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.

 

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

anne-of-green-gables-cover-02
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.

 

 

Favourite Videos That Talk About Classics!

Hello readers!

I am just one subscriber away from reaching one hundred here, oh my gosh. I started back at College last week and have been extremely busy with work and also, I fell unwell again with a heavy cold which sadly prevented me from attending one day of lessons last week because I felt terrible. Today’s post is going to be sharing just some simple YouTube videos with you that I have watched and talk about classic books. I don’t know about you but YouTube is my bookie addiction as well as fun to subscribe to channels and watch fun content. I will be including all of the links as well as titles for the videos and just a quick statement about what each video is actually about. Excited? Keep reading!

Video Number 1: How To Read Classics: Tips and Tricks by Lucy from LucyTheReader

This video length is just under 5 minutes long so if you have a busy day planned and want to find out more about how to approach classics quickly, this is the video to watch. Lucy has lots of other videos on her channel talking about reading and reviewing classics including a video on Easy Classics for Beginners and the Penguin English Library Bookshelf tour. Highly recommend watching, go subscribe!

Video Number 2: Recommended Reads: Children’s Classics by Hailey from Hailey in Bookland

If you fancy watching a video and swooning over how beautiful most of these editions of children’s classic book are then Hailey’s video is a must-see. She is currently collecting all of the editions of Alice Adventure’s in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll which fun fact, book I was named after! Also does have other classics videos posted but this one is my favourite because colourful covers.

Video Number 3: Classics Wrap-Up 2016 by April from Aprilius Maximus

I love April’s channel and I can highly recommend this video. I love when bloggers/booktubers do wrap-ups for the year and having one dedicated just to classics was a breath of fresh air to watch. In this video, April discusses the classics she read in 2016 starting with the ones she DNF’d (Did Not Finish) to the ones she gave 5 stars to. Plus that edition of Jane Eyre in the thumbnail is just gorgeous OK 😉

Video Number 4: Book Recommendations: Classics by Jacob from Jacob Wilkins

This quick video really gets to the point. Jacob recommends his favourite classic books and talks about the storyline as well as showing editions of them which you guys can see a pattern here right? I don’t just watch book videos for the covers I swear 😛 but anyway, if you are looking to add books to your Classics TBR while out and about, then watch this!

And finally,

Video Number 5: Alana Recommends|Classics! by Alana from King Books

I found Alana’s channel over the summer break and I love that she works in a bookstore (I mean, who doesn’t love working and reading with books all day long?) but this video talks about classics that she read and enjoyed, some during High School. There are Fantasy recommendations, Mystery recommendations etc. So, if you like variety, then you’ll like this video!

That’s all for this post, I really hope that you enjoyed reading it. It’s definitely something new that I would like to start on my blogging adventures and recommending videos seemed like a great way to start! Let me know in the comments section below if you have made classics videos for YouTube or know any others that I should watch. Don’t forget to subscribe to all of these channels and show the love!

Have a great week, 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.

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!

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.

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