Introducing My New Comments on Classics Category!

~Comments on Classics~

For the longest time, to me, classical fiction was the stuff I read in English classes against my will while hating every minute of it. Later on, I discovered that these books were not my enemy. I could read whatever I wanted, at any pace, with no tests to take or papers to write. Heck, I didn’t even have to finish it if I didn’t like it! Literary freedom!

While I don’t read nearly as many works of classical fiction as I do contemporary science fiction and fantasy, I still would like the opportunity to share my thoughts as I do in my other reviews, so I’ve added this new category. I’ve separated them from my regular reviews because it’s tricky to review such works of fiction. Being considered classical, these books have already stood the test of time and are considered to be good, if not great, so how can I accurately review something I’m expected to like. If I don’t like it, then it would seem there is something wrong with me, or perhaps my intelligence. But I prefer to deal with classical fiction the same way I deal with any book I read. Since these aren’t school assignments, I can freely criticize, and dislike them, if I choose. So, I intend to share my opinions of them as I would any other book, whether I love them or hate them, am completely baffled, or find them to be surprisingly wonderful.

In addition to having an outlet for my thoughts on these novels, I’m hoping to demystify classical literature for those who may be intimidated by it. I won’t be over-analyzing symbolism or digging up metaphors that may or may not be there. I will be approaching them in a casual way, with my honest impressions.

What sort of books will I be talking about? Well, I’m using the term classical fiction somewhat loosely. Some of what I review might not technically fall into that category. Basically, anything about 100 years old or older from Stoker to Austen to Shakespeare. I may also include short stories by classical authors and even the occasional fairy tale by Grimm or Hans Christian Anderson.

I think this might be fun, and it will certainly broaden my literary horizons, and one’s literary horizons can never be too broad.

Book Sale Haul

Twice a year, my local library has an epic book sale. People donate books they don’t want and the library keeps whatever they need and sells the rest at about $1 a book. This year I believe I may have gone a little overboard, but I just couldn’t help it! I pretty much just grabbed anything that looked interesting; historical fiction, fantasy, classics, sci-fi, thrillers, etc., which added up to a grand total of 46 books…

These are all the titles and authors in order from left to right, top to bottom:

Bone Rattler (A Mystery of Colonial America) – Eliot Pattison
The Fairy’s Return and Other Princess Tales – Gail Carson Levine
Learning to Swim – Sara J. Henry
People of the Book – Geraldine Brooks
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane – Katherine Howe
Bretheren (An Epic Adventure of the Knights Templar) – Robyn Young
Charles Dickens, Four Novels (Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol) – Charles Dickens
World Without End – Ken Follett
Black Red White (Trilogy)- Ted Dekker
Witches’ Brew – Terry Brooks
Wizard At Large – Terry Brooks
2010: Odyssey Two – Arthur C. Clarke
The Wishsong of Shannara – Terry Brooks
A Saint, More or Less – Henry Grunwald
Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
Finding Emmaus (The Lodestarre – Book One) – Pamela S.K. Glasner
The Book of Lies – Brad Meltzer
Galileo’s Daughter (A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love) – Dava Sobel
The Elenium (Trilogy) – David Eddings
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society – Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Anatomy of Deception – Lawrence Goldstone
Messenger – Lois Lowry
The Devil’s Labyrinth – John Saul
Silence in Hanover Close (A Victorian Murder Mystery) – Anne Perry
The house of the Seven Gables – Nathaiel Hawthorne
Pickwick Papers – Charles Dickens
The Serpent in the Garden – Janet Gleeson
The Passage – Justin Cronin
The Confession of Fitzwilliam Darcy – Mary Street
Gramercy Park – Paula Cohen
Ghosts of Albion Accursed – Amber Benson and Christopher Golden
A Spectacle of Corruption (sequel to A Conspiracy of Paper) – David Liss
The Masque of the Black Tulip – Lauren Willig
The Cross-legged Knight (An Owen Archer Mystery) – Candace Robb
The Fair Folk (Six Tales of the Fey) – Edited by, Marvin Kaye
Persuasion – Jane Austen
The Amulet of Samarkand (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book One) – Jonathan Stroud
The Garden of Eve – K.L. Going
The Betrayal, The Lost Life of Jesus – Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear
Gospel Truths – J.G. Sandom
The Book of Fate – Brad Meltzer

Tebukuro – Uchida Risako Yaku
The Rough Guide Phrasebook, Japanese

*The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet [This book is not shown because I lent it to a friend right after I got it.]

I’m particularly looking forward to Black Red White, The Passage, and The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. The two Japanese books were a nice find, since I’m studying the language in my spare time. Needless to say, I’ll be restricting my reading to what is already on my bookshelf for the summer, but I fear that won’t even make much of a dent in it. I’d rather have a bookcase full of books waiting to be read that books I’ve already read anyway. Please look forward to some reviews of these books in the upcoming months…though it will definitely take more like two years for me to read it all.  Until next time…

Happy Reading!