My views on life as told by these Victorian writers

qupteOne of the greatest reading benefits is knowing that I am not a solo fighter to affirm my perspectives on life. From religion, social status, gender… writers share what they think about the world, which in coincidence, matches with my own. And I can say there are things from each of the book that I have read which are just what I feel. As my latest reading experiences are, still, on Victorian era, I’d love to highlight what I and the fantastic four authors have in common:

Thomas Hardy

Oh yes, there he is, again and again. He remains my darling for the Victorian era. His books are endless resources for my writings. What makes me liking this writer is definitely due to his views on life which are similar with mine. Below are some of his works that best describe my thoughts:

Far from the Madding Crowd
Feminism is the first word that emerges in my mind the first time I read about Bathsheba Everdene. She’s the kind of feminist that I adore. I don’t exactly know well the definition of feminism. All I agree is that a woman must be independent, capable of doing her tasks and making ends meet on her own but she, one day, will be a wife and a mother because she wants to be like that. And she does that out of love, not by force. When she is at home, she respects her husband wholeheartedly.

Jude the Obscure
Whenever I think about Jude, the main character in the book, introversion is the first word that perfectly characterizes him. I and Jude both agree that reading is the key to the world, or even, the tool that crafts our beings. Introversion and reading are best partners in life. Perfect mates to live up our dreams. Jude is the reflections of my characterization as someone who sticks at his introversion, lives the life according to his idealism amidst the world that prefers looking at extroverts.

The Woodlanders
Sometimes, the best thing falling in love with someone is limited as standing by his side, giving a helping hand when he needs that, being his best friend even when he’s in love with another woman. So painful yet that experience has brought so much joy for Marty South, one of the characters in the book. The death of Giles Winterborne doesn’t encourage her to immediately find another lover. Is being faithful to an unrequited love is a pathetic romance? You have your say. But for me, her decision to love, to have her heart crushed, to fall until she reaches the very bottom  of her life is a very brave, risky thing to do. She doesn’t mind being so vulnerable and that what makes her heart is so precious.

Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell is really sweet. She’s the kind of writer that nourishes your soul with her poetic, beautiful phrases. She is, what I call, as moderate realist. Neither skeptical nor an optimist. She’s such a refreshment.

Wives and Daughters
Molly Gibson, the heroine of the novel, speaks my stance about womanhood very well in Wives and Daughters. I used to really hate table manners, ladylike sort of things when I was a teenager. I hated make up, wore dresses and girly accessories. They were so nonsense. They took up so much of my priceless time. Womanhood used to be so annoying for me. I even wished I were born as a boy, LOL. At that time, I thought boys were so free. No norms, public statements that would limit their movements. While girls were born with so many duties, stereotypes. And if they went against public norms, their lives would be doomed, filled with gossips.

But that was then. Just like Molly, now I understand the nicest things of becoming a woman. I enjoy them all by the time I was turning, may be, 25. Sounds a bit late but each and every of us has a wonderful journey of his or her own. My time happens when I was 25 years old. But still, I keep my tomboyish trait and let it flourishes once in a while, like when I do exercises and watch sport games.

Anne Bronte

Agnes Grey
By the time I write this post, I almost complete reading Agnes Grey and I really love reading it. I usually prefer to read books with third person narration but Agnes Grey proves me that reading novels using first person narration method can be awesome, too. I am so fond of Agnes, the heroine of the book. Apart from the fact that she’s a bookworm and introvert, just like I am, she’s so bold and brutally honest. She’s so firm with her belief although that means she is risky of losing her jobs.

She does not give up easily pursuing her dreams despite the fact she faces hatred, unfair treatments, harsh words from her bosses and their families. She knows some people view her profession as a governess is no more than a servant but she keeps doing what she feels correct. Oh the last thing I really like about Agnes is that she’s not a people pleaser.

