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text 2017-05-14 20:56
Classics That You Should Read

For those who love to read, there is nothing more difficult than someone asking you to put together a list of your favourite books. After all, no two lists will ever be the same and how can anyone possibly choose, it’s like asking which of your children you love the most…

Similarly, those who love to read fully understand how expensive books can be, particularly in this difficult economic climate. Therefore, I decided to put together a few of my favourite classics, some of which are out of copyright and can be online for free. For out of copyright books, I have added a link where the book can be found for free.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Written by English writer Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre is a classic novel which has been hailed as one of the greatest pieces of English fiction. Set against the backdrop of the magnificent Yorkshire Moors, this story follows the coming of age of a plucky young governess who faces a number of great adversaries to find happiness in the arms of her first love.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence

First published privately in Italy in 1928 and later the subject of an obscenity trial in the UK. Lady Chatterley's Lover gained notoriety due to its hugely erotic content. Based in Nottinghamshire where DH Lawrence grew up, the story focuses on a young married woman who becomes disenchanted with her upper class husband. When an injury from the war leaves him unable to connect physically and emotionally with Lady Chatterley, she seeks sexual fulfilment in the arms of Oliver Mellor’s, the gamekeeper.

To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

Renowned for its warmth and humour, To Kill a Mocking Bird is loosely based on Harper Lee’s observations of friends and family, but carries an important message about the realities of racism in the 1930’s. A classic piece of American literature, To Kill a Mockingbird is widely taught in schools all over the world and addresses themes of rape, racial inequality, courage and compassion. If you haven’t read this book, it’s one to put on your list of ‘must reads’ immediately!

Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James

Not everyone’s favourite book, but a book that has earned its place in history. Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Anastasia Steel and the ‘emotionally damaged’ billionaire Christian Grey. After a chance meeting, a story of all consuming love begins to unfold. What makes this story stand out, are the BDSM themes and erotic scenes weaved throughout the tale. The book may not have been well received by critics. However, what followed was a sexual revolution that rocked the twenty first century. Sales of sex toys rocketed, BDSM practices which were previously criminalised were normalised and a new age of sexual freedom began.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

HYPERLINK "http://www.literatureproject.com/little-woLittle Women is a timeless tale of four American sisters – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Following their lives from childhood to adulthood, Little Women has been a difficult book to define. Some describe the book as a romance novel, others claim that it is a children’s book. However, for those who have read it, the ongoing themes in this book work together to create an incredible piece of fiction that simply begs to be read.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

With over 20 million copies sold, Pride and Prejudice has certainly earned its crown as one of the most popular novels in English Literature. Using good, solid British humour, Pride and Prejudice tells the tale of the Bennet family – the overbearing Mrs Bennet, the long suffering Mr Bennet and their five daughters. Due to the laws of the land at the time, if Mr Bennet passes away the inheritance cannot be passed onto his own children and falls into the hands of a distant relative. With the pressure on to find a suitable marriage, the arrival of a handsome stranger causes rather a few trials and tribulations for the Bennet family.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Believing that he was a failure and his The Great Gatsby forgotten, F. Scott Fitzgerald died in 1940 with sales of just 20,000 copies. However, due to the glitz, glamour and sheer escapism of this 1920’s tale, The Great Gatsby saw a revival during World War 2 and fast became one of the greatest classics in American history. The story follows characters from a fictional town called West Egg. Featuring millionaires, shady business connections, unrivalled glamour and scandal, The Great Gatsby worked hard to earn the title of one of America’s best loved novels.

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review 2017-04-16 17:30
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott,Andrea Emmes,Listen2aBook.com

This American classic, set in the 19th century during the Civil War, follows the lives of the March sisters as they grow up and become young ladies. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are often joined by their neighbor Laurie, who is living with his grandfather.

