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

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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.

 

 

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea

Welcome to my first book review to be posted on my Alice Reads Classics blog! Honestly, I’m super excited to start this new chapter in my blogging journey by sharing my thoughts and opinions on classic books with you all. As I’m typing this, it is currently the last day of the summer holidays for me as I return to College tomorrow for the first time in eleven months. Scary but exciting times!

If you like my review, it would be amazing if you could click on the Goodreads link and “Like” it, doing this enables your Goodreads friends/followers to see my review come up on their news feed and promote my love of books with others. This also opens up more doors with publishers for reading and reviewing books because of the number of users that see my book reviews. Here’s the link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2113284220

Below is the quote that was in my edition of The Old Man and The Sea to describe what the story is about:

My thoughts!:

The Old Man and The Sea was so short but yet so bizarre and complex at the same time, managing to read this in one setting with minimal distraction on the last day of summer break was definitely some form of accomplishment. This short story of just under 100 pages long follows an old man who lives in the country of Cuba and his adventures with going out into the ocean and fishing in the Gulf Stream. There are two characters that play a leading role: The old man himself and a boy that is referred to as, “The Boy”. We as the reader, aren’t told very much about him regarding a name or in detail his background.

Two things for me proved to be annoying. The first was the repetition of the Old Man out at sea catching the fish, the descriptions were long and honestly weren’t really needed. I felt there should have been more the Old Man did out at sea then just try to catch fish and kill a shark. He also kept repeating out loud that he wished, “The Boy was here” seeing the same line repeated over and over felt super frustrating. The other thing which annoyed me is how much telling there was regarding the surroundings than showing. The descriptions were long, chunky and was not split up into parts. Rather just one long short story.

Overall, this was a story that I couldn’t fully connect with and so was left disappointed with the outcome of the story.

Star Rating: 3/5 Stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Have you read an Ernest Hemingway book? What did you think of Ernest’s writing style? Let me know in the comments section below!

As always, thanks so much for reading and supporting. See you all soon with a new post!

Alice.

Discussion: What Makes A Book A Classic?

Hello readers!

I’m so sorry for the lack of activity here over the last few days, I’m getting incredibly close to reaching 100 subscribers now so if you know anyone who likes reading books or has a passion for classics, then please recommend my blog to them. There are two options to subscribe: A valid WordPress account or an active email address. Your support means the world to me, thank you! ❤

Now, onto today’s post which will be my first discussion post here (cue major nerves) but its something that I honestly have to credit someone else for. Charlie AKA TheBookBoy on Instagram posted this a while back.

View this post on Instagram

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and published by the @foliosociety 😊 I was one of those rare people who didn't read this at school and only read it quite recently, but I absolutely loved it! It was heartbreaking and wonderful and everything I wanted it to be and more. What do you think makes a book a classic? I think it's quite difficult to define and would love to hear your thoughts 😊 #book #books #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #booknerd #bookaddict #booklover #bookish #bookblogger #goodreads #foliosociety #harperlee #tokillamockingbird #roses #flowers #vintage #bibliophile #bibliomania #nature #garden #igbooks #igreads #instabook #instabooks #instareads #reading #reader #bookworm #bookporn #gardening

A post shared by Charlie Edwards-Freshwater (@thebookboy) on

Pretty photo right? Charlie has over 5,000 followers on Instagram and honestly, he’s one of my favourite bookstagrammars so if you are on Instagram, you should stop by and give him a follow 😉 (Also, follow mine alicetiedthebookishknot where I have just over 1,100 followers, self promo guys).

Anyway, the point of this is the question that Charlie posted on his post which is this: What do you think makes a book a classic? A question that actually was really difficult for me to answer. There is a wide variety of answers on the post in response to the original question. Here is my response:

“I was 12 when I first read To Kill A Mockingbird and that feels like a very long time ago. I think what defines a classic for me is a story that sticks with you for weeks and months after you’ve read the final page. That lasting feeling.”

What I also after weeks of thought wanted to add was a story that breaks out of the traditional box. I love An Inspector Calls but for me, what stood out about it was the fact it was written as a play script instead of a novel. That really brought an edge to it since it was easier to get into the minds of the characters. That’s just my opinion.

