I joined Goodreads a few years ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess. I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it. I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.
Here is how it works:
- Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
- Order on ascending date added.
- Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
- Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?
This week we have a bunch of classics to go through. Here we go!
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s dark novel, The Scarlet Letter, a single sinful act ruins the lives of three people. None more so than Hester Prynne, a young, beautiful, and dignified woman, who conceived a child out of wedlock and receives the public punishment of having to always wear a scarlet “A” on her clothing.
She refuses to reveal the father of her child, which could lighten her sentence. Her husband, the aptly-named Roger Chillingworth, who Hester thought had died in a shipwreck but was actually being held captive by Native Americans, arrives at the exact moment of her deepest public shaming and vows to get revenge. Her lover, Arthur Dimmesdale, remains safely unidentified, but is wracked with guilt.
Though originally published in 1850, the story is set in seventeenth-century Massachusetts among Hawthorne’s Puritan ancestors. In The Scarlet Letter, he created a story that highlighted both their weaknesses and their strengths. His knowledge of their beliefs and his admiration for their way of life was balanced by his concerns about their rigid and oppressive rules.
My Thoughts: This is one of those books that I just feel like I have to read. I’m a little nervous because all of the things I have heard about it have been negative from friends who were forced to read it in school, but it must be a classic for a reason right? VERDICT: KEEP
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
In what may be Dickens’s best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of “great expectations.” In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.
My Thoughts: I bought a copy of this book so long ago because Dickens is an author I know I want to read, and still haven’t. VERDICT: KEEP
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
This swashbuckling epic of chivalry, honor, and derring-do, set in France during the 1620s, is richly populated with romantic heroes, unattainable heroines, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals in a whirl of adventure, espionage, conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and suspense. Dumas transforms minor historical figures into larger- than-life characters: the Comte d’Artagnan, an impetuous young man in pursuit of glory; the beguilingly evil seductress “Milady”; the powerful and devious Cardinal Richelieu; the weak King Louis XIII and his unhappy queen—and, of course, the three musketeers themselves, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, whose motto “all for one, one for all” has come to epitomize devoted friendship. With a plot that delivers stolen diamonds, masked balls, purloined letters, and, of course, great bouts of swordplay, The Three Musketeers is eternally entertaining.
My Thoughts: This is one of the most famous stories of all time, and I’d really like to see the source of it all. It also sounds really entertaining. VERDICT: KEEP
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
For sheer storytelling delight and pure adventure, Treasure Island has never been surpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins first encounters the sinister Blind Pew at the Admiral Benbow Inn until the climactic battle for treasure on a tropic isle, the novel creates scenes and characters that have firetd the imaginations of generations of readers. Written by a superb prose stylist, a master of both action and atmosphere, the story centers upon the conflict between good and evil – but in this case a particularly engaging form of evil. It is the villainy of that most ambiguous rogue Long John Silver that sets the tempo of this tale of treachery, greed, and daring. Designed to forever kindle a dream of high romance and distant horizons, Treasure Island is, in the words of G. K. Chesterton, ‘the realization of an ideal, that which is promised in its provocative and beckoning map; a vision not only of white skeletons but also green palm trees and sapphire seas.’ G. S. Fraser terms it ‘an utterly original book’ and goes on to write: ‘There will always be a place for stories like Treasure Island that can keep boys and old men happy.
My Thoughts: Another famous classic that I have always wanted to read. I also have a thing for pirates so, I feel like this one will be fun. VERDICT: KEEP
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the famous Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, or simply Jekyll & Hyde. It is about a London lawyer named John Gabriel Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.
My Thoughts: I have always been intrigued by this story, mostly because of the musical adaptation. It’s probably fairly low on my classics list, but I do still want to read it. VERDICT: KEEP
This was a round of all keeps! What do you think of my choices? Have you read any of these books? What would you have done? Let me know in the comments 🙂