Formidable Classics

classic-novels-on-shelves2  I love Classic literature and adore many genres within the classics. Once I started reading them I was hooked, and have forever been changed as a reader. I have read many classic books and so I’ve developed  much in skill and maturity. As I broaden my scope, reading more and more amazing books from the greats, I find myself looking at a few that I keep putting off. The books that I find either a bit daunting, or time consuming, or just find myself hesitating on aimlessly. I need to address these books that challenge me from my shelf.

Here are a few Challenging Classics calling to me in anticipation:

War and Peace
This is the book of books to read for any person interested in classic literature. It is a well known challenge, and one I think I am up for. It’s a book that although I may find challenging or time consuming, I do actually think that I will really enjoy. I think I just need to commit to reading it, and get to it. Oh and did I mention it is a whopping 1296 pages, no small feat. Hopefully a worthwhile one.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com
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Book Bean: Russian Tea
Within Russia, tea usually includes lemon, and sugar or jam. Tea sachets are widely popular, but when a teapot is used it is very common to make a strong brew, then pour some into a cup and top it with hot or boiling water, adding milk and sugar afterwards.

Utopia
A utopia is a community or society possessing highly desirable or near perfect qualities. The word was coined by Sir Thomas More in Greek for this 1516 book Utopia (in Latin), describing a fictional island society in the Atlantic Ocean. The term has been used to describe both intentional communities that attempt to create an ideal society, and imagined societies portrayed in fiction. I don’t know if this classic book is a challenging one or not, but I do know I’ve been meaning to read it for a very long time.
Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

cafe-de-olla-in-a-mugBook Bean: Café de olla
Traditionally brewed in large quantities over a wood fire in a heavy earthenware Mexican cooking pot called an “Olla”. Place 4 cups water, 2/3 cup dk brn sugar, 1tsp molasses, and 2 cinnamon sticks (and aniseed optional) in a saucepan. Slowly bring to a boil, and stir thoroughly to dissolve sugars. When the mixture reaches boiling, stir in 2/3 cup drk rst coffee (med. grind) remove from heat, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Strain into stone cups, and enjoy with cinnamon sticks. 


Moby Dick
It’s a whale of a book! Or so I hear 😀 This book does not really speak to me, as far as content I feel compelled to read. However, it is so well known as a literary masterpiece that I feel I must one day challenge myself and read it. It’s a novel by Herman Melville, in which Ishmael narrates the monomaniacal quest of Ahab, captain of the whaler Pequod, for revenge on the albino sperm whale Moby Dick

Rated 4.2 on amazon.com
unnamedBook Bean: Seafoam Tea
In a blender blend; 1/2 can coconut milk (cold) till frothy. Add in 2 cups of white tea (cold) and re-blend. Last add a pinch of finely ground lavender leaves (and/or mint, is a nice option)  and 1 cup of cool whip (or ice-cream.)

 

The Scarlet Letter
I have always wanted to read this book, but for one reason or another I just never do. I hope that one day I will, but it’s not looking promising. I always start reading it, but then I set it down and don’t pick it up again. It’s bothersome really. I don’t know if in the end I will like, love, or hate this book, but I do know that I will be glad I read it!

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com


White-Hot-Chocolate-with-Cocoa-Cream
Book Bean:
Sinful Cinnamon Dulce
Temper white chocolate in a mug. Steam and Froth milk of choice (I like rice for this recipe) and pour over chocolate. Top with a small zip of whip and sprinkle with cinnamon. Stir and enjoy.

 

These are the formidable classics on my shelf, what are yours?

If you don’t read the classics, what challenging books have been haunting you?

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Mid-week Meet n’ Greet


Lets get to know each other:
Share about your love of books and/or coffee/tea!
Source: Cafe Meet n’ Greetbrooklyn-art-library.13837.large_slideshow - Edited                                                                                         VS. 
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Stairway to Heaven Lookbook

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Creating beautiful and unique ways to display books is something that really intrigues and delights me. I love seeing all the different way people have come up with to make their book experience enchanting. For me it’s even greater looking at space saving book storage solutions. This lookbook has the best of both.

