I think when one hears the term classic, one immediately thinks of old, literary novels. Still, every genre has its classics and every person has a different opinion guided by personal preferences and context. So here are some of the novels I read and consider classics:
Watership Down by Richard Adams
I read this one in university and loved it! I never thought I would come to love a tale about rabbits so much, but Hazel, Bigwig and all of the others are just adorable and their journey so adventurous.
The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
I cannot possibly exclude these since they had such a great influence on me. When I was ten, I saw the trailer for the first LotR movie on TV and immediately fell in love with it. My father, however, told me that he wouldn’t let me watch the movies unless I read the books first. Sounds hard, but looking back, I cannot thank him enough for forcing me to read them – even though I hated them and it took me ages to get through. After all, I was just 10 to 11. When I read them the second time aged 16, I just loved the books (although the Frodo & Sam parts are just very trying).
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Although this is not the only horse novel classic, this one’s the one even most non-horsey people have heard about. I can’t remember whether I actually read the original version, but I have a picture book, a book about the TV series, and of course I watched the movie many times – and I always cry my eyes out.
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Since I grew up with it, it will always be a childhood classic for me. I got the first three novels for Christmas in 2000 when I was 9 years old – and finished the first one in just four days. That was huge for me, since I wasn’t much of a reader back then. I read the novels countless times over the years and will always love them dearly. Interestingly, I always read them in German and I’m not even thinking about getting an English set. Let’s call it nostalgia.
Der Vorleser by Bernhard Schlink [The Reader]
Of all the novels I read in school, this one was my favourite. For some reason, I just couldn’t stop reading and finished it in a day although I had about two weeks to read it.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
When I got this novel, I didn’t even know it’s considered a classic of sorts. I was browsing the shelves at Eason’s in Dublin and just picked it up because I really liked the blurb. I also enjoyed reading it a lot. Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again …
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The movie, which I first watched shortly after Christmas in 2007, is probably my favourite movie of all times. I made sure I would get a copy for my birthday and then marathoned through it. I have both a German and an English copy and both the movie and of course the BBC series, which I both watched so many times already. Mr. Darcy ♥ !
A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
I did not only read the play (in German), I also played one of the more important fairies in 6th grade. I loved it so much! Since we were short on actors, my drama teacher had to play the character who later plays Thisbe. I don’t even have to close my eyes to see him with his blond wig and red lips. Priceless! On a trip to Dublin, a couple of friends and I had the idea of turning it into a modern adaptation called “A Homo Night’s Dream”. We had so much fun planning on mixing everything up but unfortunately, we never really started writing it. I just can’t stop grinning like an idiot just thinking about our playboy bunny Titania and gangsta rapper Puk, or our crazy pairings.
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
My Dad always told me I would love it but I just couldn’t bring myself to read my Mum’s battered copy. When I found the second one very cheap I couldn’t resist and also got this one immediately. Although it took me a very long time to finish it, I really loved it!
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
There was no getting past this one in our home. My Dad loves the series; the first one’s probably his favourite book of all time and we have several copies of each novel lying around somewhere. I really enjoyed it immensely, especially the prologue. No matter how often I read it, I always laugh myself to tears. It’s even more funny in German. The translation is awesome!