A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol.jpg

To bitter, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, Christmas is just another day. But all that changes when the ghost of his long-dead business partner appears, warning Scrooge to change his ways before it’s too late.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
Published December 19, 1843 by Chapman & Hall
Format: Kindle e-book; 73 pages
Classics
Also By This Author: Great ExpectationsLittle DorritA Tale of Two Cities
Goodreads | Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥

Thoughts

This is me attempting to catch up on book reviews from last year…

Last month I finally, for the first time ever, read A Christmas Carol. I amazed even myself by waiting that long to read it. Of course I knew the story; I’ve seen enough movie versions and even that one Boy Meets World episode that re-imagines Mr. Feeny as the Ghost of Christmas Future. But I had never read it! I had it in my mind that I could only read A Christmas Carol when it was actually Christmastime, and each December I would be so overwhelmed with holiday preparations or finishing reading challenges that I’d keep putting the Charles Dickens story aside for another year.

Well, 2016 was finally that year and I’m not at all surprised to say that I truly enjoyed A Christmas Carol and I can see why it will forever be a holiday classic and one of Charles Dickens’s most beloved works.

As expected, the Ghost of Christmas Present creeped me out, the idea of Tiny Tim passing away made me cry, and the renewed and re-inspired Ebenezer Scrooge buying the prize turkey and sending it in a cab to Bob Crachit’s house, all the while chuckling and probably confounding the poor messenger boy, made me chuckle as well.

“There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.”

Read This Book If…

…you wish it were Christmas all year long.
…you enjoy shorter, novella-length books.
…you want to rediscover a classic.
…you’ve never read Dickens before and are looking to ease your way into his works.

Final Musings

I’ve heard that there are some wonderfully done audiobook versions of  A Christmas Carol, including one by Neil Gaiman. Maybe this December I’ll listen to one of those narrations while wrapping Christmas presents :)

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

earnest

“In matters of grave importance, style, not sincerity, is the vital thing.”

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
First Performed on February 14, 1895
Classic/Play/Comedy
Format: audiobook (table reading); 1 hour 46 minutes
Also By This Author: The Picture of Dorian Gray
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Cecily Cardew and Gwendolen Fairfax are both in love with the same mythical suitor. Jack Worthing has wooed Gewndolen as Ernest while Algernon has also posed as Ernest to win the heart of Jack’s ward, Cecily. When all four arrive at Jack’s country home on the same weekend, the “rivals” to fight for Ernest’s undivided attention and the “Ernests” to claim their beloveds, pandemonium breaks loose. Only a senile nursemaid and an old, discarded hand-bag can save the day!

Thoughts

One of my favorite book synopses ever belongs to The Importance of Being Earnest: “A trivial comedy for serious people.” It just fits it so perfectly! I decided to read this book last month because I wanted a short classic and I had never read anything by Oscar Wilde before. I was very pleasantly surprised. The Importance of Being Earnest isn’t a deep story that will leave you pondering over the dialogue for days, but it is fun and very enjoyable. I laughed out loud and even gasped a few times while listening to an audio recording of this book. Wilde’s writing is witty and his characters are entertaining. And if you need another reason to read/listen to/watch this story, today is the 120th anniversary of its first performance!

Yes, The Importance of Being Earnest premiered on Valentine’s Day in 1895. So if you still need date night or hang out plans for later, you can watch one of the film adaptations or, if you’re lucky, find theater tickets for a local performance. It’s sure to be a fun evening whether you spend it with friends or a special someone :)

Read This Book If…

…you love trivial comedies! (and you’re a serious person)
…you enjoy witty banter, puns and pranks, and clever disguises.
…you’re looking for a short read that can be enjoyed in one sitting.
…you like Classics or would like to “ease” your way into the genre.

Final Musings

I listened to a table recording of The Importance of Being Earnest during my commute to work and back one day. It’s a very quick read but it’s fun and uplifting. The production of this particular recording did a very superb job, actually. They had four different actors who also read the stage directions to make up for the fact that it wasn’t a staged performance. Here’s the link to the YouTube video, but there are also taped performances online to watch as well!

And, of course, there’s the movie adaptation featuring Colin Firth, Rupert Everett, Francis O’Conner, and Reese Witherspoon.

Earnest

Earnest:)

The Classics Club Monthly Meme #31: Modern Classics

classics

I’m finally making time to answer The Classics Club’s Monthly Meme! This one sounded really interesting:

What about modern classics? Pick a book published since 2000 and say why you think it will be considered as a “classic” in the future.

This was a tough question for me to answer for two reasons: 1) the word “classic” means something different to most people (some people consider books older than 100 years classics, while others define classics as books that have had a fundamental impact on culture and literature); and 2) an example of a modern classic came to me so quickly I thought it was too cliche of an answer. But I’m going with it anyway because I sincerely think it will still be regarded as a classic to future generations of readers.

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter

I’m cheating a bit because the first book was published pre-2000, but the last one wasn’t released until 2007 so it can still be considered at 21st century classic.

Why do I think Harry Potter will be labeled a classic in the future?

  • It persuaded a revival of reading. I know of people who do not naturally like to read, but they have read and enjoyed Harry Potter and have even desired to read other books afterwards. (Yay for converting people into readers!)
  • It has already been taught in schools. Isn’t that one of the requirements for a book to be considered a “canon”? I was always so jealous of my university friends who took lit classes that had Harry Potter on the syllabus.
  • Its themes are timeless. Harry Potter has similar themes to The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia, two series that are also considered classics.
  • It has influenced a number of other writers and their works. Some of these authors include Christopher Paolini (Eragon) and Daniel Handler (A Series of Unfortunate Events). (Which works has J.K. Rowling listed as “probable influences” for Harry Potter? The Illiad, The Canterbury Tales, Macbeth, Emma, and The Sword in the Stone.)

Do you think Harry Potter will be considered a classic in 25-50 years? What other books do you think are or should be considered modern classics?