Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Classics Book Tag

Robert Carlyle is pretty much perfect as Rumplestiltskin.
I was recently tagged by Jillian with a fun meme about classics. And what is not to like about two of my favorite things, classics books and lists? So, here goes:

1. An over-hyped classic you really didn’t like: 

Without a doubt, Wuthering Heights. I think Heathcliff and Catherine are just awful and deserve each other for all of eternity.  The runner-up is On the Road by Jack Kerouac. 

2. Favorite time period to read about? 

Victorians! It's such a great time period, transitioning to the modern age. And it's such a long period, so there were so many great books written. 

3.  Favorite fairytale? 
Probably Rumplestiltskin. It was my favorite fairytale to tell my kids when they wanted a bedtime story that wasn't from a book.

4. Most embarrassing classics that you haven't read?
I still haven't read Les Miserables! Shocking, I know -- I hope to get to it this year. I'm really scared by the length, and I've never read anything by Victor Hugo.

5. Top 5 classics you want to read: 
  1. The Duke's Children by Anthony Trollope (I just bought the newly restored version)
  2. Jane Austen's juvenilia
  3. Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
  4. The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner
  5. My Brilliant Career by Miles Franklin
All of these are for challenges, either the Back to the Classics Challenge and the Victorian Reading Challenges, and they've all been on my TBR list for a long time. 

6. Favorite modern book/movie/TV series based on a classic?

I'm not a huge fan of modern adaptations of classics. However, I really do love Clueless which is an adaptation of Emma. Alicia Silverstone is great as Cher Horowitz, and I love Dan Hedaya as her father, who is not clueless (unlike Emma's father). And Paul Rudd! What's not to love about this movie?
"That was way harsh, Tai!" Best teen movie EVER.

7. Favorite movie version/TV series based on a classic? 

That's tough, there have been some really good adaptations! I could only narrow it down to four:
  •  the classic 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice; 
  • the 1995 Persuasion; 
  • Wives and Daughters
  •  the 2005 Bleak House, which is an absolute masterpiece. 
In general, I think books are better adapted to mini-series than movies, though I do love watching them on the big screen.

Gillian Anderson was brilliant as Lady Dedlock in Bleak House.
8. Worst classic to movie adaptation?

For movies, I'd have to say the 2011 Jane Eyre with Michael Fassbender and Mia Wasikowska. Michael Fassbender was way too good-looking to be Rochester, and they really hacked up the ending. I was also disappointed with House of Mirth -- it's one of my favorites and I was bored to death. 

Gillian again, as the tragic Lily Bart. 
She deserved a better adaptation, but that hat is fabulous.
The worst TV adaptation was a The Paradise which is an adaptation of Zola's The Ladies' Paradise. I couldn't get through the first episode. It probably didn't help that they changed the location from Paris to north England. I think they were trying to compete with Mr. Selfridge.

9. Favorite editions of classics that you'd like to collect:
I really like Oxford World's Classics, and I love the covers of the Penguin Clothbound Classics! It's tempting to buy all of them. 

10. An under hyped classic? La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola -- it's a real page turner and I think it would make a great miniseries!

Bloggers, tell me about your favorite classics -- and your least favorites. I'm tagging anyone who wants to participate!


  1. Yay! Thanks for doing this! I'm also interested in reading The Story of an African Farm soon! ALSO LES MIS. Although, probably not this year. :) We should do a group readalong of Wuthering Heights -- maybe in the winter. There are (if this tag is any evidence) a GREAT MANY of us who hate that book. (I know. Why reread a book we hate? I'm thinking the group might help somehow, and often these books improve on a revisit.) I kind of liked that adaptation of The House of Mirth. I thought Gillian Anderson was perfect as Lily. I need to watch the Bleak House adaptation. :)

    1. You know, I might appreciate it more if I read it with a group. I listened to it on audio and I really disliked the way the narrator did Catherine, which I think might be a big reason why I disliked it so much.

      I love House of Mirth but that adaptation was glacially slow. I love the book and read it nearly all in one day, so I was surprised that the adaptation bored me so much.

  2. Great list. I am really loving this tag and reading everyone's responses.

    I adore Clueless! I can watch it endlessly. And it is such a clever adaptation.

  3. I haven't read Les Miserables either, so don't feel too bad. And I agree with you on all your movie picks! :)

  4. That reminds me!! I want to see that film version of Bleak House. I haven't read the book, but it may inspire me to hurry and read it.

  5. Where to begin...I used to say that I loved WH, but I started it again recently, and wasn't motivated to continue...Heathcliff is simply dreadful company. I haven't read Les Mis either but want to, and My Brilliant Career is a very fun read. I loved the movie as a young adult and it's pretty true to the book. My favorite adaptation is North and South, and yes to mini-series over movies.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.