D is for…

D is for desert island, destiny and double Dumas:D

Defoe, Daniel
Derr, Megan
Dickens, Charles
Dumas, Alexandre (père)
Dumas, Alexandre (fils)

Addendum:

Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan

 

Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe is the fourth book on my 2014 reading list. Though it is an edition for both Japanese and English readers, I’m hoping that it isn’t abridged. I’d rather read the full text the first time, rather than form an opinion on half a text first. Wikipedia says that the original title for Robinson Crusoe was: The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, Of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un-inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An Account how he was at last as strangely deliver’d by Pyrates. I’m glad it got cut down. Defoe, like Cervantes, had a pretty interesting life. He lived through the Great Plague of London in 1665 and the Great Fire of London the following year. He was a merchant of many different goods, a rebel, and a spy for a time, until that became bad for business. He also served some time in jail for wracking up a large amount of debt.

Again testing the waters of LGBT fiction, I picked up Prisoner by Megan Derr because it looked decent. I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet, but it sits high on my queue.

Oh Charles Dickens. I’m going to make a confession here: like many other assigned readings in high school, I didn’t actually finish Great Expectations. I got about halfway through it and couldn’t go any further. I didn’t have much of an appreciation for classics back then, when my mind was dominated by magic and dragons and all of that. I’m hoping to pick it up again sometime; I’m sure it’s worth the read.

I read an abridged version of Alexandre Dumas père‘s The Count of Monte Cristo years ago by accident (see above thoughts on abridged books) and was a little miffed to find that I hadn’t read the entire story. I still haven’t, but that doesn’t stop me from loving it. I remember also liking the re-made movie adaptation, but as usual, the book beats the movie.

Yes, there are two Dumas’s on my shelf. Alexandre Dumas fils was the son of Dumas père. The former’s most famous work is La Dame aux Camélias or The Lady of the Camellias (pictured). The book was inspired by a woman Dumas knew in his own life. His family life also inspired much of his writing. He was the illegitimate son of Dumas père and a dressmaker, and was forcibly removed from his mother when his father formally recognized him. The breaking of his childhood family influenced many moral messages of legitimacy and the marriage duty of a father to a mother in his writing.

Like I said, the books float around the house and this one missed my camera, but it needs to be here. Alex absolutely loves Sir Arthur Conan Doyle‘s Sherlock, in all of its iterations. She’s read the books and loves discussing them but I unfortunately haven’t read it yet. I keep picking it up, but until I finish reading The Tale of Genji, I’m not going to be able to start another mammoth.

 

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Read any of these authors and liked what they wrote? Let me know in the comments.

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39 thoughts on “D is for…

  1. Wow, that title! Sorely needing a cut-down, for sure…. could you imagine that title on a modern-day spine? 😄

  2. Posting about your to-read shelf is a great idea! I haven’t read any of the books you mentioned, but I would like to read Robinson Crusoe, and this was a good reminder I should add it to my to-read list.

    Happy reading! 🙂

    • The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorites, too. I really wish that the first one I read hadn’t been abridged. They wrote ‘abridged’ in such tiny font on the back of the book. What kind of warning is that?! >_<;

      Glad you're enjoying the posts! Thanks for coming by!

  3. We seem to be like alternate egos in the bookworld. My experience with all these authors have been similar– Charles Dickens, unfinished. Count of Monte Cristo, abridged (I have read the novel now!) Rest two I haven’t read. 😀

  4. On Dickens, like you I was also forced to read Great Expectations in High School, totally hated it then and never wanted to hear another word about Pip. (I did finally reread it again last year and it was much better than I remembered, no surprise) 🙂 But I love Charles Dickens, especially A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol.

    • Ok, I will absolutely try to give it another chance. No promises though. I’ll probably pick up Wilde’s The picture of Dorian Gray again before I pick up Great Expectations. 😄

  5. I loved The Count of Monte Cristo! Really action packed and I felt I was reading a modern book rather than a classic. Someday I want to read The Three Musketeers. Great Expectations was okay. I can see why it’s a classic and why it’s read it high schools. I liked The Old Curiosity Shop better. I just love the bad guy in it.

  6. I had to read Great Expectations in eighth grade and was not a fan. There are probably dozens of classics I should read, but I don’t know that I have the patience for the language after lolling about in modern popular fiction almost all my life. I did like Jane Eyre and Little Women–those I read for fun and not an assignment.

    • Jane Eyre is a good book, I’m reading it right now. You might like The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, that one was also quite good. Also, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emma Orczy I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s a shorter read, so perhaps a good starting point to dip one’s toes into the classics. Happy reading! 🙂

  7. I too have a confession to make about Great Expectations: as a child I read the Classic Illustrated comic, and that was enough for me. I’m still haunted by the picture of Mss Havisham still wearing her wedding dress, with cobwebs all over herself and the ancient wedding cake. It wasn’t until I was in graduate school that I read the novel itself. When I was younger I did read A Tale of Two Cities and A Christmas Carol. But it wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I read David Copperfield—now that’s a novel! Highly recommended.
    I didn’t know that there was an Alexandre Dumas, Junior. You learn something new every day.
    Thank you!
    P.S. By the way, what did you think of Robinson Crusoe?

    • David Copperfield, now added to my wishlist! (Though I think I may already have it on my kindle. I’ll have to check)

      I haven’t actually read Robinson Crusoe yet. I only made it to the first book on my reading list this year before I got distracted by a bunch of other awesome books. The best laid plans of mice and men, huh?

      • I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but Robinson Crusoe is one of those books we have heard of so much that we think we know it. I for one was quite surprised when I actually read it–it wasn’t what I had expected at all.
        (And don’t feel bad–my To Read list is ridiculously long. I’d have to retire now in order to have the faintest hope of getting through them all in one lifetime.)

      • Ooo! I love books like that. I’m looking forward to reading it now.

        It’s the curse of the book lovers, isn’t it? We’re such gluttons for a good read that we fill our plates with far too much than we have time for. 😄

    • Yes! I have a bunch of his works on my kindle during one of my “grab all the free classics” binges. I’ll have to go through them again, and see which ones look interesting.

    • Whenever I read an abridged version I have to wonder, what did they cut out? Why? Isn’t all the story necessary to get the full flavor of it? It just irritates me.

  8. I also only part-way read Great Expectations when I was in school. Now that I’ve developed a better taste for literature, I want to go back through and actually read a lot of the classics. Maybe this summer when I’m not in the midst of schooling my small people.

  9. I love Dumas, both the Count of Monte Cristo and the Three Musketeers. I also love Dickens, particularly A Tale of Two Cities. I’ve read Robinson Crusoe and Sherlock Holmes. A “D” book on my shelf — or rather, two books: Stephen R. Donaldson’s The Mirror of Her Dreams, and A Man Rides Through, about a woman from modern times who travels through a mirror to a fantasy world. Good stories.

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