What makes a book a classic? Is it readability, the message, the author’s use of figurative language? Most experts and novices would agree on all of the above, but most importantly, does it stand the test of time? King Arthur and his Knights of the Roundtable appealed to the masses of the 12th century as well as to Guy Richie’s twenty-first century audience with his movie remake of King Arthur. There are the timeless themes of the underdog hero, poverty, wealth, sex, politics, friendship, and of course love, retold and repackaged for new generations. The stories strike a chord of emotion and provide entertainment. Here is the Wildcatter’s list of a few classics that you should not miss in your lifetime of reading. Listed in no particular order, this list will include not only “classic” novels, but young adult novels, children’s books, histories, modern classics, and even a cookbook.
1. Iliad & the Odyssey by Homer- Why? Because no one steals the wife of a Spartan king and gets away with it…and, oh, how you will rejoice when Odysseus finally is reunited with his world.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee- The need for race discussion is always necessary in a time when race still divides and defines us still in the United States.
3. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – The adventures of a boy named Tom, whose backyard was the Mississippi River. Who among us hasn’t wanted to run away from it all with their best buddy and float down the river? Two books, one author; you can choose one or just read both.
4. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens- “Please, Sir, I want some more,” said Oliver, asking the cook at the workhouse for more gruel. It is tough being an orphan kid in 19th century London because no one EVER asks for seconds on gruel.
5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll- The adventures start, and never end, once young Alice falls down a rabbit hole.
6. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White – The tale of the ultimate sacrifice a friend can make and the ability of that friend to love you unconditionally.
7. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson- If buried treasure, pirates, and sea adventures are not enough then, three words…Long John Silver.
8. The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe- No one does the macabre like Poe.
9. King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table by Roger Lancelyn Green – The tragic love triangles, the quests, and the adventures of wizards, magic, and dragons are still irresistible.
10. The Call of the Wild by Jack London- Everyone loves a dog tale and Buck does not disappoint.