Tag: classic

Shelf Control #23 – 31/07/2020

Happy Friday and welcome to another Shelf Control post! We’re continuing with the theme of classics in today’s post. I went through a phase of adding classic novels to the TBR and so I’ve featured a lot lately. Today is no exception; however, we are coming to the end of them at last!

In case you haven’t read one of these posts before, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

Goodreads – Catch-22

Set in Italy during World War II, this is the story of the incomparable, malingering bombardier, Yossarian, a hero who is furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. But his real problem is not the enemy—it is his own army, which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yet if Yossarian makes any attempt to excuse himself from the perilous missions he’s assigned, he’ll be in violation of Catch-22, a hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule: a man is considered insane if he willingly continues to fly dangerous combat missions, but if he makes a formal request to be removed from duty, he is proven sane and therefore ineligible to be relieved. Since its publication in 1961, no novel has matched Catch-22’s intensity and brilliance in depicting the brutal insanity of war.

 

My Thoughts…

I wonder how many people use the expression “catch-22” in day-to-day conversation without having read this book? For the moment I count among that number! You know a book is iconic when it makes such an impact on a society that it finds its way into a language.

I added this book to the TBR in 2018 at the same time as many other classics I want to read. As a historical fiction fan, I’m definitely looking forward to picking this up. If I had kept up with my Beat the Backlist Challenge, I could have been reading this later this year. Realistically that’s looking unlikely now. However, I will be chipping away at my backlist for the foreseeable. It shouldn’t be too long before I get around to this book.

Have you read Catch-22? What did you think of it if you have? If not, is it of any interest to you? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Shelf Control – 10/07/2020

Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

In today’s post, I am featuring yet another classic novel that I really want to read. I know for a fact that other classes in my year at school studied this book, and I was always curious about it and why each class had different material.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Goodreads – Lord of the Flies

At the dawn of the next world war, a plane crashes on an uncharted island, stranding a group of schoolboys. At first, with no adult supervision, their freedom is something to celebrate; this far from civilization the boys can do anything they want. Anything. They attempt to forge their own society, failing, however, in the face of terror, sin and evil. And as order collapses, as strange howls echo in the night, as terror begins its reign, the hope of adventure seems as far from reality as the hope of being rescued. Labeled a parable, an allegory, a myth, a morality tale, a parody, a political treatise, even a vision of the apocalypse, Lord of the Flies is perhaps our most memorable novel about “the end of innocence, the darkness of man’s heart.”

 

My Thoughts…

I think Lord of the Flies will be a really interesting read. In just about everything there are rules, expectations of how to conduct yourself and behave. It’s drilled into us from childhood – from being polite and using your manners to society as a whole, there are a lot of conventions. Take that all away though, and what would happen?

Although I know the book was studied I don’t actually know it that well. I have no idea of the story or how events play out (although I can guess from the synopsis, not too well). It’s a relatively short read at just over 180 pages, so quite approachable. It also has good reviews from a number of my friends on Goodreads, so I’m pretty confident I’ll enjoy it!

Have you read Lord of the Flies? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Shelf Control #21 – 26/06/2020

Today’s Shelf Control features yet another book on my TBR because I think we’ve ascertained I have no s(h)elf control when it comes to books! Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

In today’s post, I am featuring yet another classic novel that I want to read. The author of this classic isn’t new to me, so I’m confident I’ll be able to read and enjoy it. This was just one of the books I added to my list in a classics blitz – I decided one day that I should make an effort to read more and so added a bunch to the TBR all at once.

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Goodreads – The Grapes of Wrath

The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized—and sometimes outraged—millions of readers.

First published in 1939, Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads—driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man’s fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman’s stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck’s powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

 

My Thoughts…

If you’d asked me if I would ever pick up another book by John Steinbeck after I initially read Of Mice and Men, I would have answered no. I hated Of Mice and Men to start with. It was boring, depressing and it was a book I had to study for school. There is something about having to write essays about books… or micro-analyse them that sucks the joy out of reading. That’s why I disliked this first book so much.

I did actually read it again in 2017 and my attitude towards it was completely different. I had struggled to get on with this for my GCSE’s, but I read it within a couple of hours. And I enjoyed it! My newfound appreciation for Of Mice and Men is the driving force behind wanting to try The Grapes of Wrath. It’s also a classic, but I feel it will have the same vibe as Of Mice and Men and cover a period of history that is of interest to me – the Great Depression.

Have you read The Grapes of Wrath? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Shelf Control 22/05/2020

Welcome to today’s Shelf Control post! I think we’ve already ascertained that I have no s(h)elf control, but let’s keep up with the pretence, shall we? Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

Shelf Control gives me the chance to look in more depth at the books I have added to my TBR. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book and it also acts as a second sweep to my Down the TBR Hole posts for anything that I may have changed my mind about. It’s been quite a while since I last looked at some of these books! I don’t necessarily own them all (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them.

