March books!

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I’m very happy to say that I finally got internet in my apartment! I went a whole month without it and it was awful! Well I wasn’t 100% without internet – I was able to use my phone to browse and tether to my laptop but I could only do that in limited amounts because of my monthly data limit. That also meant no videos or other high-bandwidth sucking websites. So to occupy my time I actually pulled out some books and read!

I have a slightly embarrassing confession – I am not as well read as I would like to be (and should be). I always liked reading, but I’m a stubborn reader and I don’t like being forced to read. So in school when I was supposed to read classic books, about half of the time I would only read a little of the book and fudge the rest. I learned that a few well-placed comments during the class could convince the teacher or professor that I had read something when I never actually had. Sometimes this would bite me in the ass at test time but usually I could get by with what we had discussed in class.

Another reason I haven’t read that much is because I used my AP high school English classes to substitute for college English courses, so I didn’t have English classes at all in university. I did do a lot of academic reading for my major(s), but very little classic literature.

So I’ve been trying now to catch up on old and modern classics! I have a nook and most classic books are widely available for free as PDFs so I have no excuses not to read.

The first book I read was The Picture of Dorian Gray. Everyone has read it, I can’t believe I hadn’t! I found it to be pretty edgy for the time – there’s some gayness, drug use, suicide, murders and other fun stuff – and after reading up on it, I found out that it was censored when it was first released, especially the drug use parts. The plot is pretty predictable but that always happens with old books where the concepts are recycled over and over in popular culture since that time. I liked all the dandyism and floof in the book and the mockery of rich people of the period and all the silly shit they would talk about.

The painting is just supposed to age, not get all Picasso, who was responsible for this set direction?

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The next book I read was Ender’s Game. It was nice going from a classic book with its somewhat boring methodical pacing, to a modern book that I couldn’t put down! I didn’t see the movie from last year but apparently the book is much better, but I still want to check out the movie soon. The basic plot is that in the future, aliens are a threat to Earth so there’s a special school to train military genius kids to fight in a intergalactic space war, all through the point of view of this one superior genius boy to rule them all. There’s so many of these types of magical/chosen/special child stories so I kept getting waves of Harry Potter, Star Wars, Evangelion and even Sailor Moon, although this book predates most of those. There was quite a lot of the book devoted to the military training, which I normally don’t like, but the author was able to convey it in a clear and interesting way and make it sci-fi and spacey enough to keep my interest. It seems that the author is a huge douchebag so I’m glad I didn’t pay for the book, muahaha

Ender’s Game was a short story first published in 1977 (same year as the first Star Wars movie), but then fleshed out into a whole book in 1985.

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Now the book I’m currently reading is The Count of Monte Cristo. It kind of reads like a play with a lot of intense character roles and dialogue, but at least it’s easy to follow. It takes place around the end of the life of Napoleon so I had to go back and review French history at that time (thanks Wikipedia). It’s a lot longer than the other two books I read so I hope I don’t get bored in the middle and drop it halfway. Even though I have my internet connection, there’s still a lot of time for reading since I’m out of the house a lot and riding trains or passing time in cafes and stuff.

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One thing I found is a Count of Monte Cristo computer game, haha! I didn’t download it because it looks a little dodgy and I don’t want spoilers either but here it is:

http://pc-games4free.com/download-game/the-count-of-monte-cristo.html

Thank you for reading! Do you have any classic books that are your favorite? I would like some more recommendations!

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19 thoughts on “March books!

  1. I admire that you find The Count of Monte Cristo easy to follow! I’ve watched several adaptations and enjoyed them but when I tried reading the book I couldn’t get into it. I need to try again sometime!

    • If you know the story from the movies then maybe it’ll be easier to get into this time? It’s also helpful having a dictionary on my e-reader so I can look up all those antiquated French terms in it!

  2. I love The Count of Monte Cristo! Favorite Dumas book ❤

    I highly recommend Jane Eyre and Villette by Charlotte Brontë (in that order) if you haven't read them already!

