Dubliners … a review

The only Irish author I can claim to have read extensively is Oscar Wilde. At the end of this month, I might be travelling to Dublin for work and so I thought, as part of the Classics Challenge, why not James Joyce? I have always associated Joyce with Ulysses and the size of it has been off-putting. I have also been under the mistaken impression that all of his works are long.

I was wrong. Even at the bookstore, I was surprised by the thinness of this book. ‘Practically a novella…’ I thought to myself. Wrong again! As it turns out, Dubliners is a book of short stories… major Joyce ignorance.

It is a delightful read. Enthused by the short story dip in and out aspect, I delved into it with gusto. The stories are like walking down the city streets. It is a mix of all the caricatures that you would see on city streets – the jilted lover, the reluctant wife, the whore, and the saint. The stories, themselves, cover the entire gamut of emotions. The style of writing reminded me of Dickens, but without the ramblings. The plot delves in straight to the point and does business.

Dublin is brought out through its residents, isn’t that lovely?  I was transported to the Irish country capital even before I got there. I would thoroughly recommend this book as a quick but meaningful read. And ths has definitely made me want to read more of his works. I am looking forward to Dublin.

Reading more…

2015 was a bad year for my reading. I picked up many books that I abandoned because I did not enjoy them. And then I just didn’t pick books up many months of the year. I tried to make up for it in Nov and Dec but that didn’t go very well either. That’s all going to have to change.

One of the things I’ve never done before is a Reading challenge. I’ve signed up for one this year, hosted by You, Me and a Cup of Tea. It is a Classics challenge, which will be nice as I really enjoy reading them. We’ll see…

Do you sign up to ‘challenges’?

Long term Goal

I do not make new year resolutions; I do not believe in them. when I want to get something done, I get it done! So, since my blog has recently turned three, this is as good a time as any to make a resolution.

I read a lot of Classics as a child, I read the abridged versions initially; and later on in life I read the unabridged versions in full. Somewhere along my reading journey, other genres of books took over. There was fantasy, crime, magic realism, historical, philosophical and all sorts of other ‘phases’ of my reading life.

Last year, when V gifted me a Kindle, and I found scores and scores of Classics for free, two of the biggest problems were instantly solved. Those of weight and price! I re-read a few books and it reminded me of how much I loved reading Classics. So this is a list of 36, picked from The Big Book List, that I hope to read in the next three (hopefully) or four (realistically) years. I have been meaning to read some of these books for the longest time, and until I put this down and make it real, I’m not going to end up reading them. So here goes…

  1. Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart
  2. Allende, Isabel: The House of the Spirits
  3. Angelou, Maya: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  4. Aristophanes: Lysistrata
  5. Arnow, Harriette: The Dollmaker
  6. Borges, Jorge Luis: Ficciones
  7. Bradbury, Ray: Fahrenheit 451
  8. Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights
  9. Camus, Albert: Stranger
  10. Chekov, Anton: Cherry Orchard
  11. Dickens, Charles: The Old Curiousity Shop
  12. Dostoevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
  13. Dumas, Alexandre: The Three Musketeers
  14. Eco, Umberto: The Name of the Rose
  15. Eliot, T.S.: The Waste Land
  16. Joyce, James: Finnegans Wake
  17. Kesey, Ken: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  18. Marlowe, Christopher: Doctor Faustus
  19. Mishima, Yukio: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea
  20. Morrison, Toni: Jazz
  21. Nabokov, Vladimir: Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
  22. Nietzsche, Friedrich: Thus Spoke Zarathustra
  23. Scott, Sir Walter: Lady of the Lake
  24. Scott, Sir Walter: Waverly
  25. Shikibu, Murasaki: The Tale of Genji
  26. Spark, Muriel: Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  27. Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath
  28. Stevenson, Robert Louis: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  29. Tolstoy, Leo: Anna Karenina
  30. Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace
  31. Trollope, Anthony: The Warden
  32. Twain, Mark: A Tramp Abroad
  33. Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass
  34. Williams, Tennessee: A Streetcar Named Desire
  35. Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse
  36. Yeats, William Butler: Irish Faerie Tales

Happy Birthday, L. Frank Baum!

That magical tale about Dorothy, her shoes, the land of Oz.
The witches too! I really really want to see the musical sometime, M says it’s reputed to be brilliant.
I read this novel when I was but a wide eyed child. And I have always loved witches since! I know, not a very childlike thing, but then, I was never a ‘regular’ predictable child.
We digress… a beautiful tale that I feel should be read out to children between the age of 7 and 10.

What do you think? Do you recommend any of his other books?

L. Frank Baum and characters in The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908) ~ from Wikimedia