#cbr11bingo #Classic You most likely know at least one version of the classic story of Wild Swans by Hans Christian Andersen; but the illustrations by Charlotte Gastaut are what make this edition, retold by Xanthe Gresham Knight, fresh. Knight’s version of the story has the young princess, Eliza, sent to live with a family in a village that has not been touched by the plague that took her mother. This is after her father remarries and Stepmother knows that to keep her safe, Eliza must leave. This is also after Eliza’s eleven brothers, arrogant in their youth and knowledge, but […]
This was a book club pick in an attempt by our group to occasionally dip our toes into the classics. It had been in my TBR pile for a while, but I just hadn’t got to it yet, so being ‘forced’ into it was ok by me! Our heroine is an orphan girl working as a lady’s companion and we meet her as they are travelling abroad. During this trip, she meets the recently widowed Maxim de Winter. Despite his grief and melancholy, she makes an impression which leads to a whirlwind romance and proposal. Finally able to escape the […]
“Horror,” Laura Miller says in the introduction to the Penguin Classics edition of The Haunting of Hill House, “turns on the dissolution of boundaries […] between the outside of the body and everything that ought to stay inside.” Maybe the way horror lurks in liminal spaces, only rarely coming right out in the open, has something to do with how much I enjoy the genre. And The Haunting of Hill House serves masterfully as our guide to those cracked and uncertain places.
I’ve resolved to read more classics this year, and that puts me in a bit of a bind. There simply aren’t as many capital-C Classics by women (which does *not* reflect well on our culture), and I’m not that excited to overload on male writers just yet. I know this really means that I need to dig a little deeper and search a little harder to find the good stuff, but in the meantime, I have a few on my shelves, including one that I finally bought off of my wishlist last year: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. I suspect I should […]
Buckle up, this one is pretty long. I finished this book a few days ago and the impression it made on me was so visceral, I had to wait to write about it. When I consider what it takes to be a classic, regardless of the medium, my first thought is timelessness. Will this item stand the test of time and all that entails? I believe that the term classic is bandied about too often and too frivolously. We call anything that we like in that moment a classic and I think that is inaccurate at best. I did […]
The year is 1897 and Bram Stoker is a bored businessmen who boosts his income by writing pulpy novels. The most famous of these, simply titled Dracula, was not an immediate hit, but would turn out to define Stoker’s legacy. This isn’t entirely undeserved, but outside of its snug historical pocket the novel doesn’t come across all that well. The story is well-known to nearly everyone, and I was quite surprised at how closely, at first, it follows the 1993 movie. And yet this film, as well as other films before and after it, have chosen to add details or […]
Sneaking in with a bit to spare, on a borrowed computer, and one book behind last year’s pace I’m finally posting my last review of Cannonball Read 10. This was the Read Harder 2018 task I was looking least forward to, and I managed to push it off until the last possible moment, but at least I am completing the challenge this year. Task 24 was to “read an assigned book you hated (or never finished)”. In reality I have very few books that I never completed, and the ones that I hated I don’t really feel emotionally prepared to […]
The Feminine Mystique (1963) by Betty Friedan has been on my radar for years as a classic feminist tome that I should probably read. However, I was always intimidated by the length. I was also afraid that it would be dated and difficult to read. It wasn’t until I saw it on my 50 Books Every Woman Should Read Before She Turns 40 List that I had the motivation I needed to pick it up. It’s easy for me to take the opportunities I have today for granted. Books like The Feminine Mystique remind me of a very different society where the limits and expectations […]