In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. June has always struck me as a strange mix of peace and chaos, of beauty and discomfort, of consistency and change. I think this past month has definitely embodied those contradictions, as flowers bloom in the midst of so much pain and uncertainty. For this list of recommendations, I’ve chosen five classics that also contain inherent contradictions.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. This entire novel takes place over the course of a single day in June and contains a lot of language and imagery surrounding this month: “…what she loved: life, London, this moment of June.” Whenever I think of June I always think of this striking, poignant, beautifully written novel. Its two main story lines also provide the juxtapositions that I often associate with June.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde. What may seem at first like a silly play unfolds to reveal a witty, satirical look at society, class, and social conventions. If you’re a fan of Wilde’s novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, then I highly recommend giving this one a try.
Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift. What appears to be a whimsical, hilarious of strange beings and countries that Lemuel Gulliver stumbles upon is actually a satirical account of society in the early eighteenth century.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain. Another satirical read, this one about race and childhood and society along the Mississippi River in the 1840s. An in important message runs beneath Tom Sawyer’s adventures and antics.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. This topsy-turvy tale of a girl just looking for some entertainment contains creatures and scenes both whimsical and frightening.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this classics guide for the month of June!
With books do you associate with the month of June? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Which books would you add? Let me know in the comments section below!