5 On My TBR is a weekly meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook. Every Monday, a prompt is provided, and we get to rave about 5 books that fit the prompt which are also on our TBRs. This week, the prompt is…
If we’re being perfectly honest here, my blood kind of ran cold when I read this prompt because I don’t read a lot of classics. I really struggle with reading classics because I feel like my relationship with the book is affected by how it’s considered such a great work of literature by so many other people. I struggle even more with classics written before the year 1900 because I’m often missing historical background information that would enrich and inform my reading experience. (Note to self: make a post about my long and very complicated relationship with Beowulf).
However, there are some classics I want to read. Here we have, in no particular order, five of them.
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
I’ll be honest, the main reason I’m curious about this book is because it’s about lesbians. This book was first published in 1928 and it does not have a happy ending, but it portrays a lesbian woman with a level of sympathy that was considered utterly scandalous at the time. It’s a classic of LGBT+ literature.
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
This book was published in 1966 after the author’s death, since it had been censored by Stalin. It involves Satan strolling through Moscow with a black cat, and a friend of mine really loved it and kept recommending it to me.
Dracula by Bram Stoker
What can I say? I like classic horror and I’ve been meaning to read this for years. I don’t think I need to summarize this book; we’re all familiar with the title character. “Castlevania” and Moffat’s “Dracula” (both of which are on Netflix) made me think of this book, and I might try and read it this October.
At the Mountains of Madness by H. P. Lovecraft
I hate Lovecraft as a person. I hate him. He was a vile, delusional racist and anti-Semite whose books are rife with his bigotry. On the other hand, cosmic horror is one of my favorite types of horror, and I feel obligated to check out work that is foundational to this genre. I refuse to spend money on any book by Lovecraft, however — this novella was published in 1936, and I’ll find a free PDF of it somewhere online.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Another book I probably don’t need to summarize. Currently, the 2005 movie version with Keira Knightley is on Netflix, and I’m trying to watch it… and failing because I keep getting distracted. This is a classic that I really want to read, but also find VERY intimidating because of its age. I worry there will be a lot of details that go over my head because I’m not very familiar with Regency era England.
Now that I’ve made this list I’ve realized there are actually many classics I should add to my TBR, such as Orlando by Virginia Woolf, The Color Purple by Alice Walker, and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I don’t feel any more confident in my ability to read historical classics, but otherwise I’m excited to move forward.