Under-Appreciated Classics

Last Tuesday, I participated in the Top Ten Tuesday post that the Broke and the Bookish puts on. The theme was classics, and I spent a lot of time thinking about what classics I wanted to include. I ended up consulting several lists around the internet of classics and picking the ones I’d read more than once and really enjoyed.

As I was going through the lists, I kept coming across titles I had read and enjoyed that seem a bit more obscure. These are titles that I don’t think get talked about as much—on top 100 lists, or even top 250, they rarely make the cut—and I wanted to highlight a few:

  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy. I can’t quite describe why this one has stuck with me, but I read it years back for a course. It took a bit to get into, and there’s some controversial parts that Hardy wrote deliberately ambiguous, but once I was in it, I was hooked. I powered through this one (got ahead of the class and had to double back) and ended up really loving it.
  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. I’m a bit sad I hadn’t got to read this one before now—it’s so good, I feel like I’ve been missing out. It’s got great touches of humour, the characterisation is interesting and well thought out, and it’s an early entry in the detective lit genre that is not always mentioned as being the forerunner it was.
  • Persuasion by Jane Austen. Yes, this was on my Top Ten list, but I think it bears mentioning again. This really is my favourite Austen book, and I think it mostly only gets read by Austen enthusiasts, folks who read Austen’s more obscure work. Everyone knows Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, and many know Emma—if only because of the Gwyneth Paltrow film—but Persuasion is definitely less widely known or considered. Yet, it’s my favourite.
  • The Great Divorce by CS Lewis. This is an apologetic, and is thus not for everyone. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit, and I feel that it asks some very interesting questions about humans and humanity.

If you’re looking for a readable, enjoyable classic, I highly recommend one of these. Give them a try; I don’t think you’ll regret it.

 

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July Read-a-Thon Is About to Start!

Check that turn-around time! The July Trees-of-Reverie Read-a-thon starts tomorrow, and I’m excited.

I’m in the thick of classes now, so this time I’m gonna track my school reading. Y’all will get a look at what I’ve been assigned for my courses, and hopefully you’ll get to discover a book that interests you.

Books read so far for class: selections from Requiem for a Paper Bag by Davy Rothbart [Ed.], selections from The Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe, The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, An Extraordinary Theory of Objects by Stephanie LaCava, and selections from On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz.

Books I’m on track to read within the time-frame of the read-a-thon: more selections from On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes by Alexandra Horowitz, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel, selections from Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson, selections from Detection by Gaslight: 14 Victorian Detective Stories by Douglas Greene [Ed.], selections from A Study in Scarlet & The Sign of the Four, selections from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes & The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, and The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

That’s a lot of reading, but I have 3 weeks to get it done! You can follow along here on my blog, where I’ll be posting a running page count every other day, on Facebook for quotes and tidbits, on Twitter for late-night ponderings (and updates on Camp NaNoWriMo progress), on Instagram for (what else?) action shots, and on Tumblr for fun questionnaires and community activities.

Let’s get this party started!

June Read-a-thon Update: End!

And now it’s over. But there’s another beginning on July 10th and running to August 1st; I might do that one as well, because this has been loads of fun!

Final page counts for the event (at 12.00a, July 1st):

  • 40 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: no update.
  • 90 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: finished.
  • 108 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: finished.
  • 173 pages of Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell. Notes: finished.
  • 8 pages of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Notes: no update.
  • 9 pages of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Notes: no update.
  • 66 pages of Requiem for a Paper Bag by Davy Rothbart [Ed.]. Notes: some of the stories are mildly entertaining, but overall, I don’t think this book was worth much more than the penny (plus shipping) I paid for it.
  • 43 pages of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe. Notes: no update.
  • 19 pages of The Memoirs of Vidocq, Principal Agent of the French Police Until 1827 by Eugène François Vidocq [Trans. by H. T. Riley]. Notes: no update.
  • 61 pages of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Notes: bit amazed I’ve never read this before, honestly. It’s loads of fun, and I can’t wait to finish it (which task shall be complete, hopefully, by class-time on Thursday).

Running page count: 617

June Read-a-thon Update: Day 15

Almost done! I’ll do a last post tomorrow to report on final numbers. Meanwhile…

Page count to this point:

  • 40 pages of Partial List of People to Bleach by Gary Lutz. Notes: still going on this one. The stories after the first 2-3 are much easier to connect to. Also, I seem to like it better now that it’s pretentious fiction, and not pretentious non-fiction.
  • 90 pages of Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke [trans. M.D. Herter Norton]. Notes: finished.
  • 108 pages of The Rose That Grew From Concrete by Tupac Shakur. Notes: finished.
  • 173 pages of Faces at the Bottom of the Well by Derrick Bell. Notes: finished.
  • 8 pages of Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman. Notes: no update.
  • 9 pages of Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Notes: no update.
  • 44 pages of Requiem for a Paper Bag by Davy Rothbart [Ed.]. Notes: no update.
  • 43 pages of The Works of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe. Notes: may finish this after classes end.
  • 19 pages of The Memoirs of Vidocq, Principal Agent of the French Police Until 1827 by Eugène François Vidocq [Trans. by H. T. Riley]. Notes: I’ll probably finish this after classes end. It was kind of entertaining.
  • 41 pages of The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins. Notes: bit amazed I’ve never read this before, honestly. It’s loads of fun, and I can’t wait to finish it (which task shall be complete, hopefully, by class-time on Thursday).

Running page count: 575