Did you have to read “classics” in high school? The Odyssey, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, Great Gatsby? And did you hate them. For me being forced to read a book always made it less enjoyable. I hated not being able to read it at my own pace, or feeling like I had to memorize every sentence because it could be a test question. Worst of all was reading the Odyssey in 9th grade. I hated it because my teacher would go on and on about how every single word was symbolism for SOMETHING. We would read in class and make it 3 pages and I’d have 16 pages of notes about all the symbolism, and family trees of who was related to whom and it was just terrible. (I will say there were always a few school required reading books that ended up being enjoyable such as To Kill a Mockingbird, The Book Thief, Unbroken, and Let the Great World Spin).
Then senior year of high school, I picked up the Odyssey and just read it like I would any other book. And I liked it. I thought it was a really great story and I enjoyed the Greek Gods and trials our hero Odysseus. And in the end there was no paper, test or project about it. (you can read my review here)
So now, I’ve taken to completing what I call “My Yearly Classic”. Since reading The Odyssey in 2013 I haven’t actually kept up with my classics and missed 2014. However I’d already read quite a few for school including
- The Odyssey
- The Scarlet Letter
- Romeo and Juliet
- The Picture of Dorian Gray
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Last summer, summer 2015 I picked up my second classic that didn’t have to be read for a school assignment. My little sister had to read Wuthering Heights for school so I decided to read it too, and let me just say I was not impressed.
To each his own with book preference but I hate how when something is called a “classic” it seems to automatically mean you’re supposed to love it. Wuthering Heights did not do it for me. The whole twisted love story was not fun to read and the language was hard to get through and in the end I was pleased there was something of a happy ending but in truth I was just glad it was over.
But his post isn’t a review of Wuthering Heights. Instead here I intent to announce my Classic for 2016 will be *drum roll please*…
The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have always loved Sherlock Holmes. I read my first Sherlock Holmes story in third grade (for once a good book for school reading) for our reading group. It was “The Adventure of the Speckled Band” and I still remember it to this day. When the Sherlock Holmes Movie with Robert Downy Jr and Jude Law came out I was hooked. I loved that movie and probably watched it 4 times in a row after I saw it (too bad the second one was so disappointing).
Then just last fall I finally jumped into the Sherlock Fandom. I already watch supernatural so on my Pinterest I see “Super-Who-Lock” things all the time. Being that I already enjoy Sherlock Holmes I figured why not give it a go? And how disappointed was I to find myself hooked and learn that there were only 3 episodes per season! So now I feel like I want to undertake the task of reading the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. That includes 56 short stories and 4 novels.And that will be the Classic I attempt to tackle this year. And now I have this beautiful copy from Barnes and Noble that includes every Sherlock story ever written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
The game is afoot.