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

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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

Listening To Classics on LibriVox!

Hello readers!

So, what do you do when you really just have to read something? Like anything? A classic book? So many questions, so little time…

If you have a computer or mobile phone handy, you can access a website called LibriVox which is a volunteer-run website where you can sign up to volunteer and read chapters from classic books or a couple of poems from a poetry collection. The books must be published before 1924 in order to qualify for recording. There is so much choice on there from genres to authors to screenplays to different versions of well-loved classics like Little Women by Louisa May Alcott for example. I very recently signed-up to join but am currently waiting for a recording set and something to record on before I look for parts. One of my life ambitions is to get into radio and audiobook narration or acting along those lines. I was inspired to do this by my Great-Aunt (now sadly deceased) who was blind but loved it whenever I read things out-loud to her.

Today, I will be sharing with you the classics that I am currently listening to on LibriVox and my general thoughts so far. This is in US Public Domain so before you download anything and listen, please check Copyright laws in your own country before proceeding. Just a quick heads-up 🙂

Audiobook #1- The Mystery At Dark Cedars by Edith Lavell and recorded by Cari Shorrock

Link- https://librivox.org/the-mystery-at-dark-cedars-by-edith-lavell/

Length- 4 hours, 14 minutes long

This first book in a series follows two girls, best friends Mary Louise and Jane who like to solve mysteries. Both of them embark on a thrilling adventure after some dark twisty secrets emerge from a Hall close to where they live and threaten the world of one young girl. Cari’s voice is clear, easy to follow and understand with the suspense and mystery elements of the plot making my listening experience very enjoyable. I could be wrong but Cari is planning to keep recording the series so stay tuned for updates!

Audiobook #2- Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon and recorded by Elizabeth Klett

Link- https://librivox.org/lady-audleys-secret-by-mary-elizabeth-braddon/

Length- 14 hours, 16 minutes long

This standalone novel from the 1860s follows Lucy Graham who becomes Lady Audley and tries to hide away a dark secret from her family and husband that she has just married. I have a physical copy of the book that I will read at some point but for now, listening to Elizabeth’s narration which is spoken with a clear tone and easy to relax to. According to the LibriVox description, this novel contains attempted murder and seduction. How interesting…

Finally,

Audiobook #3- How To Write A Novel by Anonymous and recorded by Brett W. Downey

Link- https://librivox.org/how-to-write-a-novel-by-anonymous/

Length- 2 hours, 40 minutes long

This book is simply a mystery to me but it follows a guide about how to write a novel. Obviously this was written over 100 years ago so some of the facts shared are most likely going to be dated but for length and just general interest in creative writing, the chapters break up into How to Begin and How Authors Work for example.

I have the LibriVox app on my mobile phone which I use to listen to audiobooks on the go and it does come with an option to speed up or slow down the narration as well as skipping to the next part or going back to a previous one. There is honestly something for everyone to enjoy and new projects are being completed all the time.

Thanks so much for reading, I will let you guys know my full thoughts on my audiobook LibriVox experiences. Stay tuned for some new posts to come soon!

Alice.

Classic Book Editions I Crave!

Readers, prepare for pictures of pretty books to head your way…

Hello all, it’s Alice from Alice Reads Classics and today’s post is about the editions of classic books that I pretty much have my eyes on and would love to add to my growing book collection! Please note that I don’t own the images that will be used in this post but original sources will be credited! After that quick disclaimer, let’s actually look at the books shall we? 😀

1, Beauty and the Beast

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Taken from: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beauty-Beast-Gabrielle-Suzanna-Barbot-Villenueve/dp/0062456210
According to the Amazon description, this comes with a fold-out map and due to my love of Geography, I love maps and if it is bookish related, I love them even more! I have physically held a copy of this edition before and even though it was heavy, I knew the front cover design really caught my eye. I haven’t seen the new live-action Beauty and the Beast film but I do want to see it at some point.

2, The Story of King Arthur and His Knights

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This image clip is from the book’s about me page on Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Arthur-Knights-Leatherbound-Childrens-Classics/dp/1435162110/ref=pd_sim_14_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=CERTQEDZ6VSDYSK861H0 I used to have a VERY NAFF EDITION of Arthurian Legends but donated it years ago because it just didn’t look very pretty on my shelves. This edition however is purple and gold and can attempt to blend into my bedroom walls which are painted purple.

3, Anne of Green Gables

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Taken from: https://riflepaperco.com/anne-of-green-gables-montgomery/
Blue is my all-time favourite colour and love how the colours come together nicely. It’s a gorgeous design but sadly this is only available in the US and I live in the UK *sobs* but Anne of Green Gables is one of my favourite children’s classics which I do have a physical copy of but it isn’t as nice as this one.

4, The Secret Garden

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Taken from: https://wordery.com/the-secret-garden-frances-hodgson-burnett-
I had a mass market paperback of The Secret Garden and my childhood was spent constantly reading and re-reading it and watching the film on repeat much to the annoyance of my family who kept witnessing the same scenes over and over again! I no longer have any editions of it but I love seeing pictures of keys on book covers so this one caught my eye.

5, The Green Fairy Book

green fairy book
Taken from: Bing Image search
I started to look for Folio Society editions during my birthday holiday in Hay-On-Wye and one of the ones I spotted and literally couldn’t take my eyes off was this one. I haven’t heard of the fairy books before and Green isn’t even my favourite colour but I hope to read this one day since I did enjoy reading and writing fairy stories in my childhood.

Thanks so much for reading, let me know if you have any of these editions that I’ve mentioned in this post. Have a great day, see you all soon!

Alice.

 

 

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