10 Reasons You Should be Reading the Classics

“Whether you want to impress your in-laws, boost your SAT scores, or deliver more effective presentations at work, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with words that instantly reflect your intelligence.” Jamie Leigh with a plethora of great reasons for reading great literature.

Classic Review: Moby-Dick

“Moby-Dick reads like a textbook. There’s the chapter classifying the different types of whales. There’s the chapter(s) on whale anatomy. There are lots of chapters about whale oil. Moby-Dick is more manual than novel, right down to the instructional guide on turning the skin of a whale’s penis into a jacket.” Jamie Leigh reviews the classics.

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Classic Review: The Wind in the Willows

“At the end of the book, Toad, Mole, Rat, and Badger have to seize Toad Hall back from the weasels and stoats who have taken over in Toad’s absence. Then they throw a party. Like I said: a romp.” Jamie Leigh reviews The Wind in the Willows.

December 7, 2015
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Classic Review – Women in Love

“If only man was swept off the face of the earth, creation would go on so marvellously, with a new start, non-human. Man is one of the mistakes of creation—like the ichthyosauri.” OUCH. D. H. Lawrence holds back his criticism of neither man nor dinosaur in Women in Love, so I’m not going to bother with reverence either….

September 10, 2015
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Classic Review: Middlemarch

Middlemarch is a book about marriage. But this is no story of marital kamikaze (like Anna Karenina or Madame Bovary), nor is it the script for a “Love Conquers All” press conference penned by Romance’s PR team (like The Time Traveler’s Wife or anything by Nicholas Sparks).  Middlemarch is a realistic book about marriage—and it should be, as part of the “literary realism”…

August 10, 2015
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Classic Reviews: “The Magic Mountain”

Let’s start at the very beginning, Sound of Music-style. Hans Castorp (who always goes by his full name for some reason) is a perfectly healthy and “simple-minded” man who goes to visit his tubercular cousin, Joachim, at a sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. He intends to stay for just three weeks but ends up with his own…

July 13, 2015
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Classic Review: The Portrait of a Lady

Isabel Archer’s biggest problem is that every man she meets wants to marry her. She is so charming, so overwhelmingly endearing, that her aunt can’t resist taking her on an all-expenses-paid Eurotrip; her uncle is compelled to leave her half his fortune (70,000 pounds in the 1860s); and her cousin views her as his sole reason to live….

June 4, 2015
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Classic Review: The Sound and the Fury

If I had to describe Faulkner’s writing in one word, it would be ABSTRACT. If I had to describe the experience of reading it in two words, they would be ARMY CRAWL. Literary critics called Faulkner’s style “experimental.” This is kind and decent of them. I, for one, tend to view Faulkner more like an incoherent…

May 8, 2015
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Classic Review: The Canterbury Tales

In the summer of 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, royally pissed off King Henry II. (Pun intended, obviously.) Tired of listening to Henry whine, a group of his loyal followers rode off to Canterbury Cathedral and murdered poor Thomas, mid-Vespers. Fast-forward a couple hundred years, and Canterbury Cathedral had become the hot destination for European travelers….

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