Tag: Books: Classics


Review: And Then There Were None

Posted 11 August, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

And Then There Were None
By: Agatha Christie
Format/Source: eBook; my purchase

First, there were ten – a curious assortment of strangers summoned as weekend guests to a private island off the coast of Devon. Their host, an eccentric millionaire unknown to all of them, is nowhere to be found. All that the guests have in common is a wicked past they’re unwilling to reveal – and a secret that will seal their fate. For each has been marked for murder. One by one they fall prey. Before the weekend is out, there will be none. And only the dead are above suspicion.

This is actually the second Agatha Christie novel I’ve read to date. I’ve long heard of her books–being such a titan in the mystery genre–and been wanting to read her books but yeah, I just never got around to it. I read one of her other novels earlier this year, The Secret Adversary, which was a fun if not okay read. I did however watch the BBC miniseries that this book was based off recently starring quite the cast (Charles Dance, Gorman Burn, Sam O’Neill, Aidan Turner) which I enjoyed and wanted to read the book to see how the plot unfolded in the novel format.

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Books: A Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 25 July, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 2 Comments

Pretty sure I mentioned this last time but I seem to be on a roll with these mini-reviews this year 😛 Lots of books I read recently that didn’t warrant a post of their own; included in this batch of mini-reviews are some classics and one DNF *le sigh*


The Major Works
By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Samuel Taylor Coleridge, poet, critic, and radical thinker, exerted an enormous influence over contemporaries as varied as Wordsworth, Southey and Lamb. He was also a dedicated reformer, and set out to use his reputation as a public speaker and literary philosopher to change the course of English thought.

This collection represents the best of Coleridge’s poetry from every period of his life, particularly his prolific early years, which produced The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel, and Kubla Khan. The central section of the book is devoted to his most significant critical work, Biographia Literaria, and reproduces it in full. It provides a vital background for both the poetry section which precedes it and for the shorter prose works which follow. There is also a generous sample of his letters, notebooks, and marginalia, some recently discovered, which show a different, more spontaneous side to his fascinating and complex personality.

I finally got around to reading some of Coleridge’s works when I picked up one of the mini Black Classics (review). I greatly enjoyed it and decided to pick up his collected works. While this is a good collection of his works and ideas, I was much more interested in his poetry and some of his lectures than his essays and his Biographia Literaria, which to be honest I decided not to read at this time.

Anyway, his poetry was interesting, a mix of long epics and shorter poems. His poems reminds me a bit of John Keats, which makes sense given that they were contemporaries, but they aren’t as flourishing or as ingrained in the nature thematics as Keats is. There’s also a more morose feeling to his poems; it’s hard to explain, maybe the book cover had something to contribute to this overall feeling, but there’s that. I wish the poetry was more complete in this collection but nonetheless it’s a solid selection and I enjoyed reading it.

Rating: ★★★☆☆

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Pluggage: Guest Post at Pages Unbound on The Kalevala

Posted 22 July, 2016 by Lianne in Writing / 2 Comments

(Err, couldn’t think of a creative title for this post :3)

No book review today but instead a bit of a book chat! Pages Unbound is currently hosting a Classic Lit event and today my guest post is live over here in which I talk about one of my favourite classic texts from the Scandinavian countries: The Kalevala (review). I first heard about this text after learning that J.R.R. Tolkien (see author tag) was greatly influenced by it in his creation of Middle Earth and the stories that he wrote. I finally got around to reading it in 2012 and suffice to say it became a favourite of mine, I try to plug it every chance I get 😉 Anyway, you can check out all of the reasons why I love the text so much over there:

Of the Richness of the Kalevala (and why everyone should read it)

Be sure to pop in over there and check out the other posts for this July event contributed by other readers & bloggers on their favourite classics! 🙂 Have you ever read The Kalevala? Plan on reading it in the near future? What’s your favourite Scandinavian epic or classic?

Books: Batch of Mini-Reviews

Posted 1 June, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

Not bad, it’s been about two months since my last batch of mini-book reviews, lol 😛 As always, this batch features books I’ve read that, while I had a few thoughts on it, they didn’t warrant review posts of their own. Included in this batch of reviews are mostly classics and one fantasy novella 😉


The Canterbury Tales
By: Geoffrey Chaucer
Format/Source: Mass market paperback; my purchase

Lively, absorbing, often outrageously funny, Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales is a work of genius, an undisputed classic that has held a special appeal for each generation of readers. The Tales gathers twenty-nine of literature’s most enduring (and endearing) characters in a vivid group portrait that captures the full spectrum of medieval society, from the exalted Knight to the humble Plowman.

Gah, I finally got around to reading this! It’s been on my wishlist for quite a long time and I actually started listening to bits of it last year via LibriVox when I was sick but I got impatient in the end and picked up a copy of the book. Well, I appreciate how expansive this classic is, featuring people from all walks of life in Medieval England and taking part in this tale. The stories range from chivalrous and thematic to bawdy and hilarious and some where more interesting that others but yeah, it’s one of those classics you can’t just pick up on a whim. In restrospect, I think perhaps I should’ve have chosen this book as my travelling read whenever I was outside (not to mention it made for a hefty carry in my purse) but some of them were so long that they just didn’t hold my interest like others. So yeah, it was an okay reading experience for me overall but I’m glad I took a crack at it 😛

Rating: ★★½☆☆

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Review: The Oresteia

Posted 2 May, 2016 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

The Oresteia
By: Aeschylus
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

In the Oresteia—the only trilogy in Greek drama which survives from antiquity—Aeschylus took as his subject the bloody chain of murder and revenge within the royal family of Argos.

Moving from darkness to light, from rage to self-governance, from primitive ritual to civilized institution, their spirit of struggle and regeneration becomes an everlasting song of celebration.

This Greek drama piqued my interest after it was mentioned in one of the Sebastian St. Cyr novels (see tag) I was reading at the time. To date the only Greek drama I’ve read has been from Sophocles (err…I never reviewed it? I’m surprised) but I’m always open to checking out more Greek drama and classical theatre, especially as I’m slowly dwindling down on the popular Renaissance/Jacobean titles (I know there’s plenty else out there to check out, not to mention those from other countries, but it’s nice to get through the famous ones first). Anyway, I was quite excited to start reading these plays after writing my board exam a few months ago (case in point) 🙂

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