1.) These are books I've been meaning to read in my pursuit of becoming an educated an person.
2.) I'm poor, and classics are cheap or free in e-book or audio format.
3.) I want to build a solid classics library for my kids, as this is something I didn't have growing up. I feel the need to combat the ant-intellectual, non-literary culture of East Texas in every way I can.
Most of these selections will reflect my current obsession with classics.
I Just Finished:
Set in rural, working-class New England, Ethan Frome is a man in a loveless marriage who faces the temptation of illicit passion with another woman. Revealed through the narrator's overnight visit with the mysterious figure, himself, Ethan Frome's story depicts the desperation of a man torn between his empty life and the promise of something new.
The story raises questions about the nature of love and what it's like to live in rural poverty. What does love look like? Is it true that life is what you make of it? I read this as part of an online book group, and, living in rural poverty myself, had a completely different reading from others. I saw hope and redemption where others simply saw sadness. These different interpretations make this a great read that has lives up to "classic" status.
I'm Currently Reading:
Dashing young Edmond Dantès has everything. He is engaged to a beautiful woman, is about to become the captain of a ship, and is well liked by almost everyone. But his perfect life is shattered when he is framed by a jealous rival and thrown into a dark prison cell for 14 years.
The greatest tale of betrayal, adventure, and revenge ever written, The Count of Monte Cristo continues to dazzle readers with its thrilling and memorable scenes, including Dantès’s miraculous escape from prison, his amazing discovery of a vast hidden treasure, and his transformation into the mysterious and wealthy Count of Monte Cristo—a man whose astonishing thirst for vengeance is as cruel as it is just.
I'm about 70% through the Kindle edition, and I'm enjoying the way the characters' lives intersect as the plot develops. I started reading this book without any background regarding the plot or characters, and have enjoyed all the surprises as they come about. I suppose this freshness is one good thing about growing up without a solid literary background.
I'm Listening To:
This audio version is a Dramatis Personae, which helps me keep the characters straight as I listen. The readers do a fabulous job and really make the story come to life.
I've recently discovered audio books, which make the constant flow of dirty dishes and laundry less monotonous and boring while simultaneously helping me fulfill my self-education goals.