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Classics

Why the Classics Still Matter

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We booklovers are book collectors, dedicated readers who revisit our own personal collections. Most of our bookcases are eclectic and reflect distinctive tastes and interests. Yet for many of us, among our precious books are those novels that are deemed “the classics.” Not every title that we own, of course, falls into this category, but usually it is an impressive amount. The books have their own history — perhaps some were purchased for high school assigned readings or course curriculum from our college days. Others have been recommended or received as gifts, or we have chosen them on our own out of curiosity. This section of one’s bookshelf represents our past and our present. The titles exist in their own…

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The Best Mark Twain eBooks for Under a Dollar!

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“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” – Mark Twain From his adventure books featuring good ole’ Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, to his own personal accounts found in a very personal memoir, Mark Twain has gone down in history for his classical twists mixed with a touch of humor that splits our sides. This month we’re focused on Mark Twain because November is his birthday month, and we want you to experience the classics you may have missed. Luckily for you, they’re all under a dollar, making them easily accessible for Kindle owners! Here are five suggestions for you to download: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer This is where the adventure begins for…

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Free eBooks: Classic Science Fiction You May Have Missed

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If you’re an everyday reader, you’ve probably read some interesting science fiction along the line – but have you read some famous classics that end up on reader’s lists every year? Because we love sci-fi, from the awesome movies we’re all familiar with such as Blade Runner and The Matrix just to name two, we have some classic sci-fi novel suggestions for you! The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells When many people think of H.G. Wells, this is the novel that comes to mind. In Wells’ classic that turned into an unforgettable movie adaptation, a Martian invasion takes place in the nineteenth century, forever changing the world around it and causing mass chaos across the land. If you haven’t read the novel or…

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Presenting: The Real Housewives of Classic Literature!

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Everyone loves The Real Housewives! OK, to be fair, not everyone is aware of how magical the Real Housewives can be on occasion. While a lot of people find them irritating, where else are you going to find crazy moments where weird rich women debase themselves like insane animals in a menagerie for we the people to marvel at? No matter what your opinion is on The Real Housewives franchise, it’s hard to deny that they’re a bonafide cultural phenomenon. Love them or hate them, their hilarious quips, wild cat fights and generally unblinking attitude towards affluence are here to stay. So, if we were to cast a new season of Real Housewives, populated by some of the most desperate…

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A Little Women Christmas beautifully illustrates the season’s good will

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I recently took a copy of A Little Women Christmas (Simon & Schuster, 2014) to read with my Reading Buddy, Heidi. Author Heather Vogel Frederick took the story of Mr. March’s surprise homecoming from Louisa Mae Alcott’s classic, Little Women, and adapted it for 4-7 year olds. Who better to review a book than someone it was written for? Heidi is in kindergarten, so we usually spend time working on learning letters and beginning sight words, but I asked Heidi if, that day, she would help me read a new book.  I pulled the book out of my bag and as I told Heidi a little about Little Women, I could see the girl at the table behind us listening,…

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I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Or was it Miss Havisham’s house?

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The time is ripe for backstories and sequels. We can’t get enough of extending a beloved story as far as possible. No, not the latest Hobbit movie, or the long-heralded return of the Star Wars saga in 2015; I’m talking about the perennial draw of literary updates. There are many fraught questions to consider when modernizing a classic: how true will this be to the original when it comes to chronology, voice, incident, and character? Will it be history, future story (sequel), or deeper, contemporaneous story? How much is invented, and are any additions warranted? Is the new interpretation relevant, contemporary, and believable? In sum, is this new version necessary? In my view, it must either add something to the…

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