Just for fun, and because we all know I need an excuse to write/read – I decided to join the Classic Reads Blog hop, and post about what makes a book classic. So, to simplify things, I’ve decided to answer four basic questions about ‘the classics’.
1. What exactly is ‘classic’?
Oxford Dictionary (and yes, I still use it even though I’m not in university writing papers at 3am anymore – though I still write a 3am) defines it as:
1. judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind:
a classic novel
(of a garment or design) of a simple, elegant style not greatly subject to changes in fashion: this classic navy blazer
2. very typical of its kind:
Hamlet is the classic example of a tragedy
I had all the classic symptoms of flu
1a work of art of recognized and established value: his books have become classics
a garment of a simple, elegant, and long-lasting style.
a thing which is memorable and a very good example of its kind: he’s hoping that tomorrow’s game will be a classic
2 (Classics) a subject at school or university which involves the study of ancient Greek and Latin literature, philosophy, and history:
an honours degree in Classics
(the classics) the works of ancient Greek and Latin writers and philosophers.
dated a scholar of ancient Greek and Latin.
3 (Classic) a major sports tournament or competition, especially in golf or tennis:
the Australian Classic (in the UK) each of the five main flat races of the horse-racing season.
early 17th century: from French classique or Latin classicus ‘belonging to a class or division’, later ‘of the highest class’, from classis (see class)
See look, that was super easy. Or made it a whole lot more complicated, depending on how in depth you choose to read that definition up there.
Or, if you’re like me, you read it, the decided that the first option was probably the best to use, since the example is indeed a classic novel
“judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind: a classic novel.”
2. Can any book be a classic, depending on the reader?
Here is where we enter a gray area. Essentially, by the #1 definition, anyone can decide anything is a classic, even if it is only to them, and not to a single other soul in the universe.
So, my personal opinion, is simply that for a book to be regarded as a classic, the general populace must believe it to be so. Aristotle, Shakespeare, and many others fit this definition, but there are many more classic writers who were never deemed so until hundreds of years after they wrote.
3. Does a book need to be fiction to be a classic?
Yes? No? Well, since I already mentioned Aristotle, and he didn’t exactly write fiction – though I suppose philosophy is fiction of its own…
4. Can contemporary fiction with modern references be considered classic?
Again, I’ll refer you to question number one. I do think that contemporary fiction could be classic. I even think that with popular acclaim, some authors can write classics that are recognized as such long before they themselves have left the world and only their books behind.
Do any of these fine authors’ books qualify as classics? Yes. All of them, they’re all a classic to someone, and they even have the potential to be classics to all of us in the future. You just need to go out and read them!
I think the classics are great. I quite often go back to the books I love and the classics I love. Here though, is where my opinion of classic may be different from the entire rest of the world…
My classics list?
Perhaps: Alice In Wonderland, Don Quixote, and On the Road, oh wait, and everything William Gibson and Star Trek – oh and I also read a lot of Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare and Chopin’s letters to Georges Sand (Aurora duDevont)
Just above, is a link to all the other bloggers joining us on the Classic Reads Blog Hop, you should check them out, and spread some blog love. Then read what’s below – I highly recommend it.
Below, is all the goodness of the people who are sponsoring Classic Reads Blog hop this year. I have read either other books by the same authors below, or the books themselves, and I’d suggest you click on each picture. It will take you to the land of Amazon.com where you’ll be able to join me in reading some great novels, that one day – may be classics!
I’m an avid reader of Molly Greene’s blog, and would highly recommend Mark of the Loon (a review is imminent, as soon as I get some time off). That goes ditto to Long’s In Leah’s wake for both the recommendation and the review.
I couldn’t possibly say enough good things about Nolfi – I’m currently reading Treasure Me, and I LOVE it. I also follow her blog. Rachel Thompson is no different, and just as loveable as the rest of these authors. Her blog rachelintheoc is just as great, and while I haven’t read Broken Pieces, I’m sure it will be amazing!
If you feel like joining in the fun, and winning some pretty great prizes, there’s a Rafflecopter giveaway and you can join in on twitter as well where we’re using the #NewClassicReads tag.
Happy New Year of Classic Reads
Mark of the Loon – Molly Greene
What happens when a workaholic serial remodeler falls in love with an old stone cottage built by an ornithologist and his eccentric Irish wife? If you’re Madison Boone, you kick your budding romance with handsome Psych Professor Coleman Welles to the curb and lose yourself in a new project.
Madison renovates distressed homes in addition to her busy real estate sales career. When she hears about a quaint house on a private tract of land overlooking Lake Sonoma, she climbs in the window for a private tour and falls in love with the place. Good fortune enables her to purchase the Blackburne’s property, but far more than a new home and lush gardens await discovery during this renovation.
As Madison works on the remodel, she’s drawn into an old love story with dangerous consequences. She unearths buried secrets and discovers herself in the process. Good thing she has three wise, hilarious friends to advise her along the way! Mark of the Loon is the skillful combination of history, mystery, and romance in a novel that explores deep friendship, choices, and how individuals cope with loss.
In Leah’s Wake – Terri Giuliano Long
A Story of Love, Loss, Connection, and Grace
At the heart of the seemingly perfect Tyler family stands sixteen-year-old Leah. Her proud parents are happily married, successful professionals. Her adoring younger sister is wise and responsible beyond her years. And Leah herself is a talented athlete with a bright collegiate future. But living out her father’s lost dreams, and living up to her sister’s worshipful expectations, is no easy task for a teenager. And when temptation enters her life in the form of drugs, desire, and a dangerously exciting boy, Leah’s world turns on a dime from idyllic to chaotic to nearly tragic.
As Leah’s conflicted emotions take their toll on those she loves—turning them against each other and pushing them to destructive extremes—In Leah’s Wake powerfully explores one of fiction’s most enduring themes: the struggle of teenagers coming of age, and coming to terms with the overwhelming feelings that rule them and the demanding world that challenges them. Terri Giuliano Long’s skillfully styled and insightfully informed debut novel captures the intensely personal tragedies, victories, and revelations each new generation faces during those tumultuous transitional years.
Recipient of multiple awards and honors, In Leah’s Wake is a compelling and satisfying reading experience with important truths to share—by a new author with the voice of a natural storyteller and an unfailingly keen understanding of the human condition…at every age.
Second Chance Grill – Christine Nolfi
Dr. Mary Chance needs a sabbatical from medicine to grieve the loss of her closest friend. But when she inherits a struggling restaurant in Liberty, Ohio she isn’t prepared for Blossom Perini. Mary can’t resist falling for the precocious preteen—or the girl’s father. The bond they forge will transform all their lives and set in motion an outpouring of love that spreads across America.
Welcome back to Liberty, where the women surrounding the town’s only restaurant are as charming as they are eccentric.
Second Chance Grill is the prequel to Treasure Me, 2012 Next Generation Indie Awards Finalist, which The Midwest Book Review calls “A riveting read for those who enjoy adventure fiction, highly recommended.”
Broken Pieces – Rachel Thompson
Welcome to bestselling author Rachel Thompson’s newest work! Vastly different in tone from her previous essay collections A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed, BROKEN PIECES is a collection of pieces inspired by life: love, loss, abuse, trust, grief, and ultimately, love again.