We hit double digits! That also means that today will mark fifty books that have been put to the test. Let’s see how they fair.
This week, we’re tackling the rest of the classics that I hadn’t gotten to. In all honesty, I haven’t read that many classics. Of the ones I have read, my personal favorite classics are To Kill a Mockingbird, Things Fall Apart, and Animal Farm.
- 1. Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
- 2. Order on ascending date added.
- 3. Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
- 4. Read the synopsis of the books.
- 5. Time to Decide: keep it or should it go
Goodreads Synopsis: Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker’s Guide (“A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have”) and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox—the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod’s girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robot; Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years.
This sounds fun. I don’t think I’ve heard anything negative about A Hitchhiker’s Guide and it seems like a cool read.
Goodreads Synopsis: According to Arthur Golden’s absorbing first novel, the word “geisha” does not mean “prostitute,” as Westerners ignorantly assume–it means “artisan” or “artist.” To capture the geisha experience in the art of fiction, Golden trained as long and hard as any geisha who must master the arts of music, dance, clever conversation, crafty battle with rival beauties, and cunning seduction of wealthy patrons. After earning degrees in Japanese art and history from Harvard and Columbia–and an M.A. in English–he met a man in Tokyo who was the illegitimate offspring of a renowned businessman and a geisha. This meeting inspired Golden to spend 10 years researching every detail of geisha culture, chiefly relying on the geisha Mineko Iwasaki, who spent years charming the very rich and famous.
I own a copy of this book that I got as a gift. I tried reading it several years ago, but never really got into it. I should probably try it again but I honestly don’t know because it’s on the longer side. Also, the synopsis is literally just about the author and that makes me even less interested.
Verdict: Let it go
Goodreads Synopsis: After eighteen years as a political prisoner in the Bastille, the ageing Doctor Manette is finally released and reunited with his daughter in England. There the lives of two very different men, Charles Darnay, an exiled French aristocrat, and Sydney Carton, a disreputable but brilliant English lawyer, become enmeshed through their love for Lucie Manette. From the tranquil roads of London, they are drawn against their will to the vengeful, bloodstained streets of Paris at the height of the Reign of Terror, and they soon fall under the lethal shadow of La Guillotine.
This edition uses the text as it appeared in its serial publication in 1859 to convey the full scope of Dickens’s vision, and includes the original illustrations by H. K. Browne (‘Phiz’). Richard Maxwell’s introduction discusses the intricate interweaving of epic drama with personal tragedy.
The first line is so good, there’s a reason it’s quoted just about everywhere. I really want to read the book that has inspired so much art. A Tale of Two Cities has inspired so much in literature, TV Shows, and movies (basically all my favorite things) so it would be nice to get that full context into why people love it so much.
Verdict: Keep and actually read
Goodreads Synopsis: Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel by Yann Martel published in 2001. The protagonist, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel, a Tamil boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spirituality and practicality from an early age. He survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.
I feel like this is a safe space where I can admit some stuff without judgement, so here it goes: I only added this to my TBR because of the movie. I saw the trailer, heard there was a book, and wanted to read it before watching the film. As you can see, I didn’t read it but I also didn’t see the movie so… Phew, that feels like a weight off my shoulders. Do with that info as you will.
Goodreads Synopsis: In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor who has just recently been granted the succession of his erstwhile captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his Catalan fiancée Mercédès. Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration.
Now, there’s the opposite problem for this one. I watched the movie without reading the book, but in my defense, my middle school English teacher showed us the movie in class as an analysis assignment. Then, I tried listening to the audiobook, I even have a really nice physical copy of The Count of Monte Cristo, but I could never make it past the first 100 pages.
Verdict: Move on
Thank you for checking out what I had to say about these classics! This week, I unhauled 3 books and kept 2 on the TBR. I’m loving this progress.