Tuesday, March 30, 2010
In January, I developed a goal for reading classic books in 2010. I can't link to my January post because I accidentally deleted my blog, but these are the books on my classics list:
Jane Eyre (Readable Classics)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Gone with the Wind
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
I am happy to say that I have already finished three of these books. Of course, I started with the easiest first: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (a children's classic). I distinctly remember this book from my childhood. I loved it then, and I can say with certainty that I love it now. This book is a treasure. Because no one appreciates her at home, Claudia Kincaid devises a plan to run away with her younger brother Jamie (to teach her parents a lesson, of course). Claudia and Jamie spend a week living in the Metropolitan Museum of Art where they spend their time unraveling a Michelangelo mystery. Thanks to this wonderful story, I will never enter a public bathroom without wondering if I could hide out until after closing (if you don't understand this, you'll have to pick up a copy). If you have never enjoyed this story, I highly recommend it!
After an easy start, I selected a much larger novel: Little Women. I have heard the names of the March sisters mentioned for many years, but I had never read the book or seen the movie. Although I thought the book started slowly, once I got into the story, I was hooked. This story is a familiar one, so I won't rehash the details, but I will say that I grew so comfortable with all the sisters, especially Jo. (***Spoiler Alert***) Although I was initially disappointed with Jo's rejection of Laurie, and I didn't feel that I knew Professor Bhaer enough to be attached to him, I felt that Jo made the right decision in the end. I closed the book with a warm feeling, like I had spent a nice afternoon with friends. After reading the novel, I indulged in the Winona Ryder version of the movie and enjoyed it immensely. I thought the casting was perfect. As usual, I liked the book more, but I did enjoy the movie version, and I was not disappointed with it the way I often am when I see a beloved story on screen. I am sure many of you have read this novel, so I welcome any comments you have.
My final book for this quarter was Jane Eyre (Readable Classics). I started the original version last year when it was a 5 Minutes for Books selection, but I didn't make it past the initial chapters. Due to health reasons, I was tired, and I couldn't keep my eyes open to read it! When 5M4B highlighted the Readable Classics version, I thought it would be a perfect fit for me. I enjoyed this revised version so much! Of course, the story of Jane and her journey from being an unloved orphan to a much loved woman of great strength and courage (not to mention wealth and intelligence) is a masterpiece, and I am so glad that I finally know the story. I am thankful I picked up the Readable Classics version; it was a great way to immerse myself in a classic tale without struggling through the language. Now that I am familiar with the story, however, I do plan to read the original before the end of 2010. I will be sharing more thoughts on the Readable Classics soon, so stay tuned!
If you have read any classics recently, or if you would like to read reviews of the classics, head over to the 5 Minutes for Books Bookclub today!