Classics Challenge – Belated September Update


Hello you lovely folks!

Sorry for the delay in getting the September post for the Classics Challenge up. It’s all my fault. Serenity had her book done by far in time but I’ve been limping behind.

Also, we decided that we would skip the August part of the challenge which required as to read a modern classic. We both had a bit of an issue with this, even though the task was up to our own interpretation. However, unable to settle on a personal definition and/or a specific book, we decided to just skip this and stick to the old-fashioned classics.

Which brought us to September, for which the task of reading a children’s classic had been set. And without further ado, here is what we thought of the selected books:

Serenity: This month I happened to pick up Treasure Island for a challenge and was pleased to find out it fit for this month’s Classic as well! I love when I can double up on challenges :).

Treasure Island is iconic and most likely the beginning point of most of our pirates themed movies that have been popular in recent years. All the stereotypical pirate themes are there. You’ve got people missing limbs, eyepatches, rum, and of course, “15 men on a dead man’s chest”. For a book written in the late 1880s it read like a very modern story. It was fast paced and did not spend much time ruminating and examining scenery, which can sometimes be a slog with Classics.

So why only 3 charms? I just struggled to get into the story. I liked the main character, Jim, but the rest of them mostly fell flat to me. Even Long John Silver, the pirate who some say set the tone for all pirates, seemed wish-washy and I had a hard time deciding which side he was on. Yes, in the end the answer is probably that he was on no one’s side but his own, but I still just felt like it was too ambiguous for me.

So, it was a good story, but just not a great one for me. Solid 3 charms.

Cocktail Phoenix: At first, I wasn’t sure which book to pick up for September, but then I decided to go with a book which has been sitting on my shelf ever since I was a child, namely The Wind in the Willows. It is a beautiful hardcover edition of the story, translated into German since back then I didn’t read in English yet, and contained a lot of photos from the TV series.

Thinking back, I realised that I could not remember ever having finished this book, despite the fascinating photos and the adorable characters. Even now, I cannot bring myself to actually finish the book, or so it seems. Half-way into October, I am still only half-way through the book and I found myself wondering why that is.

As mentioned, the characters have a lovely aspect to them. They are individual and represent various traits that I personally find important to incorporate in children’s books as their adventures can teach valuable lessons. Nevertheless, whenever I pick up the book, I cannot bring myself to sit down and read more than just a few pages at a time. It may be the writing style, it may be the fact that children’s books are partially supposed to be read in small bursts as they’re read to/with children.

In the end, I think children’s books, for the most part, are simply not for me. I haven’t finished the book yet, but I will. I’ll just go at a slower pace and will eventually reach the end of it and will hopefully enjoy it all the while. For that reason as well, there will be no rating on this book.

Check back in a couple of weeks to see what we have read for the month of October – a classic by a female author.


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