Quick life update
Before I dive into #ClassicsCommunity content, I just wanted to provide you all with a brief update on how things are going in my life. I have been out of school for about a month due to COVID-19. My academic year has come to a close with the exception of dual-enrollment classes that I take through a community college. I will take a few AP exams in May, but other than that I am officially done with high school which is absolutely insane. I have chosen a college to attend (hopefully next fall) and plan on studying English and Psychology. I am, however, incredibly indecisive, so my field of study is subject to change.
I know everyone has been dealing with the stress of this ordeal differently. I am really lucky that my parents are still able to work and that I have plenty of food and essentials. Reading has played a major role in helping me cope with stress, so I’ve been plowing through a good number of books. I actually have been rereading many old favorites as a way to relax including the Percy Jackson and Shadowhunters series.
I hope you all are well during these unprecedented times. You have probably heard this a lot lately, but hang in there. This won’t last forever.
In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of my golden doodle, Teddy, post bath. We have to groom him now and it has been quite the challenge!
In January, I decided to participate in the #ClassicsCommunity Challenge. This year-long event is hosted by Lucy Powrie (@lucythereader on Instagram and Youtube). The challenge is simple: participants should read one classic book during 2020. The definition of a classic is up to reader interpretation, and participants are encouraged to challenge themselves. I highly recommend you check out Lucy’s video explaining the challenge for more info (click here). She also has a blog, so visit lucythereader.com for more of her content!
My approach to the challenge was to read at least one classic a month. I went through a book-buying phase a few months ago where I bought tons of pretty classics from used bookstores, so I want to actually READ them instead of gazing at their beautiful cover designs while binge-watching Money Heist in my bed.
So far, I have actually been rather successful and have managed to keep up with my goal.
Here’s a quick overview of the classics I have read in 2020.
January: Twelve Years A Slave
The first classic I finished was Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup. It took me a long time to get through, mostly because I kept getting distracted by schoolwork. I thought it was a really powerful true story. It’s heartbreaking to know that Solomon endured such turmoil. I highly recommend reading this book if you have not already. It is a reminder of the darker aspects of America’s past. We must remember and learn from narratives such as Solomon’s in order to move forward.
Rating: 5 stars
February: The importance of Being Earnest
I actually studied my February classic in my English class, and it immediately earned the status of being one of my favorite plays. In our study of satire, we read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde aloud. This play is absolutely hilarious and is fairly easy to follow. I would love to see a production of it someday! If you are looking for a classic that’s a nice pick-me-up and a quick read, The Importance of Being Earnest is a great option.
I don’t own a physical copy of the play because we read an online PDF for class, but I plan on obtaining my own edition soon!
Rating: 5 stars
March: The Bell Jar
I FINALLY read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I had owned a copy for three years and never got around to finishing it. I started it twice, once in middle school and again as a sophomore, yet I always got distracted and failed to even reach the hundreth page mark.
This book is a literary masterpiece, and I believe it is considered a “modern classic.” It tells the story of Esther Greenwood, a young English major who experiences a slow decline in her mental health. I thought it offered great insight into psychological treatment over 50 years ago in America, and I must say I am relieved that the field of psychology has expanded and that professionals have a better understanding of how to care for various mental health conditions.
While The Bell Jar is excellent, if you are triggered by reading about suicidal ideation or self-harm, you probably should choose another book. Some of the scenes are rather graphic and describe the aforementioned triggers in depth.
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Early April: Frankenstein
After a friend insisted I read it, I cracked into Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Like many others have said before, I believe it is important to read as the book has heavily influenced popular culture, and I think it is cool to understand the real story of Frankenstein.
Shelley has a gift for writing, and I loved the theme of ethics in the scientific field that she explores. The pacing was solid for the most part, and I finished the book rather quickly. It is a fairly short and easy read (for a classic). I would definitely recommend it if you are new to classics or simply curious about the story.
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
The Rest of April
We are now halfway through April, and I just started Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I read an abridged edition when I was seven and it was one of my favorite books at the time. I started reading the unabridged version last night and it was so heartwarming and comforting to dive back into this familiar story. Once I finish the book, I hope to start Anne with an E on Netflix as I keep running out of things to watch.
TBR for the Rest of 2020
I don’t have a set TBR for each month because I am a serious mood-reader, especially during this quarantine. This said, I have somewhat of a plan regarding which classics I hope to read by the end of the year.
My TBR for the remainder of the #ClassicsCommunity Reading Challenge includes:
Hope you enjoyed learning about the #ClassicsCommunity and my experience so far. Have any classic literature recommendations? Please share them in the comments! My TBR is not set in stone! For more content, follow me on Instagram @sydney.reads. I love following other bookish accounts back!
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Hello, My name is Sydney and I enjoy reading books and watching Disney movies. My reading tastes vary, but I often find myself drawn to classic literature and fantasy. I live in the US and will start studying English literature at university next fall. On this blog, I will discuss my love for books and other fun tidbits. Enjoy!