Thursday, April 11, 2013

New Year Resolution/Book Challenge

Hello! I am the newbie (Teresa) at Old Firehouse Books, and this is my first blog (pretty excited about it as well). I consider myself an avid reader, but I tend to stick to general fiction/literature and I don't really venture out of those boundaries. So at the start of the year I decided that while I do read a lot, do I really read "quality literature"? Big question, because what really constitutes "quality literature" and who am I to judge? That being said, I figured that the books considered classics are quality literature, and that I would challenge myself to read one classic novel a month (it was not only a challenge, but also one of my New Year's resolutions and currently the only one that I am still keeping up with :)
To date, I have read 4 classic novels, and I must admit to myself that I am really enjoying the ones that I have read thus far. January's pick was "The Great Gatsby" by Fitzgerald, and even though I had to read it in high school (and let's just say that I was unimpressed) I really enjoyed it a second time. I chose this book because of the movie coming out, and if I am being honest, because it was a pretty short book :) The surreal world of the 1920s really came to life, as well as the unhealthy relationship between Daisy and Jay Gatsby.
February's pick was "1984" by Orwell, much to the surprise of my fellow book lovers and friends that novel was not a required read in high school. Again, this pick was slightly fueled by the size of the book, but as I read it I was amazed that I had not read this book before. (I could finally place the big brother comments that had been in my life). The story sucked me in, and had me reading late into the night to see what was going to happen to Winston and Julia.
After reading Orwell, again I was inspired to read a book before I saw the movie, so I picked up L. Frank Baum's "The Oz Chronicles". Did you know that the infamous movie with Judy Garland was based on a 80 page story?! Neither did I, until I finished it; but in those 80 pages the world of Oz was real to me. I will also admit that I couldn't quite get into the stories that followed, I guess I needed Dorothy to keep me interested. (I still am holding out hope that someday I will pick it up again, and be just as enthralled as I was for "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".)
April is a short month, so I opted to go with "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Stevenson. I was surprised by how short this book was, I would actually consider it a novella, but I was captivated by the story of split personalities vying for one body. Doesn't everyone have dueling personalities, and sometimes it really is a struggle to control one or the other? Stevenson did an amazing job bringing to life this very dilemma.
As for May, I am debating between "Native Son" by Wright, or "Kim" by Kipling, but I am open to suggestions and would love to hear from some of you what your favorite classic novel is! Thanks for reading this, and as always Happy Reading!


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