When someone says "classic," you hear "boring," right? I'm the same way: if someone tells me a book is a classic, that pretty much ensures right then that I'll never read it. Classics are long, dense, old, and usually kinda dull. I'm sure War and Peace is a phenomenal work of literature, but who has three months to sit around and do nothing but read about some Russian general? No, thanks.
There are some books that are different, though. These are the Modern Classics: books that people will read and love for years and years to come. Harry Potter is so obvious that I didn't even include it on the list, but that's the level of quality and addictiveness we're talking about here.
Below are three of the most exciting, awesome books I've ever read — and I've read each of them at least five times. Pick one of these up and enjoy!
Dune, by Frank Herbert
I think this is the first science fiction book I ever read, and it's still probably the best. You know that feeling you got reading Harry Potter, of feeling like you were in a world that was completely different, but still made perfect sense? Like it had its own rules and customs that everyone followed, its own stories, and its own crazy inventions and creations? Everything about it seemed strange (in a really cool way!) but still fit together and seemed completely logical? That's the feeling you get reading Dune. It's an amazing universe, filled with things like lasers and never-ending deserts and huge, flying mechanical insects — and even huger creatures called sandworms. I don't want to give any of the story away, but if you like sci-fi at all, Dune is a must-read.
Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
Another great sci-fi book. I think I've read this around ten times, and it never gets old. The story is incredible: it's about this young kid who goes into space, to a space station called the Battle School, to learn how to lead a fleet of starships against an invading alien army. There's way more that happens, but those are the basics. You know how a lot of people say they want to grow up to be a writer, or an astronaut, or a doctor? I just wanted to be Ender. He's one of the all-time great characters (and, frankly, might have a shot at beating HP in a fight). Another must-read for any sci-fi fan.
Redwall, by Brian Jacques
This is a pretty famous fantasy series, and you might have heard of it. The basic idea is that this group of woodland animals — mice, badgers, moles, rabbits, and so on — lives in a huge stone fortress called Redwall. A conqueror named Cluny the Scourge — a rat — has assembled a huge army, and he wants to invade Redwall. The book is about the huge battle between the two armies, and the heroic rise of one particular mouse. It's got everything you want in this kind of book: humor, lots of mystery and adventure, great characters, and a ton of action. There's about 20 books in the series now, filling in both the past and future of this universe, so Redwall can take care of your reading needs for a loooong time.
That's all for now — look out for Part 2 next week!
Have you read any of these books? Got any other Modern Classics to recommend? Talk about it in the comments!
— Jack, STACKS Intern