Another month means another meme question for The Classics Club. This is a very wide open question/s which I find I always struggle with more, but I’m keen to keep up with these memes.
I have just finished reading The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald; I will leave my thoughts on that though for my full post on it. I am continuing to dip in and out of The Complete Brothers Grimm’s Fairytales which I started in January. This has been a very slow read for me I have however read over a hundred short-stories already which in any other collection would be excellent progress. I made decent progress in April on it but still a lot of stories to go!
After finishing The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald I find myself not knowing what classic novel to read next. I think I’m most drawn to either A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens or Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Two very different books I think what is really drawing me to them is the authors. I’m in the mood for a new classic from an author I already know and love. I have a few books that I already plan to read over the next week or so but I am hoping to get round to one of these before the end of May.
What classic do you think I should read next?
What classic are you reading or looking forward to reading in May?
I have been ploughing on with my new-found love for short story collections in 2013. At the end of 2012 I read and adored The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. I adored it so much that I immediately started another of Doyle’s collection, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. The weather has taken a bitter turn here in the UK. Most nights I have been very keen to tuck myself in bed and lose myself in a mystery, hence me having finished off another collection so soon.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is a collection made up of the next twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories Arthur Conan Doyle wrote and had published in The Strand. The most famous story from the collection would have to be The Final Problem where we see our intrepid sleuth take on his finest nemesis Professor Moriarty. I very much enjoyed The Final Problem as well as The Stock-Broker’s Clerk, The Musgrave Ritual, and The Naval Treaty. That being said again there were no stories in this collection I didn’t enjoy, they were all fascinating, the four I have named though particularly captured my attention.
Like The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes collection, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes had a good range of stories which were varied and well-balanced. There was also the wonderful chemistry between his two protagonists that I love to witness during the intricate mysteries. I did find I was most drawn to Holmes’s companion Dr Watson in this collection more than the previous. In The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes I discovered there was a more sympathetic side to Holmes while in this collection I think we saw more of his unusual behaviour again. I imagine that difference is just down to the choice of stories in each collection.
I am still preferring reading the short story collections of Sherlock Holmes, as the shorter length of the stories means I can easily keep the thread of the mystery and fully enjoy all the twists and turns, without the worry of needing a break. Although I did find the length of the stories in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes varied more with The Naval Treaty being a lot longer than the rest of the stories in the collection. While the stories in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were of a more standard length. As much as I enjoyed both collections I think The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes just has the edge for me because of the standard length of the stories and how I think the choice of stories slightly captured my imagination more.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes was another fascinating read with more interesting adventures for me to discover. This is now my 9th read from my Classics Club list which means I am well on my way to my target of 10 books a year. On finishing this collection I started The Complete Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales for a bit of a change, although I hope I will be able to return to Sherlock Holmes again very soon.
Have you read The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes? What’s your favourite Sherlock Holmes story?
Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are happy and well? December has been another wet and cold. Thankfully though we had Christmas to bring some light, sparkle, and fun to what was otherwise a pretty depressing month on the whole. I caught the norovirus bug the week before the big day, but fortunately I was recovered in time to eat lots of turkey and brussel sprouts. I spent my Christmas holiday at my mother’s home in The New Forest. I had busy time visiting friends and family, delivering presents, eating, and watching Christmas specials on the television. Considering all this I did manage to spend a decent amount of time reading with my mother in the conservatoire while the rain tip-tapped on the roof. Very cosy!
Fiction: 4 Non-Fiction: 0 Poetry: 0
I started the month by finishing off Aesop’s Fables an enjoyable collections of short stories about animals, nature, and gods all with a moral message. At the time I was reading this I found it hard to focus on one thing, so different short stories was the perfect read. This wasn’t the happiest book I’ve read though hence when I did get my focus back a bit I choose to read If You’re Reading This I’m Already Dead by Andrew Nicoll. A quirky historical novel with an amusing selection of colourful characters, that fed my historical and happy craving. Over the Christmas holiday as I said I was at my mother’s; to keep my luggage light I decided to take my kindle instead of physical books. Looking through my TBR folder on my kindle I found The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley was really calling to me. Even though it is set in Summer I actually found it quite comforting to sit hearing the rain while escaping to a sunny warm world in fiction. The Rose Garden is a beautiful tale of history, love, loss, and time travel. I simply adored it and found it hard to put down. Alongside this I was also reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle which I started as my next short story collection after finishing Aesop’s Fables. I really enjoyed being able to delve into a short mystery when I had a free 20 minutes or so.