Some how I missed reading this book as a kid but as an adult, I have had the pleasure to read it twice, this being the second time. Jo is still my favorite character. I love how she often flies in the face of what society might expect from a proper young lady. At one point she cuts off a good chunk of her hair. She learns to writes short stories that sell to newspapers, so she has a source of independent income. She’s not caught up in the latest dance or the stylish lace. Yep. She’s much how I would imagine myself if I was trapped in the 1800s.

The other sisters all have their own personalities as well. Meg is the oldest and seems be a little mother in waiting. Once she falls in love, that’s exactly what she becomes – a dotting mom. Then sweet Beth embodies the tender heart of the family. She is so kind to everyone and everyone in turn is so gentle and kind with her. Amy has a flash of independence as well but she’s also rather caught up in appearances. While the Marches don’t have much money, Amy makes up for it in grace and practical kindness.

Laurie is a good addition to the mix. I really like his grandfather as well. Laurie starts off as a rather shy and lonely lad but the girls draw him out pretty quickly and adopt him into their little circle of confidences and games. Marmee (Mrs. March) does her best to be a confidant to her daughters while also allowing them the privacy they need. Robert March, the dad, is seen quite a bit less in the book though he’s totally doted on by the family when he is home.

The entire book is riddled with little life lessons. For the first 3/4 of the book, these are well portrayed in story form. The author shows us rather than tells us. For instance, I like how Marmee often gives her girls enough rope to hang themselves. She lets them make mistakes so that they will recall the lesson better in the future. The solitary thing I don’t care for is that the last bit of this book gets a bit preachy. I feel the author was either rushed or got a little tired of the book herself and started telling us the lessons instead of showing us. Plus, perhaps since a main character dies, religion is brought into the mix. Despite this minor let down for the ending of the book, I still really enjoy this classic.

Let’s talk limes. Yes, limes. There’s a great little bit of the book that goes on about these pickled limes that were all the rage at school. In fact, the teacher banned them from his classroom since they were a distraction. One of the sisters had to borrow money from another sister just so she could buy some limes. After reading that section, I really want to try a pickled lime.

One of the reasons I so like this book is that most of the characters are women and it’s not a big romance. There is romance here and there, but that isn’t the main driving force of the plot. Women have so many more freedoms and rights now than they did during the Civil War and yet here we have a well written and enjoyable book that has women actually doing things, instead of being these flowery, vague love interests. So, when someone gives me the excuse, ‘Oh, things were different back then,’ to explain why a book is lacking in relevant female characters, I can always point to Alcott and quirk an eyebrow. Yes, things were different back then, but women were still relevant. Thank you Ms. Alcott!

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration: Andrea Emmes did such a lovely job with this book. She made each sister sound unique and she also managed to make them sound young when they are little girls and like young ladies by the end of the book. She also had a variety of male voices which were quite believable. 

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review 2016-12-31 01:21
Review of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott This is one of those books I should have read many years ago. I enjoyed this story and all of its simplicity. It was a nice look into the family dynamics of 19th century America (or at least the idealized version) and the characters were certainly memorable. While I enjoyed each chapter and learning about what happens to each of the characters in the novel, I find it a flaw that there was no real buildup in the story and no true climax. Other than that, it was well worth my time and I will certainly read the two novels that continue the story.
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review 2016-08-21 15:56
Review: Little Women!
Little Women - Deanna McFadden,Lucy Corvino,Louisa May Alcott

Basic Info


Pages/Length: n/a

Genre: Young Adult; Historical Fiction

Reason For Reading: #3 on YA Top 100


At A Glance

Love Triangle/Insta Love/Obsession?:

Cliff Hanger: No

Triggers: n/a

Rating: 2.5 stars


Score Sheet
All out of ten


Cover: 6

Plot: 4

Characters: 5

World Building: 5

Flow: 5

Series Congruity: n/a

Writing: 5

Ending: 5


Total: 5


In Dept

Best Part:

Worst Part: Talking, talking, talking.

Thoughts Had: DO SOMETHING!



