I’ve always really enjoyed reading classics, even from a very young age. As a child I devoured a lot of the children’s classics like Black Beauty and Watership Down, and in my early teens I discovered Jane Austen and the Brontë sisters. English was my favourite subject in school for that reason, and I even went on to study it in college and then university. However, I think by that stage, I’d kind of gone into classics overload… I’d read so many classics over the years, and some that I’d been made to read I just hadn’t clicked with. That’s… Read more »
So recently I went on another trip to Haworth in Yorkshire, which is well-known for having been home to the Brontë family. I’ve always loved Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights and Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre, but it was only whilst I was walking around the Brontë Parsonage that I realised I hadn’t actually read anything by the youngest sister Anne. Of the three sisters, she is the one most often overlooked, her works having not become quite as universally known as that of her sisters: in fact Charlotte herself deemed Anne’s work lesser than theirs, allowing it to go out of print after Anne’s death. However,… Read more »
So here it is: the fourth and final post in my ‘Five Reasons To Read…’ series all about my favourite genres! If you’ve missed any, why not check out my posts on Historical Fiction, Fantasy and YA? In my last post I talked about why people of all ages should be reading YA, and touched on book snobbery, where certain supposedly ‘high-brow’ readers seem to think that reading genre or YA fiction doesn’t count as ‘real reading’. This is of course, absolute nonsense! However in this post I wanted to talk about how things can also go the other way… Read more »
‘Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of the unknown past into the unknown future.’ Ages ago I read The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells and really enjoyed it, despite being immensely creeped out by it. Therefore I thought I’d give one of his more famous works a go and went for The Time Machine…and yet again found it enjoyable but extremely strange and disconcerting. The Time Machine tells the tale of a scientist… Read more »
Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous Sherlock Holmes stories have been on my TBR list since forever (partly because of my love for the Sherlock TV series, admittedly!), so I’m glad I have finally got round to reading these canonical works of detective fiction. Whilst I often find Victorian literature a little hard-going (I have still to this day never made it all the way through a Dickens novel, despite my best efforts), I absolutely breezed through this collection of 23 stories as I always found myself eager to know the outcome of Holmes’ latest mystery. At the centre of these intriguing… Read more »
10. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen Whilst Jane Austen’s most popular book tends to be Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey remains my favourite. Despite its largely unlikable characters, this mock Gothic tale is one that is still funny today, and is a great example of Austen’s classic wit and satire.
The short story is a form that has had its ups and downs. Whilst immensely popular during the early twentieth century – the likes of Joyce and Hemingway penning their masterpieces – it could be seen to have fallen out of fashion in later years. However, 2013 saw Alice Munro win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and was the first short story writer to do so. Perhaps because of this, there seems to be a renewed interest in shorter fiction, and I have seen more short story collections than ever before gracing the shelves of bookshops. So, in honour of the short… Read more »