    (I'm enjoying your blog btw)

  3. I LOVED The picture of Dorian Gray. I read it when I was in high school and it fascinated me. Oscar Wilde was a pretty bizarre man for his times, his writtings and “antics” caused him much trouble among his victorian peers. Being openly gay and wanting to live your life to the fullest, even if it meant being totally decadent was not something most up-tight hypocrytical victorian people were ready to accept. The picture is supposed to be totally hideous because each every one of Dorian’s depravations and crimes was supposed to be visible on the portrait.

    For some reason, I can’t stand Duma’s writtings. I know he’s considered as a very good French writter but I don’t like the way he writes and I generally don’t like how he romanticizes French history. >_>;

    • But did Wilde actually advocate the hedonism in the book or is it satire mocking the upper classes? I thought it was the latter, especially the parts where they have really stupid dinner party conversation.

      I’m getting to a lull in the book and would appreciate more plot at this moment. I guess Dumas is trying to stretch out the book into an epic Don Quixote style tome by telling a bunch of side stories but I wish he’d kind of get on with things already.

      • Some people seem to consider that the portrait of Dorian Gray is partly autobiographic, Dorian being a mock-up of Wilde’s lover. But Wilde also enjoyed making fun of his peers and even of himself so I think it’s a mix of both. He’s advocating homosexuality and hedonism (as he does in “The importance of being Earnest”) but also makes fun of it.

        Well, one major problem with 19th century French writters is that the amount of money they recieved from their publishers was partly based on how many pages they wrote… That’s why in most of the French writters’ novels from that time, you can find NEVERENDING descriptions and details you just don’t caaaare about, as they just wanted to write more and more pages to get more and more money…

      • I read that it was partly autobiographical as well, and that the main characters were all different facets of his own personality.

        That totally makes sense! At this point I’m like at a side story within a side story… get on with it!

  4. Neeya

    Highly recommend Dante, at least the Inferno! Dante is a long time favorite of mine, and Inferno is the only one really worth the read (though La Vita Nuova is also amusing) Also definitely Boccaccio’s Decameron, which is a saucy and fun read 😀 It looks daunting but I’ve read it like 5 times! Some other great ones that won’t bore the shit out of you: Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and Voltaire’s Candide. List is too long, I was an English Lit Major :X

    I could see you liking the Decameron for sure though!

    • Dante’s Inferno’s been on my to-read list for a while, but I’ve been avoiding it since it looks dense XS Mmm saucy, you know what I like! I think I did read Frankenstein but I forgot everything now.

  5. I love the Count of Montecristo, Dumas is one of my favourite authors! I love classics, so I can give you a few suggestions: The enchanted mountain and Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, one of my favourite German authors ever; Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (a perfect book in my opinion), Notre Dame de paris and Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (class, human nature and torment) The three musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (and the two follow up books, Twenty Years After and The Vicomte de Bragelonne), Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (the best vampire story ever in my opinion), The metamorphosis by Franz Kafka, The monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis for pure over the top gothic nonsense (I love it, but I warn you, it’s all the clichés possible in one book), The brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (I just have no words for how beautifully written this book is), A house of pomegranates by Oscar Wilde (decadent, beautiful, sad fairytales), Wuthering Heights and Jane Eye for all the romantic/creepy feelings, Vanity Fair: A Novel without a Hero by William Makepeace Thackeray, Nana by Emile Zola and The age of innocence by Edith Wharton for witty social commentary and unforgettable heroines, Lady Chatterley’s lover by DH Lawrence for a beautifully written exploration of the forbidden, The turn of the screw for one of the scariest, creepiest short ghost stories ever written, Dangeorous liasions by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos for all the intrigue, forbidden romance and backstabbing,

      • Don’t worry, I always feel I haven’t read enough despite spending so much time reading already 😉 Carmilla is short, so I definitely suggest you start with that. If you read The monk we can discuss how deliciously hilarious it is xd

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