I will not put Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (published 1851) on my favorite books list because it’s simply not a favorite novel (I shudder at each description of whale blubber).  And yet, I must give Moby-Dick a solid five stars out of five for the rich reading experience it provides. I simply loved reading it.

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I have not read many gothic novels. The only one I’ve read is Matthew Lewis’ The Monk, which I was not a fan of (thoughts here). Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (first published 1831) seemed far above The Monk in terms of quality. In addition to the better writing, there was the symbolic centrality

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As I think everyone knows, The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkein continues where The Fellowship of the Ring left off. The Two Towers is split in two halves, with the first part focusing on the remaining members of the broken fellowship and the second half focusing on Frodo and Sam’s journey. While I had found

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Welcome to week two of the Paradise Lost read-a-long and Milton in May, a month-long celebration of John Milton’s writings. Below, I have some possible discussion questions if you aren’t quite sure what to write for this week’s post or if you want to “discuss” the book with the rest of us. Contrary to what

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My interest in rereading East of Eden by John Steinbeck was purely personal: reading it the first time was what prompted me to start a book blog in the first place. I enjoyed my reread, mostly because Steinbeck’s writing is so incredible. The themes of good versus evil in human nature still felt universal to

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Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan was one of the first modern novels when it was published in 1679 and 1685 because it uses dialogue as a main tool to drive the story. As an allegory, Pilgrim’s Progress plainly tells the story of each Christian’s lifelong quest from a sinful life to eternal life using the

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Most people have heard of A Christmas Carol (see my review), but few are familiar with Charles Dickens’ four other Christmas novellas. I read his other four novellas this season. Some of the novellas were more interesting than others. The superiority of A Christmas Carol makes it clear to me why it has lasted as a

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If you like Harry Potter’s world, you’ll like J.K. Rowling’s latest edition to the cannon: The Tales of Beedle the Bard. After each tale, which has been carefully “translated” from the ancient runes by Hermione Granger, we read Dumbledore’s commentary/critical analysis of the tale, with Rowling’s special notes for Muggle audiences. The Tales of Beedle

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