Tag Archives: literature

Emma by Jane Austen

This is the highest rated BBC The Big Read book I haven’t read (coming in at #40). It was easy to get since it’s at Gutenberg.

Published: 1815

Genre: literature

Length: 474 pages

Setting: early 1800s English countryside

Summary: Short version: Emma tries to find a husband for her friend Continue reading

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Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

I wanted to read the kids a bit of classic literature before the end of the year. I was trying to decide between this and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This book was longer, but I decided I wanted something written by a woman. Both books are available from The Gutenberg Project.

Published: 1818

Genre: classic science fiction literature

Setting: 19th century Europe

Length: 280 pages

Summary: Short version: Dr. Frankenstein discovers creation of life is more fraught than expected Continue reading


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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I had Miss Adventure read this as a piece of literature after she saw the movie. I read it alongside her so we could discuss the book.

Published: Part I in 1868, Part II in 1869, together in 1880

Genre: YA fiction/ semiautobiographical

Length: 449 pages

Setting: New England, during the American Civil War (1861-5) for Part I and a few years later for Part II

Summary: Short version: We follow the lives of the March sisters as they transition to adulthood Continue reading

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Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

I chose this for Mr. Curiosity to read for his a piece of great literature this year. I figured I should read along to discuss it with him.

Published: 1791 (which means it can be found free at Gutenberg.org)

Genre: nonfiction government essays

Length: 228 pages for parts one and two

Summary: Short version: Two essays describing the interaction between the government and the people, comparing the British and American governments Continue reading

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Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

I chose this as the kids’ first piece of literature for the year since it is billed as the first Western novel. Mr. Curiosity read an abridged version of the first part, but I decided I wanted to read the original. It took me a while since I typically read two chapters a day.

Translator: John Ormsby

Published: 1605 for part I, 1615 for part II, 1885 for this translation

Genre: classic fiction

Length: 1189 pages

Setting: Spain, 1600s

Summary: Short version: Don’t Quixote’s adventures as a knight wandering 17th century Spain Continue reading

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Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis

I was in the mood to read another Pulitzer Prize winner. I picked this one because it got me a letter in my Reading the Alphabet Challenge.

Published: 1924

Genre: literature

Length: 430 pages

Setting: various locations (some fictional) in the Midwest and Northeast U.S. and a Caribbean island, early to mid 1900s

Summary: Short version: Dr. Arrowsmith tries to find a medical career he enjoys Continue reading

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Don Quixote of La Mancha adapted by Ilan Stavans

I have the kids reading Don Quixote as their first piece of literature for the school year. I found this graphic novelization version of the book for Miss Adventure.

Illustrator: Roberto Weil

Published: originally in 1605, this version in 2018

Genre: graphic novel of literature

Length: 124 pages

Setting: mostly in the early 1600s Spain

Summary: Short version: Don Quixote has many adventures pretending to be a knight Continue reading

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Utopia by Thomas More

Mr. Curiosity is studying medieval history this year. As part of his work, he’s reading several medieval pieces of literature. This was one of his choices for the year. I read the books alongside him.

Translated by: Robert M. Adams

Published: originally in 1516, this edition in 1975

Genre: classic philosophy

Length: 85 pages

Setting: Utopia, a medieval society

Summary: Short version: More’s description of a society set up to benefit all Continue reading

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Now in November by Josephine Johnson

This was a Pulitzer Prize winner I chose to fill in a hole in my published year reading list. Too bad I forgot the Pulitzer is given out for a book published in the previous year.

Published: 1934

Genre: fiction

Length: 164 pages

Setting: a generic farm during the Depression

Summary: Short version: Life on a farm during the Depression and Dust Bowl Continue reading

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Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie

This won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985 and was available as an ebook while I was waiting for some holds to come in.

Published: 1984

Genre: fiction

Length: 291 pages

Setting: London, England, 1980s

Summary: Short version: Two professors have affairs when traveling Continue reading

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