Category Archives: Classic

1984 by George Orwell

1984 is one of those books with themes that continually appear in pop culture and everyone, whether they’ve read it or not, know the basics of how it goes. There’s Big Brother and the Thought Police and the constant fear that you’ll be picked up and just vanish because you said something in your sleep or made a face that was construed as being anti-Party. The main character, Winston, realizes that history keeps getting rewritten (he works in the department where they do just that after all) and that things aren’t what the government claims. The only problem is pretty much everyone else seems to buy into it all, and if they don’t they no longer exist (and never existed). Some things in the book are frightening when you look around and see shades of them in real life (don’t believe what you see and hear… only I tell you the truth). The gaslighting is amazing. If anyone wonders what gaslighting is, reading 1984 should help them understand. The end is rather depressing and give a bleak outlook on what a society like the one portrayed would do to free thinkers. I highly recommend reading it to older teens and up.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 55
Pages Read in 2019: 14,783
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Filed under Classic, Dystopian, Reason: Pre-Reading for Cameron, Reason: Well-Educated Mind Challenge

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

Don Quixote is very long and sometimes interesting. It is a collection of stories of the adventures of a self-proclaimed knight-errant and his madness. Some of the stories are interesting, some are ridiculous, some are boring. If you feel the need to read lots of classic books, Don Quixote is a decent choice.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 52
Pages Read in 2019: 14,049
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Filed under Classic, Reason: Well-Educated Mind Challenge

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I’ve read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland many times and it is still just as weird and wonderful as the first time I read it. It’s so creative and fun. It’s pretty short so it reads fast and makes a lovely family read-aloud. I highly recommend reading it.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2019: 47
Pages Read in 2019: 11,874
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Filed under Children, Classic, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Gulliver’s Travels adapted by Nick Eliopulos

Adapted for a younger audience, Gulliver’s Travels is an easy to read chapter book that hits all the main plot points of the classic novel. It’s an excellent book for young kids and can help make it so reading the original later on isn’t so daunting. I highly recommend it to elementary age kids.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 76
Pages Read in 2018: 18,140
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Filed under Children, Classic, Reason: Pre-Reading for Adrian

Utopia by Thomas More

In the 1500s, Sir Thomas More described his idea of the ultimate perfect society in Utopia. Written like a travelogue, various aspects of the way of life in Utopia are examined. As with many books written long ago, it tends to ramble on and on. It makes for an interesting read, though, since what we think of as a Utopian society today doesn’t really match the book where we got the word from.

3 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2018: 3
Pages Read in 2018: 854
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Filed under Classic, Reason: Birthstone Bookology

The Children’s Homer by Padraic Colum

Aimed at kids, The Children’s Homer tells the story of the Iliad and the Odyssey. Given that those are pretty exciting books, it’s just incredble to me how utterly boring the majority of the book is. It is also written in a way that makes it very awkward to read aloud. If it was the only choice for telling these stories to kids, I’d recommend it, but since there are other much better choices, I really do not.

2 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2017: 21
Pages Read in 2017: 6259
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Reason I Chose It: Part of the Boys’ History Curriculum

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Filed under Children, Classic

Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter

Eleven-year-old orphan Pollyanna Whittier is dutifully taken in by her wealthy spinster aunt, Polly Harrington. Soon Pollyanna is changing the whole town with her sparkling personality and the glad game. When Pollyanna is injured and just can’t bring herself to be glad about anything, everyone rallies around her telling her why they are glad so she can share in their joy just as they’ve been sharing in hers.

I love Pollyanna. I’ve always related to her. Pollyanna is a lovely, happy book. Everything turns out just perfect in the end. I highly recommend it to people of all ages.

5 (out of 5) Stars

Books Read in 2016: 132
Pages Read in 2016: 36,100
Hours Listened: 27 hours 2 minutes
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Filed under Classic, Realistic Fiction