Thursday, July 27, 2017

Phantom of the Opera

By: Gaston Leroux (I'm not sure who translated the edition I read)

Gothic or Horror Classic: Classics Challenge

This was a surprise. I was already familiar with the story but not the book story which is different than all the movie renditions. I was pleasantly surprised.

"Rumors abound that a ghost stalks the dark passages and cellars of the Paris Opera House. No one has actually seen this Phantom, but Christine DaaƩ, a beautiful and talented young singer, has heard his voice. He is her "Angel of Music," coaching her to sing as she never could before. When the handsome Viscount begins to court Christine, the mysterious Phantom-consumed by jealousy-rises up to seek revenge."

Little Women

By: Louisa May Alcott

A Romance Classic: Classic Challenge

I really didn't like this book. I couldn't even finish it. It was too slow and boring. Not my cup of tea, at all!

"Grown-up Meg, tomboyish Jo, timid Beth, and precocious Amy. The four March sisters couldn't be more different. But with their father away at war, and their mother working to support the family, they have to rely on one another. Whether they're putting on a play, forming a secret society, or celebrating Christmas, there's one thing they can't help wondering: Will Father return home safely?"

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

 Translator: Simon Armitage

A classic originally published before 1800: Classic Challenge

"One of the earliest great stories of English literature after Beowulf, Sir Gawain is the strange tale of a green knight on a green horse, who rudely interrupts King Arthur's Round Table festivities one Yuletide, challenging the knights to a wager. Simon Armitage, one of Britain's leading poets, has produced an inventive and groundbreaking translation that helps liberate Gawain from academia."

I'm not sure how I feel about this book. It was okay, and a little strange. I loved the way this edition was laid out: one side original text, the other side translated. I'm glad I can check it off my list.

I do have a question though. This book was written before 1800, I'm not entirely sure it was published before then? I hope it was, otherwise it won't count.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The Story of Hong Gildong

Translator and Editor: Minsoo Kang

A Classic in Translation: Classic Challenge

"The Story of Hong Gildong is arguably the single most important work of classic Korean fiction. A fantastic story of adventure, it has been adapted into countless movies, television shows, novels, and comics in Korea. Until now, the earliest and fullest text of this incredible fable has been inaccessible to English readers.

Hong Gildong, the brilliant but illegitimate son of a noble government minister, cannot advance in society due to his second-class status, so he leaves home and becomes the leader of a band of outlaws. On the way to building his own empire and gaining acceptance from his family, Hong Gildong vanquishes assassins, battles monsters, and conquers kingdoms. Minsoo Kang’s expressive and lively new translation finally makes the authoritative text of this premodern tale available in English, reintroducing a noble and righteous outlaw and sharing a beloved hallmark of Korean culture." Amazon

Another classic lets me down. So far this year the only classic I've enjoyed has been A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I had my husband read this and he didn't really care for it either. That said, the translation is so well done. I think this part fable, part adventure story was just to confusing and at times I had no idea what I was reading. You should try it out, it might have just been me and my reading preferences. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

By: Betty Smith

A classic by a woman author: Classic Challenge

Oh, how I loved this book. It played out slowly so the pacing was nice and relaxed.

"Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colorful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. She grows up with a sweet, tragic father, a severely realistic mother, and an aunt who gives her love too freely--to men, and to a brother who will always be the favored child. Francie learns early the meaning of hunger and the value of a penny. She is her father's child--romantic and hungry for beauty. But she is her mother's child, too--deeply practical and in constant need of truth. Like the Tree of Heaven that grows out of cement or through cellar gratings, resourceful Francie struggles against all odds to survive and thrive. Betty Smith's poignant, honest novel created a big stir when it was first published over 50 years ago. Her frank writing about life's squalor was alarming to some of the more genteel society, but the book's humor and pathos ensured its place in the realm of classics--and in the hearts of readers, young and old."

My grandmother was born in 1918 and although she did not live anywhere near New York, I saw a lot of her in this book. I miss you grandma.

To Be Read pile...

Sorry for my absence, ahem, my excuse - a huge TBR!

We now resume our regular challenges...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A Lady in Disguise

By: Sandra Byrd

This book was SO good on so many levels. The weather here in the Pacific Northwest has been rainy and stormy. I started this book at night after everyone was in bed. I could hear the rain and the wind, and it was dark. Oh what perfect reading weather for this book! Suspenseful, mysterious, romantic, delicious! This is the third in the Daughters of Hampshire series by Sandra Byrd. I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.

The story takes place in Victorian London where our main character, Gillian Young is trying to find out not only how really did her father die, but why? Was her father living a secret, not-so-honest-life even though he was a respected police officer?  As Gillian works her new job as the principal costume designer at the renowned Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, she reaches out to help young ladies that could end up in harms way. Is there anyone she can trust? Even when she meets the Viscount Thomas Lockwood I wanted to scream, RUN! But has her father left evidence that will clear up this huge mystery? Where is it? and will she find it in time? Who is trying to stop her? The whisperer at her door? The menacing footsteps always behind her? Ah, the suspense!

Note: I do not normally read romance. I just don't care for it. If you are like me, don't discount this book from your TBR. This is a big story that has more in it and will appeal to a large audience.

Release date is March 21, 2017