The Classics


Classic Literature. Sounds like a college English class. But I've been reading through some classics lately and have been challenged by the process. 

My husband found a great 14-volume set of condensed classic books for free. Who can pass up free!?! Not us! So we incorporated these onto our bookshelves and I began to work my way through them. Although they are "condensed" each story is still 100-300 pages in length, which still gives the feel of reading the classics.

So far I've read...
Treasure Island 
David Copperfield 
The Call of the Wild
Madame Curie 
The Scarlet Pimpernel 
The Good Earth 
Robin Hood 
The Story of Helen Keller
My Friend Flicka
Horatio Hornblower
Jane Eyre
Abe Lincoln Grows Up 
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Great Cases of Sherlock Holmes

I still have another 40 or so titles to get through. I find it takes me about 1-2 weeks per title, so it'll be a while before I finish the entire set. But what a treasure these are! So many of these are well-known classic titles, but have you actually read them? I recognize titles but have only read a handful of them, and even those were in high school English class. 

My favorites thus far were the Sherlock Holmes cases (which were fascinating, what incredible observation skills Holmes has) and the Scarlet Pimpernel (which reminded me of the 1990s movie True Lies - where a wife is unsuspecting that her husband is leading a double-life performing dangerous government-related missions). Both of those were stories that I'd gladly read again and again.

Least favorites would include The Hunchback of Notre Dame  and The Good Earth (both of which seemed to lack a point or moral or lesson in any way).

Robin Hood surprised me since it was similar at the core to the Disney version I remember from my childhood but many details were different from that version or the Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Kevin-Costner movie I remember. Treasure Island was a good read, though somewhat bloody in battle scenes, which makes it a good "boy" book (note to self for my son's future reading material).

Alone (which tells the story of Richard Byrd who spent 5 months all alone manning a weather station in the Antarctic) and Madame Curie (the story of Pierre and Marie Curie's discovery of Radium) were both inspirational stories of real life heroics in the scientific field.

So here's to the classics... and actually reading them! 


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