George Eliot

Adam Bede
Dinah Morris, one of the major characters in this novel, amazes me because of her religiosity. She devotes her life for her religion then share what she has with the poor, the depressed or those in need of spiritual help out of love not for the sake of good impressions. She knows well what she wishes in her life, she practices her religious rituals because she knows what they mean to her life.

I, too, my ultimate goal in life is getting closer and closer to Alloh swt. I want to make Him as the best ever friend in the world and the hereafter through questioning, self-learning, doing religious rituals under His guidance as stated in Koran and the sunah from the Prophet Muhammad saw (peace be upon him). To make my life much more meaningful, I’d like to share good things and help people out of love and because Alloh swt wishes me to do so. I’d love to make Islam as my way of life, fully implement it to live the days full of peace even as days go wild because I have Alloh swt in my heart. (the source of the picture: http://www.azquotes.com)

Let me be honest. Four things I dislike from Victorian novels

Reading less than 30 Victorian novels from four different writers is, I know, insufficient to call this dislikeness list a representation of the overall canon literature era. I have created this list, however, according to my readings so far that will likely change in the near future for I promise to myself to read more books written by authors, except Thomas Hardy, Elizabeth Gaskell, George Eliot and Oscar Wilde.

Too women centric

This may sound too subjective but I always feel women bear too much in almost each story that I have read. Even if they are heroines I find women during Victorian era suffer too much. The first sample is Molly Gibson in ‘Wives and Daughters’, a super thick novel that has been completed this week after a 3.5-month of an on-and-off reading process. She is a flawless character; honest, really good-tempered, compassionate, very tender, lovable girl. She is too soft-hearted that she acts kindly to her stepsister Cynthia who gets engaged to the love of the former. Even when Molly becomes the subject of gossip among Hollingford people as resulted from her intention to fix the relationship between Cynthia and Mr. Preston, Molly remains in good terms with Cynthia. What distresses me while reading the novel is how much Molly disturbed by the Victorian womanhood standards set by, particularly, her stepmother, Clare or Mrs. Kirkpatrick who later changes her last name as Mrs. Gibson. The stepmother is so noisy and annoyed with Molly’s curly hair, messy dress and her relatively tomboyish traits. I feel this kind of similiar disturbance when reading ‘The Mill on the Floss” in which Maggie Tulliver is often teased by her relatives and is compared to her girlish cousin because of her tomboyish personalities, too. How hard it is to be a good woman in the eyes of the soceity at that time even if Molly and Maggie come from rich families. How complicated their lives are…

For women from low social status their sitution is much more difficult, for instance is Tess Durbeyfield. This heroine is my most unforgettable one because of her tragical, depressive life story. It’s her real life struggles that are just beyond my senses. Not only her romance is so heartbreaking but also her impoverished family forces her to do whatever she can to make ends meet. Although yes she marries the love of her life, Angel Clare, yet their sweet tale lasts so quick, incomparable with their long separation.

Excessive details

There are some novels which I think contain too many details, some of which are unnecessary, making the reading process sometimes burden my mind. For instance in ‘Adam Bede’. George Eliot allocates a number of pages about Methodist whenever she wants to describe the characterization of Dinah Morris. Apart from my limited knowledge about Methodist, I think that it does not really shape Dinah Morris as a distinctive character compared to, say, someone who is a Catholic follower but not a Methodist one in particular. She is really a religious person who spends a lot of time to help those in need but what makes her especially distinctive to those who are close to God without any certain sect is uncertain. Or may be you can shed another light on this topic for this is beyond my understanding.

Another sample for this point is in ‘Wives and Daughters’. As this super thick book wants to depict the growing period of Molly and another character, needles to say that Elizabeth Gaskell needs to write this really long story. Yet there are some chapters which I think are insignificant to the formation of the characters. For instance is when Gaskell puts a chapter on Cynthia’s visit to the Kirkpatrick family in London which although she meets Mr. Henderson whom later she marries with, I don’t think this should be a certain chapter for another visit to the family takes place later on.

