Book Review: A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Hello readers! I’m Alice from Alice Reads Classics, welcome back to my blog. Today’s post is going to be a book review of A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. This was a classic that I read after purchasing a free Kindle copy and while on a long bus trip, I really wanted something to keep me occupied during the travels.

Set in France, the main character Doctor Manette is released from prison and travels back to England to see his daughter. At the same time, two men called Charles and Sydney both men of class love the same girl called Lucie Manette. Dividing time between London and Paris, the setting is during the Reign of Terror, a time of much bloodshed and violence. Described as a ‘drama with personal tragedy’, it promised to be both beautiful and heartbreaking.

There is a strong trigger warning here for violence. Therefore, if you plan to read this book before bedtime, then be aware that it might be a little unsettling…

My favourite part of the novel was the last few chapters. They were full of thrills, action and a little bit of violence thrown in. It really helped to keep me on the edge of my seat (or in this case, bus seat!) and passed the time. Due to the length of the novel, there were times I felt bored and moments of info-dumping didn’t lighten my mood. The dialogue however I loved, giving me some character connection that I was hoping for.

I did give A Tale Of Two Cities three stars. I am undecided if I do want to pick this book up again in the future. For now, I’m happy that I gave the writing a chance!

Have you read A Tale Of Two Cities? Did you like the French setting? I’d love to know!

Alice x

Book Review: Beowulf by Anonymous

Hello readers! It’s Alice here from Alice Reads Classics. Today’s post is going to be a book review for the poem Beowulf written by anonymous. Now, when I heard firstly about the author’s identity being unknown, I had visions of me walking around an old warehouse with a detective outfit on and searching through boxes and shelves for clues. Yeah, I have read too much Nancy Drew XD

Beowulf was written sometime in the 800-1000AD and is described as an ‘epic poem’ by researchers. For this work to survive for hundreds of years, even after fire damage is incredible within itself. Set in Scandinavia, it uses verse to describe various battles and the upbringing of the Geatish hero. It involves a lot of warfare, dragons and kings fighting to the death.

I read the free Kindle edition off of Amazon Kindle. Which I was soon to learn was not the best decision to make. Although I loved the history behind the poem, I struggled immensely with the use of repetition. I wished that more varied language was used to add power and emotion to the verses. The pacing also was tricky to follow. There were moments where I enjoyed how fast it was moving, but others that physically made me have to go back and re-read parts in case I missed something important.

In the end, I rated Beowulf two stars and have no current plans to re-read it anytime soon.

Have you read Beowulf? What were your thoughts on this ‘epic poem’?

Alice x

Revamping Alice Reads Classics

It’s been a while…

A very, long time…

It’s now March 2019 and after reading through my old posts here earlier, I really want to kickstart this blog again. Me being me, I’m very nervous since last year, I struggled to promote this blog due to the content (only reading+posting about classics) and therefore, I lost the passion to continue uploading here.

I really want to return. I have read some classics since I last posted (Moby Dick, A Tale Of Two Cities, Beowulf) and have so many more on my TBR. I’m still avidly collecting the Penguin green crime classics and earlier today, I got an offer accepted for two of them!

I am now twenty years old (nearly twenty-one) and reading/writing more than ever. I still love books and as my main blogging handle displays (aka Married To Books), I think my life love has truly been decided!

Regarding the posts, I hope to upload reviews, hauls, discussion posts. All the old classics, editions purchased etc. That’s if, I can try to take this blog off. I really need your help!

If you know anyone close to you who loves reading classics, loves books, loves reading blogs or someone who ticks all of those boxes, then share this blog link with them. My main aim is to bring the past back to the present, but with a no-nonsense modern approach. I am someone who actively encourages discussion across my Goodreads and my blogs. I love to talk to readers and authors!

Thank you to those who have stuck by this blog, even though it went dead for over a year. My social media accounts are still active with Twitter being MarriedToBooks3 and Instagram being alicetiedthebookishknot.

I hope that you all have a lovely weekend!

Alice x

Owner and creator of Alice Reads Classics

My August Classics TBR! 

It’s the first of August today! I don’t know about you but I feel that this year has gone by soooooooo quickly, one minute it was my birthday now it’s just over a month till I start my new course at FE College! Obviously, at the start of every month, a lot of book bloggers and readers like to grab some books together and call it their TBR list. That’s what I’ve done with these classic book selections today.

I was really lucky at taking a photo of the books altogether stacked on my hand because it started raining a few hours ago which could have been disastrous had I left taking an outdoors photo until the afternoon so have some sunshine.

For my August TBR, I’ve gone with six books. I do have other books to read for publishers that aren’t classics (I read practically anything) so I keep everything else separate from this blog. The lengths of all of these range from 90 pages up to 250 pages. Delighted that four Penguin books are on this list with four out of the six books also came from my birthday bash in Hay-On-Wye last month. So, the six books are:

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan.

As You Like It by William Shakespeare.

The Darling Buds of May by H.E Bates.

Cider With Rosie by Laurie Lee.

Peter Pan by J.M Barrie.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote.

