Tag Archives: Classics

2010: The Year of the Classic

I have yet to do my “Fave Books of 2009” post because I am reading five books right now and any one of them could end up on the list! 

BUT, I’ve been thinking about 2010 and I think that I’d like to focus more on the classics. Not the entire year of course, but I have strayed from the classics and with my reading of Moby Dick, I find myself yearning for them once again so I plan to add them back in here and there and maybe do another read-along.

The covers that I included in this post are just a few of the titles that I have been wanting to read. That’s right! I’ve never read Wuthering Heights. I read a lot of classics in college, but these never made it into my pile. It’s a shame really because I really do enjoy the classics.

Out of all of the classics you’ve read, if you had to pick one classic novel to recommend, which would you choose?

Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

The June selection for my book group is Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert. It’s the story of Emma and Charles Bovary and Emma’s adulterous affair with Rodolphe. Very controversial for its time (mid-nineteenth century). Although Charles could be considered a good man, Emma finds him extremely dull and oblivious to her wants or needs. She spends her days dreaming of a different life, one without Charles. For awhile, the birth of her daughter keeps her occupied, but she never bonds with the child and finds the child to be a sore reminder of her failed marriage to Charles.

In comes Rodolphe. To Emma, Rodolphe is everything that Charles is not. We see Rodolphe completely taken with Emma’s beauty, yet when Emma has decided that she is ready to leave her bourgeois life, including her own daughter, Rodolphe has a change of heart.

Although Emma’s character is a bit flighty and exceedingly dramatic at times, the reader can relate to her everyday struggles of being married to an “ordinary” man and always wanting more. I think the translation of the book is important as the copy that I picked up did not flow as well as I believe it should have, but I am chalking that up entirely to the translation. Overall I enjoyed the book, but I found myself skimming quite a bit towards the end. I am anxious to see what my book group says about it.