Five Contemporary Reads That Pair Perfectly With Classics
By Resh Susan
Ever felt a deep sense of sadness when you finish a book and wish it never ended? Well, that is why books should be read in pairs. You can indulge a bit more and be happy for a while longer. Here are some newer releases and old classics that pair incredibly well.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll with Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Falling down the rabbit hole? Tea with mad hatter, a queen who shouts ‘Off with her head’ Love that story, don’t we all? Lewis Carroll’s Alice remains a favorite with readers even 153 years after the publication of the classic. Marissa Meyer’s reimagining of the evil Queen of Hearts and her history was released in 2016. Also, be ready for a lot of food descriptions served alongside the back story. Delicious!
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen with Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton
Jane Austen won hearts with her bold Elizabeth, proud Mr. Darcy and poor Mrs. Bennett whose nerves make us chuckle. Now imagine all the ingredients of age old classics set in a dragon world! That’s Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton for you. There is love, politics, family, religion, social classes, rights and privileges of women/men/servants; everything you would expect in a classic. Though Walton says her inspiration to write the book was Anthony Trollope and not Jane Austen, we can see the similarities to Pride and Prejudice.
Homefire is a modern tale that tells the plight of British Muslims. Kamila Shamsie whips out an engaging story as well as breaks the stereotypical narratives surrounding Muslim characters. When Isma decides to pursue her dreams in the States after sacrificing a large part of her life for her family, she is overly concerned about her siblings — Aneeka who is still in London and Parvaiz, who seems to have secretly disappeared to follow the path of his jihadist father they never knew. When Eamonn gets acquainted with the family, the sisters don’t realise how their lives will collide. Homefire is a retelling of the Greek play, Antigone, part of the Theban Plays by Sophocles. Read them together and you will see the similarities in plot as well as the names of the characters.
Lord of the Flies by William Golding with The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
In Lord of the Flies, a group of young boys, all below the age of 12 years, are stranded on an uninhabited island. They try to maintain order among themselves, but most of them turn savage with disastrous consequences. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is the first book of an adventure novel trilogy set in the dystopian country of Panem which has a rich Capitol and 12 districts rooted in poverty. While the boys in Lord of the flies find themselves pitted against each other accidentally, the kids of Panem are forced to come forward as ‘tributes’ and play the annual Hunger games where the victor has to kill all the other opponents.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle with A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro
Sherlock Holmes is an eternal character, be it through Conan Doyle’s books or the numerous TV adaptations. What if we have Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson as a team? A Study in Charlotte follows the descendants of the original duo. The book might be a hit or miss since both Charlotte and Jamie seem to be exact replicas of the original Sherlock and John (I mean, what are the odds?)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte with The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell
Jane Eyre is the story of the young, orphaned Jane who accepts employment at Thornfield Hall to only have her heart broken by a terrifying secret. Fans of the Bronte sisters would love The Madwoman Upstairs in which the only remaining descendant of the Brontë family wants to find the family's long-rumoured secret estate. She goes forward in her mission using the clues her eccentric father leaves behind. Be warned, Catherine Lowell has spoilers to some of the novels by Bronte sisters in her book. But given the setting, both the books make a perfect pair.
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About the Author
Resh Susan eats words and creates stories. When she isn’t reading, writing, editing or clicking pictures, she advocates her love for broccoli to anyone who crosses her path. You can find her engrossed in creative pursuits where she tries to find the magic in the ordinary.
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