Friday, January 11, 2019

Taking Suggestions for 2019's Classic Reads

It's that time of year again!

Each year since 2014, I've chosen a classic book to read each month, where "classic" is pretty loosely defined. A book doesn't necessarily have to be super old, it just has to have been around long enough that it's stood some test of time to some degree and it's clear that something about it has contiuned to resonate with people. I also try to choose books from a diverse group of authors, as opposed to the standard cannon of old white men. I try to include books from a good number of women and people of color (at the very least I like to read a Black author in February, an Asian author in May, and a Latino author in November). I try to include books from genres beyond the standard literary fiction (ie a sci fi or fantasy classic), and I also like to read at least one banned book per year.

Of course there is no shortage of classic books in the world, but it does get a bit more challenging once you're trying to limit Old White Dudes and/or The English (all apologies to the English, it's just that you've created SO MUCH amazing literature!). So each year it's always nice to poll the throngs of brilliant readers to see what other works of genius you've run across. (For some reason, runners & bookworms seem to hugely overlap & I've gotten TONS of excellent recommendations from fellow bloggers in the past.)

If you're curious, here's what I've read in past years:

The Classics: 2014

The Classics: 2015

The Classics: 2016

The Classics: 2017

The Classics: 2018

(I'm a lot smarter now than I used to be.)

So what do you think? Any classics (for a very loose definition of classics) that you'd recommend for someone who's looking for a diverse selection of authors?


  1. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston) and Native Son (Richard Wright) are both great. Like Water for Chocolate/Como agua para chocolate (Esquival) is also really good. Perhaps not considered a classic, but I loved The Kite Runner and its two sister books (Afghani-American writer - Hosseini).

  2. +1 to everything Hill said (although I haven't read Native Son but have read everything else she suggested) :)

  3. I only checked your lists really quickly but I didn’t see The Great Gatsby or Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison (my fave of all the required reading I’ve ever done). Also - not a novel but what about adding some Shakespeare?