Book Review | Rebecca

rebeccaTitle: Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

Genres: Classic, Gothic, Mystery

Published by: HarperCollins (August, 1938)

Summary

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .

The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady’s maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives–presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave.

First published in 1938, this classic gothic novel is such a compelling read that it won the Anthony Award for Best Novel of the Century.

Rebecca 

what i thought

I first added Rebecca to my TBR a year or two ago after hearing so many wonderful things about it.  I just knew I was going to to love it!  Let me just say that this book did not disappoint!

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Christmas Countdown #13

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Welcome to week 3 of Countdown to Christmas! Countdown to Christmas is a weekly feature where I recommend a different Christmas-y book each week to read this holiday season.  Last week was so busy, I ended up taking a break from Countdown to Christmas, but this week I am back. Today I am actually featuring two books, because my niece wanted to share a Christmas book of her own!

Today’s picks are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Santa Claus Book by Eileen Daly.

IMG_4773.jpgA Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens. It was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

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The Santa Claus Book is all about Santa delivering toys on Christmas Eve!

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A Christmas Carol is honestly such a delightful read!  Even if you’ve seen some of the many adaptations, the book is still worth the read.  Ebeneezer Scrooge is so memorable for a reason.  It’s quite short and I really think every book lover should at least give this one a try!


The Santa Claus Book is such a cute and fun picture book.  It is filled such gorgeous, vintage pictures, and it just puts you in such a Christmas-y mood.  My 5-year-old niece really adores this one and loves reading about Santa delivering presents!

Have you read either of these books? 🎄

 


 

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December TBR + Tistheseasonathon & Classicsathon TBRs!

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Hello everyone!  I am so excited for the books I plan on reading this month! Christmas is my favorite time of year, and so December is going to be filled with holiday-themed reads.  I’ve also decided to participate in the ‘TisTheSeasonAthon – which starts today, December 3rd, and runs through the 9th – and the ClassicsAThon, which runs through the entire month of December.  Because everything was starting all around the same time, I decided to create one big TBR post!

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#CLASSICSATHON TBR!

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Hello!  Today I’m going to share with you all the classic books I hope to read during the month of August for the #ClassicsAThon, hosted by Lucy Powrie, AKA, Lucy The Reader!  This is a super chill readathon, and it started August 1st, and goes throughout the entire month of August, ending on the 31st.  I’m jumping in a few days late, but that’s okay, I’m going with it!  The goal of the readathon is simply to read as much, or as little, classic literature as you want.

I’m sure I won’t get to all the books on my TBR, especially since I have other, non-classic books that I hope to read this month as well, but it would be really nice if I was able to read as many of them as I can.  I also think the #ClassicsAThon will really compliment my own #2018ClassicsChallenge, and help cross off a few more books!

So, without further ado, here’s all the classic books I want to read this month:

The Count of Monte Cristo

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I’ve been reading The Count of Monte Cristo off and on all summer.  One of my summer goals was to read a large classic, and with over 1,000 pages, this book has been doing its job!  That being said, I’m only on chapter 20, so I still have quite a while to go.  While I don’t know if I’ll be able to actually finish the entire book this month, I’d really like to get a good chunk of it read!

The Trees

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I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about this book.  I found out about The Trees from my grandma, and it’s supposed to be really good.  It takes place in Ohio at the end of the 18th century, and from what I’ve gathered, it’s a bit of an Ohioan classic.  Since I live in Ohio, I thought I’d give it a read!

Elsie’s Holiday at Roselands

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This series is considered a Christian classic, but it’s also a bit controversial.  It was written back when slavery was still acceptable, and so, there are some derogatory comments and abusive actions in this book.  That being said, the series was rewritten and revised in the early 2000’s and that series was one of my favorites when I was growing up.  Now that I’m older, I’m curious about the original series though, and I’ve started reading it.  Elsie’s Holiday at Roselands is book 2 in the series!

