Classics recommendation

(44 Posts)
lemonbiscuit Wed 26-Jun-13 18:30:09

I'm thinking of reading one of the classics on holiday for a change. What would you recommend? ideally nothing too depressing. I've read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights plus all of the Thomas Hardy novels (a long time ago!) Suggestions welcomed please.

superbagpuss Wed 26-Jun-13 18:45:25

I'm reading sherlock Holmes while thinking about Benedict cumberbatch. they are very good stories and quite short so they keep moving

notnowImreading Wed 26-Jun-13 18:47:26

I love The Moonstone and The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. They are very dramatic and fast moving with great characters.

highlandcoo Wed 26-Jun-13 18:48:30

Pride and Prejudice is still hard to beat IMO.

I also really enjoyed The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham recently, and The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett was a book I loved years ago.

EleanorFarjeon Wed 26-Jun-13 18:51:19

Madame Bovary is fab and very readable.

Or Sons and Lovers? One of my favourites that I have read again and again.

notnowImreading Wed 26-Jun-13 18:55:42

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is excellent too. Especially if you have Richard Armitage in your head as Mr Thornton.

Somethingyesterday Wed 26-Jun-13 18:59:04

Assuming you mean something deep and dark and Victorian-y, I would recommend "Lorna Doone" by R. D. Blackmore. More plot driven and adventuresome than those you've mentioned. And really fabulous.

I'm never really sure where the classics canon ends. John Buchan or P.G. Wodehouse would be my idea of holiday reading.

Nothing beats Victor Hugo Les Miserables.

I second Somerset Maugham, especially his short stories.

greenhill Wed 26-Jun-13 19:07:39

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier is nearly old enough to be a classic.

Salbertina Wed 26-Jun-13 19:08:54

Second Pride & Prejudice plus Wilkie Collins. But my favourite is Vanity Fair- a stomping read and v pertinent to 21st century life as well as a gripping story!

helebear Wed 26-Jun-13 19:09:05

I really enjoyed reading Rebecca a few years ago on holiday, I couldn't put it down.

helebear Wed 26-Jun-13 19:12:06

X post with greenhill. As I was writing I wondered if Rebecca is considered a classic or not.

Numberlock Wed 26-Jun-13 19:12:17

And My Cousin Rachel is even better...

Keep The Aspidistra Flying
Clockwork Orange
Jude The Obscure
Master and Margerita

Takver Wed 26-Jun-13 19:15:28

For a light holiday read, I'd suggest Cranford by Mrs Gaskell (though agree North & South is also excellent).

Alternatively, if you liked Jane Eyre, what about Shirley?

mignonette Wed 26-Jun-13 19:19:45

Sons And Lovers by D H Lawrence

Anything by Katharine Mansfield

Arial by Sylvia Plath

On The Road by Jack Kerouac

The Grapes of Wrath/ Cannery Row/ Travels With Charley/ The Pearl/ Tortilla Flat all by John Steinbeck

Anything by Flannery O'Connor or by Willa Cather

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

maillotjaune Wed 26-Jun-13 19:20:36

I loved Persuasion (although Pride & Prejudice is a great read too). Also second (or third!) North & South but top of the list would be Vanity Fair which I think I will be re-reading on holiday this year.

lemonbiscuit Wed 26-Jun-13 20:21:44

Thanks for your suggestions. Lots to chose from! I forgot to say I read Rebecca last year and really enjoyed it. i also read Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chervallier which I thought was fab too.

pointydog Wed 26-Jun-13 20:23:34

Try some Emile Zola. Racy, earthy, drama, sorrows, lust.

Pointydog!!! I agree about Zola.
I also second divine Kathrine Mansfield.

But really, upyou can't get better than Les Miserables!

terribleteethinitsterriblejaws Wed 26-Jun-13 20:27:30

Jane eyre and rebecca are favourites of mine, I have just finished a town like alice and thoroughly enjoyed it.

pointydog Wed 26-Jun-13 20:52:52

Hi Franca! Plus ca change, eh?


