Summer has almost come to a close, but there’s still time to squeak in a few more books in the sunshine! I thought it would be fun to recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. I’m someone who tends to strongly associate books with when I read them or the mood I was in when I read them, so some books stick out really distinctly in my mind when I look at the calendar. To me, August has always been a month of prepping for transition (probably because the start of a new school year is just around the corner). I usually feel a strange mix of nostalgia, excitement, nervousness, and restlessness in August, which is reflected in the books I associate with this time of the year. Here are five classics I recommend for the month of August:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Jane goes through many transitions in this novel, from child to governess to wanderer to wife. The famous quote “I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will” is the essence of how August feels to me. There’s a sense of restlessness in the air, of not wanting to be held back by anything as you embark on something new.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I view this novel as a tug of war between the past and the future. So many characters are haunted by their pasts while also trying to ensure their relevancy and grandeur in the future. The last line of this novel captures this August feeling so eloquently: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf
As the title would suggest, Virginia Woolf’s novel Between the Acts is all about transitions and change, both in drama and in reality. It asks an age old, ever present question: “Do you think people change? I meant ourselves — do we change?” I feel like many of Woolf’s novels would be suitable August reads as well. Woolf in general is just a nostalgic, pensive thinker!
Light in August by William Faulkner
I couldn’t make a list of classics without including some Faulkner, now could I? And this novel is perfect for August in more ways than just the title. Light in August wrestles with countless gray areas, from race and morality to pregnancy, motherhood, and language. What more could you want for a contemplative August?
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
If you’ve been around this blog a while, then you may know about my up and down feelings about Hemingway. I’m not in love with his writing style, but he does have some interesting metaphors going on here (albeit obvious ones). Plenty of nostalgia to go around with this novel!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little classics guide for the month of August! This post was a blast to write, so I’ll definitely be doing more of these in the future.
With books do you associate with the month of August? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Which books would you add? Let me know in the comments section below!
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