But readers, I really want to hear your thoughts on this topic. Any classic books you’ve read that you feel is most definitely a classic? Any hidden classic gems that some of us may not realise are classics? Let’s start up a conversation about this, feel free to respond to anyone who comments but keep all things civil, my blog is designed to be a safe and welcoming place for those who want to discuss books and any bookish related thing.

Thanks so much for reading, new posts coming soon!

Alice.

How I Read Classics!- Some Handy Tips

Hello readers!

Hope you had a good and relaxing weekend wherever you are in the world. I am currently at 65 subscribers as I type this post and this blog has only been active for a few weeks so a big thank you to everyone who have subscribed and are following my classics journey! I really appreciate it ❤

Today’s post is about how I read classic books and the things that helped me when it came to reading and writing about them for GCSE coursework a few years ago. I am returning to study English Literature as one of the main subjects on my Access course in the autumn so some of the old things I used to do in school, I will be continuing with for College and hopefully University.

The book in this picture is An Inspector Calls by J.B Priestley and the particular edition is the Penguin Modern Classics one which comes with a couple of other plays in the book as well but I haven’t read them (I need to though) since I enjoyed An Inspector Calls when I read it for GCSE.

I will be sharing five tips on how to read and analyse classics, hope at least one of these tips help and don’t forget to share your own tips in the comments section of this post! So, let’s go!

1, Try and get an annotated edition of a classics book so that you get a feel for the layout on how the story and characters are analysed. Normally, the notes are either bullet-pointed or short paragraphs.

2, Write character factfiles for each character listing their full name, age, relation to the main character and their traits such as being a heavy smoker for example. You can then use these notes for comparing characters should that question come up on an exam paper. Style the factfiles like a card.

3, Use highlighters, different colours for different purposes. I use neon pink for example if a new character is mentioned and neon green for any plot twists or interesting conversations. Adding in quotes will get you extra marks in exams.

4, Talk about the book with other people such as students in your class or other book bloggers. Sharing opinions and helping each other with analysing shows that you are willing to discuss your views. Don’t plagiarize notes but do check to see if you are correct and if others agree.

5, I like writing what happens chapter by chapter in bullet points and then once I’ve finished with that, I pick out the events that stick out the most and underline them with a pencil so I know which parts to talk about my essay.

Hope these little tips help! Let me know what posts you would like to see here on my Classics blog. Don’t forget to follow me across all of my social medias:

Twitter- www.Twitter.com/MarriedToBooks3

Instagram- www.Instagram.com/alicetiedthebookishknot

Goodreads- www.Goodreads.com/Marriedtobooks44

Thanks so much for reading, see you all soon!

Alice.

The Liebster Award- I Was Nominated!

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Hello readers!

Today’s post is going to be slightly un-classics related but I was overjoyed to receive this award nomination: The Liebster Award for bloggers. I would like to thank Bear over at TravelBear92 on Twitter and her blog here: https://travelbear92.wixsite.com/travelbear for nominating me. Bear blogs about mental health, travel and self-care! This award is a way of discovering bloggers who have 200 or under subscribers and also as a get to know me more kind of post. For this nomination, I was set a task of answering eleven questions that were posted by Bear in her Liebster Award post so here are my answers to those questions!

What made you start blogging?

I started blogging for three reasons: To improve my written English, find others with similar interests to myself (books, mental health, music) and to keep on track with my writing projects and book challenge goals. I first read an article about blogging back in 2011 aged thirteen but at the time decided that I wanted to wait until I was older before I committed to a blog.

What have you found most helpful since starting your blog?

Hearing feedback from those who visit my blog either through the comments section in a blog post or through other social medias like Twitter and Instagram for example. Having a blog has also enabled me to create business connections with authors, agents and publishers which has opened up a lot of doors for me.

What inspires you everyday?

Waking up each morning and the first thing I see is a pile of books on my bedside table or if I wake up facing the side where my IKEA Billy Bookcases are. It reminds me that I love books and sharing my passions for them with other people.

If you could go back and tell your younger self one thing, what would it be?

I would tell myself not to be afraid of making mistakes on your first attempt at trying something new. Nobody’s perfect and trying desperately to be a perfectionist can hold you back and turn yourself into a person that simply doesn’t represent you for who you are.