Little Women
Sense and sensibility

Just been reminded ( thanks terribleteeth ) of Neville Shute
Loved A Town Like Alice , and can also reccomend On The Beach

Judyandherdreamofhorses Wed 26-Jun-13 21:09:39

The Count of Monte Cristo

Salbertina Wed 26-Jun-13 21:10:49

Brave New World
Catcher in the Rye
Grapes of wrath

mignonette Wed 26-Jun-13 21:34:01

OMG On The Beach- most depressing book ever. Loved it though......

mixedmamameansbusiness Thu 27-Jun-13 18:20:39

I have read Dracula and Frankenstein this year which I have loved, they are not very long though.

I also loved Lady Chatterley's Lover and enjoyed Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons.

Persuasion is my absolute favourite Austen.

Hullygully Thu 27-Jun-13 18:26:58

War and Peace
Anna Karenina
Madame Bovary
Balzac (forgotten names)
Dorothy Whipple - SO SO SO GOOD

Hullygully Thu 27-Jun-13 18:27:32

Get some Dorothy's for a holiday. You'll spend it weeping, but in a good way.

Notgoingto Thu 27-Jun-13 18:32:24

Definitely anything by John Steinbeck or George Orwell or Somerset Maugham.

Or how about Edith Wharton? I loved House of Mirth and the Age of Innocence.

noblegiraffe Thu 27-Jun-13 18:33:08

Gone with the Wind. It's epic smile

JC74 Thu 27-Jun-13 18:36:40

Little Women & Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott.
Jude the Obscure always worth a retread for the sheer sadness/misery.
I've never managed to read Jane Austen without nodding off. Probably says more about me than her!
Part way through The Woman in White now.

Hullygully Thu 27-Jun-13 18:40:11

Yes! Gone With the Wind.

NotYoMomma Thu 27-Jun-13 19:18:28

A room with a view

Passage to India

The Great Gatsby

lemonbiscuit Thu 27-Jun-13 21:55:00

Thanks for suggestions! think I'm going to give North and South and a Dorothy Whipple a go. I have to admit I'd not heard of her until now.

Ilanthe Thu 27-Jun-13 22:01:14

Anything by Anthony Trollope but particularly The Way We Live Now. Sadly my DH wouldn't let me name either of our DSs after the wonderful but caddish Sir Felix Carbury.

Hullygully Thu 27-Jun-13 22:02:23

hurrah for Dorothy!

Read They Were Sisters, particularly if you do have a sister...

Shanghaidiva Fri 28-Jun-13 12:38:30

Emma is my favourite.
YY to Vanity Fair and the Great Gatsby

MiddleAgeMiddleEngland Fri 28-Jun-13 14:35:20

Pied Piper is my favourite Shute.

George Eliot is fantastic, Silas Marner is quick and easy, The Mill on the Floss is my favourite of hers.

Yes to Zola, I'm re-reading The Earth at the moment. Also yes to John Steinbeck who I discovered recently.

Knut Hamsun is a brilliant author, Growth of the Soil is on my top ten of all time. Some people disagree with some of his politics, but if you can get past that he's fab.

I discovered Dorothy Whipple on here, have only read one, but one more waiting on the bookshelf - thanks Mumsnet smile

I've never read Vanity Fair, I don't know why! Will put it on my list.

baskingseals Fri 28-Jun-13 14:46:36

agree with Anna Karenina. If that puts you in a Russian mood, A Hero of Our Time, by Lermontav is brilliant.

French Lieutenants Woman by John Fowles - pretty much anything by him really.

Orlando by Virginia Woolf

I also really like Maupassant and Chekhov, masters of the short story, along with Katherine Mansfield.

Recently re-read Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, really enjoyed it.

alanyoung Fri 28-Jun-13 15:10:11

If you like medieval stuff, try Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett. Story of a stonemason who travels all over the south of England looking for work in the middle of winter. Eventually builds a cathedral. Was recently produced as a television series which was fairly true to the book, but as usual the book gives much more detail than any film could.

antimatter Sun 30-Jun-13 20:52:19

Anna Karenina

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