The Classics Club: Monthly Meme #43

The Classics Club Meme

Each month The Classics Club releases a question to get club members thinking, discussing and sharing; either on the official site or on their own sites. This month’s question is a rewind from February 2015, originally contributed by club member Teresa (who joined in 2012):

“What about modern classics? Pick a book published since 2000 and say why you think it will be considered as a “classic” in the future.”

This year, I have read many wonderful children’s books off my Classics Club list, so for the rewind of this meme question I’ve decided to discuss children’s books I think will/should become classics.

First up has to be the Harry Potter series by J K Rowling – bestselling books that spawned a highly successful film franchise too. This series actually straddles the year 2000, as the first book, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, was published in 1997 and the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was published in 2007. Like C S Lewis’ classic The Chronicles of Narnia, the Harry Potter books are set in a magical world, full of colourful characters and tap into the almost innate wish of children for magic to be real. Lewis had us checking inside wardrobes while Rowling had us wishing our Hogwarts letter would arrive! One became a classic so why not the other?!

My next choice, His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, only just fits into this questions time frame as the final book of the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass, was published in 2000. Another bestselling series which sadly only spawned one film. These are beautifully written books with a brilliant young female protagonist which should surely help to make this trilogy classic reads for future children – plus the religious controversy surrounding the final book should keep people talking about these books for many more years to come.

My final choice, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, is the newest and most relevant choice for this question as the trilogy was published between 2008 – 2010. A bestselling young adult series which also spawned a highly successful film franchise (yes, if you hadn’t noticed I love film adaptations). While the love triangle isn’t for everyone, I think this is a great dystopian trilogy with a gripping storyline, dark future setting, a kick-ass female protagonist and which gets us thinking about the value of life.

What modern children’s books and series do you think will become classics? Also, please let me know and link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s Classic Club meme too.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books Set Outside the US

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Ten Books Set Outside The US

Unlike the gang over at The Broke and Bookish I don’t actually read a great deal of books set in the USA, so this topic for me was very easy! After looking at what I’ve read, so far, this year I have decided to share with you 10 books (ordered alphabetically by author) that I have enjoyed set outside of the USA – I have also not included completely fantasy settings and instead tried to stick to real places/countries.

~ 1 ~

The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

The Villa in Italy

Set in the 1950s at the beautiful Renaissance Villa Dante, Italy.

~ 2 ~

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford

Set in the small rural town of Cranford, in Victorian England.

~ 3 ~

Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness

Shadow of Night

Set, in the majority, in London the bustling, melting pot of Elizabethan England.

~ 4 ~

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris

The Gospel of Loki

Set in the ancient lands of Scandinavia from Norse Mythology (slightly cheating I know!).

~ 5 ~

Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley

Named of the Dragon

Set in the beautiful, ancient coastal town of Angle, Pembrokeshire (South Wales).

~ 6 ~

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King

The Beekeeper's Apprentice

Starts on the Sussex Downs of England and contains adventures to Oxford, London, Wales and the Middle East.

~ 7 ~

The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit

The Story of the Amulet

Set, in the majority, in Edwardian London and contains adventures to Ancient Egypt, Babylon and the mythological Atlantis (okay a little more cheating with Atlantis!).

~ 8 ~

Across Great Divides by Monique Roy

Across Great Divides

Spans across Germany, Belgium, France and Spain during the rise of the Nazi Party and the start of WWII. Then moves to Brazil and then finally South Africa too.

~ 9 ~

Turn of the Tide by Margaret Skea

Turn of the Tide

Set in 16th century Scotland during the reign of the young James VI.

~ 10 ~

The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian

Set in the year 2035 on the Ares 3 mission to Mars! (yes, technically Mars is a real place…even if we can’t go there yet!)

What books have you read recently set outside the USA? Please let me know and link in the comments if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic too.