Too depressive

Some stories in this Victorian era proves to be too somber with “The Mill on the Floss” is my leading example. It is very miserable to recall what happens between Maggie and Tom Tulliver for it costs their lives to eventually realize how much the latter loves the former.

Another fine example is of course “Jude the Obscure”. Very desolate, dark, pathetic. Sorrowful tone is all over the book even if yes, there are some lovely moments between Jude Fawley and Susanna Florence Mary Bridehead or called as Sue. Hardy’s attempts to go against social norms by presenting the affairs between Jude and Sue, who are distant relatives, turn out to be disastrous. Their decision to elope then register their marriage only after they get sick of people’ gossips make the matter even worse. You can find almost all tartness here: divorce, poverty, sickness, death, rumours, forced reunion. And the finale sparks my anger as Sue gets back to her old lover Mr. Richard Pillotson while sadness leads Jude to death.

Some of you may choose “Jude the Obscure” as more depressive than “The Mill on the Floss” but I select the other way around because “The Mill” is very heartbreaking while “Jude” is sometimes like a karma as they should not get married given their relative status. While Hardy ignites controversy at that time due to their forbidden romance and illegal union the end of the book suggests you that he advices readers not to go against the norms.

Where is the romance?

 

If you want to read Victorian novels for finding romance story, like major scenes about romance, well I think you’ve got a relatively wrong reason although this depends on which books you choose. I think most of Victorian writers put society norms, family mattters, materialism, manner aspects above love stories. From Oscar Wilde to George Eliot, they have the same tendency; that society completely influences characters’ personal affairs. Worse, there are some books that reveal happy love stories after the novels almost come to a close. For instances are ‘Mary Barton’, ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’, ‘Far from the Madding Crowd’ and ‘Wives and Daughters’. Elizabeth Gaskell reunites the love of Mary and Jem just after they have gone some misunderstandings and have escaped from death penalty.

In ‘Tess”, things get much wretched. While the joy between Tess and Angel begins at the center of the novel when they meet in a dairy I think their most enduring lovely moments start only when they have separated for quite a long time. Their joy lasts too quick for Tess is later executed for killing Alec.

Although ‘Mary’ and ‘Far’ are written by different authors yet Gaskell and Hardy’s views on romance is similar in a way that the love story can only tasted only when characters have gone through difficult moments that test their faith. In ‘Far’, Batsheba and Gabriel Oak gets married in a very quite, modest ceremony just when the book is about to end.

I get dissapointed with the ending bond between Roger Hamley and Molly Gibson for they don’t even verbally confess their true feelings. In the last chapter, Roger is seen to have given gestures that attract Molly’s attention. It’s too bad Gaskell leaves this novel unfinished after 766 pages long yet readers can fancy that both Roger and Molly share the same feeling. And that happens just a few pages after the book ends.

How I wish to complain to those authors who give little enjoyment when it comes to real romance!

Thank God I Am Done with ‘Adam Bede’, Thank God!

What a great struggle to have finally completed reading ‘Adam Bede’. The effort does not lie on its 561 pages. It goes way more than that. Apart from personal problems that have caused me to abandon the reading process for a while, I still may find it unable to understand few topics in the book.

As I have written in the previous post, this novel discusses a lot about Methodist. As a Moslem, though I know this should not be an excuse, this kind of sect is a bit confusing. And since this is a romance novel after all, I don’t really pay a lot of attention to this topic. Somehow, understanding this sect would indeed help me along the way with Dinah Morris. Or religion situation when which the book is written. That would contribute to a much better post because I strongly believe George Eliot, the author of the book, wants to signify something by discussing much about this. Given its super thick novel, I have no intention and time to do that somehow.

