Top Ten Tuesday Feb. 2
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Our prompt this week is: Top Ten Historical Settings You Love/ Ten Historical Settings You’d Love To See or Top Futuristic Books You Love/Ten Futuristic Societies I’d Love To Read in Books — basically this week is all about the past or the future….spin it however you choose!
So, of course, I had to pick…
…and my top 10 books set in that time period, both good and bad.
First, the good:
1) Let’s start with my original Victorian England obsession, the one that started it all; The Sherlock Holmes series by Arthur Conan Doyle. My favorite of the Sherlock stories is The Hound of the Baskervilles. I think it’s everyone’s favorite, really. It’s hard to pick a favorite of the short stories because there is honestly too many great ones, but of the short story tales I like The Adventure of the Dancing Men and A Scandal in Bohemia. Irene Adler will always be The Woman to me.
There is no little amount of modern adaptions either. My Sherlock will always be Jeremy Brett, which I watched on weekend mornings on PBS as a teen. But I also love the Sherlock movies with Robert Downey Jr., the BBC adaption with Benedict Cumberbatch, and even the CBS TV show Elementary with Jonny Lee Miller, although that is my least favorite. I’m even known to pull up a couple of the Basil Rathbone movies, although I hate how Watson is portrayed in those. I also liked what I saw of the Russian Holmes played by Vasily Livanov, which I found hiding on the internet a couple years ago. The most recent Mr. Holmes movie with Ian McKellen was also a treat. Honestly, I’m guaranteed to like pretty much any Sherlock Holmes adaption.
2) I have an unhealthy obsession with Jack the Ripper. It’s unseemly. There is a shelf dedicated to books of him in my apartment, both fiction and non-fiction. He’s my favorite Victorian England murder mystery plot device. I probably need mental help.
3) Black Butler; it’s an anime. It’s set in a fictional Victorian England. There are demons. I really need mental help.
4) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O’Neill. (begins laughing) I’m ashamed to admit I saw the movie first and I love that piece of crap. It took me a while to hunt down copies of the comic but now I love them too. It has Professor Moriarty, nemesis of Sherlock Holmes. (Because my interests tend to cross-pollinate.) And Mina Murray is a badass in a skirt, even outside the whole Dracula thing. If you do not love Mina Murray than you are wrong.
5) Finishing School series by Gail Carriger. It’s steam punk and espionage and Victorian England all rolled into one! Even if the pace of the books frustrated the hell out of me (so. freaking. slow.), I still liked them. It had the best mix of awesomeness. I’m going to read her Parasol Protectorate series next.
Then, the bad:
Ok, what follows is a list of classic books set in Victorian England, or close enough. I want you to all know that I have a love/hate relationship with these books. I read them all for school and, if I hadn’t been forced, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read them on my own. I like them but I have a deep hate for archaic language. It drives me nuts. I have no patience for it. And a good majority of them are just love stories, which I loath. But it’s Victorian England, which I love. So, I want you to know that while they feed my love of Victorian England, reading them was a chore.
6) Dracula by Bram Stoker. Probably my least hated of the ‘classics’.
7) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Another not so horrible one. I seem to be on a theme here. Monster books for the win!
8) The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Read to me by my Grandma, less torturous than having to read it myself. I think I impressed the hell out of my 7th grade English teacher when I selected The Secret Garden for my big book report. More fool her.
And, honestly, the ones I loath.
9) Brontë siblings. Just all of them. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë, Wuthering Heigths by Emily Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte. I’ve read both the revised and original Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Well, mostly. All three books drove me nuts.
10) Jane Austen. Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma. All of Austen’s books are the same. Girl seeks husband, girl encounters obstacle, girl wins and marries boy. Again, I was forced to read them for school and I was bored to tears.
Save me from pompous romance books. Oh god…