Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Classics Book Tag

Hi guys. So today I'm doing the Classics Book Tag. This tag was created by book blogger Vienna over at It's a Books World. I decided to do this tag partly because I love classics but also to give some recommendations to those of you who might be interested in discovering classics but who aren't too sure where to start. 

Note: I’ve skipped three questions, including two related to TV and Movie Adaptations of classics because I’ve not really watched any of those. Check out the original post for all the questions should you wish to do this tag.

1. An overhyped classic you really didn't like

Emma by Jane Austen. Okay, I've said it before, but I really have a hard time enjoying Jane Austen's books. In Emma, the titular character is a rather shallow girl whose main hobby is, wait for it, match-making. My main problem with this book, and a few others by Jane Austen, is that the heroine has little ambition other than bagging the right husband. I think that this book, or this author in general, is overhyped because there are many more classics out there with more interesting female characters and deeper plots. Team Brontë forever! 

2. Favorite time period to read about

Dubliners in the Everyman's Library Edition without the dust jacket

Although I enjoy books from different time periods, I do have a preference for 20th century literature. My favorite period setting has to be the early 20th century Dublin from Dubliners, a short story collection by James Joyce. The book offers a very realistic portrayal of Irish middle class life while retaining a pleasant narrative pace, and it was one of the books that first really got me into classics.

3. Favorite fairy-tale

The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. The original story is so sad and yet so hauntingly beautiful. I own the French edition of Andersen's tales and this book is full of gorgeous watercolor illustrations. I wish I could show you some of the other illustrations but the one I've included here is definitely among my favorites. 

4. Top 5 classics you would like to read (soon)

While my new copy of Jane Eyre hasn’t arrived in the mail yet, this is the classic I'm most dying to read and it'll in fact be a re-read. The other books I plan on reading soon are The House Of Mirth by Edith Warton, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë, The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne and A Room With A View by E.M. Forster. I've tried to refrain from reading these books' blurbs because I prefer discovering new stories without knowing too much about them. 

5. Favorite modern book/series based on a classic

I haven’t read much of those so I’m picking what I think is the only one I've actually read. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, written by Gabrielle Zevin, is loosly based on Silas Marner by George Eliot. In Silas Marner, a recluse old man one day loses the treasure he's amassed over the years, only to find an abandoned baby shortly after. As this unlikely father decides to keep the baby, this whole life begins to change. In The Storied Life, there is indeed the loss of a treasured possession followed shortly by the apparition of the abandoned baby but that's as far as the similarities go. In The Storied Life, the 'recluse old man' becomes a sarcastic and bitter bookseller and the main story is set in a bookshop. This book is basically a must-read for book lovers and it's full with book quotes and references. 

6. Favorite edition(s) you'd like to collect more classics from

Found @ Books in Wernicke

I fell in love with classics around the same time I discovered the books from the Everyman's Library Edition. While I don't own any yet, I did read quite a few of those books because my uni library has practically the entire collection. These are very elegant hardbacks which come with a plain white cover and the traditional black spines with a portion in white containing the author's name and the title of the book. Lined up together, they look amazing on bookshelves. I hope to be able to get a book in this edition soon. 

7. An underhyped classic you'd recommend to everyone

Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë. It seems like I can't stop talking about this book and justly so. This is the first book by Anne, the lesser known of the Brontë sisters. It follows the story of Agnes, a young woman who spent all her life confined to the familiarity of her home, until she decides to take up a job as a governess. She sets out, rather excited to finally earn her own living, only to be confronted to the realities of the world out there. This is a rather short book, so it's perfect if you're trying to read classics but don't want to commit to chunky ones yet. 

So that's it for this tag guys. If you enjoy classics, then consider yourself tagged! 

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Cover Art by Of Stacks and Cups via Pagemodo


  1. OMG I totally agree on Austen's books. With the exception of pride and prejudice, all her stuffs lack that something that makes you enjoy it.

    1. Yeah :) I need to re-read Pride and Prejudice one day. It's been so long since I read it and I think I might actually like it. Thanks for dropping by ;)

  2. You know me, I love a good classic! A room with a view and also the Scarlet Letter are two that I am looking forward to like you! I haven't read Emma yet, but I am slowly working my way through Jane Austen and I have actually been quite enjoying it lately. So I do intend to see what I think of this one at some point!

    1. I will try another Jane Austen book at some point. I'm curious about Northanger Abbey because of the theme and story. And I do need to re-read Pride and Prejudice.

  3. I don't read classics that often, but I'm trying to change that. I feel embarrassed to say I knew about Charlotte and Emily Brontë, but I didn't know there was another Brontë sister. Now, I will definitely add Agnes Grey to my TBR.

    1. Yeah, Anne was known as the 'quiet Brontë' so many people don't actually know about her books. I hope you enjoy Agnes Grey :)

  4. I have not actually read these classic books mentioned, will love to give Jane Austen a try lol.