Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: Classics (page 2 of 2)

My bookcases and my 40 years

When we were house hunting, it came down to two houses. One had a three-car garage, was on a lake, and had built-in bookcases. The other, which we now live in, didn’t have these particular things, but was great in other ways.   

My husband gave up his dreams of fishing out of his back yard and keeping all his trailers and boats on-site.

And I thought I was giving up my bookcases.

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Emma and my love of the Norton Critical Edition

Once upon a time I did not read literary criticism. My internal contemplation, profound or not, was enough.

Returning to this mindset during a recent reading of Jane Austen’s Emma, I indulged myself in some (not so) deep thoughts:   

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Rebecca and its perennials

I don’t want to spill the secrets of Rebecca, billed as “the classic tale of romantic suspense” to anyone who has not yet read it, so I won’t focus on the plot here. Instead, I’ll just note the story reminds us that situations, and people, aren’t always what they seem, and, as the narrator learns, we shouldn’t waste our time “building up false pictures in our mind” to sit before and obsess over.

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The Great Gatsby, From Page to Film and Back Again

If you see me breaking into swing kicks during my neighborhood walks, it’s because I’m listening to the Great Gatsby soundtrack. I admit it—I’m in love with all things Gatsby right now.

This affair started around 15 years ago though I can’t remember exactly when I first read the book or when I read it a second time. In fact, I recently had to admit to myself that I couldn’t remember much about it at all minus some passages I liked and a general story line. So, when I walked over to my glorious bookcases, with the intention of plucking it out for a quick re-read before seeing the new Baz Luhrmann film, I stared at my Fs in disbelief. (Yes, most of my fiction is alphabetized, one of the very few areas of true organization in my life.) In fact, I found nothing from F. Scott Fitzgerald there except a collection of short stories. I walked away disturbed and confused, wondering what had happened to my book in which some favorite passages were underlined.

Amazon Prime comes fast but not as quickly as my opportunity to finally go see the new film ended up presenting itself. With two pre-schoolers, it is rare that “no kids” coincides with a specific movie’s schedule, so these opportunities must be seized quickly. Thus, my re-reading was, gasp, going to have to wait until after the film. I cringed at this literary faux pas.

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