My high school English teacher was a long-haired, laid-back guy who would put R-rated movies on for us to watch and grade us on effort. So… I missed a few classics back in my high school days 😂
So I picked up a few classics this year and read them, and here are my favorite five!
1. 1984 by George Orwell
This one came highly recommended because of the rise in misinformation, propaganda, and ‘fake news’ (ugh, I hate that term!) in modern times. I was told I would be shocked about the parallels between 1984 and 2016.
And I’m not going to lie ~ I was stunned by the similarities of 1984 & 2016.
1984 is a worst-case scenario of what can happen when misinformation and propaganda goes unchecked, when information (misinformation) is used as a weapon. This book was creepy and thought-provoking. I love Animal Farm by the same author, and 1984 did not disappoint.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I finally read this classic! It was so interesting to follow this little girl and her life. It seemed simple at first, then came the layers of wisdom, pain, and maturing in such a harsh and complicated world.
The book truly does touch your heart.
TKAM apparently made students “uncomfortable” (I think it made the teachers uncomfortable, but what do I know?), but if you read this and don’t feel discomfort, your empathy muscle might be broken 😒 I can say I associate most with Boo Radley. Harsh realities can make you want to hide away from it all.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Like 1984, this one was a worst-case scenario. A big what if, as a lot of these classics tend to ask. What if we just did what we were told because it has become the law? Mmm, where have I heard that recently…? 🤔 …
I love books that pose huge ethical what if questions.
What if the laws of the land are harmful, unethical, and oppressive? What if the Bible is used to support these awful laws? The Handmaid’s Tale is beautifully written and as thought-provoking as books come. Season One of the Hulu show is based directly on the book.
4. The Lord of the Rings (including The Hobbit) by J.R.R. Tolkien
Not exactly a school-read, I saw this classic on Kindle Unlimited and decided to give it a go. I loved The Hobbit movies, so I began reading The Hobbit all the way to the end of the LOTR trilogy.
All I can say is ~ what an adventure!
Tolkien takes his time unraveling the yarn of Middle Earth and showing us its customs, landscape, and troubles. He takes his time letting us get to know his characters, all of which are interesting and complex. And, I must say, Sam is definitely my favorite! Brave and loyal and a lot more suspicious of danger than Frodo was 😄
5. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
What is it about classics that make you think what if? What if? What if? For instance, the rise of the #MeToo movement has been interesting to see within the realm of romance books, which often portray abusive behaviors as romance.
What if we just ban and burn all these books that offend us?
I’ve certainly seen enough posts going in that direction… Fahrenheit 451 does an amazing job of showing us the what if of burning or banning books we disagree with. If we start, when will it stop? If it offends me but not you, what do we do? The fictional world in Fahrenheit 451 is chilling, and you can see just how much Bradbury himself detested mindless TV!
Have you just recently read a classic? Which one?
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