It’s that time again! The Classics Club is doing another Spin. I was not at all successful with the last Classics Club Spin, but I’m hoping this time around will go better. Below is my Spin list. On Monday, a number between 1 and 20 will be chosen, and I’ll be reading the book from my list that corresponds with that number. I’ll have until August 1st to finish it. Depending on which book it is, I might do a read-along.
It’s that time again! The Classics Club is doing another Spin. Below is my Spin list. On Monday, a number between 1 and 20 will be chosen, and I’ll be reading the book from my list that corresponds with that number. I’ll have until May 2nd to finish it. Depending on which book it is, I might do a read-along.
I enjoyed the story much more than I thought I would. While I love the film adaptation, I had some initial reservations about the book considering I learned that L. Frank Baum wrote it as a political and economic statement in support of the Populist party who supported a bimetallic standard of gold (the yellow brick road) and silver (Dorothy’s silver shoes. That’s right, they’re silver in the book, not ruby), instead of the Gold Standard. However, I realized while listening to the book that, if there is some kind of statement at all, it’s not in any way obvious.
Maybe I missed something, though. That’s possible for two reasons. First, Brooke Shields narrated the book as if she were reading it to a very young child, and the majority of her male character voices were downright annoying. Second, Dorothy has no agency. She doesn’t do anything deliberately unless you count her following the instructions to walk down the yellow brick road to get to the Emerald City. Everything else just sort of happens to her, or is an accident. How did I miss that in the movie?!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in 1900, and it was meant to be a children’s book. These reasons are the only ones for why I forgive Dorothy’s lack of legitimate action. She is technically the main character, however, so there’s that. Putting Brooke Shields’ narration aside, I would recommend the book to anyone who wants a quick Classic to read or wants a Classic children’s chapter book to give to a kid who might enjoy it.
This is one of the many Classic novels I got for free from Barnes and Noble for my Nook so many years ago. It was mentioned in Bibliotherapy: The Girl’s Guide to Books for Every Phase of Our Lives by Nancy Peske and Beverly West, and so I added it to my TBR. Daniel Defoe’s introduction stated that this was the story of a woman who led the life of a criminal and then repented. Instead, the story reaffirms the abysmal state of women during the 18th century, especially poor women without a family name and reputation to fall back on.
While I understand that, for the time, the story was considered scandalous and full of intrigue, the first part of the book was rather dull, and I kept wondering how Moll getting taken advantage of by seemingly every man she came into contact with was somehow indicative of her being a criminal. I felt sorry for her and her naive trust in wealthy men who only wanted to turn her into their personal whore. The second part was a little better, and the criminal activities she participates in so she could cobble together a living for herself only made me feel that much more sympathetic towards her and women of her time. Also, I didn’t see Moll’s escape from a life of crime as a repentance for past sins and her transformation into a morally upstanding English citizen so much as taking the opportunity to get out of England and start a new life with a considerably higher chance of not dying in prison. However, she’s still too trusting and ends up with a d-bag of a husband. The more things change…
I think Charles Dickens would have written this story much better than Daniel Defoe did. Yes, there’s a hundred years difference between the two authors and their writing styles, but Defoe knew how to take his time getting to the point. Throughout most of the story, I was either bored or wondering when the real criminal behavior would begin. Towards the end, I just wanted it to be over with already. The only thing I’m happy about is finally being able to cross this Classic off my list.
I listened to the audiobook version I received for free through audiobooks.com.
The Call of the Wild is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read. Also, I didn’t read the synopsis, and so wasn’t aware that the story was from a dog’s point of view. While that’s not a bad thing, it was unexpected. Buck, a St. Bernard and Shepherd mix, is stolen from his home and endures cruelty and abuse throughout the story. While there is a, mostly, happy ending, listening was painful.
I also think I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to listen to a story like this. I had already been feeling depressed, and the weather was crappy that day. Luckily, it’s a relatively short book (2 hours and 52 minutes), which is why I chose it at the time, and I listened to it while I was cleaning and reorganizing my office.
I’ll probably re-read The Call of the Wild at some point to give it another chance; preferably during a time when I’m not feeling like garbage and the sun is shining. While I usually love to read stories set during a particular season when it’s also that time of year in reality, I think this book is best read during the Summer. However, if you can’t handle frequent scenes of animal abuse, you should skip this one and maybe try another book about dogs or wolves, as long as it’s not by Jack London (I recommend Jean Craighead George).
The Classics Club posted the Spin number – 19! Below is my Spin list. I’ll be reading Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe. I’ll have until February 1st to finish it. I haven’t yet decided whether or not I’ll do a read-along, but if I do, it won’t start until after Christmas. If you’re interested, say so in the comments.
It’s that time again! The Classics Club is doing another Spin. Below is my Spin list. On Monday, a number between 1 and 20 will be chosen, and I’ll be reading the book from my list that corresponds with that number. I’ll have until February 1st to finish it. As always, depending on which book it is, I might do a read-along. However, for the sake of the Holidays, I won’t start it until after Christmas.
This is my second read by Robert Louis Stevenson. The first was Treasure Island, which I also enjoyed. However, this one is more Gothic Horror than Adventure, so I don’t feel it’s fair to compare the two.
As with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, this is a story about the horrible things that can happen when scientists attempt to mess with nature, but instead of playing around with life and death, Dr. Jekyll seeks to “better” himself by separating the good from the bad in human nature. The story is closer to Existentialism than Frankenstein, and it makes me wonder if Stevenson had been reading Kierkegaard or Nietzche. Regardless of where he got the idea for his story, he’s asking the question, “What is human nature?” My opinion is that his answer is that human beings are born into sin, and it is relatively easier for us to be evil than it is to be good. I don’t know if I agree, but I don’t agree with much of Victorian moralizing. However, I do see the question as interesting and relevant, especially as we gain more knowledge of the brain and its chemistry and how that affects behavior and thought.
No matter your beliefs, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is a short Classic worth reading.