As I’m sure you’ve all figured out, I’ve been in a blogging rut. I’m hardly reading, which doesn’t translate well to blogging. I’m trying to get my mojo back and it currently is not working.
So I’m going back to basics. Lizzy over at lizzyreadsbooks did this tag a few days ago, and I loved it, so I’m going to do it too 🙂
An overhyped classic you didn’t really like
Emma, Jane Austen
I expected to love this book, because I love Clueless. However, I just found everything about it difficult to get through. There was no redemption for Emma’s shallow vanity, to the point that I couldn’t finish it. Also, I’m with Lizzy on this as well: Not a Dickens fan. I don’t get the hype.
Favorite time period to read about
Hm, I don’t really know. My favorite time period is more contemporary, which doesn’t fit with this classics theme. But I guess with classics it’d have to be the 19th century? That’s when Sherlock Holmes was, that when Poe’s stories took place, that’s when Jane Austen was. Those classics are great. There’s also, of course, the 17th century, which I love, that includes Shakespeare. Hmmmm…
Favorite Fairy Tale
This is so hard! How could I possibly choose? I love fairy tales so much. When I was growing up, I love-love-loved Rumpelstiltskin. I just found it so creative. As I got older, I really started gravitating toward the classic Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty-type tales. I think, ultimately, my favorite is Sleeping Beauty, as found in Iona and Peter Opie’s Classic Fairy Tales. That one has really inspired me over the years – to the point of being the basis for my honors thesis in college.
The most embarrassing classic you’ve never read
Yikes. I have a bunch. I had a period of time where I tried REALLY hard to buck “English Major” stereotypes so I didn’t read any classics. Until last year, I’d have said it was To Kill a Mockingbird. But I’ve read that now! (And loved it so much). So I think, now, when we talk about the Classic literature novels that you read in high school or college that everyone knows about, it would have to be Jane Eyre. I’ve never read any Bronte sister novel, in fact. Whoops.
Top 5 Classics you’d like to read
So there are a bunch of classics I’ve never read, as I just stated. Because of that. I tried to make sure multiple types of classics were on this little list:
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte. Hamlet, William Shakespeare.The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, JRR Tolkein. And, finally, I want to read any of Hemingway’s books. He’s a classic American author that I’ve just never read and I know I need to.
Favorite modern book series based on a Classic
It’s gotta be Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. With the newest series in that world just released yesterday, it’s now up to 11 books that bring the ancient, classic greek myths to life. And they’re amazing. They perfectly capture the modern voice of teens and young kids and are super engaging.
Favorite movie/tv series adaptation of a Classic
So, I mentioned Clueless in an earlier answer, and that’s a great choice, but I don’t know if it’s my favorite. Lizzy chose BBC’s current Sherlock series, which is an AWESOME choice. That series is so wonderfully done. I’ve discussed this subject on the blog before – a long time ago – so I went back and looked at that list. On it I think are probably my 3 favorite adaptations of Classics: Disney’s Alice in Wonderland animated movie, Baz Luhrman’s Romero + Juliet (hi, Leo), and Disney’s recent The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe movie. All three of those adaptations make me happy each time I see them,so they win!
Worst Classic to movie adaptation
I mean, can I say Harry Potter is a “Classic” and rail against the 5th and 6th movies for a minute? No? Okay, fine. I’ve got two options here. One is Peter Jackson’s recent The Hobbit trilogy. I couldn’t even make it through the first movie because of all of the changes and additions they made to what is in reality a perfect fantasy novel. There’s no need for that book to be a trilogy of movies! The second is Baz Luhrman’s recent adaptation of The Great Gatsby. And this one pains me, because I think Leo DiCaprio was a PERFECT Gatsby option. But I just couldn’t finish this one, either. The music was too much, sure, but that wasn’t the worst part. I was done with this movie the second they opened it up with Nick (played by Toby Maguire) in a rehabilitation/therapy scene? No, just no.
Favorite edition you’d like to collect more Classics from
I love the Penguin Clothbound Classics. Currently, I own Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Homer’s The Odyssey, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Books, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. They’re amazing.
An under-hyped Classic you’d recommend to everyone
Well, I don’t really know if others think this is under-hyped, but I think it is: Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. That book was one of the first adventure books I really remember reading that wasn’t a “save the world” adventure. It was a freaking bet. Phileas Fogg literally traveled around the world just to say to his rich friends, “I told you so.” It’s fantastic. Is it outdated in the way it portrays certain peoples? Yes, but that’s part of the beauty of Classics – they still work in every age but they can show you the ways in which our society has transformed, for better or for worse.
What a list! What are you favorite/least favorite Classics?