I hope you’re all doing well.
This week’s Conquer Your TBR features a LOT of classics!
Hope you enjoy,
If you’re anything like me, you have what feels like an endless TBR list. I personally use Goodreads to keep track of my TBR list, but whether you use a physical list or whatever you find most helpful, you can still do this post too.
The person who created this idea is called Lia and you can check out her blog and Down the TBR posts here. I think this is such a great idea.
The point of these posts is simple. It’s a way of sifting through your TBR list regularly to make sure you still want to read the books you’ve added and remove ones that you no longer want to read.
My TBR list on Goodreads currently stands at a whopping 531! So I definitely think these weekly posts will help me to get on top of it.
Here is how these posts will work:
– Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
– Order on ascending date added.
– Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
– Read the synopses of the books (I’m going to post the synopsis of each book too, incase anyone is interested in hearing more about the books.)
– Decide: keep it or should it go?
Here’s a link to my previous Down The TBR Hole post if you want to check it out:
1. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
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.
I feel like I should read this classic, but I’m not sure I want to at the moment.
2. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Named a “national institution” by George Orwell, Dickens offers his most popular tale, of the orphan who is reared in a workhouse and runs away to London-a novel of social protest, a morality tale, and a detective story.
I love the film and musical. I can’t believe I haven’t read the book!
3. The Old Curiosity Shop – Charles Dickens
Little Nell Trent lives in the quiet gloom of the old curiosity shop with her ailing grandfather, for whom she cares with selfless devotion. But when they are unable to pay their debts to the stunted, lecherous and demonic money-lender Daniel Quilp, the shop is seized and they are forced to flee, thrown into a shadowy world in which there seems to be no safe haven.
Dickens’s portrayal of the innocent, tragic Nell made The Old Curiosity Shop an instant bestseller that captured the hearts of the nation, even as it was criticised for its sentimentality by figures such as Oscar Wilde. Yet alongside the story’s pathos are some of Dickens’s greatest comic and grotesque creations: the ne’er-do-well Dick Swiveller, the mannish lawyer Sally Brass, the half-starved ‘Marchioness’ and the lustful, loathsome Quilp himself.
I’ve always wanted to read this book.
4. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
‘It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.’ Thus memorably begins Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the world’s most popular novels. Pride and Prejudice–Austen’s own ‘darling child’–tells the story of fiercely independent Elizabeth Bennett, one of five sisters who must marry rich, as she confounds the arrogant, wealthy Mr. Darcy. What ensues is one of the most delightful and engrossingly readable courtships known to literature, written by a precocious Austen when she was just twenty-one years old.
Humorous and profound, and filled with highly entertaining dialogue, this witty comedy of manners dips and turns through drawing-rooms and plots to reach an immensely satisfying finale.
This is another book I can’t believe I’ve not read yet.
5. Persuasion – Jane Austen
Twenty-seven-year old Anne Elliot is Austen’s most adult heroine. Eight years before the story proper begins, she is happily betrothed to a naval officer, Frederick Wentworth, but she precipitously breaks off the engagement when persuaded by her friend Lady Russell that such a match is unworthy.
The breakup produces in Anne a deep and long-lasting regret. When later Wentworth returns from sea a rich and successful captain, he finds Anne’s family on the brink of financial ruin and his own sister a tenant in Kellynch Hall, the Elliot estate. All the tension of the novel revolves around one question: Will Anne and Wentworth be reunited in their love?
This is another classic I’ve wanted to read for a while.
6. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen
‘We have all been more or less to blame … every one of us, excepting Fanny’ Taken from the poverty of her parents’ home, Fanny Price is brought up with her rich cousins at Mansfield Park, acutely aware of her humble rank and with only her cousin Edmund as an ally.
When Fanny’s uncle is absent in Antigua, Mary Crawford and her brother Henry arrive in the neighbourhood, bringing with them London glamour and a reckless taste for flirtation. As her female cousins vie for Henry’s attention, and even Edmund falls for Mary’s dazzling charms, only Fanny remains doubtful about the Crawfords’ influence and finds herself more isolated than ever.
A subtle examination of social position and moral integrity, Mansfield Park is one of Jane Austen’s most profound works.
Of course I have to keep this book too.
7. Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe
Daniel Defoe relates the tale of an English sailor marooned on a desert island for nearly three decades. An ordinary man struggling to survive in extraordinary circumstances, Robinson Crusoe wrestles with fate and the nature of God.
This is another book I’ve wanted to read for years.
8. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea, a masterpiece of modern fiction, was Jean Rhys’s return to the literary center stage. She had a startling early career and was known for her extraordinary prose and haunting women characters. With Wide Sargasso Sea, her last and best-selling novel, she ingeniously brings into light one of fiction’s most fascinating characters: the madwoman in the attic from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre.
This mesmerizing work introduces us to Antoinette Cosway, a sensual and protected young woman who is sold into marriage to the prideful Mr. Rochester. Rhys portrays Cosway amidst a society so driven by hatred, so skewed in its sexual relations, that it can literally drive a woman out of her mind.
I received this book for Christmas last year and I’m yet to read it. I want to so badly!
9. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – Frank L. Baum
Follow the yellow brick road! Dorothy thinks she’s lost forever when a tornado whirls her and her dog, Toto, into a magical world. To get home, she must find the wonderful wizard in the Emerald City of Oz. On the way she meets the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. But the Wicked Witch of the West has her own plans for the new arrival – will Dorothy ever see Kansas again?
I absolutely love the film and would love to read the book.
10. The Odyssey – Homer
Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns
driven time and again off course, once he had plundered
the hallowed heights of Troy.
So begins Robert Fagles’ magnificent translation of the Odyssey, which Jasper Griffin in The New York Times Review of Books hails as “a distinguished achievement.”
If the Iliad is the world’s greatest war epic, then the Odyssey is literature’s grandest evocation of everyman’s journey though life. Odysseus’ reliance on his wit and wiliness for survival in his encounters with divine and natural forces, during his ten-year voyage home to Ithaca after the Trojan War, is at once a timeless human story and an individual test of moral endurance.
In the myths and legends that are retold here, Fagles has captured the energy and poetry of Homer’s original in a bold, contemporary idiom, and given us an Odyssey to read aloud, to savor, and to treasure for its sheer lyrical mastery.
I read some of this in my first year of University when I took Ancient History, but I never finished reading it. I’d like to.
I decided to keep 9/10 this week. I think that’s the highest amount I’ve kept so far, but can you blame me? There’s so many we’ll rated classics included here.
If you would like to purchase a copy of these books, you can do so here:
Have you read any of these books? Were they worth the hype? Let me know in the comments below. 😊
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