One thing that completely distracts me along the reading process is the use of language of several characters in the book; particularly the one spoken by Lisbeth Bede and Mrs. Poyser. Their language reminds much of the language of those I have read in novels that take place in the southern part of the United States. I’m pretty much sure their utterances lead to something, not just a mere verbal expression. I wonder if their language depicts a social background of the people at that time.

Well, yeah, those are two topics that slightly keep on spinning in my head until now. But since I read the book for pleasure I don’t do further research on those topics. May be one day I’ll go for that for this time being I want to enjoy the novel as the way it is. I mean, digesting the novel on the surface. Enjoying the language, the plot, the characters and delving into Eliot’s mind.

In Goodreads.com I give three out of five stars to this novel. I don’t know what to say. I feel the novel is hard. The language is actually as stunning as I read in ‘The Mill on the Floss’. I think the presence of abundant informal dialogues with too many aposthropes really hinders me from completely enjoying the novel. But you can’t argue that Eliot is the master of putting her imagination into this super novel. I have no doubt on how she can put her soul into each of the character she wants to present.

The core, the best, the heart of the book lies on the page 300 onwards (in my book edition). When you come to the point when Hetty abandons Adam on the days leading to their marriage until she faces her execution day, you’ll get raptured, shocked, wowed, amazed. You’ll get KNOCKED DOWN! You won’t get alarmed that the plot will turn out that sadistic, wicked, shocking as ever given Eliot’s wonderful, beautiful, smoothing words. That’s Eliot’s magic, just any other Victorian writers do, though I must frankly say Eliot’s spells work more efficaciously than her peers.

I can completely fancy how dark, bleak, frustrating the climax of the novel is. I can imagine how depressed Adam knowing Hetty can be that cold. And I can fully comprehend on how Hetty can be that way. And I can get into her soul, I can understand her anger toward Arthur. And if Arthur stands in front of me right now I will punch him in the head! Yeah, the novel is such powerful that I, as a reader, can feel such emotions. It’s George Eliot anyway. No one could ever doubt her proficiency.

Somehow, the enjoyment stops there. The novel is still long way to go but I can easily guess the ending. The union of Adam and Dinah is so easily to be predicted in the early book when Dinah, who is dressed in a sleeping gown accidentally meets Adam when she spends a few nights at his house. The way they look at each other in that morning is sufficient to explain how they actually feel a kind of love at the first sight. Eliot saves their affection when the novel is about to come to a close.

It’s a happy ending for the book. A good guy, who initially sets his heart to a wrong girl, eventually wins the heart of a good girl. On the other hand, the wrong girl who commits a adultery with a player ends up in a distress while the player’s fate is a bit lucky for his name remains undisturbed although he has to leave his hometown. Eliot is too kind to Arthur Donnithorne and I strongly reject her standing on this matter.

Surely, this novel is a satisfying one for those who wish for a happy ending. However, I would not like to emphasize the greatness of the book according to that factor solely. That doesn’t mean I am against happy closures since I get used to read books that end in sad or even depressive endings. What bothers me is that the book does not completely satisty me. My pleasure stops when Hetty is transported. The rest of the story is too clear while the novel is still a bit long way to go.

It’s different with ‘The Mill on The Floss’. I don’t even get bored reading the thick novel not only thanks to its amazing words but also to its unpredictable ending till at least a few last pages of the novel. When I have known the destinies of the major characters I really want to throw the book away. It’s like you have finished watching a great movie with mixed feelings as you leave cinema. It’s like what happens to me after reading ‘The Mill on The Floss.” I feel satisfied yet devastated at the same time until the last pages of the book. I don’t get that kind of feeling as I close “Adam Bede”, unfortunately.

“Adam Bede” by George Eliot

Adam Bede

picture source: inabookshelf.blogspot.com

Adam Bede, a young craftsman in Hayslope, is an extraordinary son, worker and definitely lover. He really masters his profession. His co-workers and villagers put high respect on him because of his skills and kindness. His sibling, Seth Bede, helps him with the job. They both take care of their loving yet childish-kind-of mother, Lisbeth, who find it so difficult to cope with the death of her husband, Thias Bede, who commits suicide.