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Facts About Me

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you love books and making lists, this is the meme for you! This week’s topic is:

Ten Facts About Me

I haven’t taken part in this meme for weeks as the topics just haven’t suited me. I did a little jig of joy when I saw this week’s topic was facts about me – that I can do and I have missed taking part! Our facts can be bookish or just general, so I’ve decided to do 5 of each.

First up, 5 bookish facts about me:

~ 1 ~

My favourite book is The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien – I have read it more times than I can keep track of!

~ 2 ~

My favourite genres to read are Fantasy, Historical Fiction and Mystery.

~ 3 ~

I also enjoy reading non-fiction books on Faith, Food and History.

~ 4 ~

I am a self-confessed spine breaker however I would never write in a book! (When they used to make us make notes in books at school I used to do it in faint pencil so I could rub it out later).

~ 5 ~

I am now in my fifth and final year of The Classics Club, and I have read 44 books towards my goal of 50.  I have loved taking part and I am really going to miss it!

Now, 5 general facts about me:

~ 6 ~

I use my blog as a sociable reading diary and it is currently in its 6th year.

~ 7 ~

For the last 6 years, I have also been a member of a local belly dancing group – a very fun way to keep fit.

~ 8 ~

I work as a one-to-one teaching assistant for children with special educational needs.

~ 9 ~

As well as reading books, I love to watch TV, film and stage adaptations.

~ 10 ~

I have a black cat called Bonnie – you may have spotted her on here now and again.

I hope you’ve learnt a little something about me. Please link in and let me know if you have taken part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic.

Challenge: Women’s Classic Literature Event (July)

Blog - Women's Classic Literature Event

Hello my fellow bookworms and classic lovers, it is time for the third check-in for The Women’s Classic Literature Event. Since the April check-in I have read:

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford

I’ve long wanted to read something by Gaskell and I was not disappointed. This was a comforting, meticulous and personable tale of the lives of the women of a small rural town.

***


The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit

The Phoenix and the Carpet

The second, charming set of magical adventures with the siblings: Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and the ‘Lamb’ – this time no ‘It’ but there is a phoenix and a flying carpet.

**


The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit

The Story of the Amulet

The final adventures with Robert, Anthea, Cyril, Jane and their cantankerous friend ‘It’. Another charming, magical children’s classic and a fitting end to the Psammead series – I’m little sad it is all over.

**


That is 3 books read in 3 months which I am really pleased with and it brings my total, so far, up to 6 books. Now it is time for July’s group question:

‘Describe the writing style of your current author for this event, or if you prefer, your favourite author for the event so far. How does she form a sentence, or get to the next scene, or keep readers riveted?’

I am not currently reading anything for this event, as I am reading my result for The Classics Club 13th spin event: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne. The last author I read, and who I have read the most by too, for this event is Edith Nesbit. So far for this event alone, I have read 4 of Nesbit’s books which include: The Railway Children and the 3 instalments in her Psammead series. I have found her children’s book charming, magical and comforting reads, and after recent busy days of work that is sometimes just what my tired mind needs.

What classic female authors are you currently reading? Who are your favourite classic female authors?

Meme: Six in Six 2016

Six in Six

My fellow bookworms, the Six in Six meme is the brain child of Jo at The Book Jotter and I am so pleased it is back for its 5th year, as I think it is such a fun and easy way to reflect on my reading at the 6th month mark in the year. So here goes six authors/books in six different categories from the last six months:

Six new authors to me:

  1. Laurie R King
  2. Mark Gelineau & Joe King
  3. Elizabeth Edmondson
  4. Andy Weir
  5. Margaret Skea
  6. Joanne M Harris

Six authors I have read before:

  1. Deborah Harkness
  2. Stormie Omartian
  3. Susanna Kearsley
  4. Charles Dickens
  5. M C Beaton
  6. Terry Pratchett

Six classics I have read:

  1. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  2. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  3. Five Children and It by Edith Nesbit
  4. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  5. The Phoenix and the Carpet by Edith Nesbit
  6. The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

Six books I have read on my Kindle:

