As you all may (or may not) know, I am doing The Classics Club challenge - where you read 50 classics in 5 years. See my complete post about it, here.
So, while I began with a sort of sense of obligation to read more classics, in order to better myself (yadda yadda)... since I've started reading them, I have gotten really excited about the whole thing!
So the next 10 classics on my
1. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Why I'm excited: I have read and loved Agatha Christie, but I have never read this - quite possibly her most iconic - book!
Synopsis: "First, there were ten—a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a little private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they're unwilling to reveal—and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. A famous nursery rhyme is framed and hung in every room of the mansion:
"Ten little boys went out to dine; One choked his little self and then there were nine. Nine little boys sat up very late; One overslept himself and then there were eight. Eight little boys traveling in Devon; One said he'd stay there then there were seven. Seven little boys chopping up sticks; One chopped himself in half and then there were six. Six little boys playing with a hive; A bumblebee stung one and then there were five. Five little boys going in for law; One got in Chancery and then there were four. Four little boys going out to sea; A red herring swallowed one and then there were three. Three little boys walking in the zoo; A big bear hugged one and then there were two. Two little boys sitting in the sun; One got frizzled up and then there was one. One little boy left all alone; He went out and hanged himself and then there were none."
When they realize that murders are occurring as described in the rhyme, terror mounts. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. Who has choreographed this dastardly scheme? And who will be left to tell the tale? Only the dead are above suspicion."
2. The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Why I'm excited: Stephen King recommends this book for writers. I also did a post on all the books Stephen King recommends, here. From now on, if a book is also on this list, it will be marked by an asterisk.
Synopsis: "Dark allegory describes the narrator's journey up the Congo River and his meeting with, and fascination by, Mr. Kurtz, a mysterious personage who dominates the unruly inhabitants of the region. Masterly blend of adventure, character development, psychological penetration. Considered by many Conrad's finest, most enigmatic story."
3. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
Why I'm excited: I have never read anything by Shirley Jackson before and I have heard she is one of the best horror authors. *
Synopsis: "My name is Mary Katherine Blackwood. I am eighteen years old, and I live with my sister Constance. I have often thought that with any luck at all I could have been born a werewolf, because the two middle fingers on both my hands are the same length, but I have had to be content with what I had. I dislike washing myself, and dogs, and noise, I like my sister Constance, and Richard Plantagenet, and Amanita phalloides, the death-cap mushroom. Everyone else in my family is dead..."
4. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Why I'm excited: This book is supposed to be a classic example of magical realism. *
Synopsis: "The brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as 'magical realism.'"
5. A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor
Why I'm excited: A classic book of suspense by a female, Catholic author. *
Synopsis: "A family embarks on a fateful road trip, setting out for a vacation in Florida. The matriarch of the family, Grandmother, wants the family to head to Tennessee instead, and eventually manipulates her son into a diversion from their course that will soon lead them into danger.
“A Good Man Is Hard to Find” is one of author Flannery O’Connor’s best known works. It is also, due to the story’s shocking and violent conclusion, one of her most studied and debated works."
6. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Why I'm excited: One of the original horror stories. *
Synopsis: "Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886... It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde."
7. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers
Why I'm excited: I've heard Sayers recommended by several authors and compared to Agatha Christie often.
Synopsis: "The stark naked body was lying in the tub. Not unusual for a proper bath, but highly irregular for murder -- especially with a pair of gold pince-nez deliberately perched before the sightless eyes. What's more, the face appeared to have been shaved after death. The police assumed that the victim was a prominent financier, but Lord Peter Wimsey, who dabbled in mystery detection as a hobby, knew better. In this, his first murder case, Lord Peter untangles the ghastly mystery of the corpse in the bath."
8. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allen Poe
Why I'm excited: The first detective story!
Synopsis: "The Murders in the Rue Morgue is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe published in Graham's Magazine in 1841. It has been recognized as the first modern detective story; Poe referred to it as one of his 'tales of ratiocination.'"
9. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Why I'm excited: Another classic example of suspense done well.
Synopsis: "On November 15, 1959, in the small town of Holcomb, Kansas, four members of the Clutter family were savagely murdered by blasts from a shotgun held a few inches from their faces. There was no apparent motive for the crime, and there were almost no clues.
As Truman Capote reconstructs the murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, he generates both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. At the center of his study are the amoral young killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickcock, who, vividly drawn by Capote, are shown to be reprehensible yet entirely and frighteningly human. In Cold Blood is a seminal work of modern prose, a remarkable synthesis of journalistic skill and powerfully evocative narrative."
10. The Redhouse Mystery by A.A. Milne
Why I'm excited: It's a murder mystery by the author of Winnie the Pooh! 😱
Synopsis: "Far from the gentle slopes of the Hundred Acre Wood lies The Red House, the setting for A.A Milne's only detective story, where secret passages, uninvited guests, a sinister valet and a puzzling murder lay the foundations for a classic crime caper. And when the local police prove baffled, it is up to a guest at a local inn to appoint himself 'Sherlock Holmes' and, together with his friend and loyal 'Watson', delve deeper into the mysteries of the dead man.
The Red House Mystery is a lost gem from a time before Tigger and a perfectly crafted whodunit with witty dialogue, deft plotting and a most curious cast of characters."
I'm interested to see what topics you all have chosen for today! I had a heck of a time deciding what to write! Have any of you read any good classics lately??
Happy Top Ten Tuesday!!