Now that we are well into February, let me mention a mini goal of mine for the year: Read a Classic every month. I reckon twelve classics a year is a good habit to get into, and after several years I will have built up a nice collection of classic reads under my belt…


Se7en Quick Tips for Reading a Classic

  1. Choose your Classic Wisely: You don’t have to choose a massive huge thousand page read, some classics are short and sweet, start there. If this is something you are trying to get into choose a classic that peeks your interest rather than one that you think you should read.
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  3. Make notes: You don’t have to write extensive notes, but a quotable quote to remember the book by and overtime, a list of the classics you have read your way through is a nice memento of the work you have done.
  4. Make it a Habit: Classics are there to be read, though they aren’t always easy to read. They are classics for a reason, folk before you have loved them… you may need to do some work to find the magic. Do whatever it takes to make it a habit… fifteen minutes a day, immediatley after supper, play a favourite piece of insturmental music, settle in with a cup of tea, with a friend (or a child), whatever it takes to slot it into your day.
  5. Make use of Online Resources: We use the Coursehero website for literature studies… they have great infographics, video summaries of each chapter, character trees… it is a great resource for high school literature and beyond. And absolutely loads of it is free.
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  7. It Doesn’t Have to be a “BOOK” book: There are several formats of a book. Try reading on a kindle if you can’t face carrying a brick around with you. Try an easier, modernised version to get you going. Try the graphic novel. Definitely throw the idea out that graphic novels are “just comics.” Graphic novels tend to be excellent reads with captivating art, they capture the nuances of the book, in fact the artist has to work really hard to tell the story in far fewer words… it is an incredible skill.
  8. Listen to the Audible: I cannot, express this enough… Head for and search for your classic. Look for the version with the most stars and listen to the preview… the narrator is everything, on audible.
  9. Watch the Movie: If there is a good movie version then watch it… it really helps to get an overview of the book. It is a great way to get to see what a classic is all about either before you read it, or as a reward afterwards.

January’s Classical Classic


1984 – The Graphic Novel

by George Orwell and illustrated by Fido Nesti.

I have to be honest, I don’t love dystopian reads. I find them somewhat creepy, and a little hard to handle. 1984, published in 1949, certainly does seem to be a self-fulfilling kind of dystopian. But I really enjoy graphic novels, and this has been sitting on my to be read pile for a couple of weeks already.


Our main character, Winston Smith is in every way losing himself to the Party, until he finds love. Julia refuses to accept the Party control and looks for ways to escape the system, all the while looking like the perfect citizen. Fido Nesti, the illustrator, does a superb job of creating a dark and sinister world, with tiny glimmers of hope… but it is a hopeless world. This is not a book that is going to leave you filled with joy, rather you will have a wariness about how our lives are controlled by higher political powers… Big Brother really is always watching, it is unnerving and disturbing… an excellent, yet chilling read.


The ending is somewhat inevitable and not a little grim… but I can see the purpose of this book and the very real warning and impending doom that the author was sharing with us.
Glad I have read it, really enjoyed the Graphic Version, which helped me fly through the hard back paper book I received for review purposes from Jonathan Ball Publishers. And I thoroughly enjoyed the audible version by Stephen Fry, he certainly is one of my favourite readers on Audible.


I purchased the Graphic Novel from The Book Lounge, that has an excellent and growing collection of Graphic Novels. The Graphic Novel is published by Penguin Random House. I received the “book” book from Jonathan Ball Publishers as a gift for review purposes. And I purchased the audible book from All opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.

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