And those are just the books I finished. I did pick up The Night Before Christmas by Scarlett Bailey because of the Christmas setting, but found the love triangle scenario not to my taste plus I was still heavily craving historical fiction. So with a sad heart (because I hate doing this) I decided to give up on this novel. Through out December I have also been slowly but surely working my way through Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. Straight after finishing The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes I wasn’t bored and moved on to The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes. And finally on the train journey home from my mother’s I started reading the children’s fantasy novel The Dragondain by Richard Due.
2012 was a great reading year for me, I think January looks like it is going to be a good start to 2013.
What did you read in December? What did you do over the Christmas holiday?
I have become quite a fan of short story collections recently, as I now see the advantages of being able to read one or two stories at a time. At the beginning of December I read and enjoyed Aesop’s Fables when I finished that I decided to start The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I thought this might be a match made in heaven of two of my loves; short stories and crime. I read this collection alongside The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley. Between the two I spent many a happy hour curled up in a blanket in my mother’s conservatoire reading over my Christmas holiday.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection made up of the first twelve Sherlock Holmes short stories Arthur Conan Doyle wrote and had published in The Strand. The most famous story from the collection would have to be A Scandal in Bohemia where we are introduced to the infamous Irene Adler, one of the few people to ever best our intrepid sleuth. As much as I enjoyed A Scandal in Bohemia I would say my favourite stories were The Five Orange Pips, The Speckled Band, and The Copper Beeches. That being said there were no stories in this collection I didn’t enjoy, they were all fascinating, the three I have named though particularly captured my imagination.
This is not my first foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes, previously I have read A Study in Scarlet the first novel to include Holmes and his faithful companion Watson. Sadly several years have passed since I read this first novel but I was very keen to read more so when I joined The Classics Club I made space for Doyle’s work on my list. I am really glad I did because I just love delving into Doyle’s intricate mysteries and witnessing the chemistry between his two protagonists. I was a little hesitant because I hadn’t read any short stories by Doyle before but in fact I think I enjoyed this format more than I did the novel. The range of stories in this collection was varied and well-balanced. While the shorter length of the stories meant you could easily keep the thread of the mystery and fully enjoy all the twists and turns, without the worry of needing a break.
From my experience of reading A Study in Scarlet I found I was most drawn to Holmes’s companion Dr Watson. As much as I find the workings of Holmes’s mind fascinating, the down to earth narration of Watson is what made the story more relatable for me. I found a change in my opinion from reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes because I think in some of the stories we see a more sympathetic Holmes. The modern film and television adaptations tend to only focus on his intelligence and clinical thinking, while I feel Doyle’s original stories show Holmes can be compassionate. As much as I like the adaptations I’ve watched I think I now prefer the Holmes from the stories.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was a fascinating read with an interesting mix of adventures to discover. I also found my return to Doyle’s well-loved sleuth rather comforting. On finishing this collection I started The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes straight away. This is now my 8th read from my Classics Club list, I am very proud of my progress so far.
Have you read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes? What’s your favourite Sherlock Holmes story?
My spirits and my reading have been good recently, but I have struggled to keep my attention fastened to one novel. In which case Aesop’s Fables was the perfect solution as I could read one or two fables at a time. I am not usually a fan of short story collections; for this reason this poor collection has been on my kindle growing dusty since I received my kindle last Christmas! Reading this though may have changed my mind for good and I have now downloaded a whole lot more short story collections to try too.
Aesop’s Fables is a collection of fables about animals, nature, and gods credited to Aesop, who is believed to have been a freed slave who lived in Ancient Greece. Apart from the fables themselves very little written evidence of Aesop the man or his life has been found. Considering this collection is believed to have been written in the 5th century BC I found it very easy to read and the style didn’t feel particularly archaic at all. Each story varied in length from a short paragraph to a page and a bit which meant I whipped through them pretty quick. They were perfect to dip in and out of before bed or when waiting for appointments.
Aesop’s Fables is probably best known for the moral messages that each fable contains. I instantly recognised ’the boy who cried wolf’ however not every moral was as obvious. Some of the fables ended with a short moral explanation, most didn’t though so I was left to decipher them on my own which is when I noticed the age of this work. On whole I think I understood the message that each fable was representing. There was a few that due to context and cultural differences I didn’t understand. These were few and far between though so didn’t let it dampen my enjoyment of the rest of the collection.
Since childhood I have enjoyed tales of animals, nature, and gods so these fables did play straight into that. There is an element of mythology to the feel of this collection, like mythology though the stories aren’t particularly happy. As each fable is meant to represent a moral this means they often contain death, theft, abuse, lies, and other things that we aren’t meant to be doing. As much as I enjoyed reading this it certainly isn’t the happiest work I’ve read recently.
Aesop’s Fables is an interesting and easy read best enjoyed at a leisurely pace. I highly recommend to those interested in reading classic short stories. This is my 7th read towards The Classics Club. Now I have a taste for short stories myself I have moved straight on to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.