait to hear your opinions!
My Email Address:
Elizabeth @ thefairytaleblog.com (delete spaces)
Brave New World
In January at the beginning of the year, I was staying with a friend in New Hampshire for a couple weeks and browsing her bookshelves. I caught site of A Brave New World, and asked her if she thought I’d like it. As both of us were liberal arts students who had attended the same college together, she was in utter astonishment that I had never read it before.
“Will I like it?” I asked.
“You have to read it,” she said, thrusting it into my hands, and asking, “Haven’t you at least heard of it before?”
Thinking back on it now, I must have at some point. But it never registered in my mind. Somehow, it was a classic that slipped through the cracks. Maybe it was too recent – I tend to ignore recent books.
So I read it… and loved it! Maybe I could compare it to 1984, but it was so much better than that. I highly, highly recommend it! The references to Shakespeare are so inspiring, they make you want to read and study all of his plays! It’s sort of like reading A Series of Unfortunate Events for adults – feels like there’s secret code everywhere.
And of course, when I came home from my trip, while perusing my brothers shelves, I saw the same book. Apparently he had had it for some time, and I just never noticed!
🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 (🌟)
I would rate this a 4 for difficulty level for middle schoolers, but grant a child a 5 for reading it, considering that it is a classic. However, I would not give it to a child under at least 15, due to mature subject matter.
Hey guys! I don’t usually break the fifth wall – you know how much I love writing a story and just putting it out there. Without commentary, without introduction.
But I’d love to hear more from all of you! So I thought I would share a list of my top ten favorite books, and then ask you to comment and share your favorites! I’d love to read them. 😀
Here are mine:
- Pride and PrejudiceThe best written love story of all time!
- The Great GatsbyThe imagery of the green light, the eyes of Dr. Eckelburg, and the ridiculous pomp of Gatsby’s parties will never cease haunting me.
- The Little PrinceLook up at the stars – and believe!
- Go Set a WatchmanWho knew I would like the sequel even better than the first? Harper Lee never disappoints!
- The Lord of the RingsArguably the most influential book of my childhood.
- Tenant of Wildfell HallThough I love all the Brontes, this is my very favorite!
- The Picture of Dorian GrayWith his masterful portrayal of characters, his societal wit, and his flair for the dramatic, Wilde paints a word picture of Dorian Gray!
- Through the Looking-GlassAgain, a sequel I love even better than the original! The White Knight, the Red Queen, and the boating sheep – I love them all! And Alice the most.
- HamletThe greatest ghost story – if not the greatest story – of all time.
- Winnie-the-PoohMy favorite book of childhood – and all these years later, it does not disappoint! The veins of wit, humor, subtle characterization, and innate understanding of childhood simplicity that run like a tapestry all through are utterly charming, funny, and nostalgic!
Tell me about your favorite books! Which of the above did you read? Did you like them? I’d love to hear!