Anne of Ingleside

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Many of you know my love for Anne!  So, it’s no surprise that I would want to add a book from this series on my TBR.  I’ve been hesitant to read the rest of the Anne series for the simple fact that I love these books so much I don’t wan them to end.  That being said, I still really want to finish the series.  So, I’ve decided it’s time to continue on!

Rebecca

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I can’t even tell you how many wonderful things I’ve heard about Rebecca!  This book sounds so intriguing, and it is one that has been on my TBR for so long now.  I am so excited to read this book!


And there you have it!  That’s my TBR for the #ClassicsAThon!  Like I said, I probably won’t get these all read, but I’m hoping to get a good amount of reading done this month, so we shall see.

Let me know if you’re participating in this readathon, and if you are, what’s on your TBR?  Even if you’re not participating this time around, share with me your favorite classic book in the comments!

Thanks for reading!


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2018 Classics Challenge – Update #1

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Hey everyone! Earlier this year, I announced that I was doing a 2018 Classics Challenge.  You can find out all the info about it in my original post, here!

Now, my original plan was to share a post for each classic book I read.  Well, so far, I haven’t done that, lol!  So, I’ve decided that I will just update you all with how I’ve been doing so far.

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So far, I’ve read three classics this year.  Here are the books I read, and a little bit of my thoughts about each of them:

19th Century Classic

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I read The Picture of Dorian Gray in April, and quite enjoyed it.  Dorian was such an interesting and memorable character to me.  This book appears simple, but is so, so complex.  Even though this book isn’t very large, there were parts that felt a bit slow, but overall, I really did enjoy it.

 

Classic Under 200 Pages

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I read Breakfast at Tiffany’s back in February, and while it was a quick read, I, personally, did not enjoy it too much.  I found myself being unable to connect to the author’s writing style, and thus, found myself unable to connect to the story or the characters.  I really just think it was more of my personal preference though!  To hear my full thoughts, I wrote a review about it, here!

 

Children’s Classic

the chronicles of narnia

I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in March, and I really enjoyed it! Out of all three classics that I’ve read this year, so far, this one has been my favorite.  The plot and concept were so intriguing and so well done.  I really loved seeing the Christian parallels throughout the story, too.  The characters were so charming and Narnia itself was just as magical and enchanting as everyone else always says, also.  This book was so readable, and honestly, just such a delight!  To hear my full thoughts, click here to read my review!


That’s all the classics I’ve read so far in 2018!  I still have quite a ways to go if I want to complete my challenge, but I think I can still do it. I’m working on reading a classic over 500 pages right now.  I decided to go with The Count of Monte Cristo which is over 1,000 pages, so please wish me luck with that! 😜

I’m going to try to share my progress more often now, so look for more updates soon!  Also, if you’re reading any classic books that fit any of the challenges, be sure to share them with me and follow along with the hashtag #2018ClassicsChallenge!


Thanks so much for reading!


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Book Review | Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories

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Title: Breakfast at Tiffany’s: A Short Novel and Three Stories by Truman Capote

Pages: 162

Genres: Fiction, Classic, Short Stories

Published by: Modern Library (Jan. 13th, 1994, originally 1958)

Summary

It’s New York in the 1940s, where the martinis flow from cocktail hour till breakfast at Tiffany’s. And nice girls don’t, except, of course, Holly Golightly. Pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires, Holly is a fragile eyeful of tawny hair and turned-up nose, a heart-breaker, a perplexer, a traveller, a tease. She is irrepressibly ‘top banana in the shock department’, and one of the shining flowers of American fiction.

This edition also contains three stories: ‘House of Flowers’, ‘A Diamond Guitar’ and ‘A Christmas Memory’.

Breakfast at Tiffany's: A Short Novel and Three Stories

What I Thought

I decided to read Breakfast at Tiffany’s because of how well-loved the movie is. I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize it was based on a book until recently. I’ve never seen the movie, but I’ve been wanting to, especially since I saw that it was on Netflix. So, I decided to read the book first.