 


These stairs truly are a way to heaven, book heaven 🙂

april-1981-book-shelves-stairs-homeI love the whole design; the architecture, the regal-ness of the books, those stairs are heavenly indeed!

stairs-made-into-bookshelves-13I love the sleekness and modern warmth of these stairs.

This set up is so amazing. I love how all the colors pop off the
crisp white backdrop.

B166.0cI think this one might be the funnest. Climb up stairs filled with books
and slide back down!

Contemporary-staircase-with-minimalist-book-shelves-in-all-whiteI love this, I just imagine that those stairs lead to a heavenly room
filled with even more books.

stairs-book-shelves-combinedDon’t get dizzy. This design is also pretty fun and fantastic. If I had this little stair-nook/ book-cave I could spend all day in it.

I love this concept, I love how you could make it so personal too, and
the kid’s one is SO great!

 

Beautiful-book-shelf-that-matches-the-design-of-the-stairsI  like the modern edgy-ness of this design, so neat and interesting.

These two are great because they are both utilize space so well.

dezeen_Book-Tower-House-by-Platform-5_1sqI really like this one, it’s like a personal  book-fort, a
inside modern tree-house!

All of these make my heart sing, I just wish I had stairs in my house. 🙂

Which one is your favorite?

 

 

Book Love-Poem

Silhouette-Cupid
It is a day of love, and how better
to express that love, than with a love-poem:

 

 

for-the-love-of-books-valentines-contest

There is no Frigate like a Book

To take us Lands away
Nor any Coursers like a Page
Of prancing Poetry –
This Traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of Toll –
How frugal is the Chariot
That bears the Human Soul –

~Emily Dickinson
Book-Week-Childhood-101Fun Fact: “There is No Frigate Like a Book” comes from a letter written in 1873, and was actually originally published in Volume I of her Letters (1894), not in a book of poems.

French Press Classics

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Heroes, adventure, duels, the high seas, and of course love. These french classics have it all, and their literary mastery are well admired. I have a soft spot for epic tales and romanticism, and I hold these three among favorites.

Here are my favorite French presses:

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a real-life case of wrongful imprisonment, was a huge popular success when it was first serialized in the 1840s.

Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
chocolat-chaud-ouvertureBook Bean: Chocolat l’ancienne
Rich and decadent melted dark chocolate poured into cups, and served alongside it’s own separate dish of fresh whipped cream. So thick and creamy, I’ll have mine with Un café  please!


Les Misérables by Victore Hugo
Published in 1862 and considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. Within this dramatic story are themes that capture the intellect and the emotions: crime and punishment, the relentless persecution of Valjean by Javert, the desperation of Fantine, the amorality of the rogue Thénardier, and the universal desire to escape the prisons of our own minds. A beautiful and haunting story that many can relate to and easily fall in love with. It is a richly complex emotional tale of good vs. evil and true redemption.
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Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Un café
A coffee, plain and simple, but not as we would have in the U.S. Order “Un Café”  and you will get a small cup of plain strong espresso.

 

 The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
An adventurous tale of the young man d’Artagnan. Leaving home to travel to Paris, d’Artagnan wishes to join the Musketeers of the Guard. He is not one of the musketeers of the title but befriends Athos, Porthos and Aramis (inseparable friends who live by the motto “all for one, one for all.”) This motto which is first put forth by d’Artagnan, has become a most well known and loved signet. This a historical fiction full of memorable adventure and characters.

cafe_au_laitRated: 4.4 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Cafè au Lait
A coffee with hot milk added (In comparison to the Itallian caff
è latte.) In the U.S.  a café au lait is a drink of strong drip coffee or French pressed coffee, to which steamed milk is added.

 

Auguste Maquet was a French author, best known as the chief collaborator of French novelist Alexandre Dumas,  co-writing such works as
The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers.

Fun Fact: Les Misérables as a whole is one of the longest ever written, with approximately 1,500 pages in unabridged English-language editions, and 1,900 pages in French. 

Do you have a favorite french classic, and/or a favorite french author?