I used to be a big reader of classics. For a while, I had this obsession with getting through as many as I could and marking off that proverbial list. I kind of lost interest in that after a while, but now suddenly it’s been revived and I’ve been trying to get back into that mindset of reading classics.
So today I’m sharing with you a few of the ones I’m currently reading and a few that I’m hoping to get to throughout July and August. So without further ado, here they are.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
The other day I happened to come across a read-a-long for Les Mis and for some reason thought it was a good idea to join. I’d vaguely mentioned to a few friends last year that I hoped to read this in 2021 but I’d kind of given up on that idea as I couldn’t really find an edition I actually liked in terms of font size and so forth. Finding that a read-a-long was a nice little push to consider starting this. I decided to go with an audiobook and ebook on Scribd instead and that’s honestly been the best decision. I’ve been listening to it for about an hour and a half, I think, and I’m only 3% in so I’ll probably be here for a while. I don’t know if I’d say I’m enjoying it yet. My only experience with Les Mis is the musical, and I know that they are widely different but we still haven’t meant Fantine in a section named after her so we’ll see how this ends up going. On the other hand though, I’m not disliking it either. I’m interested to see how the story is going to come together. I’ll share some updates about this one as I go along.
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
Here’s another one I joined a read-a-long for! The other day I was really in the mood to try some more Dickens—I’ve read Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol and A Tale of Two Cities, so I popped over to Twitter to ask for some recommendations when my lovely friend, Helen, mentioned there was a read-a-long hosted by Kim from Expedition Through Pages going on of Little Dorrit. I thought I might as well jump in and I’ve been reading this the same way as Les Mis, as an ebook and audiobook duo on Scribd. I’m finding this one a little easier to get into, perhaps because I’ve read Dickens before and I haven’t read any Hugo. Either way, I’m five chapters into this one which is 8% through and I’m interested to keep going. I do want to mention that this is part of a bigger project put together by Kim and her mum that I hope to keep participating in.
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Hopefully, by the time this post goes up, I might have actually finished this one already. I ordered this one just a week or two ago despite having never really been that interested in it. I’ve seen it around a lot but never really heard anyone talk about it if that makes sense. However, I was getting one of the other classics further down this list when I saw this one pop up with the words ‘with an introduction by Carmen Maria Machado‘ on the cover and I was sold. I consider Machado to be one of my favourite authors so the fact that she enjoyed this book enough to write an introduction for it then I’m definitely willing to give it a try. I started yesterday morning and I’ve read the first 30 pages so I feel like it’s definitely possible that I could’ve finished it by now. Either way, I’m sure I’ll be talking about my thoughts and feelings about it at some point in the next little while.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
I would eventually like to do an entire post about the classics I’d like to reread, but for today I thought I would just mention this one. I know this is somewhat controversial, but this is my favourite Brontë novel. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jane Eyre (let’s not talk about Wuthering Heights) but I think this one has a quiet strength to it. That being said, it’s been quite a few years since I read this and I’ve now read Jane Eyre quite a few more times, including quite recently. I think it’s about time that I revisited this one and see how it compares to Jane Eyre at this stage in my life compared to how it did a few years ago. I don’t know why but this also just feels like a really great read for this time of year—it’s pretty cold (by Melbourne standards) at the moment so it feels like it would be a perfect time to just stay rugged up with some tea and this book. I’ll let you know if that turns out to be a good decision!
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
And finally for today’s post is The House of Mirth. I really have no idea what possessed me to pick this one up the other day other than that gorgeous cover. I’ve never read any Edith Wharton before and I’d never really been interested in doing so. I don’t feel like she’s really one of those classics authors that gets discussed a lot. What I mean by that is that you hear people talk about Austen, the Brontës, Dickens, Shakespeare and etc. but less so about authors like Wharton. The few people I have heard talk about her have said mostly good things so I’m interested in giving her, and this book, a chance. I know basically nothing about the actual story but I think that might end up being a good way to go into this one. As with all these others, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on this one once I’ve read it as well.
And there we are. What classics are on your list to read right now? Have you read any of these?