Welcome to my February Wrap-Up. February was a good reading month for me. I read some interesting novels for my course, and one of them is more than 800 pages long! I do not know how, but I managed to read a lot. I just hope that March will be the same. I have decided that this month I will try and read some shorter works as well, a few novellas by George Eliot, Elizabeth Gaskell and Thomas Hardy. I definitely am in a Victorian mood lately! If you want me to publish a guide on Victorian literature let me know. Without further ado, here are the novels I read in the past month.
The first book I completed was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, by J. K. Rowling. Because in May I finished my re-read of the series for the hundredth time, I thought I would start afresh, and therefore I am re-listening to the Stephen Fry audiobooks for the second time. Of course a 5-star re-read.
Then I read Kidnapped, by Robert Louis Stevenson. I read this for my class on Highlandism, and it was such a fun book to read. It tells the story of a young man who is kidnapped and tries to get back to his fortune traveling through the Scottish Highlands. It is an entertaining adventure story, and I rated it 4/5 stars.
I also had to read Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott. Even though the premise of the story is entertaining, this book dragged on so much, and I skimmed certain chapters that had very long descriptions. I do not think I would read much more by Scott, even though I am happy to have read this one. I rated it 2/5 stars.
I am taking a course on Victorian Soundscapes, which is fascinating! The first novel we read for that class is The Mystery of Edwin Drood, by Charles Dickens. It is a mystery/thriller novel, and Dickens died before completing it, thus leaving us hanging. I loved this one, and I was so frustrated by the fact that I will never truly know how it ends! I gave it 4/5 stars.
Always for my Soundscapes course I had to read Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot. This novel is more than 800 pages long, and I loved most of it. It is an interesting portrayal of racial and gender power-dynamics in the 19th century, and even though a couple of hundred pages dragged a bit, the rest (600 pages) were brilliant and exquisitely written. Another 4-star read for me.
Finally, the last book I completed was Cranford, by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is a delightful collection of sketches describing a small town inhabited by older spinsters. Because the 19th century saw the surplus of women as a problem, this little book is an interesting and satirical take on the social problems unmarried women faced in the Victorian Era. Another solid 4-star read!
These are the six novels I completed in the month of February. In March I will read some more interesting Victorian fiction, including a collection of Gothic Short Stories. If you want to know my personal Victorian TBR let me know and I will post a list of Victorian works I think are part of the general canon. Let me know if you have read any of these works as well and what you thought of them!
Until next time,