“When you read a classic…you see more than there was before.”

This week, The Broke & the Bookish’s top ten prompt is favorite authors in whatever genre we so choose. Sometimes I feel like I recycle a lot of the same books/authors on these lists, so I’m going for classic writers so I can switch things up!

1. L.M. Montgomery. You guys, Anne Shirley is the reason I love reading. That series has a permanent position on my short list of all time favorites, and if you haven’t read them yet, I am failing you as a book pusher. You think you can call yourself a YA reader before you’ve had a crush on Gilbert Blythe? I THINK NOT.

Aphra Behn

2. Aphra Behn. Thank you, college literature survey course. You were good for something! After reading Oroonoko, I chose this author to write about for my research paper. It remains one of my absolute favorite projects. This lady was seriously awesome. Not only was she one of the absolute first women to learn a living as an author…she was a SPY YOU GUYS.

3. Charles Dickens. Admittedly, I need to read more of his books before I can talk about him with any sense of authority whatsoever. But what I have read from him so far definitely impresses me. (I’m actually reading David Copperfield right now.) He is such a genius with social critiques and his characterization – in my opinion – is fabulous. Apparently he isn’t exactly of sterling character, but hey…not like he still gets royalty checks if you decide to buy his books.

4. Elizabeth Gaskell. I rave about this lady all the time, her book North & South is absolutely fabulous, BBC miniseries aside. It is one of my favorite books of any genre. Everything else I’ve read by her is also pretty great, and I own several more to read. I should definitely fit one in soon!

Wilkie Collins

5. Wilkie Collins. An underrated dude if there ever was one. He and Charles Dickens were best buds, and he is constantly overlooked. Total bummer, because his two most famous works – The Moonstone and The Woman in White – remain two of the best classics I’ve ever read. His books are considered one of the precursors to the modern mystery/detective novels we know and love.

6. Alexander Dumas. I haven’t read a whole lot of his stuff yet, but believe me: I WILL. I read the unabridged Count of Monte Cristo for the first time this year, and it was a fantastic experience. I have The Black Count, a non-fictional biography of his father (who apparently several of his characters are based on) sitting on my soon-to-be-read pile.

7. The unknown author of Silence: A Thirteenth Century French Romance. Okay so, I feel a little silly including this one on the list since I don’t even have a name. But seriously, this book rocked my world. I absolutely love stories where women pretend to be men (Lioness Quartet / All Men of Genius). Considering this book was written in the 1200s, I’d say it pretty much paved the way for that whole sub-genre. An Arthurian story about a girl raised as a boy so that she could inherit property, she becomes a knight and ends up capturing Merlin. I should really write a full review of this one, because I could gush about it all day.

8. Jane Austen. Yeah yeah, usually when I’m mentioning her it is because I’m trying to convince people that Elizabeth Gaskell is better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate my JA. Persuasion is one of my favorite books, and the characters of Pride & Prejudice are among my all-time faves.

Harper Lee

9. Harper Lee. Relatively speaking, To Kill a Mockingbird isn’t really that old. But try to tell me it isn’t a classic and I will laugh in your face. That book rocks. If you’re only going to write one thing in your lifetime, you gotta make it count!

10. Arthur Conan Doyle. I haven’t read all the Sherlock Holmes books yet, but it’s definitely a goal of mine. Even though I can’t give him credit for the invention of Benedict Cumberbatch, I CAN for creating one of the best characters ever.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Annabel Smith October 15, 2012, 11:16 pm

    Don’t worry, I had a crush on Gilbert Blythe. LOVED the Anne of GG books. And Harper Lee (named my son after her). I’m so ashamed to say I’ve never read any Charles Dickens – I’ve only watched the BBC adaptations. To be remedied!

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  • marissa | Rae Gun Ramblings October 15, 2012, 11:18 pm

    I haven’t read many of these I think I’ve got to get going on them!

    Marissa
    here’s my my TTT
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  • A Bookworm Belle October 15, 2012, 11:22 pm

    You. Are. Awesome. Two reasons….one: you made a list of classics, and two: That list included Alexander Dumas. You have a new follower, Miss Allison!
    A Bookworm Belle recently posted..Top 10 Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Children’s AuthorsMy Profile

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  • Joie @ Joie de Lire October 15, 2012, 11:32 pm

    Great picks! Harper Lee’s TKAM is well on its way to being a forever classic in my opinion 🙂
    And I loved Pride and Prejudice so I’m hoping to read some more Austen soon!
    Here’s my TTT
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  • Liesel Hill October 16, 2012, 6:32 am

    I LOVE Dickens! And I, too, want to read more Dumas. I’ve never heard of the one about his dad. I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks! 😀 My TTTs are at Musings on Fantasia and LKHill. Happy Tuesday! 😀
    Liesel Hill recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday–Favorite AuthorsMy Profile

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  • The Old Fashioned Girl October 16, 2012, 6:41 am

    Oh my goodness!!!! What a wonderful list!!! Right up my alley!!! I have had AoGG at the top of my favorite book list since 3rd grade!!! AND, I have just started a college application essay about the impact she has had on my life!!!

    I have never heard of anyone else who knows Elizabeth Gaskell. Again, you made my heart trill when you listed her name! Have you read Wives and Daughters? One of my absolute favorites!!!!

    Thank you!!!!

    Reply
  • Erin @ Quixotic Magpie October 16, 2012, 8:45 am

    I really need to get reading Wilkie Collins – I always say I am going to but then never do it. Great list!
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  • Jen @ The Bookie Nook October 16, 2012, 8:47 am

    Great idea 🙂 I actually joined the classics club, and am very much looking forward to re-reading some, and trying some new-to-me classic authors.
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  • Karis (YA Litwit) October 16, 2012, 9:12 am

    Great idea! I love L.M. Montgomery! And of course, Jane Austen! Fantastic list!

    Check out my Top Ten Favorite YA Contemporary Authors HERE!

    Also, I have a FANTASTIC giveaway of a SIGNED copy Lauren Oliver’s new book, THE SPINDLERS, going on HERE!
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  • Allison L October 16, 2012, 12:57 pm

    What a great list! I honestly haven’t read the majority of these but I have always planned on it. I really do need to brush up on my classics! 🙂
    Allison L recently posted..Top Ten Favorite Children’s AuthorsMy Profile

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  • Tabitha @ Tabitha's Book Blog October 16, 2012, 5:43 pm

    Charles Dickens and Jane Austen are two of my favorite classic authors… Great list!
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