In today’s post I am featuring another classic novel that I think I would have actually enjoyed at school. Well, it’s hard to say. I only got to read a few classics in my school years and at the time; I didn’t like any of them. Analysing books to death just isn’t fun. I like to read them, not pick them apart!

Shall we check out today’s featured book?

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

Goodreads – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Tyrannical Nurse Ratched rules her ward in an Oregon State mental hospital with a strict and unbending routine, unopposed by her patients, who remain cowed by mind-numbing medication and the threat of electric shock therapy. But her regime is disrupted by the arrival of McMurphy – the swaggering, fun-loving trickster with a devilish grin who resolves to oppose her rules on behalf of his fellow inmates. His struggle is seen through the eyes of Chief Bromden, a seemingly mute half-Indian patient who understands McMurphy’s heroic attempt to do battle with the powers that keep them imprisoned. Ken Kesey’s extraordinary first novel is an exuberant, ribald and devastatingly honest portrayal of the boundaries between sanity and madness.

 

My Thoughts…

I am trying to pick up more classic books. Since leaving school and re-reading a few of the classics I was *unfortunate* enough to have to study (not a fault of the book, but the education system’s idea of enriching teenagers minds), I want to pick up more of these books.

I hated pulling these books apart in school, mostly because it was so ridiculously tedious. I’m pretty sure half of the rubbish analysis is a load of **** anyway. I digress. My point is, I revisited these books and enjoyed just reading them. No analysing them to death, no over-thinking them. I didn’t get to read many classics, (which may in hindsight be for the best), so I want to make up for that now by reading some of the books studied by other classes.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest also interests me as it dabbles in psychology, and in particular, insanity. I loved my psychology class in school, so this aspect of the book will be right up my street. I can’t help but wonder if our protagonist has been declared insane as he seems to be one that challenges the system. Perhaps he’s made some powerful enemies? I literally have no idea – I have heard very little of the book. That’s why I want to read it! If that is the case then it will definitely be right up my street!

Have you read this classic? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Shelf Control #11 – 06/12/2019

Hi guys – Happy Friday and welcome to today’s Shelf control post! Once again I’ll be taking an in-depth look at the next book on my TBR and telling you why I am excited to read it!

As a refresher, Shelf Control is a meme run by Lisa at Bookshelf Fantasies. It’s a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up!

For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out Lisa’s introductory post.

 

By using these Shelf Control posts I can look in further detail at the books I have added to the TBR and listed as keepers in my Down the TBR Hole posts. I talk about why I want to keep the featured book; it also acts as a second sweep for anything that I may have changed my mind about. I have actually deleted a few books doing this sweep. I don’t necessarily own all the books (yet), but I will have a reasonable number of them. I’ve also gone on to read a couple of the earliest books on the list, so this mini-series is proving useful!

Today’s featured book is one I have owned for nearly three years now, but haven’t picked up yet!

 

Dune – Frank Herbert

Goodreads – Dune

Purchase Links – Waterstones     Amazon UK     Amazon US

Before The Matrix, before Star Wars, before Ender’s Game and Neuromancer, there was Dune: winner of the prestigious Hugo and Nebula awards, and widely considered one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

Melange, or ‘spice’, is the most valuable – and rarest – element in the universe; a drug that does everything from increasing a person’s life-span to making intersteller travel possible. And it can only be found on a single planet: the inhospitable desert world Arrakis.

Whoever controls Arrakis controls the spice. And whoever controls the spice controls the universe.

When the Emperor transfers stewardship of Arrakis from the noble House Harkonnen to House Atreides, the Harkonnens fight back, murdering Duke Leto Atreides. Paul, his son, and Lady Jessica, his concubine, flee into the desert. On the point of death, they are rescued by a band for Fremen, the native people of Arrakis, who control Arrakis’ second great resource: the giant worms that burrow beneath the burning desert sands.

In order to avenge his father and retake Arrakis from the Harkonnens, Paul must earn the trust of the Fremen and lead a tiny army against the innumerable forces aligned against them.

And his journey will change the universe.

 

My Thoughts…

I received a copy of Dune from former work colleagues for my birthday nearly three years ago now. It’s actually scary how the time flies! Even before throwing myself into reading as a daily habit and starting my blog in 2017, I was known for my bookish tendencies.

I also think they made a really good choice of book for me too! Dune is a classic and highly award-winning science-fiction novel. Truth is, before I had been gifted it, I hadn’t heard of it. I have only just realised that this is the first book of an eight-part series as well! I prefer a series to a standalone book – I guess that’s the part of me that likes long, complex stories…

As I have had this for a little while now, I do think I should make an effort to pick it up soon. I’ve also been doing really well lately for picking up more science-fiction novels.

