Sunday, December 16, 2012

Deja Vu Review (5)

The Deja Vu Review is hosted every Sunday by Brittany at The Book Addict's Guide.  It's a chance to mini-review books that I read in my pre-blogging days.  This week's topic is classics!  Here are two of my faves.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

When I was in high school, I found it really difficult to enjoy books that we were assigned to read for class.  (Sorry, Mr. Henderson and Mrs. Roth. Truth.)  Because we didn't just enjoy them--we analyzed and interpreted the crap out of them, sometimes until I wanted to tear my hair out.  It took a lot of the fun out of the whole reading thing.

So it should tell you something that when I read this book in high school, I loved it.  And then I re-read it 8 years later, and I loved it even more.  Catherine and Heathcliff = the most angrily passionate romance ever.  Their whole relationship is so crazy to me, it's like a train wreck that I can't look away from.  Plus, the writing style is great because the story is told by Lockwood and Nelly Dean, two characters who, while very familiar with Catherine, Heathcliff, and the other characters, are a bit distanced from the actual events that they are describing.  This leads to a lot of narrative bias, and as a reader you will be left wondering what the "true" story is at times.  I'm a sucker for unique uses of POV.

Oops, here I go--analyzing the crap out of this book.  I guess I must have learned something in school, eh?

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith

This is a "newer" classic (published in the 1940's), but a classic nonetheless.  If there was ever a book that earned placement in the "coming of age" genre, this is it.  Young Francie Nolan is one of my favorite narrators of all time.  She is growing up poor in Brooklyn around the turn of the century, and while this would probably leave many kids feeling downtrodden or apathetic, Francie is smart, quick, and displays more than a little boldness as she tells the story of her difficult upbringing.  The story unfolds beautifully and the relationships between Francie and the rest of her family are fascinating.  I will definitely be giving this a re-read one day.

Bonus: it contains one of my favorite book-related quotes!:
"Francie thought that all the books in the world were in that library and she had a plan about reading all the books in the world."

What are your favorite classics?


  1. Ha, me too! If I had to read a book for class, at least for one with a teacher I didn't much care for, I LOATHED it utterly.

    Ack, my favorite classics:
    Jane Austen (NOT Mansfield Park, though)
    Wuthering Heights
    The First Circle - Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (too new to count?)
    The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins.

    I'm leaving out important ones, I know, but there's some. Also, that quote from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is amazing! I have yet to read that one!

  2. I totally agree about Jane Austen, I love most of her work. I haven't read The First Circle or The Woman In White, I'll have to check them out!

  3. Oh, how I wish I could read all the (good) books in the world! I've never read Smith's A Tree Grows in Brooklyn--I should check this one out.

  4. I know, I wish I could read all the good stuff too, but I'll just never get to it! Ah well. :)


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