Then, we have this super beautiful, attractive, young girl called Hetty Sorel. She spends days working at the farm belonging to her uncle, Mr. Poyser. Adam falls so deep in love with Hetty but his improverised condition becomes one of the factors that cause Hetty not to set her heart to him. Rather, she is high over heels with Arthur Donnithorne, a rich young man from a well-respected family in the village. Lisbeth never agrees with Hetty for the former does not think she won’t be Adam’s good wife. She believes that marrying Hetty will only cause Adam not to care about her anymore; that Adam will only pay attention to Hetty only.

To make it more complicated, George Eliot, the author of the novel, presents us with a very religious Methodist woman namely Dinah Morris, a far relative of Hetty. She is that kind of angelic, super tender-hearted person who is like everyone’s favorite. Dinah feels her life is to serve the poor, the sick, the brokenhearted, the mourners. She wants to devote her life to God. Seth really loves her but as you know, she rejects her as she dedicates her life to God.

Arthur loves Hetty but he puts his dignity and good name above all else. He can’t escape from the truth that Hetty is completely nobody compared to his high standing in the society. But Arthur keeps on courting her. They meet several times, being involved in super romantic experiences until Adam catches them. Adam almost kills Arthur for the former believes the latter plays only with her heart. And Arthur, after a heart-to-heart talk with Adam, decides he will leave Hetty.

Arthur trusts Adam to convey a letter conveying his decision about the fate of his love story to Hetty. Her heart is devastated upon reading the letter. But Hetty manages to put a brave face after the heartbroken news. She works as usual and no one in the family is curious with her condition.

That is the best time for Adam for trying to get into Hetty’s heart once again. Adam’s prospective future and his tenderness slowly win her heart till they decide to tie a knot. As the D-day approaches, however, Hetty can’t help being true to her heart that she can not marry Adam. Her love is always for Arthur. She decides to seek Arthur. To camouflage her plan she tells her uncle family and Adam that she is going to Dinah’s place. Her high expections are dashed away. She travels so far away, spends all her cash, walks aimlessly but to avail. Arthur goes to Ireland. Hetty even tries to commit suicide by drowning into water at night but she cancels her plan.

A fews has passed but Hetty is still not at home. Adam starts to get panicked then he visits Dinah’s place. He gets more confused for knowing that Hetty never goes to her sibling’s place. It’s easy for Adam to conclude that Hetty goes for Arthur; that all her feelings to him has never been changed. As such, Adam comes to Mr. Irwine, a rector who is also Arthur’s best friend.

Mr. Irwine tells what happens to Hetty while she is absent from Hayslope. As shocking as it gets, Hetty is facing a trial for being alleged to have killed her own baby. You’ll never guess how Hetty faces her doomsday. She is as quite and pale like a living corpse. Whenever she is in the court she remains silent, her face does not pay any attention to witnesses who testify against her. Even when Adam, who looks as miserable as ever, is present in the court, Hetty does not look at him at all. All that she does is being in a silent mode while listening to the testimonies. No witnesses are in favor of her. To make it worse, Hetty does not even say guilty. The judge then decides she has to be hanged.

Arthur returns home after learning his grandfather’s death. Not long as he arrives at his home he immediately flees to where Hetty is jailed. No one can ever open Hetty’s cold, broken, stubborn heart than Dinah. On the days prior to the execution, she comes to visit and spends a night at the prison with Hetty. It is to Dinah that Hetty tells about her ill-fated baby; that she does bury the kid and when she comes back to the burying site the kid is already gone. Hetty is so damn homeless with no money and hungry as hell. She admits her recklessness and seeks apology from Adam.

