How precious are Your thoughts to me, O LORD ... how vast is the sum of them!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Classics in the Bag, Part 2

                                Spend all day in a library like this. Reading every book that I can<3                                                                           pinterest
I will soon be leaving for two weeks to go to a summer camp and visit a good friend, so this will be my last post for the time being! I’m not promising, but I may be able to post the second week I’m gone -- however, that will greatly depend on inclination. Let’s face it, I may be too busy having fun!

With that said, here’s part two of my chronological list of pre-1900 classics! I welcome comments and discussion on anything listed here.

  • Victor Hugo (Feb 26, 1802 - May 22, 1885) - The Hunchback of Notre Dame, 1831
What a book. I liked it yet didn't like it. The pathos was incredible, which depressed me but made me acknowledge Hugo's power. I'm glad I read it, but I would definitely not read it again.
  • Alexandre Dumas (Jul 24, 1802 - Dec 5, 1870) - The Count of Monte Cristo, 1844
I think this was one of the best novels ever written -- the scope is amazing and the story is powerful. Without knowing it, I read one of many abridged versions, so one day I'll have to read the whole thing!
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne (Jul 4, 1804 - May 19, 1864) - The Scarlet Letter, 1850
I love Hawthorne's rich style. The plot is disturbing, but the analysis of human nature is intriguing.
  • Elizabeth Gaskell (Sep 29, 1810 - Nov 12, 1865) - The Moorland Cottage, 1850
If I remember correctly, this was Gaskell's first story. It is so sweet and, though simple, demonstrates Gaskell's amazing character development.
  • North and South, 1855
Gaskell is perhaps my favorite novelist, and this compelling book showcases the depth of her talent.  It's about two ways of life, but its genius lies in how neither one is extolled or degraded above the other.
  • Wives and Daughters, 1865
Another amazing novel, again with a cast of extensively-developed characters. Sweet and relatable Molly Gibson is my favorite!
  • Charles Dickens (Feb 7, 1812 - Jun 9, 1870) - A Tale of Two Cities, 1859
I find it hard to believe that I've only read one Dickens novel so far, but I think this was an excellent place to start and a qualified display of his mastery.
  • Anthony Trollope (Apr 24, 1815 - Dec 6, 1882) - Phineas Finn, 1867-68
I liked it, but it didn't leave me particularly eager to read the rest of the series; Trollope has a handle on interesting characters, but I think I may like The Barchester Towers better. (Thanks for the recommendation, Sarah and Hannah!)
  • Charlotte Bronte (Apr 21, 1816 - Mar 31, 1855) - Jane Eyre, 1847
Along with North and South and Wives and Daughters, here's one of my favorite books!
  • Emily Bronte (July 30, 1818 - Dec 19, 1848) - Wuthering Heights, 1847
Very interesting. Being from a very rational family, I found the unbalanced minds of the characters hard to understand. But, I must say, the writing was stellar.
  • Elizabeth Prentiss (Oct 26, 1818 - Aug 13, 1878) - Stepping Heavenward, 1869
This was an amazing and touching book on giving oneself to God and to others.
  • Herman Melville (Aug 1, 1819 - Sep 28, 1891) - Moby-Dick, 1851
I liked parts of it, but they were few and far-between. Melville is a skilled word-crafter, but he could have groomed his plot a little.
  • George Eliot (Nov 22 1819 - Dec 22, 1880) - Silas Marner, 1861
My introduction to Eliot's genius; its interconnectedness was a beautiful thing to see, and its philosophical probing was fascinating. Silas and Eppie -- such a sweet pair!
  • Daniel Deronda, 1876
This was a step-up from Silas Marner; it possessed the same attributes, but on a wider scale. I loved the Jewish characters and theme that enter the story. Eliot was one of the first major authors to portray Jews sympathetically. It was a huge step.
  • George MacDonald (Dec 10, 1824 - Sep 18, 1905) - The Princess and the Goblin, 1872
My mom read this to us when we were young, and we made a study notebook on it, complete with drawings! The story was neat, but I don't remember much of the writing.
  • Jules Verne (Feb 8, 1828 - Mar 24, 1905) - Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, 1870
Captain Nemo was interesting, as was the novel's concept; but some parts I found dry.
  • Around the World in Eighty Days, 1873
I liked this much better than the other; world travel fascinates me to no end, and I read the end on pins and needles!


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