I was sort of tagged to do this post by Jess at The Mud and Stars Book Blog. Well, I saw the tag on her blog. But I immediately knew I had to do it. I haven’t done any tags in ages because as much fun as they are to do they tend to have a heavy YA focus which isn’t a genre I read that much of. Classics however, now that’s a different story.
If I had to choose only one genre of book to read it would without a doubt be classics. Which is a bit of a sneaky choice really because classics aren’t really a genre – they cover all genres, they just happen to be old.
I can go months without reading a classic. I get it into my head that they’re dense and hard-going and not as satisfying or fun as their modern equivalents. And then one day all the reasons I love them will come flooding back and I’ll chain read Hardy and Austen and Bronte and Tolstoy until I need to remind myself that I live in the modern era, with computers and air travel and women’s rights.
An overhyped classic you didn’t really like:
I am not much of a Dickens fan. At all. And I’m sure I’ll have my British passport revoked any day now for daring to profess that opinion but I just don’t get the fuss. He wanders off the point so much and it drives me crazy. I’d already read Great Expectations and been disappointed but I still went into A Tale of Two Cities with high expectations. And hated pretty much every minute of it. But I never learn because somehow Oliver Twist has snuck its way onto my TBR list.
Favourite time period to read about:
The 19th century in general, but that has less to do with having an interest in the period than just that most of my favourite authors were writing then; Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and the Brontes are all 19th century authors. I had less than no interest in history at school so almost all my knowledge of this period comes from reading, which is much more interesting way to learn.
Favourite fairy tale:
I’m not sure I’ve ever read a fairy tale. Not even a modern retelling, although obviously I’ve seen the Disney films. I love Beauty and the Beast but I think that has more to do with the songs than the story.
The most embarrassing classic you haven’t read:
If 1984 counts as a classic (which it should) then it’s definitely this. And I still keep putting it off.
Top five classics you’d like to read soon:
There are so many classics cluttering up my TBR list. The five that I’m most seriously considering starting though are Cranford because I feel like I’m really missing out having never read anything by Elizabeth Gaskell, Shirley because it sounds like exactly my kind of book – a fiery female lead challenging expectations and it’s by a Bronte so can’t go too far wrong, Under the Greenwood Tree because it’s been too long since I last read some Hardy, Vanity Fair because the only thing putting me off is the length and that’s just a rubbish reason and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn because otherwise this tag becomes far too English-centric.
Favourite modern series based on a classic:
If we’re talking modern retellings then I’ll have to completely agree with Jess and choose Sherlock. It’s just genius the way they’ve transferred it to modern day London.
Favourite movie/TV series based on a classic:
The 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth all day every day. I love this series. Perhaps my favourite miniseries of all time.
Worst classic to movie adaption:
I’m a pretty tough customer when it comes to movie adaptions so there are many I could choose for her. But the first that came to mind was the film version of Mansfield Park because they tried to make it less like the book. And although I may be in the minority, I love the book so can’t forgive them for all the unnecessary changes they made.
Favourite edition you would like to collect more classics from:
I already have a pretty big collection of these Penguin Popular Classics but I still need more. I just love how light they are to carry around, the idea behind them of making books available for just a couple of pounds, and the completely off putting lime green colour.
An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall no question. This book deserves so much more recognition than it gets. It was a ground-breaking piece of feminist writing and yet no one has heard of it. I’m not going to get into because you can read my full review here and it will only get me riled up. But I really hope it’s going to start getting the fame it deserves.
If you’re a classic lover then I tag you to have a go!