  1. Out of Darkness by Stormie Omartian
  2. The Romanovs by Virginia Cowles
  3. The Villa in Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson
  4. Turn of the Tide by Margaret Skea
  5. Best Left in the Shadows by Mark Gelineau & Joe King
  6. The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris

Six physical books I have read:

  1. Named of the Dragon by Susanna Kearsley
  2. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R King
  3. Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M C Beaton
  4. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  5. The Martian by Andy Weir
  6. Witches Abroad by Terry Pratchett

Six series of books read, continued or started:

  1. All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  2. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes mysteries by Laurie R King
  3. Echo of the Ascended novellas by Mark Gelineau & Joe King
  4. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  5. Psammead series by Edith Nesbit
  6. Discworld by Terry Pratchett

What books and authors have you enjoyed so far this year? Please let me know if you have taken part in this meme too.

Goodbye June, Hello July 2016

Month - June 2016

Hello my fellow bookworms, I hope you are all well? June has been another rollercoaster month for me. This month, I have enjoyed Father’s Day, the Queen’s birthday and an adventurous, residential trip with the children and fellow staff from school; plus I have had the joy of my contract being renewed for two more years! Sadly that has been overshadowed somewhat by some terrible weather and my sadness at the result of the EU referendum. The beauty of reading though is I have been able to escape it all in these wonderful adventures:

Fiction: 4     Non-Fiction: 0     Poetry: 0

June has seen the start of the 10 Books of Summer challenge for me. First, I read an interesting twist on Norse Mythology, The Gospel of Loki by Joanne M Harris. I had never read anything by Harris before but this has definitely made me want to read more. And then, I read The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown; the last thrilling Robert Langdon adventure I had left to read. I am now looking forward to a re-watch of the film and the new film release of Inferno, later this year. So altogether I have only read two books for this challenge; a slower start than I hoped for.

Also this month, I read the children’s classic The Story of the Amulet by Edith Nesbit – the charming and final adventure with the children and ‘It’ of the Psammead series. That is another book off my Classics Club list and towards the Women’s Classic Literature Event. I also enjoyed an amusing re-read of Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them by J K Rowling in preparation for the exciting release of the film, staring Eddie Redmayne, later this year! And finally, as well as beginnings June also saw the end of the magical Once Upon a Time event – three of the books above were appropriate for it which brought my total up to nine books!

Pick of the Month: The Da Vinci Code

That’s four fictions but sadly no non-fictions completed. However all through the month I have been dipping in and out of Christian devotional, Let God’s Word Empower Your Prayers by Stormie Omartian and my new cookbook Save With Jamie by Jamie Oliver. And I started reading Master of Shadows by Neil Oliver and, my result for the last Classics Club Spin, Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne.

In July I am looking forward to the start of the schools’ summer break and the bittersweet graduation of the Year 6 children I work with; I am wishing them all the very best as they make the exciting move up to secondary school

What did you do and read in June? Do you have any plans for July?

The Classics Club: Monthly Meme #42

The Classics Club Meme

Each month The Classics Club releases a question to get club members thinking, discussing and sharing; either on the official site or their own sites. This month’s question was contributed by club member Fariba (who joined in January 2014):

“What is your favourite mystery or science fiction classic? Why do you think it is a classic? Why do you like it?”

I have read and loved many classic mysteries however I am going to take this opportunity to highlight a science fiction classic – as this is a genre I love but really don’t read enough of – and that is The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham, originally published in 1951. I read this back in university and was blown away by it. This is a post-apocalyptic novel which looks at the rise of genetically modified, carnivorous plants, after a freak meteor storm has blinded the majority of the world’s human population. That is cool/creepy enough but what makes it a classic is the discussion of human nature: do those lucky enough to keep their sight help those who haven’t, do they just look after themselves or do they take advantage of the situation? Great book and I highly recommend reading it, if you haven’t already.

What is your favourite science fiction classic? Have you read The Day of the Triffids?

Also, please let me know and link in the comments below if you have taken part in this month’s Classic Club meme too.