This seems a daunting task, and I know I can't ONLY read classics, so I try to mix them in with the more modern books that appeal to me.
In 2011 I read 5 classics of the 21 books that I read in total during the year. Here are my quick review/summaries and I highly recommend that everyone read more 'classics.' It is surprising to me how relevant some of these are.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - I thought I would get bored with the book and never finish it. Instead, I was instantly entertained, curious, and interested in Jane, her surroundings, her view of the world, her cohorts, etc. The story surprised me a few times, and I never did get bored. The ending left a little something to be desired, and in a way I just wanted the story to continue. I wanted to know about her and Mr. R. growing into old age, and I wanted to learn about their children and wanted to meet Adele as a grown lady, etc. I take not wanting a book to end as a sure sign that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I can understand why this is a classic! (February 2011, 5 stars)
Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - I loved Lord Henry and his views on everything! the ending surprised me. (March 2011, 4 stars)
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald - I didn't like this book nearly as much as I thought I would. I struggled to finish it even though I liked Amory and his adventures for the most part. (April 2011, 3 stars)
Silas Marner by George Eliot - I was excited to read this book, as it came so highly recommended, but I was a little bit scared that it would be above my head, based on the person who recommended it. However, I really enjoyed this book from the start and loved all the characters. The general moral that I took from the story is that money can't buy happiness and to appreciate what you have and enjoy it to its fullest. (June 2011, 4 stars)
First Love by Ivan Turgenov - I think Novellas are the perfect length. Nothing gets too drawn out and nothing is too rushed. I thought this was a lovely little story about a 16-year-old's first encounter with love. Some really nice passages and a somewhat tragic ending. I liked this novella very much. (October 2011, 4 stars)
Do you have any classic or just very old amazing novels that I should put on my to-read list??