Those of you who follow me here on Bookish Temptations since when I first started posting, already know that I have a soft spot for classic novels. In fact, some of the shelves on my library are dedicated to them.
Not all classics are the same, though, that’s for sure. It’s one thing when you read Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, and quite another when you read, for example, Joseph Conrad or James Joyce (ugh!! Definitely not one of my favorites). Some of the classic novels I’ve read were very, very hard to get into, some were easier, but all in all I’ve always believed that classics in general can give us a lot in terms of insight, and they provide a lot of food for thought to ponder upon.
As I have probably mentioned before, I have always been an avid reader. My mom was a great influence in that way, though she generally ran the way of Harlequins, as most of the women in my extended family. I read every chapter book I could get my hands on, including classics like Charlotte’s Web, Anne of Green Gables, Little House on the Prairie, any Judy Blume…even Nancy Drew and TheHardy Boys. (No, I’m not THAT old. My grandmother kept the volumes my mom and aunts read when they were younger.) All of these books impacted me in one way or another…but it wasn’t until I was older and able to comprehend more of what I was reading did I start compiling books that would keep me coming back over and over throughout the years.
Beautiful, clever, rich – and single – Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others. But when she ignores the warnings of her good friend Mr Knightley and attempts to arrange a suitable match for her protegé Harriet Smith, her carefully laid plans soon unravel and have consequences that she never expected. With its imperfect but charming heroine and its witty and subtle exploration of relationships, Emma is often seen as Jane Austen’s most flawless work.
Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. This time around I picked Emma by Jane Austen. I confess this one isn’t among my absolute favorite Jane Austen’s novels, which feature Persuasion and Sense and Sensibility at the very top, but it’s worth the read nonetheless.
“What have you been judging from?…Dearest Miss Morland, what ideas have you been admitting?”
During an eventful season at Bath, young, naive Catherine Morland experiences fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who introduces Catherine to the joys of Gothic romances, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father’s house, Northanger Abbey. There, influenced by novels of horror and intrigue, Catherine comes to imagine terrible crimes committed by General Tilney, risking the loss of Henry’s affection, and has to learn the difference between fiction and reality, false friends and true. With its broad comedy and irrepressible heroine, Northanger Abbey is the most youthful and optimistic of Jane Austen’s works.
Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. This time I chose “Northanger Abbey” by Jane Austen. I like this book for several reasons and despite it not being “Pride and Prejudice” or “Persuasion” it has so many things to love and learn from.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read.
A novel of intense power and intrigue, Jane Eyre has dazzled generations of readers with its depiction of a woman’s quest for freedom. This updated edition features a new introduction discussing the novel’s political and magical dimensions. Having grown up an orphan in the home of her cruel aunt and at a harsh charity school, Jane Eyre becomes an independent and spirited survivor-qualities that serve her well as governess at Thornfield Hall. But when she finds love with her sardonic employer, Rochester, the discovery of his terrible secret forces her to make a choice. Should she stay with him whatever the consequences or follow her convictions, even if it means leaving her beloved?
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy. The break up produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
Welcome back to the classic novel recommendation of the month. As the avid reader of Jane Austen’s novels that I am, this time I wanted to recommend “Persuasion”. I have to say that not only is this my favorite among Austen’s books, but it’s also one of my best-loved classics ever.
The whole premise behind the novel is the engagement between Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth, announced eight years before and broken off by Anne after she yielded to Lady Russell’s opinion about it being an imprudent and mismatched one. Wentworth is considered an unsuitable man for a woman who holds a position in society like that of Anne’s. This event puts the story into gear and gives rise to a lot of questions about the power of persuasion and the sort of actions and feelings that are the direct results of it.