Adam is beyond sadness when he meets Hetty on the day before she is hanged. He forgives her already. When the short meeting ends, it’s time for Hetty to get carried to the execution site. As the carriage carrying her is on the way to the site, Arthur stops the entourage while bringing a death release sentence. Hetty is then instead transported as convicts.

Arthur meets Adam again for reconciliation some months after the incident. Arthur decides to leave Hayslope and choose to go into the army. Before he goes again, he has to ensure his good relationship with Adam remains intact. Dinah, meanwhile, stays with the Poyser family. And as usual, after the storm passes, she intends to leave the comfortable zone then seek another place where she will help the needy people. Despite strong rejections from the Poyser family, Dinah sticks at her heart.

Before she goes again, Dinah visits Adam’s family to fulfill Lisbeth’s requests. Lisbeth is fond of Dinah thanks to her pious, sweet attitude. She then persuades Adam to invite her to be his wife after she suggests there’s something different within Dinah’s heart. Although Adam initially thinks this is a mere joke, he later realizes that he starts liking Dinah but the fact that Seth loves her, too, pulls Adam away from declaring his love to Dinah.

Somehow, Adam openly discusses his intention to marry Dinah to his closed brother. Surprisingly, Seth is not objected. He is satisfied to regard Dinah as his sister after all. So all is set, no jealousy may occur among the two, the problem is: will Dinah want to get settled and get married to Adam?

It’s not easy for Adam to convince Dinah. Although she honestly admits her truest affection to him, Dinah prefers to go into the service again. They both decide to go on their own way for a while till Adam’s patience runs out. He needs an assurance. He then decides to seek Dinah without telling her on his intention beforehand. At the top of the hill, they both meet once again and to this point Dinah can’t run away from her feeling anymore. She agrees to be Adam’s best companion till the end of time.

The novel is closed with such a happy ending where the people in Hayslope attend and celebate the wedding of Adam and Dinah. Two kids add super extra joy to their happily live ever after marriage story.

 

 

Reading ‘Adam Bede’ makes me feel like a champion

Currently, I am on the page of 172 out of 561 of the George Eliot’s masterpiece Adam Bede. It’s still long way to go but being at the recent page I already feel like a winner.

I buy the novel on June 4, 2014, at the Kinokuniya bookstore in Jakarta thanks to previous impressive reading experience with her another book The Mill on the Floss. The first few pages of the Adam Bede steals my heart away so I purchase the book despite the fact my money runs out. Third-person narration, lots of beautiful descriptions, less dialogue.. that’s the type of my favorite novel writing method. Out of so many great writers, it is only Thomas Hardy and George Eliot who satisty my reading appetite.

Alas, the 6th page of the book causes a headache already. I completely have no idea on what the characters of the book talk about. They discuss about religion, Methodist I suppose. And I have no clue about this thing. The following pages stress me even more. Some characters in the novel use certain dialect in their conversations. They do speak English but I don’t really get what they want to say given strange dialect, abbreviated words Eliot write in the novel. And that last for dozen of pages to come. Can’t tell how hard the struggle I have to go through. Let me take one example as follows:

“I shanna rest i’ my grave if I donna see thee at th’ last; an’ how’s they to let thee know as I’m a-dyin’, if thee’t gone a-workin’ I’ distant parts, an’ Seth belike gone arter thee, and thy feyther not able to hold a pen for’s hand shaki’, besides not knowin’ where thee art?…”

Those are the words from Lisbeth Sede, the mother of Adam Bede, the protagonist of the story.

I put it down for a while.

I don’t even open the novel when I experience a very heartbreaking moment after the already difficult early reading phase (I mention about this in previous posts by the way). As the pain fades away, I read the novel once in a while. But this lasts for a few pages only as the weird spoken language remains such a great problem for me.

Bit by bit… I get used to the weird language eventually. I then know what to do when it comes to this kind of language. Slowly but surely, I grasp the plot of the novel although I have yet to completely enjoy reading the novel.

