Another book tag! Because I want to write, but I can’t be bothered to sit down and write a discussion post or a review. Sometimes I’m lazy like that.
The Classics Book Tag originally comes from the blog, ‘It’s a Book’s World’, but the author is no longer updating their blog. But the Tag is out there.
An overhyped classic you really didn’t like:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I’ve read this book three times. Twice for school and once on my own, just to see if analyzing it for class had soured my opinion of it. Yeah, no. I just didn’t like it. I know, I know. It has beautiful writing and a hopeless love story and all that, but in the end it doesn’t matter how pretty the writing is, isn’t basically every literary fiction book about rich people on the East Coast complaining about how terrible it is to be rich?
(Don’t @ me. It’s called hyperbole)
Favorite time period to read about:
Anything that isn’t 2020.
Seriously, though, my favorite time periods to read about are the late Victorian era (post-1880), the medieval era (circa 500-1450), and the Italian Renaissance. The so-called Viking Age in Scandinavia and Iceland (about 800-1066) is quickly rising in my esteem, though.
Who doesn’t like to read about swords and castles?
I can’t really say that I have one. Odd, huh? But I don’t really read fairy tales like Disney-esque or Brothers Grimm. I enjoy Arthurian legends, Celtic and Norse mythology, and I’m gaining a better appreciation for Icelandic sagas, but I don’t really go in for fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty or Snow White.
What is the most embarrassed classic you haven’t read yet?
I assume that this question actually means “which classic are you embarrassed about because you haven’t read it yet?”, because I don’t think the books themselves are embarrassed.
Unless, maybe, it’s something racy like Lady Chatterly’s Lover or Sei Shonagon’s The Pillow Book.
As for books I’m embarrassed that I haven’t read… None, really, because you shouldn’t be embarrassed that you haven’t read Book X.
That said, I’ve been intending to read Paradise Lost for a very long time and I plan to finally tick it off the list in 2021. In January, maybe.
Favorite modern book/series based on a classic:
Hm. Off the top of my head, I can think of a few, with most of them being based on Arthurian lore. That’s classic, isn’t it? T.H. White’s The Once and Future King is a modern classic, isn’t it?
I suppose my top few would be the following:
- Mary Stewart’s Arthurian Saga (particularly the first three books, The Crystal Cave, The Hollow Hills, and The Last Enchantment)
- Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising sequence (Over Sea Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree)
- Longbourn by Jo Baker, which is based on Pride and Prejudice
Favorite movie version/tv-series based on a classic:
I can only think of movies right now, though I’m sure I’d find a few TV series if I could be bothered to put my mind to it.
- The Lord of the Rings trilogy directed by Peter Jackson (2001-2003)
- Pride and Prejudice directed by Joe Wright (2005)
- MacBeth directed by Justin Kurzel (2015)
- Bram Stoker’s Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola (1992)
Worst classic to movie adaptation:
There have been some pretty wretched book to movie adaptations, but I don’t remember most of the bad ones I’ve watched. I tend to blot them out of my memory. But the 2005 film based on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was kind of awful. It took a fairly thin children’s book and tried to turn it into something as epic as The Lord of the Rings. It didn’t work.
There was also this weird Czech film we watched in my Faust in Western Literature class. It was based on Goethe’s Faust, and involved live action actors and life-sized puppets, and is probably the weirdest film I’ve ever watched– and we watched surrealist films from the 1940s in art history. When the lights came back up after the Czech film was over, everyone in the class had this look of “WTF, mates?” on their faces.
I still can’t explain it.
Favorite edition(s) you’d like to collect more classics from:
I like the simple design of the black spined Penguin classics. I also enjoy the durability and design of the Everyman’s Library hardback editions. I happily collect both, and plan to continue collecting them as the opportunity arises.
An underhyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:
Underhyped classics? Hm…
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin
- The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
- Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
- The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë
- The Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Bashō
Feel free to do this tag if you find it interesting. No one is policing these things. Do what book tags you want. I certainly did.
17 thoughts on “Classics Book Tag”
Loved reading all your answers. Pride and Prejudice (2005) is my favourite adaptation!
To completely tangent…can you imagine when people start writing books about 2020? He saw her eyes crinkle in amusement because that’s all he could see? Or, I didn’t recognize them with their mask, or they mumbled through everything….
I agree with most of this. I loved Mary Stewart’s books and it’s lovely to see them getting attention. Agree too about The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – James McEvoy’s Mr. Tumnus was the only thing that made the film bearable.
Haha! “Their eyes met from across a plexiglass divider”.
Right? I mean, what are authors going to do? How many zoom live stories are there going to be?
Yay! Someone else likes Stewart’s Merlin trilogy! I have recommended it so many times, but I don’t think I’ve convinced anyone to read it.
Nothing like trying to fall in love across a crappy internet connection.
I fear next years beach reads…
It’s so good! I don’t care that it doesn’t get all the details from the book. It captures the feeling of reading it so well.
I must re-read I think. I wonder if they date? But now, how could they date since they’re set in the dark ages.
Given that historians’ view of the early medieval era is changing, they could date… But personally, I think they still shine. I’ve read them a few times since I first picked them up in 2013 or so.
I am typically not into reading tags, but you are so witty I cannot stop myself. My reflections:
– I’m with you on Gatsby. Why should I care? Whine whine wine.
– Hm. Who decides what is a fairy tale and what isn’t? Does it have to be a tale for children? In that case, most of mythology would also be considered fairy tales. And most fairy tales are absolutely frightening. I think your Icelandic Sagas totally count. I’m counting them.
– I bet the Classics are totally embarrassed. 😉 Perhaps there is a crew of them who are dealing with imposter syndrome to this day! “Why do they think I’m a classic? I’m just a pulp romance!” XD
– Wait. What is Dark Is Rising sequence based on? I mean, Welsh mythology. Yes. But, is there is a specific Classic it’s based on I’ve missed this whole time?!
Woohoo! I am officially witty!
— Glad I’m not the only one who is unimpressed by Gatsby.
— I mean, there are fairies in Arthurian legends. And definitely fae folk in Celtic lore. And there are some terrifying magical creatures in Norse mythology. Not so many faeries in most of the Icelandic sagas, though…
— Haha! Classics suffering from imposter syndrome! I bet Lady Chatterly’s Lover is being just like that- “I’m just a pulp romance! I’m not a classic! What even?”
— The Dark is Rising sequence is all based on Arthurian lore, which is classic in my mind. It’s been around long enough and is beloved. And The Once and Future King is a classic, isn’t it?
Classics give me a hard time
The Once and Future King is totally a Classic. I’ve read The Dark is Rising a handful of times and I’ve only found a handful of Arthurian connections. I haven’t read White’s classic, though… I had best get on that. I bet there are some major connections I’ve missed!
There are all sorts of Arthurian connections in The Dark is Rising. Some of them are a little more archaic than T.H. White, I think, so they’re not always obvious if you’re not terribly familiar with the lore.
I’ll start with White’s work, though. If I can read a few Arthurian legends and then return to The Dark is Rising, I bet I’ll appreciate the series even more.