The Best Books in Literature…at least According to Kerri L. Bennett

books, classics, colorful, great expectations, pride and prejudice, wuthering heights

So, not all of these titles made the list, but they look really pretty together.

Apparently several of my Facebook fans enjoyed last week’s list post, so today, I thought I’d make a list of some of my favorite novels and why I love them.  Be advised, I am an English professor, so this could take a while.

  1. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. Austen is my weakness (obviously), and this is my favorite of hers. It’s Regency satire at its best, and it contains one of the most romantic love letters of all time, written to Elizabeth from Darcy.
  2. Persuasion by Jane Austen.  This book contains the second most romantic love letters of all time, written from Frederick to Anne.  This one would actually top the list, if not for Fitzwillaim Darcy.
  3. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.  I love this book because Fanny Price has been in love with the same man since childhood, having grown up beside him, and actually marries him in the end, thereby defying the almost-certain law of nature which dooms relationships involving girls and boys-next-door to failure.
  4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen.  This one makes the list because of the Gothic, mysterious quality of Henry Tilney and the way Catherine Morland sees herself as “in training for a heroine.”  After all, I do want to be the heroine of my own life’s story.
  5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.  I’m head-over-heels for Edward Rochester, despite his not-so-handsome face and that time he dressed as a gypsy to trick Jane.
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Heathcliff is another of my beaux, and I do imagine his swarthy complexion and mysterious wealth and refinement make an appealing package indeed, I still can’t forgive Cathy for treating him so badly.
  7. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. This book has to make my list because Anne Shirley and I have the same kind of creative imagination, and she’s a writer, just like me. . . and I suppose “Making the Mark” is probably just as sentimental as the story she got published in the Rollings Reliable Baking Powder Company of Montreal story writing contest.  But if Anne and I are so much alike, I have to wonder: Where on Earth is my Gilbert Blythe?
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The characters–all of them–Jem, Scout, Atticus, Calpurnia, Dill, Tom Robinson, and my favorite, Boo Radley, always seemed so real to me.  I’ve been carrying them around in my head with me since I first read the novel when I was about twelve.
  9. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell. It’s the setting, pure and simple that makes me love this book. I’ve always wanted to wear a hoop-skirt to a cotillion and dance with the dashing Captain Rhett Butler. . . on second thought, maybe I like a few of the characters in the story too. 
  10. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. I AM Jo March, except, again, I didn’t grow up during the Civil War, and I definitely would have accepted Laurie’s proposal.  But I am a writer and a teacher, and I do love playing pretend!

7 thoughts on “The Best Books in Literature…at least According to Kerri L. Bennett

  1. These are all wonderful–although I will have to say (and in doing so, I will probably meet your harsh disapproval) that I haven’t read any of Jane Austen. So… which of her novels would be a good starting point?

  2. Yep they’re all must-reads,but I know many other books which often rank higher.(The Picture of Dorian Gray,Animal Farm,or Dostoevsky’s novels)

    And…is it a coincidence that all books are from female authors? :p

    • Thanks for the comment @kainzow06, but I feel that I must point out the title of this post, which is “The Best Books in Literature…at least According to Kerri L. Bennett.” The phrase ” at least According to Kerri L. Bennett” was meant to act as a disclaimer and indicate to my readers that this is my own personal opinion. In no way was this meant to be a comprehensive or critically analyzed, canonical list. Because of this, I’m not sure how you can list any other pieces of literature (acclaimed as they may be) “which often rank higher.” I am not disputing the quality or craft of the novels in your parenthetical list by any means, as I enjoy and appreciate them as well. However, those examples, in fact, do NOT “often rank higher” on my personal list of top ten pieces of literature (which this post is an expression of as indicated by the title) than the titles listed above, and as such, I will have to respectfully disagree with you.

      And to answer your question, it is purely coincidental that all the authors listed are female. I do not consider myself a feminist, but I try to be completely honest on this blog, and these are my ten favorite pieces of literature, regardless of literary period or theme as well as the author’s sex or country of origin. Being a student of 19th Century British literature, I also have great admiration for William Blake, William Wordswoth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Burns, Lord Byron, William Makepeace Thackeray, Charles Dickens, John Keats, Robert Browning, Alfred Tennyson, and Thomas Hardy among others. Then there are the Americans like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, etc…. but like I said before, this is only a list of my ten favorites. As a bibliophile and a practicing scholar, I have many more favorites than that.

      • Ok,ok!
        I paid special attention to the way I phrased my words,but I guess you didn’t notice it.
        I said ‘I know many other books which often rank higher’,meaning that I know various lists that often place other books higher than the ones you mentioned.In no way am I saying that some books are better than others.
        Having read various classics myself,I know that it is virtually impossible to rank them.(there would be too many ex aequos!) I was simply telling you that the list is limited.

        As for the coincidence,I was simply pointing it to you,hence the smiley!

        All in all,I think that you go me wrong.It was never my intention to criticize you.

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