New Feature: The Classics

I'm going to start a new feature on the blog called The Classics.  I like reading the classics but it seems like not as many people do anymore.  What the feature will do is help introduce you to the author with a short bio and then a review about one of their books.  I'll probably start out with more well known authors but hopefully I can find some you haven't heard about yet.  The feature will be done at least every two months.  The first one for this month will be Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte.  Check out the review and author bio below.  Please leave comments telling me what you think about classic books.

p.s. the next feature will be in October.

The Classics: Wuthering Heights

Author Bio:
Emily Bronte was born on July 30, 1818 in Thornton, Bradford in Yorkshire, England.  She was the fourth daughter of Maria Branwell who died three years after her birth.  In 1824 Emily and her four sisters Maria, Elizabeth, Charlotte, and Anne entered the Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge where Maria and Elizabeth died a year later.  She and her two remaining sisters are best known for their novels and poetry.  In 1842 they went to the Penisonnat Heger in Belgium where they studied French, German, and literature in the hopes of someday opening their own school.  Emily left to go home first but by 1845 the sisters had given up their dream and were all together again.  It was Charlotte's idea to begin publishing their work and Wuthering Heights was published in 1847, one year before Emily's death on December 19, 1848.  
Merriman, C. D. "Emily Bronte - Biography and Works." The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 06 Aug. 2010. .

Wuthering Heights
367 pages

"Emily Bronte's dark, brooding vision finds expression in her masterpiece of passion and force.  Her only novel, Wuthering Heights, published a year before  her death in 1848 at the age of thirty, stands as perhaps the most intensely original work in the English language.  In it Emily Bronte records the story of the passionate love between Catherine Earnshaw and the wild Heathcliff with such truth, imagination and emotional intensity that a plain tale of the Yorkshire Moors acquires the depth and simplicity of an ancient tragedy."

summary from the back of Wuthering Heights (Penguin Classics, 1985 paperback edition)

This book might be a little confusing because it involves  more than one generation of a family.  Many of them have the same name and how they are related can be confusing too.  The book is mainly about Heathcliff and how he affected so many people.  I really like the book but there were parts where I found myself wishing it would just get to the point.  It always made me want to know more about the characters and what would happen to them next.  Heathcliff was a frustrating character for me because I would want to hate him for everything he's done but then he would show you how much pain he was in over Catherine.  I don't really understand how he justified to himself what he did.  In the end I did like the book even though it was kind of weird. Rating: 4 stars



The Vinyl Princess

The Vinyl Princess
313 pages

"How does a sixteen-year-old vinly junkie get by ?  Summer is here and Allie is exactly where she wants to be: working full time at the ultra-cool Bob & Bob Records in Berkeley.  Here Allie can spend her days bantering with the street people, talking the talk with the staff, shepherding the uncool bridge-and-tunnel shoppers - all the while blissfully surrounded by music, music, music.  It's the perfect setup for her to develop her identity as The Vinyl Princess.  Her very first zine is about ready to print and her new blog, www.thevinylprincess.com, is up and running.  From the safety of her favourite place on earth, Allie's poised to launch a vinyl revolution.  Or at least reach some fellow music geeks out there.
They are out there...aren't they?"

summary from the inside cover of The Vinyl Princess (Harper Teen, 2010 Hardcover Edition)

The Vinyl Princess was written by Yvonne Prinz.  I liked the storyline and there were a few good plot twists but something about the writing style decreased the books appeal to me.  There were a lot of funny descriptions but they kind of just kept going on, one after another.  Each one was funny by itself but when you put together a long string of detailed descriptions, it gets a little tiring.  Sometimes simple dialogue or descriptions convey the meaning best.  There were also a lot of music references to a wide range of genres and artists which a lot of people would not understand unless they listened to that music.  These two small problems (for me) kept the book from being one of the best ones I've read, but I did it a lot.  There were several good plot twists that changed things up and kept the story interesting.  This is the kind of book I would probably read again if I randomly saw it on the shelf at the library and had time to read it again.  Rating: 3 stars, pretty good, but not the best I've read.

p.s.  The authors website is called www.thevinylprincess.com where you can learn about her, her book, and read her blog about music.