Posts Tagged ‘classic’

19th February
2010
written by Steph

One of my 2010 resolutions that is always at the back of my mind (but struggling to break through to the forefront, I assure you) is that I’d like to read more Classics.  Who doesn’t, really?  We have a pretty wide selection for me to choose from (and with my ipod touch on hand, the possibilities of free public domain novels are nearly endless), so it can be somewhat overwhelming trying to narrow my pick down to single book.  In such times, I tend to wind up creating highly specific restrictions that are ultimately pretty arbitrary.  In this case, I decided that since A Hero of Our Time is considered the father of the Russian novel, and we have a bunch of Russian classics (e.g., The Brothers Karamazov, Doctor Zhivago, The Master & Margarita, etc.,) kicking about the place, I’d better read this one before I tackle any of those other ones.  It only makes sense, right? (more…)
27th May
2009
written by Steph
Wonder no more!  Read it!

Wonder no more! Read it!

I’m a bit bummed that this long weekend was graced with gray skies and intermittent rainstorms rather than lolling about by the pool and using the grill, but dreary days can have their perks!  Sunday afternoon, I plucked Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland from the shelf as I’d never read it before and proceeded to read the whole thing through OUT LOUD to Tony as we lazed on the couch.  I don’t know why it took me 26 years to get to this book, because it was so much fun.  For some reason I had built up in my mind the belief that Carroll’s language was rather cumbersome and confusing (I know I tried to read the story when I was younger but could never get past the first few pages), but this time round I simply found it delightful.  I knew the guy had a penchant for poetry, but I didn’t know he had such a fondness for puns (boo to all of those people who say puns are the lowest form of wit and humor – I love them!).  I was particularly amused by Alice’s dialogues with the Hatter and with the Mock Turtle and Gryphon, and the trial at the end was really very funny as well.  There was a good deal of snickering on both Tony’s and my part as I read through this book.
Poor Bill!

Poor Bill!

The story was at times manic and completely absurd (I can’t help but feel that kids might find it confusing at times, but what do I know?), but I thought it had a lot of charm and really appreciated it’s playful spirit.  I loved Carroll’s approach to the English language as well as how sprightly all of the characters are.  The copy I read was a hardback, annotated version (complete with lovely illustrations), but I read the story straight through without pausing over the footnotes and asides.  I know I’ll definitely re-read this story in the future, and look forward to spending some time poring over the details and trivia that might allow for a richer second read through.  My volume also contains Through The Looking Glass (which Tony tells me is far weirder), which I will read when I feel I need a dollop of nonsense to cleanse my reading palate.  I highly recommend this lovely little romp to anyone looking for a smart, diverting read. Rating: 4.5 out of 5
5th May
2009
written by Steph
It's like Lord of the Rings... with Bunnies!

It's like Lord of the Rings... with Bunnies!

Growing up, I missed out on a lot of your typical “kid in the ‘80s/’90s” fare.  As I’ve mentioned before, while my friends were watching Ghostbusters and E.T., I was busy watching musicals from the 1950s.  I didn’t see Indiana Jones until I was 16, I first saw The Princess Bride at 18, and I still have never seen E.T.!  Watership Down is just another one of those things that I feel I should have experienced when I was a young girl, but for some reason never did.  The gap is all the more puzzling because I was a voracious reader (still am!), so while gaps in my film canon make sense, gaps in books are more embarrassing. Watership Down tells the story of a band of rabbits who set off from their idyllic warren when a young rabbit named Fiver has a premonition that danger and death is coming to the warren and the only way to save themselves is to leave.  His brother Hazel attempts to warn their Chief Rabbit, but he will not hear of leaving, and so it is up to the two brothers to convince as many of their fellow rabbits to leave as they can.  The bulk of the novel focuses on their journey from the warren at Sandleford as they make their way to the hills of Watership Down, as well as their adventures and encounters with other hostile rabbit warrens aimed at rustling up some does (foolishly, the group who set out from Sandleford only consisted of males) so that their new warren will proliferate. (more…)
17th March
2009
written by Steph
I didn't read this edition, but oh how I wish I had!

I didn't read this edition, but oh how I wish I had!

This is the first Henry James I’ve read in about 8 years.  I read The Portrait of a Lady back when I was doing my senior year English credit over the summer in Oxford, England;  I wrote an essay about it and Sense & Sensibility… that, and the fact that I watched a movie version of the novel starring Nicole Kidman and John Malkovitch, is about all I remember.  Since then, I’ve always meant to read more James (and potentially re-read Portrait), but it wasn’t until a recent trip to the library that I actually made good on this intention.  Being unable to procure a copy of The Great Gatsby (I know!  What kind of a library is this anyway?), I instead picked up a slender volume of The Turn of the Screw and considered it a fair trade. (more…)