Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Not well read.

I'm seriously starting to realise that as an author, I'm seriously lacking in the reading department.

I don't remember reading children books as a kid, only the historical romances my mother read. I've never read Dr Seuss, only Disney, if anything at all. I wasn't raised on Classics like Princess Bride, the Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird. Name it: I haven't read it.

I've read tons of writing books and they also refer to this or that classic. Jane Austen novels are classics... And I've never read them. Not even seen the movies. Everyone always get excited when talking about these, and I feel... Left out.

When I got my Kindle, I was able to get plenty of free books of Amazon, and I started reading Pride & Prejudice. I never finished it, don't know if I even made it halfway through. Which is sad. And frustrating. I know I'm missing out.

How about you guys? What have you read, or not read? What classics do you prefer that you suggest I absolutely read?

Tanya :)


  1. Jane Austen is... well, not exactly overrated, but kinda meh. I think her plots and characters are great, but her style is a bit rambly, so I mostly stick to the movies, which are not awesome, but okay. The only thing you're missing out on by not reading her is the boasting rights to having read her, which doesn't count for much.

    Catcher in the Rye is terrible. Whatever you do, don't read Franny and Zooey (by the same author) which has got to be the most whiny, self-absorbed, pretentious, pointless book I've ever read.

    To Kill A Mockingbird is fantastic. It's one of the books I'd take with me to rebuild civilisation.

    As for other classics, I love Dracula. It's well written, suspenseful, and the multiple narrators works really well, imho. It's the one epistolary/diary novel I've read where I didn't find the form annoying.

    The Brontes are classics, but I've only properly read Wuthering Heights. When I first read it, I loathed it, but rereading it years later, I actually found it quite compelling. I can appreciate the destructive passion in it better now than when I was younger.

    Dickens can be a bit hit-and-miss. Nicholas Nickleby is boring and good golly is it long-winded. Great Expectations, on the other hand, has some very good moments in it concerning prose and character development.

    The Sherlock Holmes stories are so awegreat it makes my heart flutter.

    I haven't read any Edgar Allen Poe in a while, but I remember him being good, although incredibly wordy.

    Frankenstein takes a bit of getting into, and is quite hard to read at first, but it's a very good story so I'd still recommend it.

    The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham is most excellent indeed. It really involved me deep in the characters' lives, and following the MC's maturation was very skilfully done.

    A Little Princess is maybe my favourite children's classic. There's a beautiful 1995 film of it that changes a lot of the facts but stays true to the tone and feel of the book, so I'd definitely recommend reading the book and seeing the film.

    I can't think of many more classics that I have strong opinions on, but if I do I'll let you know. ^_^ But you're really not missing out on much by skipping Austen. An author who I would make everybody read is Rosemary Sutcliff. I mention her to everyone and no one has heard of her or read her books, and her prose is some of the most beautiful I have ever read. She's influenced me so much: descriptions, characters, plots, mythology, emotions. If I could distil my own writing down to its basic essence, it would be about 75% Rosemary Sutcliff, 20% Arthur Conan Doyle, and 5% bits and pieces from everything else.

  2. nice posting.. thanks for sharing.

  3. For some odd reason, I can't reply to comments, so I'll do it this way:

    Astolat: thank you! That is exactly the kind of response I was looking for! I have Dracula in my Kindle, I'll have to check it out. I have To Kill a Mockingbird in paperback: I'll definitely read it!
    Dickens wrote a Tale of Two cities, yes? I've read that :)
    I've actually read Sherlock and I enjoy very much.
    I'll look up those authors you mentioned, too. Thank you!!

    Anonymous: thanks for stopping by :)

  4. I started reading some classics with the help of my favorite librarian because I felt the same myself, still there's a ton more that I should read... To Kill A Mockingbird is really good!


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