If you have followed me for book reviews know they will be a more often occurrence on this blog but not weekly. I am a slow reader. I have been put down for what I have read, haven’t read, or how long it takes to read something as long as I can remember. I was on a roll with content. In the past, when I didn’t have something lined up, I didn’t know what to do so, I just didn’t post. Not a great way to start but it has happened and it may happen in the future so be prepared. It’s hard to be a book lover and a slow reader when so many will diminish a person’s love for something when it is not up to certain popular standards but I still love reading and sharing my love for the written word. I will have times when writing and reading are hard. I can’t stop these slumps and insecurities from happening but I will try to keep my goals the same. As for the future, hang tight, another book review is coming soon.
I do like writing my little book reviews because I like to support authors and spread my love of reading. But I would still like to write about other things.
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I decided to read Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen for my March classic. I have mentioned before that I did try to read Austen’s Persuasion last month and felt I wasn’t in the mood, I tried again and again I wasn’t in the mood. I realized I never read Austen’s Abbey and needed a short classic since time was running out. I started reading this classic and was captured. As Austen mentions in the beginning of the novel the main character Catherine is not your normal heroine since she is an impressionable, trusting young woman but she grows and learns. By the end Catherine is a strong, classic, and a lead in the wheel house with others Austen famous heroines.
I must say I liked this novel. This classic novel is Austen’s Gothic parody. Catherine’s love for reading the genre and over active imagination adds humor to the novel. There is a great scene where Catherine is snooping and unlocks a mysterious cabinet expecting to find something horrible, and finds only laundry bills. You feel embarrass for her naivety but she has to fall a few more times before she learns to control her imagination. Northanger Abbey also deals with situations common to teenagers today. Catherine learns lessons about peer pressure, bullying, and reading people. I was angry by the Thorpe’s manipulative, and ambitious ways but, by the end of the novel, Catherine learns to read people and can move on into her happy ending wiser.
Favorite Quote: “The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not the pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
I vaguely remember the basement in the house I grew up in before it was refinished. It was dark gray cinderblock walls with workbenches, boxes, and wooden closets with canned goods. During the clean up I remember one of the boxes had books. I felt awe. I was young and seeing books that thick with tiny print amazed me. I was only allowed to pick one book from the box and I picked, Little Women by Louise May Alcott. I thought it would be about tiny women living in a big world (forgive my naivety, I was really young). I finally decided to read it because this pretty book has sat on my shelf too long. I didn’t read it all the time since the 1922 edition is fragile with a worn binding.
I didn’t love Little Women. It was a very moral based read and could be slow at times. Each chapter could stand on it’s own with a lesson learned. Now days a woman doesn’t need a good marriage to reach true happiness but it was a different time when this story was written and many lessons, like not allowing money to control you, can still apply today. Some chapters I enjoyed more than others. There wasn’t much excitement or enthusiasm behind most life events. Maybe this style or writing is what left me less emotionally attached to the four sisters. If I only read the Little Women portion of the book I may have given it four stars on my Goodreads account but I must say I was surprised when what I expected to happen didn’t.
I learned, when published, part two was a second book, Good Wives, which continues their story and this is where I struggled. The second half is where the story considerably slows downs. I can’t put my finger on what changed. Everything just seemed more mundane. The interesting bits of their lives are farther apart and gets buried. If I was going to rate this portion of the book separately I would give Part two, two stars.
I rated the book three stars out of five stars. If I ever come back to this classic I will not continue past part one.
I’m worried I created to many reading goals for the new year. I challenged myself to read 50 books with 12 of them being classics. I tried to promise myself I wouldn’t buy anymore books until I read some of the unread ones I already own. Also, I hope to decrease the number on my Goodreads’ to-read list. While, these can all fit nicely into the read 50 books challenge, I’m finding the classics can be dense and daunting. I thought I would read Jane Austen’s Persuasion this month but switch to Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. I didn’t feel I had the right mood for Persuasion. I want to complete my one classic novel a month goal but I do want to enjoy what I am reading. I do have many more opportunities to read this year with my hour commute to and from work. Just have to keep reading with the hope I lessen my pile of unread books, to-read titles, and classics collecting dust. I could be overreacting being only the second month and I’m seeing an overwhelming number of goals that seemed to fit together when I first made my list. Worst happens I don’t read 12 classics or reach my 50 books goal. I’ll know to lessen the reading goals next year. Maybe.
I had thought I would read a classic a month last year but I didn’t succeed only reading one classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, before you think I haven’t read classics in the past, you can check my Goodreads account and see my classics read shelf. Also, if you click on the link, don’t get mad. I have stretched the meaning of classic a bit. I don’t know if I will be able to write reviews but thanks to ThePrettyBooks tips on WordPress I may use the 5 “Ws” suggestion to help.
WHEN I Discovered This Classic WHAT Makes It A Classic WHY I Chose to Read It WILL It Stay A Classic
WHO I’d Recommend It
My bookshelf holds a few classics I haven’t read. Plus, let’s not talk about the free e-book copies available now that I have downloaded. So, I am almost angry at myself as I write this, I would love some suggestions on a good edition of Anne Frank’s Diary. Yes, I never read it. Yes, I read many classics in school but I was not in the class that read this one. No worries, I will read it this year. I was going to pick the red cover Mass-Market edition until I find there are three editions available for purchase at my job. I would post links here but there are so many versions when I search. I want an edition which is up-to date, unabridged, and has a good translation. If anyone can give me suggestions on which one I should buy to read I would be grateful.
I hope I can write since I am taking on many reading challenges this year. I have sign up for the 2015 Goodreads Reading Challenge with a 50 book pledge. I don’t know if I’ll complete the challenge since I average 39 books a year but here goes a new year with maybe too many goals.
Friday. What happen to the week? I can say I am not ready to post and I don’t have a topic this week. This week I haven’t been focused on writing as much as reading. I have had the goal to finish A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Ice And Fire #5) by George R.R. Martin and just did today. I feel relieved to finally be done and caught up but whenever I end one of these books I’m left with a little anxiety over the cliff hangers. Grrr. But it was a good read and week even with the lack of writing.
With that over I want to move on to a lighter read so I have more time to write. This means next Friday won’t sneak up on me (I hope) and I’ll have a story to tell. Until then here is a quote I think fits me and this week:
“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” – Douglas Adams