Have you read Dune? Would you recommend it? Let me know in the comments!

 

 

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Thank you!***

Sunday Summary

Sunday Summary – 30th September 2018

There is no eloquent way I can accurately express how well this week has gone for me!

I don’t know what it is lately, but I have felt a little bogged down. Perhaps it is work in general… or maybe because I have a number of blogging obligations. Either way, things have felt sluggish. I’ll admit I have been a little light on the blog-post-publishing front, but I think I needed those few days. I have no regrets.

This week I have only published one post – a Blog Tour review for Ragis by Donna Migliaccio. I have fallen so hard in love with this series this year; if you haven’t read it yet, I implore you to… you won’t regret it!

I promised a Mystery Blogger post as well. It’s already late (in my eyes anyway) and I haven’t been in the mood to write it. I’m not going to force the issue otherwise it won’t make for an enjoyable post. It’s a work in progress – maybe I’ll publish it one day!

I was having a good week anyway, in reading terms. I’ve also had a bookish event to look forward to, as this week has been the Manx LitFest. Unfortunately, due to other absences at work, I haven’t been able to attend many events. I did, however, attend a re-telling of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” at the Gaiety Theatre on Friday. I loved it; it was the first time I have attended an event like it. I hope I get the chance to again!

After going to see that performance, I feel revitalised. That might sound incredibly bizarre, I know, but it was good to break the norm. There aren’t many bookish events here and I seldom get the opportunity to meet like-minded people. I booked my ticket to attend in May, so I have been looking forward to it for a while! I think I am going to write a separate post about it very soon.

 

Books Read

 

It has been a good reading week, despite one book ending up on the DNF pile. I don’t like doing this, but if I cannot get on with a book, forcing myself to read it is worse.

After last week’s update, I finished A Stain on the Soul by Elizabeth Davies. I recently read and reviewed Three Bloody Pieces; ASoTS follows on from events in book one and I’ll also be reviewing this very soon! I had hoped to move on to the last book in the series next, however, since that book is not touring until November, I haven’t received my copy yet.

I picked up Desolation by Jesper Schmidt instead, although I confess, not for very long. This is the book I, unfortunately, had to resign to the DNF pile. Much of the narrative is spent trying to set up this fantasy world, yet it is difficult to invest into. I couldn’t warm to the writing style. I hate not finishing a book, but I decided quite early on that it wasn’t for me. It isn’t fair to force myself through a book I am not enjoying and even less so on the author when it comes to committing my thoughts to paper.

So, moving swiftly on – with my reading list for September done (as much as possible), I returned to reading The Eye of the World. This book is huge and the plot complicated, so I think I’ll be reading this in dribs and drabs until I get to the end. I have managed to read another 10% of the book, which to my mind is pretty good going. Having taken a break, it wasn’t all that difficult to get back into. I suppose it’s a good job really, given its size!

After going to watch the re-telling of Frankenstein on Friday night, I came home, made myself a cuppa and picked up the book straightaway! If that doesn’t tell you how much I loved it, then I don’t really know what will! I last read the book at the age of 14 and hated it! I have often said this for all the books I studied at school, but changed my mind when reading them again for pleasure. Frankenstein is also proving to be the same. I fell asleep reading this at around 1am on Saturday morning – that’s how unwilling I was to put it down! I am now halfway through the book… it won’t take long to finish either!

 

Books Discovered

Whilst I haven’t *bought* any books this week (which is a miracle, since payday has arrived), I have used some audible credits that I’ve had for a while.

I’ve added my first Phillip Pullman book to the list! I have heard a few things about this author, so when I saw a book by him set in Victorian England, I listened to the sample! This is going to be a really interesting listen and I cannot wait to try this new author!

I have also downloaded Lock In by John Scalzi. I am making a conscious effort to read/listen to more science fiction books, so this is a perfect fit. This will be the first book I have tried from this author too, so I’ll have to see what I make of this. Maybe I’ll be reading more of their books in future!

 

Coming Up…

It’s October tomorrow. The leaves are starting to turn, cold winds are rising and there is a nip in the air. Okay, so I’m being a little dramatic. But, the point is, it’s a new month! You know what that means… a new reading list! It is another busy month of review requests and blog tours, as well as a getting my hands on a much-anticipated release, MUSE OF NIGHTMARES!

Since I enjoyed the re-telling of Frankenstein so much, on Friday I’ll be taking the opportunity to tell you a little about it, as well as those that took part and made the event possible! I hope you can join me for that!

In the meantime, ladies and gents, keep reading!