Tag Archives: Classics

Why Shakespeare?

If you click over to Google today, you’ll see that their logo commemorates William Shakespeare, who was born (according to our best guess) on April 23, 1564, and died on April 23, 1616. Today marks the 400th anniversary of his death, and if you’re like me, that’s cause for celebration. But why? To modern readers, […]

East of Eden by John Steinbeck 

Sometimes I think the authors we read in school deserve a second chance outside the classroom. Today’s example: John Steinbeck. I read Of Mice and Men and The Pearl while I was in school, and I did not enjoy either of them. So when I started East of Eden I had to try and forget those negative experiences. I’m so glad I did, because this novel was, for me, another Tess experience. The book is so full of symbolism and Biblical references that I know I will be thinking about it for a long time.

1946 Special Edition of Alice in Wonderland 

A few weeks ago I went to two different library book sales, and by far the greatest deal I found was this special edition of Alice in Wonderland. I paid a whopping $1.50 for this 70 year old find, and it is in excellent condition. A note in the back of the book says that the […]

Making the Most of a Used Book Sale

After shopping for about an hour, I had more than filled my bag, spent my budget, and realized that used book sales can be pretty overwhelming if you don’t come in with a strategy. And so, without further introduction, here are my top tips for winning the used book sale.

Five (Unexpected) Love Stories

Everyone knows that Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy end up together, and everyone knows how Rhett leaves things with Scarlett, but I thought I’d take a minute or two to share with you my top five unexpected love stories–books you might not recognize, or books you might not have gone into the bookstore to buy.

The Remains of the Day

  Uptight British butler takes road trip, realizes he hasn’t always made good decisions. Sounds thrilling, right? Normally I wouldn’t have ever picked a book based on that description, but The Remains of the Day was really interesting. Mr. Stevens, the main character, is a fiercely loyal, dedicated butler. He constantly questions what it means to […]

Henry V: The Last King of 2015

Other titles I considered for this post: Henry V: How many Henrys does it take to rule England? Henry V: I’m really only here for Tom Hiddleston. I am very glad to say that I have finished reading through “The Henriad,” one of Shakespeare’s two historical tetralogies. I decided to read the plays in the order […]

Henry IV, Part II

If you ever need proof that history repeats itself, read Henry IV, Part II. Just like Henry IV, Part I, this play focuses on King Henry IV, his son Hal, and Hal’s less than perfect friends. In Part 2, however, Shakespeare plays on the reader’s expectations. He knows we are all waiting for Hal’s reformation, waiting for Hal to “banish plump Jack, and banish all the world.” He knows we are waiting, and he makes us wait. And wait. And then wait some more.

The Hollow Crown: Henry IV, Part I

Confession time: About fifteen minutes into this film I had to go get my copy of the play and follow along. I could hardly understand what anyone was saying, and it was difficult to understand the plot. There are a lot of people in these plays, and none of them go by their real names! If […]

Henry IV, Part I

Prince Hal is the Shakespearean character I want to love–but it’s tricky. At the beginning of the play, he’s a prodigal son. He wastes time in taverns, pulls pranks, and commits petty crimes. It’s easy to like this Prince Hal, the easygoing, carefree friend of Falstaff. But there’s an edge to Hal that doesn’t let you laugh along with him.