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Classic Reads: Coming Soon

29 September, 2010

I seem to be full of ideas at the moment and thought I’d start applying one or two of them to this blog. It’s occurred to me that, whilst I have my fairly regular Writing Life posts, I’ve been neglecting my other love: reading. I do post the occasional review, but only of books I’ve been sent via LibraryThing and I’m not interested in turning this into a blog of new book reviews. I am, however, woefully behind on my reading of classic literature, as I mentioned in my last post. So, there’s the plan:

For Classic Reads, I’m going to be reading and commenting on classic pieces of literature. Some will be at the more literary end of the spectrum (e.g. Don Quixote and Wuthering Heights), whilst others will be classics of SF and fantasy (think Wells, Vance, Moorcock). I’m not going to be reviewing them exactly, as synopses of classic books are easy to find online. Instead, I’m just going to offer my thoughts on the book, such as how I think it’s influenced newer novels or why I think it’s endured for so long.

Now, I have every expectation that there will be plenty of classics that I’m not too keen on (Wuthering Heights is actually a prime example, but that could just be because I had to study it at school) and, where I can, I’ll try to write about why that is, too. (As an aside, I’ve begun to realise that the more something is lauded as a classic, the less I tend to like it. There are certainly exceptions – I adore Pride and Prejudice, for example – but it’s becoming a bit of a rule and one I’d like to break.)

There is, I’ll admit, something of a ulterior motive in this series for me: writing these blog posts will encourage me to read the classics that I’ve ignored for too long (I’m rather ashamed to admit that I still haven’t read Dracula, Frankenstein or 1984). However, I think visiting, or indeed revisiting, classic novels is something it’s worthwhile for every book lover – and particularly every writer – to do, so I hope that my readers will enjoy this series too. I’ll keep you updated on what I’m planning to read next, so that anyone who wants to join in may do so and share their comments with the blog.

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