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2018 Classics Challenge!

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Hi everyone!  Today, I’ve got a super exciting post to share with you all.  For 2018, two of my blogging and reading goals were 1) read more classics, and 2) host my own event/reading challenge.  Well, I decided to combine the two, and came up with a 2018 Classics Challenge!  The goal for this challenge is to simply read more classic literature based off the prompts below.  There are eleven prompts, so that’s about 1 classic book a month.

I’m mostly a mood reader, so I’m not going to create a specific TBR.  Today, though, I’m going to explain the prompts a bit more, and give some suggestions for each category!

Please know, though, that I haven’t read all the examples I’m sharing with you all. For the most part, I’m simply going off of recommendations from people I know and Google.

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A Classic for your Country

For this prompt, I want you to read a book that is considered a classic for the country where you live, or where you are originally from.  For example, I’m from the US, so I would read a book that is considered an American classic such as…

  • The Great Gatsby
  • Little Women
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin
  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

A Classic for a Country not your Own

For this challenge, read a book that’s considered a classic for a country not your own.  Some examples of this would be:

  • Anne of Green Gables is a Canadian classic
  • Great Expectations is a British classic
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock is an Australian classic
  • Things Fall Apart is an African classic
  • Journey to the West is a Chinese classic

A Classic Written by an Author Whose Name Starts with the Same Letter as Your Name

It can be either your first or last name or the author’s first or last name, but for this challenge, read a book by an author whose name starts with the same letter as your name, or even better, if you can, share the same name as you!

So, for example, my name is Theresa, so I could read a book by T. S. Elliot, Thomas Hardy, or even JRR Tolkien or Leo Tolstoy.  I could also use my last name, which starts with an M. So I could read a book by Margaret Mitchell, A. A. Milne, or Mark Twain.

18th Century Classic

These next few prompts are pretty self-explanatory.  For this one, read a book from the 18th century.

Some examples:

  • Gulliver’s Travels
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Clarissa
  • The Vicar of Wakefield

19th Century Classic

Read a book from the 19th century, such as:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • Frankenstein
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

20th Century Classic

Read a book from the 20th century:

  • 1984
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • The Bell Jar
  • The Hobbit
  • A Farewell to Arms

Modern Day Classic

For this challenge, you have a little more freedom deciding which book you would consider a modern day classic. To more clearly separate a 20th century classic with a modern day classic, I’ve decided anything from about 1980 and beyond is a modern day classic. You could even include a book that you think will be a classic in the future! Some examples:

  • ͏Li͏f͏e of Pi
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • The Color Purple
  • Harry Potter
  • A Monster Calls

A Classic Under 200 Pages

Read a classic book that’s 200 pages or less.

Some examples are:

  • The Outsiders
  • Animal Farm
  • The Old Man and the Sea
  • Mrs. Dalloway
  • Northanger Abbey
  • The Metamorphosis

A Classic Over 500 Pages

Read a classic book that’s 500 pages or more (I would recommend starting this particular challenge more than a week before the year ends. 😉).

Some examples would be:

  • Gone with the Wind
  • Les Misérables
  • East of Eden
  • Moby Dick
  • Great Expectations

A Children’s Classic

Read a book that is considered a children’s classic, such as:

  • Peter Pan
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Winnie the Pooh
  • The Wind in the Willows
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Classic Freebie

For this last prompt, read any classic book you want. The choice is totally up to you and what you feel like reading!


I’d really love it if you all participated with me for this reading challenge! If you do decide to participate, let me know, and I’ll include a link to your blog in this post. For each classic I read, I’ll write a post and share which one I chose, and my thoughts about it.  Also, I’ll be using the hashtag #2018ClassicsChallenge. So, be sure to follow along and use the hashtag as well! 🎉


Thanks so much for reading! I’m looking forward to reading more classics, and I hope you are, too!


