I definitely collect beautiful editions of classic novels, but I am finding myself a bit overwhelmed with trying to actually read them all, because I have a lot of them now. But I thought I would share some of my favourites with you all.
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Probably my favourite classic of them all is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. This book is actually where my collecting of classics edition started. This book is just the ultimate gothic tale. Mary Shelley was a genius, and a beautiful writer and the combination is fantastic. This book is so deep and rich with symbolism and no two people seem to come out with the same interpretation of it.
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This is another book that features heavily in my collection, as well as on my body (I have a rather large Alice in Wonderland tattoo on my back), so I obviously love it. It’s vivid and absurd and just so incredibly fun.
I was surprised when I first read this. I had no idea that it was written in all diary entries and letters. I found that it was also much darker than I expected. I actually listened to this as an audiobook (on Libravox) many many years ago. Audiobooks were actually how I came to read many classics books early on. Classics can be a bit difficult to sit down and read because there are so many distracting new books. But being classics you can get audio versions for free on Libravox, and I often listen to them while I’m in the lab. This one for example I listened to while cryosectioning (just means to cut frozen tissue into very, very thin slices). It’s extremely repetitive and unpleasant (it requires having your hands in -23 degrees Celsius for about 6 hours at a time), and I found audiobooks were a fantastic way to pass the time.
The Picture of Dorian Gray
This book is just perfection. It’s absolute perfection. If you haven’t read it, just read it now. This was recommended to me by a friend (who always gives great recommendations) and I picked it up and read it straight away, and it is just so beautiful.
The Island of Doctor Moreau
This book actually surprised me. I never expected an old classic to be so fast-paced and exciting. Most people only know the story of The Island of Doctor Moreau from parodies (like The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror one), but they are actually really inaccurate. I completely fell in love with this book, and now H.G. Wells is one of my favourite authors. I also read this one in the lab, but on my phone rather than as an audiobook as I was doing work that occassionally needed me to pay attention, but had lots of waiting times for incubations and centrifuge spins, that weren’t really long enough to get up and do something else, but too long to just sit there. Although with this book, I got so engrossed in it that I ended up sitting reading it in the lab long after I finished my experiment rather than packing up and going home. Sadly I don’t even own a copy of this book alone, but only in big volumes of H.G. Wells work, but I haven’t really found a copy with a cover that’s wowed me either.
So that’s a few of my favourite classics (although I have a lot more, which I will need to do a Part 2 for). Have you guys read any of these? Are these among your favourites?