The 20th Century Book Tag

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here but I also make YouTube videos about books. You can see my latest video below.

The 20th century book tag is a tag where you choose a book for each decade of the 20th century.

The books I chose are:

A little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905)
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1911)
The Diviners by Libba Bray
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild (1936)
1984 by George Orwell (1949)
Lord of the flies by William Golding (1954)
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)
Carrie by Stephen King (1974)
The handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
Northern Lights by Phillip Pullman (1995)

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Classics

As you can see this post is going to be about classics. I thought that I would talk about some of my favourites and least favourites.

Favourites

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

The first time I read this book I actually hated it, probably because at the time I was 14 and being forced to read it by my teachers.  About two years after that I had to read it again at school and I realised just how good it actually is. Steinbeck writes in a way that really makes you connect to the characters and understand their situations, like how George always has to look after Lennie because he is a danger to himself and others.  The only character in this book that I dislike is Curley because he’s creepy (the whole glove Vaseline thing is gross), petty and treats his wife like crap. Of Mice and Men is a great book despite how sad it is.

Animal Farm by George Orwell

I only read this book recently and I was surprised by how timeless Orwell’s writing is. The book was written in the 1950’s but the language and style of writing could have come from any modern novel. Animal farm tells the story of a farm where the animals overthrow the farmer and begin ruling themselves. I really love the characters of Boxer, Benjamin and Clover. The book also contains one of my least favourite characters in literature, Squealer.  Squealer is one of those rare characters that make me want to throw the book across the room (the other is Umbridge in Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix), I just hate the way he manipulates the other characters.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice had been on my to read list forever but I always put off reading it because I don’t really like loves stories or books that feature romance. Anyway The Lizzie Bennet diaries finally convinced me to read it last September and I really enjoyed it. When I was reading it i didn’t really like it for the first half because I found Lydia and Mr Collins annoying. But then the bit with the letter happened and I really wanted Lizzy and Darcy to be together.

I actually find it kind of mind blowing how a book which was written 200 years ago is still being picked up and loved by new readers.

Least Favourites

(I finished this list and then realised that all the ones I dislike seem to be plays)

A view from the bridge by Arthur Miller

This is another book that I was made to read at school and unlike most of the others we had to read I hated it. I just didn’t find the plot interesting and I found the characters really annoying (especially Eddie). Also I don’t think that my teacher picking the slowest readers in the world to do the parts of the different characters helped.

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

I don’t get why people think that Romeo and Juliet is such an epic love story. It’s not, it’s the story of two stupid teenagers (seriously Juliet is supposed to be 13 and who isn’t stupid at 13) who fall in lust, get married and end up killing about six people including themselves. Also don’t get me started on the film, if you’re going to set a film in the modern day have them speak modern English not Shakespeare English.

What is your favourite or least favourite classic?

Pictures from Edinburgh.

I spent the first three days of this week in Edinburgh and while I was there I bought these pictures.  They are of 1984 by George Orwell, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle. Each one shows an image reflecting the book that’s made out of words/sentences of that book. I think they’re really awesome.

1984

1984

The Great Gatsby

The Great Gatsby

The Sign of Four

The Sign of Four