Classic Books · Literary Lists

Happy birthday, Charles Dickens!

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812. That makes today the 205th anniversary of his birth. (Impressive math skills, eh?) Twenty-four years later, Dickens would write The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist, at the same time. At the same time! He’s estimated to have created over 13,000 characters. Basically, that would populate a medium-sized town!

Classic Books · Screen Adaptations

What makes film adaptations work?

When I call film adaptations successful, what I usually mean is, they capture the tone, mood, and spirit of what I experience reading. So what does that mean, exactly?  Reading a great book makes me think and create. It invites me to make connections and, from those connections, to make meaning. It allows for ambiguity without… Continue reading What makes film adaptations work?

Reading Challenge 2016

The unabridged list of books read in December

Well, here we are again: on the cusp of a new month and a new year. As it’s my last roundup of 2016, it’s the right time to reflect on my attempt to read my own books this year. It has been the most meaningful reading effort I’ve participated in and one that I’m looking… Continue reading The unabridged list of books read in December

Classic Books · Literary Places

Literary Places: Charlotte Bronte Exhibit at The Morgan Library

Back in January, I wrote about my pilgrimage to The Morgan Library in Manhattan to see Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The book I’ve reread more than any other. The book I’ll be rereading again in approximately two weeks. The book that’s my favorite holiday reading tradition because it moves and inspires me each time… Continue reading Literary Places: Charlotte Bronte Exhibit at The Morgan Library

Classic Books · The Reading Life

Why I love reading classic literature

One reason (among many) I enjoy reading classic literature: It’s a finite world. Having gone on to claim their “celestial rewards,” as Charles Dickens put it so elegantly (Pickwick Papers, I think, or maybe Hard Times?), authors are safely out of the picture. Therefore, they can’t get into Twitter wars with critics over how their… Continue reading Why I love reading classic literature

Classic Books · The Reading Life

What I learned from reading a big book

Earlier this week, I wrote about a big book that I doubt I will ever read cover to cover, in the process arguing, essentially, so what? Since I don’t want to give the impressive that I believe it’s always okay to abandon or only partially read big books, today, I want to argue for reading them all the… Continue reading What I learned from reading a big book

Classic Books · Reading Challenge 2016 · Reviews

The unabridged list of what I read in February

February delivered what feels suspiciously like a reading slump, but not exactly. I say “not exactly” because I’m still reading (what else is there to do? I have few other interests, really). But I’m distracted and a little bit restless. #ReadMyOwnDamnBooks felt like my anchor and inspiration this month. When I struggled to focus on what the heck… Continue reading The unabridged list of what I read in February

Classic Books · Reviews

On reading Nick Hornby’s The Polysyllabic Spree

I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to figure out which Gilmore Girls episode features The Polysyllabic Spree, Nick Hornby’s delightful collection of book pieces. Music by The Polyphonic Spree is featured in “Say Goodbye to Daisy Miller” (season 5, episode 1), but I have yet to find a reference to Hornby’s book. Was its inclusion on the… Continue reading On reading Nick Hornby’s The Polysyllabic Spree

Classic Books · The Reading Life

Do spoilers really spoil a reading experience?

Do spoilers ruin a reading experience or just change it? Does knowing what’s coming in a story put one off reading it? Thinking about these questions reminds me of something one of my favorite professors once said. It was during a Jane Austen seminar, and we were discussing Austen’s endings. “Reading a Jane Austen novel… Continue reading Do spoilers really spoil a reading experience?

Classic Books · The Reading Life

Hallelujah! I finally discovered audiobooks I love!

If I seem unduly excited about audiobooks, it’s been a long road: I’ve been trying to get into them for three years. This is because reading is my favorite pastime, but I also need to exercise. Or so they tell me. Ergo: Listen to audiobooks while exercising. A match made in heaven! Except … I like to… Continue reading Hallelujah! I finally discovered audiobooks I love!