Posts Tagged ‘George Bernard Shaw’

One of my Christmas presents was an e-reader, and although I love a physical book in my hands, I’ve downloaded some free classics to see how I get on – as they are out of copyright and in the public domain, I’m not depriving a writer of their income which is important to me.

I’m finding the e-reader good for this because honestly, I’d never have bought them all on the off-chance I liked them.  Now I can try them and if I enjoy them and want to re-read them in the future I can buy a hard copy. Maybe this will convert me to the e-cause!

Some of the books I’ve downloaded are from the 100 best novels series, and it got me thinking – what it I challenged myself to read more this year?  An actual challenge, with a specific number of books to read and review?  I debated the number and thought about all the things I have going on throughout the year, and decided I’d aim for a book a week.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll read a book from Monday-Sunday but that I’ll read 52 this year.

That’s 52 books for me to digest and rate, 52 books to stir my inspiration.  I’ll choose from books suggested by friends and family, those on the 100 books list, and reading group books.

If you have any suggestions please post them in the comments!

My year is starting a little late so I’ve been playing catch-up for a few days, but I have managed to read three this week (I read pretty quickly!).

Each book I finish I’ll tell you about in a Thursday post, with a few of my thoughts.  So here’s the first three:

Book 1 – Agnes Grey, by Anne Brontë. This was easy to read, and straightforward.  The tension revolves around powerlessness and position, with the unworldly, pure and good Agnes juxtaposed with higher society characters who are dissolute, cruel and selfish. There is a heavily Christian element throughout the narrative, which I imagine is due to Brontë‘s own life experience.  I think this is a book of its time and should be read as such.

Book 2 – Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne.  Much more fun than I was expecting, this was a bit overlong in some sections but the pace was generally good.  The world looked very different when it was written so comments probably passed me by, and it’s not exactly politically correct, but there are also some enlightened aspects which I didn’t expect.  Phileas Fogg brings life to the supporting cast as he is so closed-off.  The frequent foolishness and thoughtlessness of Passepartout seemed oddly out of kilter with his heroism and bravery, and one of the plot points makes no sense at all to me, but overall it was a good read.

Book 3 – Pygmalion, by George Bernard Shaw.  This is a play, so normal novel conventions don’t apply!  It is the basis of My Fair Lady, of course, but I didn’t think too much about the film as I read.  The play itself is actually quite short, with the opening information and the conclusion of the story separate from the performance.  It speeds through six months: a wager is made and then we see just a snippet of progress before the final outcome is laid bare.  The importance of knowing yourself and your own worth is the focus of the play – that’s what I took from it anyway!

So there you have it – a new challenge for 2014.  If you want to join in, let me know what you’re reading in the comments…

Happy writing – and reading!



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