I have a thriller, a play, a book from the series I grew up watching with my parents, a book I’ve talked about previously on this blog, a book which ended up becoming one of my favourite Disney films and a book which inspired the film starring Audrey Hepburn. Overall, a real mix of genres and writing styles.

My reviews for these books will be posted here on this blog as well as my Goodreads where you can join over 2,500 people that currently follow my book reviews! I only write spoiler-free reviews.

Thanks so much for reading this quick TBR post, let me know what classics are on your August TBR list. Which book off of my TBR are you most excited to see a review for? Let me know in the comments section of this post!


Visit To Bookbarn: A Mostly Penguins Book Haul

Just when you thought Alice bought too many books from her experiences in Hay the previous week for her 19th birthday, along come six new purchases! *faints* Believe me, book buying bans never work. What appeals to me about Penguins is that a few I found today, I honestly have no idea what the plotline is about or other people’s thoughts on them. So, I’m feeling excited and nervous to read them. So, let’s get started and explain why I picked up these books:

First is Flowers In The Attic by Virginia Andrews. This review (when I’ve read it) most likely will be posted on my other blog (Married To Books Reviews and Blog) because this isn’t a classics or a Penguin book. After no luck finding it in Hay, my Mum found a copy just as I was about to leave Bookbarn and pay for the stack of books I already had on my hand. All I know about the book is that it involves four children who live alone in an attic after their father dies and their mother keeps them in the attic after promising them an inheritance. I’ve heard very mixed reviews on this book so I plan to tread carefully with reading it.

Next is Penguin book number 1344, Where Angels Fear To Tread by E.M Forster. At the time of writing this post, I’m literally about to start reading A Room With A View written by the same author. My Mum said that she studied this book back when she was at sixth form but I have zero idea what it is about.

I also found my first ever Penguin Green! It’s number 2321, The Merry Hippo by Elspeth Huxley. All I know from just flicking through the book is that the location where this is set is in Africa and obviously someone dies. But I don’t know who 😛

(Internal commentary by Alice- Must read more on the book before I blog about it).

Moving on…

I acquired Men At Arms by Evelyn Waugh. This is the first book in a trilogy about a guy called Guy (You read that right) who goes to war under the Royal Corps of Halberdiers. Evelyn also wrote Brideshead Revisited which currently I haven’t read. Let me know if I should read it!

Book five is volume one of short stories by F.Scott Fitzgerald who wrote The Great Gatsby called The Diamond As Big As The Ritz. I don’t know about you readers but I absolutely love reading short stories! I did purchase in Hay some other short story collections but this one caught my we immediately.

The final book in this haul is Around The World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne which I read aged nine. I also have watched the film version with Pierce Brosnan in. Thanks to my Dad who found this lovely edition for me since I used to own a copy of this book but it was not the best condition so decided to donate it, now I have a copy again!

That concludes my book haul! All of these books were purchased at Bookbarn International which is based in SW England and is England’s largest used Book Warehouse. I started buying and reading books there aged five and now at nineteen, I’m still finding a stack of books each time even though I have no shelf space to store them all on. I love the range of Penguins that they have scattered around. Definitely worth a visit!

That’s it for this post, it was a long one but thanks so much for sticking by. Don’t forgot to like, comment and subscribe. See you all soon with a new post!


Top 5: Classic Books Purchased In Hay-On-Wye I’m Most Excited For!

Good evening all! I hope the thunderstorms didn’t keep you up all night, I certainly woke up with a start a few times. Today’s post is a quick one and it involves some books that I purchased last week from the land of books that it is Hay-On-Wye in Wales. This is a stack of five out of the forty plus books I purchased over two days that spoke to me the most for lots of reasons. Let’s get started!

First on the stack is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. For me, this has been on my TBR for months and attempts to try and purchase it in the first had failed. When I did find a copy, I was thrilled. This is a Sci-Fi Dystopian read which the back of my copy claims is, “The greatest novel of the future ever written.” Let’s wait and see shall we?

Second is Laurie Lee’s Cider With Rosie. My Dad actually studied this for English at school! I’ve heard lots of good things about the book but recently tried watching an adaption of it which myself and my parents found disappointing. Hoping that the book is a hundred times better.

Third is The Darling Buds of May by HE Bates. I have watched the TV Series on repeat for many years now and honestly, it’s one of the many old shows that I grew up on. Other favourites include: Dad’s Army, Faulty Towers and Porridge. The length of the book is only around 150 pages long which I wasn’t expecting.

Fourth is The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger. This book came to my attention after I saw it on multiple lists created by other Goodreads users such as ‘Books you must read before turning 40’ or ‘Books you must read before you die.’ Drastic title I know. But, my copy is in really good condition and the cover design was the one I was looking for.

And finally, Stella Gibbons’ novel Cold Comfort Farm. Years ago, I sat down one Saturday night with my family to watch the film adaption of it but now, I’ve completely forgotten what the novel is about! My parents were pleased with this choice so it gives me confidence that I will enjoy this!

That’s all for my top 5. Any surprise picks there? Have you read any of the books mentioned? Let’s discuss!

Thanks so much for reading, have a great day/night wherever you are in the world!

Alice x

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