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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I’m Related To A Famous Classics Writer?!?!

October 15th 2017- I’ve been debating for a while now about whether or not to write and post this up on my classics blog, not really sure what other people’s reactions are going to be like but you know what, I live by the motto YOLO (You Only Live Once) so here is the post that the title pretty much grabs your attention.

But yeah, the title itself is true, very very true. I am a relation to a Scottish classics writer who went on to influence one of the biggest names in literature. I am talking about the Scottish writer Tobias Smollett.

I am descended from one of Tobias Smollett’s siblings so that makes me a great niece but I don’t know how many greats, probably over 30 XD 

Anyway, some facts about Tobias that I think you guys should know. He was born in 1721 in Scotland and was a surgeon in the Navy. He married a Jamaican heiress called Anne and together had a daughter Elizabeth who sadly died aged 15. His books include: The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Travels Through France and Italy and what I personally believe to be his best-known work: The Expedition of Humphry Clinker which was published the year he died (1771) He was 50 at time of death and is buried in Italy.

I was nine years old when I first found this out but only very recently have I actually wanted to know more about my ancestor. He did go to prison (naughty boy) and is also mentioned in a number of other classic novels of the 18th and 19th centuries including George Eliot’s Middlemarch, W.M Thackeray’s Vanity Fair and Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield. 

Tobias wrote mainly satire which I have to confess is something I’ve never thought about trying to write but maybe sometime in the future? Who knows.

Charles Dickens in particular really loved Tobias’s books and said his writing really influenced his own books, most notably David Copperfield. 

A spooky thing I found out yesterday while I was talking to my boyfriend about Tobias was that his Humphry Clinker book is written in the form of letters and most of my stories I have started writing have been in letter form. Up until yesterday, I never knew that was how Tobias wrote, the similarities regarding the letters are there :O 

I’ve added going to see his resting place in Italy to my bucket list, I’m not sure Tobias would like my writing to be perfectly honest but I do think he would be encouraged to hear someone related to him also writing poetry and stories.

That’s all for this storytime post, most of Tobias’s books are available to purchase for free on Amazon Kindle. Have you read any books by him? I’d love to know!

Thanks so much for reading, to round off this blog post, I’ll leave a picture of his portrait so you can see what he looked like.

Alice.

 

September Classics Reading Wrap-Up

Hello readers! I know that September finished a while back (now it’s 5th October) but I’m just about to finish my 5th week back at College for the first time in 11 months and to sum up how my experiences are going with that so far, errrr, potential 50,000 word novel? XD

In the month of September, I managed to read 3 classic books which I gave them all roughly 3 stars and felt the same about all of them; they were OK, not outstanding reads but bearable.

To kick off things, I started with The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway and after my Mum read my review on the book, she tried to sit me down and have a chat about what the book was really about it. To be honest, since it wasn’t really my cup of tea, I can’t even remember what happens or who the characters are. By the way, thanks for the support on my review post for it, one of my most liked blog posts to date.

Then I moved on to the other 2 books in the stack: Peter Pan and Liza of Lambeth, having different experiences with each of them. Reviews for both of these books are posted on my Goodreads and hopefully will be up on my blog soon, I need to take photos of the relevant editions I have in case you are interested in seeing them and want to purchase them for yourselves. Both books were quick reads but again, my overall opinions are very mixed, Peter Pan wasn’t quite the book I was hoping for and the ending to Liza of Lambeth was quite unexpected for me as a reader.

I am pleased though that I was able to manage reading more than one classic and trying to balance out coursework and other personal matters such as spending time with my boyfriend.

Let me know if you read any classics in September, how was your reading experiences?

See you all soon with a new post!

Alice. 

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.

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.

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