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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 Classics #8: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books. I aimed to read them all in 2011, but that’s beginning to look unlikely. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I had vague ideas about Gulliver’s Travels. I remembered Ted Danson being tied up by some little people in a film version I [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 Classics in 2011 #7: Death on Tiptoe by RC Ashby

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? In The Children’s Bookshop in Edinburgh, I discovered a wall of yellow books with purple pinstripes: rediscovered, republished books by women. There were all kinds of stories, but the fact that Death on Tiptoe was [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #6: The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here.  Why did I want to read it? Years ago I saw the moving film Iris with Kate Winslet as Iris Murdoch. The film was an education, and I’ve been meaning to read one of her novels (and there are many) ever since. The [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #6: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I love Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, and dystopian fiction in general. Plus, the sections of my work-in-progress that people have read have been compared to Brave New World. I thought it was about time I read it [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #5: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I’d always heard Oscar Wilde was a wit, and the supernatural element of the story appealed to me. When was it published? It was first published in 1890, as an issue of Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. A later [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #4: Heroes and Villains by Angela Carter

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? I only heard of Angela Carter, strangely, when I started my doctorate and attended a seminar about one of the stories in The Bloody Chamber. It included a hand-out with an extract of the story. Feminist, [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #3: Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? Yarrrr, I was in the mood for some adventure! And so much legend exists because of this one book: one-legged pirates, parrots, treasure maps marked with an X and more. When was it published? It was originally [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #2: The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. ‘A great many people give me the impression of never having for a moment felt anything’ – Isabel Archer, The Portrait of a Lady. Why did I want to read it? Well, first of all, Henry James is one of the ‘great’ novelists [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011 #1: The Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood

I’m reading 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. Read more about this project here. Why did I want to read it? After seeing the elegant and moving film A Single Man (and falling for Colin Firth all over again) I learnt it was based on a novel by Christopher Isherwood – a rather famous gay writer who for [...]

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20 CLASSICS IN 2011 |

20 classics in 2011: blog project

I am going to read 20 classic, modern-classic or cult books in 2011. All book-lovers have gaps in their reading – how could you possibly read everything? In recent years I’ve been fairly up-to-speed with newer books and Australian literature, but I’ll often find myself in conversation, saying ‘oh, I haven’t read such-and-such yet’. People often assume I [...]

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