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It's So Classic - A Tag!

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Excited to be tagged by Hamlette from The Edge of the Precipice!  This tag is all about classics and originally from a blog called Rebellious Writing.

It's So Classic Tag

Rules:

1. Link your post to Rebellious Writing (www.rebelliouswriting.com)
2. Answer the questions
3. Tag at least 5 bloggers.

1. What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?
This was a recent Top Ten Tuesday...I stand by all my answers but will add one more:  Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev.  I rated this book very highly and feel it would appeal to anyone who enjoys costumes dramas, while offering a new perspective.  (We need more Russian literature adaptations in general.  Just sayin'!)

2. What draws you to classics?
It is hard to put a scientific answer to this, because I got into classics at a young age and they became a core part of my life.  If anything, I love them most of all for sentimental reasons.  Apart from that, it's the depth of the writing, the complexi…

Top Ten Character Friends

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August is RACING by.  (I guess I say that every month.)  I've finished a couple of books over the weekend, but I don't know when I'll get to writing proper reviews.  Till then, here's a quick post for Top Ten Tuesday!

Characters I'd like to be best friends with, classics and otherwise:
Much from BBC's Robin Hood.  This guy gets a lot of flak from the other members of Robin's gang (and Robin himself), but it's not fair... he does pretty much all the cooking and worrying for everyone.  If we're friends, I'll help with the cooking (even though I don't like it) and back him up when they start picking on him.  Being my friend, he will be loyal to a fault, but also give me constructive criticism when I need it.
Miss Marple.  Poor Miss Marple... I just want to protect her from all the creepers and psychos she encounters (not that I am capable, heh).  She really needs a friend. Lucian Gregory from The Man Who Was Thursday.  Ok, maybe not friends, mo…

Reading Everything in August

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No, that is not the title of a challenge...but it may as well be.  I'm up to my ears in books and it's wonderful.


I spent most of my July weekends working on a large volunteer project for a non-profit.  It was a beneficial experience, but more of a commitment than I realized.  Now that that's pretty much wrapped up, I can turn back to books.

Here's a quick list of what I'll be reading this month, at different levels of undivided attention and in no particular order:
1984 - George OrwellTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea - Jules VerneMaster and Commander - Patrick O'Brian Drawn from Memory - Ernest Shepard (illustrator of the original Winnie the Pooh)Psalms (almost finished)Tesla biography (yes, still)Smart People Should Build Things and The War on Normal People - Andrew Yang Nostromo - Joseph ConradMoby-Dick - Herman MelvilleOther??  There's sure to be more. I probably mentioned before how many, many times I struggled to start Nostromo and stick with it. …

Vertigo and How to Steal a Million - Two short reviews (spoiler-free)

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Recently I saw these two classic films for the first time: Vertigo (1958) and How to Steal a Million (1966).  On the surface, they have really nothing in common, so I thought it would be a fun challenge to compare and contrast them.

Vertigo
Vertigo is an Alfred Hitchcock film, considered by many reviewers to be his masterpiece.  James Stewart plays a retired detective, Scottie Ferguson, who is commissioned by his friend to follow said friend's wife Madeleine (Kim Novak) around San Francisco, to determine if she's become possessed with the spirit of her great-grandmother.  Matters become weirder when Scottie finds himself falling head over heels for the chilling but attractive Madeleine, who also seems to have a thing for him.  Scottie, unfortunately, suffers from vertigo and a fear of heights, which threaten to jeopardize his task and Madeleine's life.

Let me just say I have mixed feelings about Hitchcock films.  This is how I'd rank the ones I've seen so far (best …

The Professor - Charlotte Bronte's First Novel

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First novels can be hit-and-miss, even those of "great authors."  Nathaniel Hawthorne was so ashamed of Fanshawe he wanted all copies burnt.  Jane Austen's Love and Friendship, written in her teens, did not (unsurprisingly) carry the depth and drama of her later, famous novels.  Doyle's first Sherlock Holmes novel, A Study in Scarlet, is arguably one of the weaker of the four.  While some talented authors debut a masterpiece, it's as equally likely that their first book is not their best. All of this goes to show that 1) no one is born a great novelist, and 2) it is worthwhile to keep trying, even if your first writing is highly flawed.

The Professor was Charlotte Bronte's first novel but not published until after her death.  It has a very similar plot to Villette (1853), and it's best read as a first draft of that superior novel.  Unfortunately, this is still insufficient for enjoying the book, because it's just not a great story.  It took me several…

July Miscellany - Books + Life

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It seems the theme of my life in 2019 is "life gets tougher, books get better."  Well, some books anyway.  I have to say, I haven't been reading as much as I would like, but in spite of that, am pretty pleased overall with the books I have read so far.

I've also highly enjoyed reading other's blogs this year and found many new ones to follow.  I've been thinking about doing a post series sharing links to blogs I follow, if that would interest anyone (?).

Ok, let's talk about some books.

Another one bites the dust... Here's one of those "not so great" reads of the year.  I had every intention of posting a review on The Scapegoat, by Daphne du Maurier.  But after reaching a glorious 44%, I came to a screeching stop.  The plodding repetition of the plot was one thing... the narrator's nauseating "aha!" moment was the cherry on top.  I thought I'd take one for the team, finish the book, and present you with a scathing review, b…

The Last Tycoon ... Questioning Why I Read Fitzgerald

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Fitzgerald is one of those authors who provokes in me a love/loathe reaction.  There was something unforgettable and moving in The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise; the surreal, Wuthering-Heights level of drama and the tragic stories lingered in my mind a long time afterward.  Tender is the Night haunted me in a different way: an instant trainwreck with little rhyme or reason, it left me so disgusted I had to quit reading early on.  So when I saw the library had just added The Last Tycoon to their ebook collection...and it was available, and it was under 200 pages...I invariably got pulled into checking it out and reading it over the 4th of July.

There aren't many authors I would recommend reading solely for their writing style, but I think every aspiring American writer should read something by Fitzgerald, even if it's just a chapter.  There's something distinctly American about his style.  It's a strange, signature combination - breathless, matter-of-fact, poe…