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August Classic

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Yikes! We are only 3 days away from October, and I’m just now posting about August’s classic…oops?  Better late than never, right?

August’s Classic

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Check it out on Goodreads

Originally Published: 1895

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

Synopsis: Here is Oscar Wilde’s most brilliant tour de force, a witty and buoyant comedy of manners that has delighted millions in countless productions since its first performance in London’s St. James’ Theatre on February 14, 1895. The Importance of Being Earnest is celebrated not only for the lighthearted ingenuity of its plot, but for its inspired dialogue, rich with scintillating epigrams still savored by all who enjoy artful conversation.

From the play’s effervescent beginnings in Algernon Moncrieff’s London flat to its hilarious denouement in the drawing room of Jack Worthings’s country manor in Hertfordshire, this comic masterpieces keeps audiences breathlessly anticipating a new bon mot or a fresh twist of plot moment to moment.

This finely produced volume is an unabridged, unaltered reprinting of an authoritative early British edition.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I had heard of this book, along with Oscar Wilde’s other works, probably since early high school.  However, it wasn’t until I discovered this book while cleaning, that I took an interest in actually reading it.

WHY I Chose To Read It

I’ll be honest, it was almost the end of August, and I still hadn’t read anything that could be considered a classic, and The Importance of Being Earnest was the smallest classic I could find…

WHAT Makes It A Classic

Oscar Wilde was such an incredibly gifted author.  This play, in particular, is one of his most well-loved pieces.

WHAT I Thought Of This Classic

I was so pleasantly surprised by this one!  I went into this book knowing almost nothing about what it was about, other than the fact that it was a play, and people love Oscar Wilde.  Honestly, I did not know what to expect before starting this book.

The Importance of Being Earnest is so well-written.  The dialogue is witty and clever; I literally laughed out loud in parts.  The premise of the story is actually quite silly and unrealistic, but I think that is what makes it so great.  The characters are so fun as well.  Yes, everyone is a little shallow, especially the girls, but that is what makes the story.

Also, I absolutely love the title as well.  After reading this story, you’ll see it’s such a clever play on words.

This book is super short, so you could easily read it in an hour or two.  I definitely see myself re-reading this one in the future.

WILL It Stay A Classic

I definitely think so!  This story is so clever, and very likable, I imagine people will continue to read this for years and years to come.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

First of all, if you love reading plays, you definitely need to read this one.  Also, I’d recommend this book to someone who is interested in reading more classics.  I find that sometimes classics can be quite intimidating, and this one was not at all!  Actually, it sort of reminded me of that old ’90’s movie, The House Sitter starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn.  So, if you like that movie, I’d recommend The Importance of Being Earnest to you, too!

July Classic

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I want to apologize for the lack of posts this month!  I have been absolutely terrible keeping up with book reviews, and really, all posts in general.  Honestly, I just haven’t had a lot of time on the computer these past couple of weeks, and writing entire posts on my phone is not an enjoyable experience lol.  I will try to post more consistently again from here on out!

July’s Classic

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Check it out on Goodreads!

 

Originally Published: 1953

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.

Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.

The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.

Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock.

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

I think I first really heard about Fahrenheit 451 in high school, or maybe, middle school.  At the time though, I really did not have an interest in reading any kind of classic literature outside of the classroom.  A lot of the classics I was required to read for school at that time were, in my opinion, rather dry.  It wasn’t until I graduated from high school, and took a gap year, that I really discovered the beauty of classic literature, and that it wasn’t all boring and hard to understand.  I’d say that’s about when this book really came on to my radar.

WHY I Chose To Read It

The premise of this book is just so intriguing!  Plus, I read Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury last year, and I just fell in love with his writing style.

WHAT Makes It A Classic

Even though this book was written in 1953, the themes and general message of this book is still so relevant in 2016.

