Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: Classics (page 1 of 2)

I finally read Jane Eyre and am sorting out my feelings for Mr. Rochester

My thesis advisor told me that even professors of literature have at least one book they are embarrassed to admit they have never read (she wouldn’t even tell me hers!!) so I am not too embarrassed to admit: This is the first time I have read Jane Eyre. (This is of course not the only classic I have not read, but I’m not going to admit to the others right now!!)

Intrigued by the recently released Mr. Rochester, which I put on my summer reading list,  I knew I finally needed to read Jane Eyre first.

Because this is a book many of you have already read, my forthcoming discussion will contain spoilers. I hope you will join me in discussion about Jane Eyre & Mr. Rochester.

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Call of the Wild calling me back

In High School English class a couple of shorter books were very popular for book reports. I remember hearing SOOOO MANY oral book reports on The Old Man and The Sea and The Call of the Wild.

I heard about these books sooo many times, I never needed to read them myself at the time, and I didn’t until years later.

But when Call of the Wild was recently featured as a “literary cameo” in a show I was hooked on, I decided to read this book for myself, finally.

RELATED POST: Literary Cameos in The Night Of

And I now have to admit that these classmates who were being efficient were still getting quality reading in fewer pages than I might have been!

Intro to Jack London

Usually, I skip the “Introduction” section of a book mostly due to impatience – when I’m ready to start reading the book I just want to start reading the book. Also, sometimes, especially in a critical edition, the intro contains “spoilers” which I don’t want to know and/or tells me how someone else has interpreted the book, which I don’t really want to know (yet anyway!) either.

But for whatever reason I decided to read the introduction to The Call of the Wild, which I am re-reading in the context of HBO’s recent hit drama series “The Night Of.” This particular introduction is by Alex Kershaw.

RELATED POST: Literary cameos on The Night Of

I am SO glad I read this intro because I learned some fascinating information.

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Seven books I want to read again right now

“If you would tell me the heart of a man, tell me not what he reads, but what he re-reads.” – Francois Mauriac

Lately I have been reading books I feel like I SHOULD read. Granted I have enjoyed parts of them, am glad I am reading them, BUT are they books that draw me back towards them every hour of the day until I finish the last page? Are they books I will want to read again someday? Unfortunately, NO.

With this in mind, yesterday I wondered longingly over to my bookcases and pulled out these seven books that I not only enjoyed and could not put down, but that I would love to (or already have) re-read:

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Three updates upon my return to the madding crowd

Upon my return to the madding crowd, I have three updates:

1) First, some sad news: I have to say RIP to my beautiful old book, the old-smelling copy of Far from the Madding Crowd (Penguin Classics) previously read by Gene Kaufman with a textbook control card. I’m keeping the card for a bookmark, and I’m keeping the cover too, but unfortunately, the rest of the old book needs to go into the recycling bin because it is literally falling apart.

Rest assured this old book got one last good read:

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Ulysses geeks only: Tips for drinking on Bloomsday

Happy Bloomsday! If you are not a Ulysses geek, click here for my previous post on why you should be.

As Leopold Bloom notes early on,

“Good puzzle would be cross Dublin without passing a pub,” (Joyce Ulysses, 48),

so please note these tips and tricks for drinking in Ulysses, or 1904 Dublin:

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The Bloomsday Post: Why you should read Ulysses

Do you celebrate Bloomsday on June 16?

June 16, 1904, is the day on which Leopold Bloom – hence Bloomsday – walks around Dublin in James Joyce’s Ulysses.

(If you have already read Ulysses and already celebrate, you may enjoy my tips and tricks for drinking in Ulysses.)

The history of this post, which will attempt to convince you to read Ulysses,  goes back more than a decade:

I ended up, by accident, at a Bloomsday festival at Mike & Molly’s beergarden in Champaign where people who apparently had read Ulysses and appeared to like it were taking turns reading it from a stage. The book’s language was tedious, and I honestly remember joking to my friend (a detail I left out of the intro to my thesis defense), “Well…I never need to read that book.”
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why I love old books

I’m only two thirds through Far from the Madding Crowd  by Thomas Hardy, so this post isn’t about the story, it’s about the book.

Literally the book.

Just look at this old book and how much it’s been through. The front matter and preface, which have physically fallen out of the spine, are stamped with DISCARDED 50 cents. Inside the front cover is a card holder for a “Textbook Control Card” that I’m using for a book mark.

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the bookmark was not moving

Once upon a time I announced my goal to read 40 books out of my own bookcases.

Thankfully I put no time limit on that goal because months passed and I had only read exactly five. That’s right –  five books in 10 months.

I loved Book #1.

I loved Book #2. Continue reading

when you keep reading towards heartbreak

I was only a few chapters into The Heart is a Lonely Hunter when I knew it would break my heart. I just didn’t know how.

The book was building towards something. But what? What horrible thing will happen? And to who?

I knew it wasn’t going to end well. But I kept reading.

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