My Favorite Works from Dead Authors

The Two Who Shaped Me

When I was just a little Library Girl, two writers formed me as a reader, and shaped my bookish heart; Edgar Allan Poe, and Jane Austen.

In this post, I’ll share my favorite work from each of them.

“Complete Poems” of Edgar Allan Poe

I fell in love with Poe’s words as a little girl, when Father would tell me Poe stories or poems for bedtime stories. (It was my job to shout “Nevermore” at the appropriate places in “The Raven.”)

While I can remember details and passages from Poe’s stories, it’s his poems that captured me. I can remember the words of the poems, and the music of them; the cadence as they marched or waltzed off my tongue, and the melody as the pitch shifted for a question, a declaration, a burst of passion, or a moment of terror. Even now, I can close my eyes and subvocalize one of his poems, and feel the emotions washing over me like the incoming tide; love, fear, triumph, and despair.

I admit that selecting “Complete Poems” as my favorite book of Poe’s is a cheat, as a complete collection of his poems was never published in his lifetime.

When I go on trips, I’ll often bring a volume of his poems with me, as something soothing to relax into, like an emotional bubble bath.

If you’re curious about his poems (and I do hope I’ve piqued your curiosity), here’s a pair of links for you to explore:

(For any who think it’s odd for someone to tell their child Poe works as bedtime stories, I’ll note that Father also picked my name from his favorite novel; Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” Oh, and Father would want me to proudly inform you that Stoker was an Irishman. Back to Poe; I’m assuming there’s a chance Father considered “Lenore” &/or “Annabel Lee” as names for me. He chose “Mina.”)

“Emma” by Jane Austen

I know that “Pride & Prejudice” is the most-popular of Austen’s novels, but P&P is second-place in the Austen room in my heart; “Emma” owns the room.

All Austen novels have delicious dialog; razor-sharp banter, character-revealing declarations or questions, and moments of tenderness and vulnerability.

Emma is no exception.

This book also has characters who are flawed in ways that feel real to me; feel like people I know.
They try their best, they mess-up, and they grow.

Ultimately, I love that Emma includes a story thread of best friends who forge a true love that’s built on the foundation of their friendship.
(I’ve been married to my best friend for over two decades; I know how strong a foundation this is, and I relate deeply to this thread.)

If you’d like to learn more about “Emma” &/or read the novel, here’s a pair of URLs for you:

Before we leave “Emma,” I want to tell you that the novel was adapted by Paul Gordon into a delightful stage musical!
You may learn more about a video of this musical, including watching a trailer, here:

And if your favorite Austen is P&P, I respect your choice and want you to know that Paul Gordon also did a stage musical adaption of it, which you may find, here:

Thank You

Thank you for letting me share my love of these two writers who I still turn to, and whose works still influence what I read, how I read, and what I enjoy out-of my reading.
In short, rereading these works is like fondly returning to a childhood home.

How do you feel about these selections, and what are your favorite works by dead authors?


My next post will be a follow-up to this; I’m going to share my two favorite works by living authors.
I’ll talk to you there; and until then, happy reading!

Library Girl (aka Mina) and

PS: If you’d like to get an email alert when I have new posts for you, please type your email address in the box below and click the “Subscribe” button.

(If you’re reading this post in an email, then you won’t see the text entry box or “Subscribe” button. However, if you’re reading this post in an email, there’s a chance you’re already subscribed.)

PPS: Just before we part, I’d like to note that these blog posts are only half of what I do as Library Girl. The other half is on Twitter. If you don’t have a Twitter account, you may still visit my twitter page and see what I’m up-to, here:
If you are on Twitter, please join the bookish conversation with me.
Thank you.

Leave a Reply