Classic Books

Rereading Jane Eyre: Why it’s good to read books we don’t *like*

I first read Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre in graduate school. It was during an ill-advised semester I’d registered for two courses on novels and a third on literary theory. Some weeks, my required reading hovered around 2,500 pages. I constructed elaborate reading schedules derived by dividing the week’s required pages by my average page-per-hour count.… Continue reading Rereading Jane Eyre: Why it’s good to read books we don’t *like*

Classic Books · Reviews · Seasonal Reading

Rereading “A Christmas Carol” at Christmas Time

By the time I moved to Connecticut, I had already made a habit of reading Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” at Christmas time. I had made it habit but not yet a tradition. The decision to commit to rereading it every year began the snowy winter we lived in a one-story cottage dating to the mid-18th… Continue reading Rereading “A Christmas Carol” at Christmas Time

Classic Books · Reviews

The Wit and Wisdom of “Northanger Abbey”

Before 2012, “Northanger Abbey” was the only Jane Austen classic I had not read. Upon remedying this shocking lapse (I mean, she only wrote six completed novels – how hard it is to read her whole canon?), I decided it was my favorite Austen novel. Though I’m skeptical that we can trust these judgments… At any… Continue reading The Wit and Wisdom of “Northanger Abbey”

Classic Books · Screen Adaptations

What is the best ever screen adaptation of a classic novel?

I’d love to hear your picks in the comments. But first: Which classic novels do you suppose have been most frequently adapted for the screen? If we factor in riffs as well as faithful adaptations, I would guesstimate Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. And of course, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein;… Continue reading What is the best ever screen adaptation of a classic novel?