Only after a short visit to the bookstore last month that I really regain my reading spirit. I open the novel again with better understanding and thankfully everything now runs smoothly. After like, 80 pages on, I know where the story goes. I fancy each of the major character and how they may look like in the novel. All in all, I can gradually feel myself in the book. Oh God! It takes such a great attempt to be where I am now and it is so worth it.

Adam Bede is way more difficult than The Mill on the Floss. Given Eliot’s magical writing touch I feel the novel is so worth the struggle. I won’t say anything about the story line of the novel for I have completed one fifth of the total pages of the novel only. All I can write here is that Eliot’s narration never fails to blow my mind away. It entertains me so much. I love it…

 

 

Thank You ‘Lolita’ and ‘On The Road’

One of the most disgruntled effects because of experiencing heartbroken is losing my reading appetite. Prior to this awful yet precious moment, I am such a bookworm. At least, I call myself as such kind of person. I am so in love with novels. Classic, thick books with long-flowery yet poetic kind of novels. I can’t believe that being heartbroken can even kill this number two hobby (number one hobby is watching Juventus, by the way).

For about two months, I completely shut my mind from reading novels. I have ‘Adam Bede’ in my bookshelf and I retouch the book about this week despite the fact I have purchased this George Eliot’s masterpiece a few months ago. Before the title, I still have another title left unread. Say, ‘Don Quixote’, ‘Perang Muhammad’ and ‘Sejarah Islam’, the last two are not novels, but books about Islam, by the way.

Anyhow.. that’s how being brokenhearted can be so destructive. It takes you out from your own self. It drags you down. It causes you not to do anything you usually fond of. In my case is reading amazing books. Oh and I don’t listen to love songs about two months. Yep, the experience hurts me so much that I even avoid listening to the songs I usually like to hear.

That’s the bleak moment and now I’m back. Can’t be more joyful than the afternoon visit to Kinokuniya bookstore on Thursday, Aug 21, 2014. I know I still have the unread ‘Adam Bede’ coupled with empty pocket but still .. I can’t help myself dropping by at the most favorite store ever in Jakarta.

I glance at some titles, look at the new books in the front area of the large bookstore. Actually, I’m a bit disappointed that the store has yet to add more titles about classic literature. I order them via Twitter to provide Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend but apparently the title is still unavailable. Never mind though.

Through and through. I grab and have a quick look at some books. My focus is almost always on the classic section. I don’t care about another genre. Unfortunately, I have no to-be-read classic books in my mind even after the short literature tour. For me, Thomas Hardy is the only classic writer whose works I always admire. And I have read his best novels. So I must seek another genre.

Here we go… among a few books without plastic wraps, I set my eyes on ‘On The Road’ by Jack Kerouac. I have known his name for quite a long time but haven’t opened the title until that afternoon. And wow.. I must admit that I am hooked by the book and another title whose title I forget.

It’s different from another first person story telling. I feel like rereading ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ but with more mature point of view. The book is great. The language surprisingly catches my heart since usually I dislike reading first person story telling. I prefer to read third person story telling, like the ones I read in Hardy’s books. Jack’s writings are somehow.. I don’t have an exact word other than: so honest.

Once I read the first page I am completely hooked. Looking at the book price I put the book back at the shelf. LOL! One day I’ll return to those titles.

After I haven’t added any classic reference in my to-be-read list then open my mind to first person story telling I can’t resist the temptation of ‘Lolita’. I always refuse to even read the first page of the novel but as the saying goes, the more you avoid something or someone the more you actually want to approach him/her/that. So.. I open the first page and I looveee it.. It’s so strange that it is ‘Lolita’, the name of the book that I wanted to avoid so much given its pedophile theme, is the one that turns my reading mode on again. Well, never mind though because the point is I recharge my reading spirit, return to the ‘Adam Bede’ then get ready for the best pleasure ‘Lolita’…