BOOKMAS DAY 12: twelve classics I read in 2016

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The final day of BOOKMAS! I can’t believe that tomorrow is Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited! To wrap up BOOKMAS, I am going to talk about the twelve classics that I read this year. My goal at the beginning of the year was to read one classic a month, and I can’t believe that I actually did it! Comment below what your favourite classic is!

 

Persuasion – Jane Austen

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 breakup 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?

My first classic of the year. I enjoyed this book – it’s nice and quick and easy to follow. Although this seems to be most people’s least favourite Austen book, I think that it might actually be my favourite. The relationship between Wentworth and Anne and how it developed over the course of the book was a lot of fun to read about, and probably my favourite Austen romance.

 

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Don’t get me wrong, I did really enjoy Pride and Prejudice and I can see why everyone else loves it, but I don’t think it’s as amazing as everyone says it is. I found myself a little bit bored at times, and I found Darcy a little bit annoying. I even tried to watch the movie but I even found that one boring. I’m hoping that one day (when I get the time) I can pick it up again to give it another try.

 

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte

Orphaned into the household of her Aunt Reed at Gateshead and subject to the cruel regime at Lowood charity school, Jane Eyre nonetheless emerges unbroken in spirit and integrity. She takes up the post of governess at Thornfield, falls in love with Mr. Rochester, and discovers the impediment to their lawful marriage in a story that transcends melodrama to portray a woman’s passionate search for a wider and richer life than Victorian society traditionally allowed.

Despite this book being HUMONGOUS I really enjoyed most of it. In the beginning I was really intrigued and immediately grew a liking towards Jane and I was excited to see where she was leading to in the story. I liked the romance between Jane and Mr Rochester and how they were so different yet came together so easily and perfectly.

 

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

THE GREAT GATSBY, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s third book, stands as the supreme achievement of his career. This exemplary novel of the Jazz Age has been acclaimed by generations of readers. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan, of lavish parties on Long Island at a time when The New York Times noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession,” it is an exquisitely crafted tale of America in the 1920s.

This was the only classic that was actually a reread for me. I read it in year 11 (two years ago) for school english and I loved it then, but I love it even more now. Gatsby remains one of my favourite characters to read about, and I want a Gatsby! But what I think I love most about this story is how it’s told from the perspective of Nick who is such an interesting character in himself, yet barely talks about his own life.

 

Little Women – Louisa May Alcott

Little Women is the heartwarming story of the March family that has thrilled generations of readers. It is the story of four sisters–Jo, Meg, Amy and Beth– and of the courage, humor and ingenuity they display to survive poverty and the absence of their father during the Civil War.

This was such a cute read. I had heard about it so many times, and thanks to ‘FRIENDS’ I knew how the book was going to end. All the least, I still enjoyed it. I loved all the sisters and how different their personalities are and how different their stories were. This book made me laugh, cry, and feel all the feels!

 

Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll

The famous sequel to Alice in Wonderland. Alice finds herself yet again in a topsy-turvy world full of fascinating and funny characters, moving her way around a chess board world to try and get back home. Many of the earliest books, particularly those dating back to the 1900s and before, are now extremely scarce and increasingly expensive. Hesperides Press are republishing these classic works in affordable, high quality, modern editions, using the original text and artwork.

I have never been a massive fan of the Alice books, but I really wanted to read them anyway because they’re quick reads and seam like so much fun. I loved TtLG – I hadn’t been familiar with this one before but I found the story so entertaining and I loved reading about Alice. I really want to watch the movie that was released this year!

 

Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

It tells of a girl named Alice falling through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by peculiar, anthropomorphic creatures. The tale plays with logic, giving the story lasting popularity with adults as well as with children. It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre. Its narrative course and structure, characters and imagery have been enormously influential in both popular culture and literature, especially in the fantasy genre.

I’m surprised that I didn’t end up liking this one as much as I loved Through the Looking Glass. It was still a fun read, but I definitely prefer the first one I read maybe because I am more familiar with the original Alice in Wonderland.

 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum

Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?

Another fun and quick read. I have always loved the Wizard of Oz movie, but I haven’t seen it in years so I forgot most of the events that happened. One thing that I completely forgot about was the end when we discover that Oz doesn’t actually have any powers – I was actually shocked to discover this!

 

Carrie – Stephen King

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

At this point, I had no “proper” classics left and I didn’t want to go spending more money that I don’t have, so the best classic I had for this month was Carrie which is classified as a modern classic. I have seen both adaptions of the movie, and I’ve seen the newest one a million times because I love it that much, so I knew that I was going to love the book. It was fun, thrilling, and a little bit heartbreaking. This made me want to read more of King’s books.

 

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.

Another Austen book that I liked but didn’t love. Once again I found myself a bit confused with the story line, but I grew a liking towards the sisters and their respective men. There was drama which I always love and that’s what kept me intrigued in the story. I also watched the movie (with Hugh Grant) which wasn’t too bad either.

 

Emma – Jane Austen

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 protegee 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.

Another Austen book! This one was massive and I’m actually surprised that I finished it in the month because I originally planned to read it over two months. Similar to Pride and Prejudice, I enjoyed this book in the beginning but found myself a little bit bored as I passed half way (maybe because it’s so long).

 

Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta

For as long as Josephine Alibrandi can remember, it’s just been her, her mom, and her grandmother. Now it’s her final year at a wealthy Catholic high school. The nuns couldn’t be any stricter—but that doesn’t seem to stop all kinds of men from coming into her life.
Caught between the old-world values of her Italian grandmother, the nononsense wisdom of her mom, and the boys who continue to mystify her, Josephine is on the ride of her life. This will be the year she falls in love, the year she discovers the secrets of her family’s past—and the year she sets herself free.

My favourite out of all twelve classics – I just spent ten minutes looking at other cover editions that I could buy. This is a modern Australian classic and everyone usually reads it or watched the film in highschool, but my class never did. So I watched the film a few months ago (twice in a week) and I loved it, so I bought the book and it was just as amazing. I laughed and cried, and I have never related so much to a book or character ever!

 

And that’s it! Thanks for everyone who has stuck around for the last 12 days. It was hard work, but I had lots of fun! See you all soon!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

 

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