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.

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.

Story Time: Reading Jane Austen’s Emma at Age 5

Welcome to the first of hopefully many story time posts, these posts will reveal my first taste into reading classics and how I discovered them. So for the first ever story time, I will be revealing not my reading claim to fame but something that surprised everyone.

You see, I don’t remember a lot of my younger years. Not a lot of people do. But there is one bookish related memory that sticks out in my mind and that was when my Mum found me reading Emma by Jane Austen in the linen cupboard at the age of just five.

I remember being particularly cold since it was around late autumn time but it was a weekend since both of my parents were at home and I fancied hiding away somewhere small and cosy with my teddies (yes guys, I love collecting teddy bears, cue major cringe) and I had one in the cupboard with me but somehow, little five year old me decided to grab a book.

Growing up in a book loving household, there were literally hundreds of books around (still is) but somehow my little hand grabbed the copy of Emma that my Mum had casually left lying around and off I disappeared.

My eyes lit up at all of the pages, I was used to picture books but had started reading longer fiction at age four and the ‘claim to fame’ telephone directory aged two reading out all of the numbers without hesitation. I still look at the photos from that sometimes, good times.

But after a while, I heard footsteps and suddenly, my Mum opens the linen cupboard door and spots me reading Emma. Of course, she was totally surprised but helped me out of the cupboard to let me know that there was a snack waiting for me downstairs.

I don’t remember anything else from that day but that moment sparked off a love of reading and creating imagery worlds when I started writing my own stories.

Readers, what is your first memory of reading a classic book? It doesn’t have to be a Jane Austen one. Thanks so much for reading, have a great day and see you all soon with a new post!

Alice.

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