Jane Austen swag! Yeah, we’ve got it.

Reading the classics has made me a better writer, a better conversationalist, has given me a greater understanding of humanity…but most importantly I really believe it’s made me a better friend, husband, and person.I’m a firm believer that the best books are the ones that teach us something about ourselves and the people around us. And that’s what truly makes a classic, in my opinion. When I look at Top 100 lists, while I certainly won’t agree with everything, I can pretty easily say that I can learn something from every one of them. And that’s the best gift that reading can give — the ability to open our eyes, expand our minds, and help us grow in understanding.
I don’t know how many times I’ve come across a historical novel where the author makes the assumption that women of the past were of course less “liberated” than contemporary women and therefore always followed the rules and never did anything on their own. Yeah, those women who fought for and eventually won the right to vote—such shrinking violets.

There’s plenty of evidence (not to mention common sense) to dispute those assumptions; but possibly the most effective refutation can be found in classic novels from centuries past, wherein female characters ARE independent and get shit done.
What if L.M. Montgomery had to run a Kickstarter to publish ANNE OF GREEN GABLES? Kickstart the Classics with us!

What if L.M. Montgomery had to run a Kickstarter to publish ANNE OF GREEN GABLES? Kickstart the Classics with us!

What if the writers of our most treasured stories had had to crowdfund their work?

No corsets, no hat pins, and no crying. Jane Austen’s Fight Club

I mean, one can’t help but recognize the irony in BRITAIN claiming that it is important for objects of cultural significance to stay in their homelands. Have you been to the British Museum? Its tagline should be, “Stuff We Stole: Colonization’s Greatest Hits.” On the other hand, of course, Jane Austen is so ubiquitously English, and with the whole ten-pound-note business in the offing her cultural currency is higher than ever.

An Illustrated Guide to Buying the Classics

Featuring something for every budget!

19 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read Forever

A little while ago, we asked you to confess the books you’ve always wanted to read but just never seem to get around to. You know, the ones that stare at you from atop your TBR pile and cause you endless readerly guilt. 358 readers answered the call, listing 383 unique titles. A handful of books came up A LOT, and a lot of books came up only once.

Here are the top 19 books Riot readers have been meaning to read forever. Titles marked with asterisks15 of the 19!–also appear on the list of Riot readers’ 50 favorite novels. How’s that for interesting crossover?

  1. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (51 mentions)
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy*
  3. Ulysess by James Joyce*
  4. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville*
  5. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace*
  6. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien*
  7. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky*
  8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo*
  9. Pride & Predjudice by Jane Austen*
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee*
  11. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  12. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov*
  13. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell*
  14. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  15. The Bible
  16. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte*
  17. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez*
  18. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller*
  19. Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte* (10 mentions)

What do you make of these results? Have you read these books, or are they hanging out on your meaning-to-read pile? Pop over to Book Riot to sound off.

Click here to see the full list of responses and the number of times each book was mentioned.