Wise, Witty, and Wacky Wednesday


Today we have a quote from Mark Twain- “’Classic.’ A book which people praise and don’t read.”

There are lists of classic books- books which every one ‘should’ read. Books which are quoted in our television shows and movies, which define the education and manner of the person quoting them. So, have you read any ‘classic’ books? What is your favorite? Which one did you hate?

My favorites Dracula, Frankenstein, Winnie the Pooh, Beatrix Potter’s Stories – do those last two count? I can name a dozen young adult books, such as Island of the Blue Dolphin, Call it Courage, The Wizard of Earth Sea, and Julie of the Wolves.

Which ones did I hate? I hate reading Shakespeare. He wrote plays, I like watching his plays. I find reading them boring. I am a description whore- ask my critique group- I want colors, gestures, sounds, smells, tastes, everything- reading a play gives me none of that. I didn’t like Catcher in the Rye- maybe I was too young, maybe it’s just not a book that speaks to me, but I didn’t care for it.
So confession time, what classic books have you read and which ones did you hate?

17 responses »

  1. I loved Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I totally got it, and that is rare for me in classic literature. The Last Picture Show by Larry McMurtry is considered a modern classic. It’s one of my favorite books. I reread it every few years and get something new each time.

    I strongly disliked Walden by Henry David Thoreu. However, I might understand it a bit better now after weathering the storms of life an extra decade or so. The same professor who had us read Walden had us read Into the Wild. At the time, I hated it, too. Then, later, I came to understand Into the Wild within the context of my life and find it very touching and life affirming.

    I didn’t care for Shakespeare. I like watching the plays, but reading them didn’t do anything special for me.

    I loved Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, and Flannery O’Connor. None of my teachers ever shared my love or “got” it the way I did. LOL

    Great topic.

  2. I didn’t care for Shakespeare either. That’s not for everyone. I also HATED The Odyssey and everything in that camp. I’m not sure if Plato’s The Republic counts as a classic but I could gag just thinking about it. Lord of The Flies was also not a winner, but the premise is great.

    Frankenstein was probably my favorite, and of course who doesn’t love 1984? George Orwell’s short stories are great too.

    Cool topic.

  3. I actually loved Shakespeare, but I love reading plays. Waiting for Godot, Rosencrantz and Guilenstern are Dead… I remember also being a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez (those count as classics, don’t they?).

    I could not get on board with Ayn Rand’s stuff. But that might have something to do with a teacher that made us read a LOT of her. After awhile, it was too much of the same theme. Maybe reading it now I wouldn’t hate it so much.

    • I haven’t read any Any Rand- I think some books have age limits- either you need to be young enough to get lost in the fluffy sappy drama- Wuthering Heights- which I loved as a teen- or you need to be old enough to get the depth of a book- A Tale of Two Cities- which I couldn’t understand as a teen.

  4. I actually love Shakespeare (I know, throw the rotten veggies), but I could NOT get through Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Drove me nuts.

    Thanks for your post!

  5. Book confession time scares me. You’re crazy btw, Catcher in the Rye was great. 😛

    Umm… I liked The Count of Monte Cristo and Heart of Darkness. LOVE the Little Prince. Didn’t get a book once, I think it was called The Red Rose or something. It’s supposed to be a classic. The author just talked on and on about the scenery, bah! Doesn’t he know I’m ADHD when it comes to description? (I SO envy you right now.) What else… I guess I’ve never liked classics and I should be crucified for speaking such blasphemy (and I call myself a writer!). Oh well. Thanks for this post! 🙂

    • Every one has different types of books they love. Some day our books could be considered classics! 🙂 I wonder why some classics are picked for reading in schools. The middle school my work kids go to have them read ‘A Child Called It’ – really that’s a good book for 12-13 year old children???
      I liked the Red Badge of Courage- as much as I can like any depressing novel.


  6. In school, I hated almost each and every book we were required to read, from To Kill a Mockingbird and Red Badge and Hunchback and on and on. Years later, I decided to go back and re-read some, to give them another chance. Started with Scarlet Pimpernel and loved it, moved on through 1984 and Brave New World and Catcher in the Rye and Three Musketeers and Count of Monte Cristo and loved them all. Then I tried Moby Dick. 4 times. It’s still the most painful book to try to read (for me, of course). It killed my attempt to run through the classics.

    • While I found Hunchback disturbing- and I can’t stand the Disney version- I liked the book. The Count of Monte Cristo- is a great book. And I like the Three Musketeers- such a look into their lives and the time period.

  7. I hated Catcher in the Rye also. I wasn’t a reader until about 12 years ago and then I became ravenous. I haven’t read the classics unless you consider The Great Gatsby one. Didn’t really like that much either. I’m more of a paranormal, action, mystery type reader.

    • I didn’t care for the Great Gatsby either. There are some great paranormal, action, mystery classics- Frankenstein being one of them. And I’ve always wanted to read Dr. Jekle and Mr. Hyde.

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