Continuing the Series:

Recommending: eh


Short Review: I'm sorry, maybe i'm a bitter girl who is mad i can never keep girlfriends, but damn, girls are horrible. They just sit around and talk, and talk, and talk. I was bored out of my mind. Their father is sick, so their mother, who i guess is the only reason they can get along, leaves to go be with him, which is like the last time you'll hear about it, and that's the end of a "plot" for me. They just talk. The one girl goes someone and a few chapters is just her letters she sent home! Ugh. I was so bored. I couldn't connect to any of them. Boring.




Book Boyfriend: Idk.

Best Friend Material: None.

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review 2016-07-28 00:00
Little Women: Little Women Series, Book 1
Little Women: Little Women Series, Book 1 - Louisa May Alcott I tend to read "Little Women" every couple of years. It's not one of my must read every single year books. But I tend to read it and "Little Men" back to back if I have time. It's nice to see the March sisters (Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy) as young women and then adults with their own families years later after the events in the first book.

"Little Women" takes place during the American Civil War. The four March sisters are home with their mother (Marmee) and their maid Hannah while their father (known as Father) is away fighting. What I found interesting about the March family was how progressive the attitudes of the parents were and how that helped shaped their four daughters.

So here's the thing. Amy is my favorite. I can't help it. I know a lot of book readers love Jo the best, but Jo always rubbed me the wrong way even when I was a kid. Because for all of Amy is selfish talk (no she was just a typical 12 year old girl), I found Jo maddening at times because she went into a temper anytime she didn't get her way. I found Amy's honesty refreshing (she knows she is vain and spoiled and tries to be better) and when she gets older, I thought it was pragmatic of her to say look I know I am beautiful and I know I will not be a poor man's wife. I got to love a character that is not trying to B.S. anyone.

Beth I never got a great sense of besides her being seen as perfect to everyone around her. Look we all know what happens to Beth and I still rate that as one of the saddest deaths I have read in literature. It's been decades and I know it's coming and I still sob like a kid when I get there.

Meg I thought was great simply because she's the first of the March girls to grow up and realize that all of them in their own way need to be better. Meg's friendship and then growing love with John Brooke was fantastic. I remember being shocked when the book got to that point when I was a kid, especially because all signs pointed to Meg marrying some dumb friend of Laurie's.

And Laurie, who doesn't love Laurie. A lonely motherless boy who is overwhelmed by the March family at first, and then loves each and every one of them and desperately wants to be part of their family. I am not going to lie, as a kid, I thought it didn't make any sense for Laurie to be in love with Jo (they would have killed each other within a week) and then when he runs back into Amy while they are touring Europe, I realized that they made sense together. Though Laurie later saying to Jo that he knew he would always be a part of their family one day did skeeve me out a bit (just me? Bueller?)

I think what makes Little Women so great and so well loved centuries after Louisa May Alcott's death is simply that the characters (all of them) and the family resonate so much with readers.

I always loved the writing in this book though as a kid I had to look up a lot of words with my handy dictionaries. And I recall being perplexed by them being so happy to have ice cream (there was always ice cream in our freezer) but something about them spoke to me and had me reading them on long winter nights and humid summer days. The flow actually works very well in this book. We initially start off when the girls' father is gone and then he circles back to him coming home. Then we jump start to the girls starting to grow up with the engagement of Meg to John Brooke and then their marriage. I do think the book does slow down a bit when it turns squarely to Meg and John's first years of marriage and them adjusting to life with twins. I thought there was a practical advice in their, but the book slows down and then jumps around a lot when it moves to Jo moving away to be a governess and writing.

Also I love how in real life Alcott was very salty towards her readers who wanted Jo to marry Laurie.

“Girls write to ask who the little women marry, as if that was the only aim and end of a woman’s life. I won’t marry Jo to Laurie to please anyone.

The setting of "Little Women" takes place in somewhere in New England. We get a sense of the home they live in and the town as a whole.

The ending always makes me sigh a little bit, but happy, because we always have "Little Men" to move onto next.
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