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There have been many attempts to define what constitutes a Classic…..Whilst some hold the Western Canon as the last word in this matter, others—like Charles Augustin Saint-Beuve in the 1850s up to Italo Calvino in the 1980s—have attempted to define this wide and ever-fluid genre. Everyone has interpretations, but no one dare approach a concrete answer lest they offend a version of themselves. So, we took Calvino’s advice that “a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say” and decided to bring to you books we feel still have a lot to say. There will be Reviews, Recaps, and Revelry of the sort you won’t forget easily whilst we engage in Classics old and new, western and eastern, painful and sedate. Keep reading and keep letting us know what you think……..PS: We will maintain the same format as all our other published pieces, so keep a lookout for the spoilers heading.

Bringing Back the Classics is a series provided by Sarina Byron

Sarina is a British Author and Contributing Writer living in California. Sarina enjoys bringing forth a different perspective and encouraging a different way of thinking through her writing. Visit her blog to read her reviews, and check out her Instagram.

Kenneth Grahame – The Wind in the Willows

Picked because…: All these books about people can get a bit boring. So, we decided to delve into the world of animals, not just animals but the enchanting little creatures of the English countryside where Mr. Toad lives at Toad Hall and drives a car. Intrigued yet? There’s also ratty and badger!

Recap of The Wind in the Willows
Review of The Wind in the Willows

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Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist

Picked because…: There is immense tragedy in any Dickens book, but there is also immense wisdom. Dickens uses this story to give us a glimpse of 19th Century England and to show us a little boy delicate beyond his years. There is kindness, cruelty, helplessness, control, and a dash of morality, enough to keep you pondering for a year!

Recap of Oliver Twist
Review of Oliver Twist

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L.M. Montgomery – Anne of Green Gables

Picked because…: Who doesn’t like to take a peek inside a child’s innocent mind, and in today’s time when we are all sitting in concrete jungles, the lush green landscape of Anne’s Avalonea is like a soothing balm to the senses. Take yourself on a journey with Anne, her friends and her fantastic family through the picturesque landscapes of Canada.

Recap of Anne of Green Gables
Review of Anne of Green Gables

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Charlotte Brontë – Jane Eyre

Picked because…: There is no requirement for the timing to be right for an independent woman’s story. In the style of the classics, it is riddled with misfortune, yet the spirit is indomitable. As a website run by two women and this page powered by another, this one may be our favorite yet. 

Recap of Jane Eyre
Review of Jane Eyre

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F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby

Picked because…:  No list of classic novels is complete without this American classic. Heroism and love are hallmarks of this saga, which may not have fairies but certainly possesses magic. 

Recap of The Great Gatsby
Review of The Great Gatsby

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Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve – Beauty and the Beast

Picked because…: The original Beauty and the Beast is a gripping tale of loss, tragedy, and intrigue very different from the short, sweet, happy story we have been consuming through the years. Without further ado, click the links below to enter a magical realm equal to (or perhaps even better than) the version you’re familiar with.

Recap of Beauty and the Beast
Review of Beauty and the Beast

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Louisa M Alcott – Little Women

Picked because…: One can read this at 8, 38, or 68, and it’s the sweetest story of family love and the romance of life. Everyone finds a character who resonates with them and who they can champion. 

Recap of Little Women
Review of Little Women

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Michael Bond – The Classic Adventures of Paddington

Picked because…: Touted as a children’s book, the stories of Paddington have immense relevance for adults and children alike. Written simply, these stories speak life truths and contain lessons hard to ignore.

Recap of the The Classic Adventures of Paddington, Part 1
Recap of The Classic Adventures of Paddington, Part 2
Review of The Classic Adventures of Paddington

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Rabindranath Tagore – Chokher Bali 

Picked because…: Rabindranath Tagore, a Nobel Prize winner for Literature, was a leading literary figure in India and is still highly admired amongst the appreciators of Eastern literature. His books became synonymous with women protagonists much ahead of their times and are aspirational to empowered women. Choker Bali contains the intertwined story of two such women.

Recap of Chokher Bali
Review of Chokher Bali

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Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol 

More classic recaps and reviews coming soon!

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