Classics and Best Sellers Road Test

If you want to get stuck into some classics or best sellers but don't know where to start, this page could be a bit of a gauge, as I'm road testing them for you, to give you some idea. If I found them pompous and overrated, I'll say so. I'll also give you the thumbs up if I thought they were amazing and worth the hype.

I had a love/hate relationship with the classics in my past. As a school kid, I thought I loved them. As an uni student with an English major, I thought I hated them. So many of the selections didn't seem to live up to my optimistic expectations, but perhaps having to write essays about them was enough to curb my enthusiasm. At last I'm ready to carefully stick my neck out again. I'm going to put them under the microscope (well, my microscope), and explain whether or not I think they live up to their long-standing popularity. 

I've tried to keep the titles in alphabetical order. Hopefully it will make it easier for you to cast your eye down the list, especially if you want to see if I've reviewed a particular book. But if you're searching for books by a particular author all in one spot, check out my fiction and non-fiction review pages.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Babette's Feast by Karen Blixen
Big Magic  by Elizabeth Gilbert
The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Children of the New Forest by Captain Frederick Marryat
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Devil's Disciple by George Bernard Shaw
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Emma by Jane Austen
Evelina by Frances Burney
Farmer Boy by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Steadman
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
March  by Geraldine Brooks
The Martian by Andy Weir
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Napoleon of Notting Hill by G.K. Chesterton
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
On the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Pollyanna  by Eleanor H. Porter
Rebecca  by Daphne du Maurier
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Thirteenth Tale  by Diane Setterfield
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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