What’s your biggest dream and do you think it will ever become reality?

My biggest dream is to get married to a book loving guy who writes stories and is supportive of what I do as a blogger. To be honest, I 100% believe that this won’t happen to me because I’m weird and awkward… 😛

When do you find time to blog & do you struggle?

For me, I find the time in the day or night that I feel most motivated to write and upload a blog post. It’s easier for me to type up a blog post on my mobile phone through the WordPress app than using a computer. Because I’m a mood reader and mood writer, I do struggle to feel the confidence of committing to blogging but I’ve always had self-esteem issues growing up.

How important is mental health to you and what is your experience of it?

I do believe that mental health is extremely important to me, my experiences of it was having my first panic attack at fourteen and being diagnosed with GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) and Depression which I self-manage and not take any meds for. As of right now, I’m slowly trying to write a book about it but right now, I hate my writing XD

Do you like yourself & do you think you have Self Love?

Short answer: No. I find myself to be too awkward and boring. I’ve tried various ways of self-love in the past such as having my make-up done in a department store but ultimately that made me feel worse.

What do you gain from blogging?

Friends, real people from all around the world who come together like one big family and discuss books and writing stories. It feel great to not be lonely when I chat to them on the internet. I also gain interest in books recommended by other bloggers. Might be blaming them once my pocket money runs out due to a ton of book buying…

What is your favourite blog post of yours so far and why?

The one where I talked about my Bookbarn experience from last Saturday (Saturday 22nd July). It was super fun to share a picture of my book haul and hear thoughts on the books I selected from other bloggers who were interested in them too. Since this blog is relatively new, I felt extremely welcome just by being open about the books I selected and why.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Australia! I have met online some really cool bookish friends and recently took part in a Twitter chat with The YA Room Melbourne based in Melbourne, Australia. The time difference of eight hours though was crazy plus it’s summer here and winter there. I fancy a change of pace from England plus to meet people like the author Fleur Ferris and my best bookie Aussie friend Brett and go to Lifeline Book Fest and all the writers festivals. AND HUG A KOALA AND FEED IT! Can’t you tell I’m just a tad bit excited just thinking about it? 😀

OK, that concludes the questions/answers part, now as part of the nomination post, I have to pass on this Liebster award nomination to eleven other bloggers who all have under 200 subscribers. I will be including their names and clickable links to their blogs as well as eleven questions that I will be asking them to answer for their posts! Bloggers, if you are nominated and have already done a Liebster post, then I’m not forcing you to do another one. So, here are the nominations I’m making!

Catherine (www.catherinechicotka.com)

Bethan May (www.bethanmaybooks.wordpress.com)

Brett (www.brettmichaelorr.wordpress.com)

Amy (www.goldenbooksgirl.wordpress.com)

Matt (www.mong82191.wordpress.com)

Squidbee (www.squidbeeblog.wordpress.com)

Monika (www.thenovicesapproach.wordpress.com)

Bicted (www.splashesintobooks.wordpress.com)

Ann (www.error828.wordpress.com)

Phantom of Literature (www.phantomofliterature24601.wordpress.com)

The Ceaseless Reader Writes (www.theceaselessreaderwrites.wordpress.com)

 

Here are the set of questions for you!:

1, Who/what inspired you to start blogging?

2, What have you learnt as a blogger?

3, If you ever got the chance to do a sponsored post on your blog, which brand/artist/company would that be with and why?

4, Do you listen to music when you blog and if you do, what do you listen to?

5, In your life so far, what has been your most memorable experience and why?

6, What is your favourite animal?

7, How often do you upload blog posts?

8, Do your close friends and family know you have a blog and if so, are they supportive?

9, On the scale of 1-10 (10 being extremely happy) how are you liking your blogging journey so far?

10, When applying for schools/colleges/universities/jobs, do you mention your blog during the application stage?

11, Which blogger do you look up to the most?

 

Nominated bloggers, please credit me for nominating you in your blog post should you choose to take part. 🙂

That’s all for this post, thanks so much for reading and have a great day/night wherever you are. ❤

Alice.

 

 

 

 

 

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