WHAT I Thought Of This Classic

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  I’m almost certain it is going to be on my list of the best books I read in 2016.  I went back and forth between giving it a 4 or 5 star rating on Goodreads.  I ended up giving it a 4, but it is really a 4.5.

First of all, Ray Bradbury was truly an incredibly gifted writer.  I absolutely love his writing style and his way with words.  This is one of those books where I found myself going back and rereading sentences simply because they were so savory and skillfully crafted (I now sound like I’m describing a steak instead of a book! Haha).

The story in itself was so good as well.  While, for the most part, our society is not nearly as bad as the society Guy Montag lives in, some of the very same issues in the book are prevalent today.  The little shells that everyone wears in their ears really stood out to me.  How many of us are constantly check our phones?  Not that anything is wrong with smartphones and technology (I am actually super thankful for all of it!), but sometimes we do miss out from fully experiencing something like the people in Fahrenheit 451 because our focus is elsewhere.

Another thing, I think we’ve all felt that desire for something more meaningful, and questioned what we are doing and thinking, just like Guy did.  This book was a great reminder to not settle and simply conform to what is told to you. Ultimately, Fahrenheit 451  left me with hope.

WILL It Stay A Classic

This book will definitely stay a classic.  As long as people continue to treasure books and knowledge, this book will be around.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

I would recommend Fahrenheit 451 to anyone who loves dystopian novels.  Anyone who truly loves books and the written word, in that savory way, would also enjoy this book, I think.

June Classic

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Can you believe it? I’m actually posting June’s classic in June! :O

June’s Classic

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Check it out on Goodreads!

 

 

Originally Published: 1868

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: In this first volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, sweet, motherless eight-year-old Elsie struggles with several bewildering problems. She has never known her mother, and her relationship with her father is filled with misunderstanding and tears. The young girl learns to depend wholly upon her faith in her heavenly father.

 

 

 

 

WHEN I Discovered This Classic

When I was little, I loved the A Life of Faith versions of the Elsie books. Growing up, they were some of my absolute favorites.  I later found out they were an adaptation of this original series.

WHY I Chose To Read It

Ever since I found out there was another version of these books, I wanted to read them.  I had heard the originals were a bit controversial, so I was curious to check them out for myself!

WHAT Makes It A Classic

Elsie’s faithfulness and Christian morals has been long admired.  Plus, any book that has been in publication for nearly 150 years is considered a classic to me.

WHAT I Thought Of This Classic

I was unsure what to rate this book. For me personally, I enjoyed reading it, and being able to go back into Elsie’s world. I loved the A Life of Faith versions so much when I was little, and while there definitely were things I did not like in this real version, honestly, I still enjoyed this book, story-wise, just as much as the updated version. I also love Elsie’s perseverance. Her faith is definitely inspirational, and something I think all Christians should strive to be more like.

That being said, it was disturbing to read of the emotional, and nearly, physical abuse that went on in this book that was written off as stern but fair punishment. Poor Elsie is often under the impression that she is a terribly naughty child, when in actuality she is the most obedient child in a way that is humanly possible. I also found it creepy when a grown man told 8-year-old Elsie, “If only you were ten years older.” It’s even creepier to me, because I know they actually do get married someday! I realize the world was a very different place when this book was written back in the 1800s, before even slavery was abolished, but still…

WILL It Stay A Classic

I don’t know.  There was a lot of problematic content in this book.  I’m glad I had the A Life of Faith versions to read when I was little.  If Mission City Press had not gone out of business, and those versions of the story were still being published, I think they would have eventually taken the original versions’ place.

WHO I’d Recommend It To

I would recommend this book to people who, like me, enjoyed the A Life of Faith books. It was interesting to read the similarities and the differences between the two. People who enjoy reading old-fashioned books would enjoy these as well.  However, I would NOT recommend these books to young, impressionable children, who the books are really targeted for.  The way most of the adults treat the children in this book is not good. If they want to read about Elsie and friends, they should stick to the adapted versions.