Whether it’s due to school, taunting parents or society pressures, classics seem to be the go-to « real literature » one must discover in one’s life. Well, I don’t intend to force you to read one, but I’d like to tell about the ones which break the stereotypes of being a) boring, b) freaking too long (when you’re paid by line written, you’ll write a 60-volumes-long book too!), c) too complicated.
Thorn Birds by Colleen Mc Cullough.
Meggie, a little girl with a very unavailable mum, relies on and finds company in a priest. Growing up, this relationship gets complicated, as well as the poverty her family is facing in the heart of Australia. We follow her as she evolves and changes, while life throws at her obstacles after obstacles. A beautiful coming-of-age book, that depicts a harsh portrait of 20th century agricultural Australia and a tragic love story.
You can also reward yourself with the long adaptation, very faithful to Mc Cullough’s work!
Much Ado About Nothing by Shakespeare (of course).
I know we’re all bored of hearing of him everywhere but! his works is actually super accessible (if you’ve an annotated edition) and timeless so… I had to include him! This title is not my fave of him but it’s definitely one of the easiest and quickest to read. The whole story deals with the slandering of a young woman at the dawn of her marriage while following another couple constant bickering. Funny, sweet and quick, you can reward yourself with Branagh’s adaptation of it, starring the wonderful Emma Thompson… If that’s not a treat, really!!
The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaston Leroux.
I plan on writing a few posts about French literature, my favourite ones and where to start but for now I’ll talk about this one. A short book, dealing with an investigation for an attempt of murder on a young woman. The whole mystery revolves around the fact that, despite the whole building being locked, the criminal was still able to escape. Hence, we follow the investigation and the brainteaser it is!
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie.
I think I talked about the brilliant adaptation done in 2014 of this book, a mini-series of 3 episodes and that perfectly transmitted the claustrophobic atmosphere of the book. 10 guests are urged to join their penpal on a remote island, going there, they’re only welcomed by a couple of servants and quickly, everything turns into a tragedy as one by one, they are murdered, according to a terrible nursery rhyme. Who’s behind all of this? How is that even possible?
If you’ve loved this, please read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd!
I’m usually not one to recommend poetry. I don’t really feel comfortable talking about that literary genre as I’ve read so little of it. Arthur Rimbaud is actually the only poet I’ve actively read. In high school, I became obsessed with his words and it was so accessible! (Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil is beautiful, don’t get me wrong, but most of it went over my high-school-me head, it’s not accessible).
This is the poem I discovered him with, it’s called Le Dormeur du Val:
So, let’s forget about what’s supposed to be cool, entertaining or « real literature » and just enjoy reading, yeah? Happy reading! xx
It’s a green hollow, where a river is singing
Crazily hanging on the grasses rags
Of silver; where the sun, from the proud mountain,
Is shinning: it’s a little valley bubbling with sunlight.
A young soldier, his mouth open, his head bare,
And the nape of his neck bathing in cool blue watercress,
Is sleeping; he is stretched out on the grass, under the skies,
Pale in his green bed where the light falls like rain.
Feet in the gladiolas, he is sleeping. Smiling like
A sick child would smile, he takes a nap:
Nature, rock him warmly: he is cold.
Fragrances do not make his nostrils quiver;
He sleeps in the sun, hand on the breast,
Peacefully. He has two red holes in his right side.