Well-read: Classics to re-read

Well-read: Classics to re-read

As the weather gets cooler, nothing can be more enjoyable than getting cozy with a warm blanket and relaxing with the perfect book. But if nothing on your reading list seems appealing enough to start, it may be time to dust off one of the classics that were once required reading in school.
Below are some suggestions on what books to pick up again. Life experience and insight may make reading these classics again much more enjoyable the second time around.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

With the release of the first draft of the book earlier this year, "Go Set a Watchman," many are returning to the original release more en masse. The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel set in Alabama features protagonist Scout, a young girl, as she witnesses her father, Atticus, represent a man accused of rape. Themes of racial injustice, the loss of innocence and life in the South are easier to examine for more mature readers.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This controversial novel also features a young protagonist, but this time it is a teenage boy named Holden Caulfield. Many high school students relate to Holden's search for a personal connection, growing pains and distrust of adults. But as an adult, reading Holden's journey could be more insightful and give you a different viewpoint of the classic.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

The story of Edna Pontellier finding her place in turn-of-the-century New Orleans may be difficult to relate to for young readers. Edna's a young mother of two, which is typically not as interesting to teens who read the book. The shocking ending, which alarmed some readers, may be easier to digest the second time around. Depression, independence, feminism and other mature themes may be easier to grasp for older readers.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

With a non-chronological, satirical narrative, Catch-22 can be a difficult book for young readers. The novel mostly follows Capt. John Yossarian, a U.S. Air Force B-25 bombardier during World War II. Based on the experiences of the author during his time in the service, some themes and descriptions can be graphic. Like "The Awakening," reading "Catch-22" may be less glaring during a re-read.

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

Like "Catch-22," "The Sound and the Fury" also uses numerous narrative techniques to tell the story of the Compson family. Based in Mississippi over a 30-year time period, the saga is often daunting to young readers. Especially challenging to read, but also some of the most insightful for characterization, are the pieces of the book from Benjy's perspective. This piece of literature remains a classic because of its ability to stand the test of time, even today.

November 09, 2015