Reading the classics is something that I’ve always wanted to do but I didn’t know where to start. I didn’t feel smart enough and I wasn’t really sure I’d even enjoy them.
That was until I decided to bite the bullet and give the classics a try.
Back in 2021, I decided to start reading one classic book per year. I actually didn’t end up sticking to that as I enjoyed them so much that I read much more than just the one.
I know that it can be intimidating to start reading the classics so I wanted to share a few little tips that helped me.
How to read and enjoy the classics
1. Read slowly. There’s no rush to finish the books. By reading slower, you are able to fully take in all the information and parts of the story.
2. Start with children’s classics. These are often easier to read and will help you get used to the language used in more classic books.
3. Listen to the audiobook while you read. Sometimes my issue with classic books is that I have no idea how to pronounce some of the words. By listening to an audiobook as I read, I feel like I am able to process the story a lot easier.
There are so many incredible classics out there that I haven’t read yet, but here are the classic books that I have enjoyed the most and think that you will enjoy too.
1. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. This is my favourite book of all time. It’s cosy, whimsical, and makes me appreciate all the little things in life. This is one of the first classics I read and I didn’t find the language too difficult to understand.
2. The Call of the Wild by Jack London. I read this book after watching the film that was released in 2020. The film was absolutely beautiful so I knew that I had to try to read the book. It was a pretty enjoyable read but I do wish that I listened to the audiobook alongside reading it as some of the wording was a little tricky which meant it took me a while to read.
“The year is 1793 and Herbert Powyss is set on making his name as a scientist. Determined to study the effects of prolonged solitude on another human being, he advertises for someone willing to live in his cellar for seven years in return for a generous financial reward. The only man to apply is John Warlow, a semi-literate farm labourer with a wife and six children to support. Cut off from nature, Warlow soon begins losing his grip on sanity while above ground, Powyss rapidly becomes obsessed with Warlow’s wife, Hannah.
The experiment, a classic Enlightenment exercise gone more than a little mad, will have unforeseen consequences for all included. In this seductive tale of self-delusion and obsession, Alix Nathan has created an utterly transporting historical novel which is both elegant and unforgettably sinister.”
I had this book on my Amazon wishlist for months and when I spotted it on a shelf at my local library, I knew I had to grab it.
Autumn is by far my favourite season of the year. It’s a time to be filled with blankets, hot chocolates, and our favourite books.
Reading is my all-time favourite Autumn activity. Nothing can beat reading under a blanket on a windy day.
If you’re looking to add some books to your tbr piles for Autumn, then here are a few of my recommendations.
1. If Cats Disappeared from the World by Genki Kawamura. How do you decide what makes life worth living? This book follows the story of a man who only has months left to live. He isn’t ready to die so when the devil appears and offers him a deal, he has to decide how far he will go in order to live.
2. The Haunting of Aveline Jones by Phil Hickes. A middle-grade paranormal mystery is perfect for Autumn. This book follows Aveline Jones who finds a spooky, old book that once belonged to Primrose Penberthy who mysteriously vanished. Aveline decides to investigate Primrose’s disappearance.
3. Agatha by Anne cathrine Bomann. This book is a pretty short, fast-paced read. It’s set in 1940s Paris and follows the story of a psychiatrist who is counting his days until retirement. That is until Agatha visits him and makes him reconsider everything.
“Snow and Rose didn’t know they were in a fairy tale. People never do….
Once, they lived in a big house with spectacular gardens and an army of servants.
Once, they had a father and mother who loved them more than the sun and moon.
But that was before their father disappeared into the woods and their mother disappeared into sorrow.
This is the story of two sisters and the enchanted woods that have been waiting for them to break a set of terrible spells.”
Snow and Rose is an endearing retelling of the Grimms’ “Snow White and Rose Red”. It focuses on the theme of family which feels like a good choice considering this is middle grade fiction.
“Christopher and Hannah are a happily married surgeon and nurse with picture-perfect lives. All that’s missing is a child. When Janie, an abandoned six-year-old, turns up at their hospital, Christopher forms an instant connection with her, and he convinces Hannah they should take her home as their own.
But Janie is no ordinary child, and her damaged psyche proves to be more than her new parents were expecting. Janie is fiercely devoted to Christopher, but she acts out in increasingly disturbing ways, directing all her rage at Hannah. Unable to bond with Janie, Hannah is drowning under the pressure, and Christopher refuses to see Janie’s true nature.”
As I was reading this book, I kept notes on my phone for this review because I just have so many feelings and thoughts. A few were good thoughts, but mostly it was just things that frustrated me.
In 2019, poet-artist Gommie created a project where he walked around the coast of England and Wales in 365 days with nothing but a tent, some basic supplies and some pens.
He wrote poems and sketched them in his Moleskine diary to share the stories and experiences based on conversations with locals.
Gommie did all this in the search for hope during increasingly hard times.
I was lucky enough to recieve an advance readers copy of this book.
I Am Ill With Hope is a beautiful book that’s full of poems, illustrations and art that really helps you feel connected to the people that Gommie meets along his travels. Each page feels like you get to really experience other people’s lives.
“Deep beneath the sea, off the cold Irish coast, Gaia is a young mermaid who dreams of freedom from her controlling father. On her first swim to the surface, she is drawn towards a human boy. She longs to join his carefree world, but how much will she have to sacrifice? What will it take for the little mermaid to find her voice? Hans Christian Andersen’s original fairy tale is reimagined through a searing feminist lens, with the stunning, scalpel-sharp writing and world building that has won Louise her legions of devoted fans. A book with the darkest of undercurrents, full of rage and rallying cries: storytelling at its most spellbinding.”
I’m going to start this review off by telling you the one thing that made me drop everything to read this book. The Surface Breaks is a feminist retelling of The Little Mermaid. I repeat A FEMINIST RETELLING OF THE LITTLE MERMAID!
We probably all know the story of Ariel who is a sweet little mermaid who trades her voice for human legs. Well, forget about all of that because this retelling is so much darker and filled with patriarchy. Mermaids are expected to look pretty, be quiet and live just for men’s pleasure. However, our main character, Gaia has had enough and she tries to escape from this life.
I completely fell in love with Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. You’ve probably read the books, watched a film adaptation or watched the Netflix series, Anne with an E before. If not, you will probably have heard of Anne of Green Gables before. It’s a classic!
The whole series teaches us some inspiring life lessons that maybe we have already heard but never thought much about, or perhaps we have just never considered before. Anne of Green Gables is full of insightful life lessons and I thought it would be nice to share some of them.
Whenever I think about how most people don’t make use of their local library it makes me so sad. A place full of free books, why wouldn’t you love that?!
Since libraries are such an important part of life, I figured I’d share 5 reasons why you should be making the most of your local library.