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To Read the Classics, Or Not To Read the Classics?

Welcome back to the Dear Book Nerd podcast! Jeff O’Neal joins me once again as special guest-host for Episode #4, in which we talk about CLASSIC LITERATURE and the strong feelings that reading it (or not reading it, as the case may be) can bring about. This episode is sponsored by the Twitter Fiction Festival. Enjoy!


Questions Discussed:

Dear Book Nerd,

When I was at school, some 15 years ago, we didn’t do a lot of literature. I’m in the UK and we covered things like Shakespeare, Robert Burns, the odd George Bernard Shaw, and the Woman and Black but that’s about it. I did enjoy reading but it was a lot of Stephen King or crime thriller. Since growing up to be a librarian, (mainly academic but I have worked in public libraries), I’ve become a lot more interested in reading and joined a local reading group to give me some guidance on things to read and to make sure I read at least once a month.

My problem is other people often say things like “oh you’re a librarian, what did you think of Jane Eyre” or “Well, you’ll know all about the classics like To Kill a Mockingbird.” At the book group the other night several members commented on how we shouldn’t read a particular book ’cause we all did it at school (eek).

So should I read the classics? Where do I start? Or are there a few key texts that will get me through these conversations leaving me to enjoy reading the latest crime thriller! Or should I just admit to my lack of literacy learning and bite the bullet when people look at me oddly for not reading any Dickens? Please help!

The Funky Librarian

Dear Book Nerd,

I just got into reading and started with Catch-22. Then I moved to Frederick Forsyth and realized I am more into classics. Which top ten classics (along the same lines as Catch-22) should I buy and start reading immediately now that I am done with my academic final exams? Thank you!


Articles Discussed:

28 Books You Should Read if You Want To” (The Millions)

Book Riot Readers’ Top 50 Favorite Novels” (Book Riot)

The New Classics: 21 Writers Tell Us Which Books They’d Add to the Canon” (Flavorwire)

START HERE, VOLUME 2: Now Available (Book Riot)

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