3 Classics I Always Recommend (Classic Remarks)

Classic Remarks


Classic Remarks is a meme hosted here at Pages Unbound that poses questions each Friday about classic literature and asks participants to engage in ongoing discussions surrounding not only themes in the novels but also questions about canon formation, the “timelessness” of literature, and modes of interpretation.


Leave your link to your post on your own blog in the comments below. And feel free to comment with your thoughts even if you are not officially participating with a full post!

You can find more information and the list of weekly prompts here.

(Readers who like past prompts but missed them have also answered them on their blog later and linked back to us at Pages Unbound, so feel free to do that, too!)


What classic works do you always recommend?

Star Divider
Classic Books I Always Recommend
Annotated Anne of Green Gables Cover Image

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Anne of Green Gables has long been one of my favorite books, since I first read it when I was 10. I must have read it at least 20 times, and every time I’m struck by just how good it is and how it holds up to each rereading.. Anne is always winningly vivacious and imaginative and sensitive, and the other characters are just as captivating. Montgomery is an expert writer at every step.

My Name Is Asher Lev

My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

I love this look at art and identity and the protagonist’s struggle to stay true to himself at the expense of disapproval from his family and community. A lot of Potok’s books touch on learning vs. community acceptance, but I like that this one is so prominently about the nature of art,

Excellent Women

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym

This is a newer book on my rotation of “books I love to recommend” because I just read it myself last year in 2020. I loved that the book is focused on completely ordinary people – and often their thoughts about that! Pym’s novels have such great voice and some insightful commentary on human nature. I’ve only read two so far, but both were excellent.


17 thoughts on “3 Classics I Always Recommend (Classic Remarks)

  1. Jan @ thedoodlecrafter says:

    Ahh yes for Anne of Green Gables, I recommend that book to simply everyone!! I haven’t read the other two but might give them a try one day!


  2. Lory says:

    Interesting choices. I’d like to read My Name Is Asher Lev, I love books about art. I’m reading “The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym” now, a biography which gives some interesting perspective on the author. You might want to check it out if you like her work.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Krysta says:

    I have given My Name Is Asher Lev to several people as gifts because I think it’s so beautifully written and so thought-provoking, especially for people who are artists/creators. That being said, I’m not entirely sure any of the recipients have read it, as they’ve never mentioned it.


  4. alisoninbookland says:

    Anne is my go-to rec as well. I love how episodic it is. You can read the book quickly as one normally does with a book. You can also take it slow and read chapters here and there as well if the idea of reading a classic is a bit too daunting.


    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes! I always think of it as exactly the type of book I’m pretty sure I’d never be able to write because there’s no main “quest” or something tying it together; it’s just about Anne’s life!


  5. Lexlingua says:

    I’m so glad I stumbled on this post! I’ve been meaning to read Pym for a while and hadn’t even *heard* of Potok before. And also because Green Gables is one of my all-time favorites and you’re right — it should be recommended again and again to readers of all ages.


  6. BookerTalk says:

    you’ve listed three books I’ve never read – not even Anne of Green Gables (am I the only one in the world???). My three choices would be

    Middlemarch, by George Eliot – my absolute favourite classic, Ive read it about 8 times and still find something new in it each time

    Great Expectations by Dickens – storytelling at its best with the wonderful character of Miss Havisham

    Germinal by Emile Zola – my first experience of Zola and it blew me away


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