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

Advertisements

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

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. 

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

513Oyp3A3yL__SX317_BO1,204,203,200_
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

61SqtB7XHIL__SX362_BO1,204,203,200_

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

9780141336534
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.

Classics On My Kindle That I Need To Read!

Hello everyone!

So, I finally managed to finish reading a book except it wasn’t a classic XD Nooooooooooo. But don’t worry, I, your booknerd has come up with a master plan that can change everything. And that involves Bookie.

Who’s Bookie?

My kindle e-reader!

Bookie was a 13th birthday present from my parents in July 2011 on the condition that I saved some money towards it which I did and I’ve realised that instead of panicking over packing a physical book whilst travelling, take Bookie instead and get the free classics in advance!

This photo list will show all of the classics on my kindle that I’ve either started reading but haven’t finished or haven’t started at all. I do actually own a few of these in physical formats but instead of leaving them any longer to gather up dust, Bookie is now going to get involved.

So, without further ado, here’s the photo list thanks to Bookie!

   

The photos are a little jumbled but I do hope everyone can see them OK. Let me know if there are any that I should prioritise!

Have a great day/night, see you all 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.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