Like most things in my life, my love for Dumas’ famous musketeers stems from a Disney movie.
Starring the thespian talents of Kiefer Sutherland (Lordy, that voice), Oliver Platt, Charlie Sheen (long before he had tiger blood coursing through his veins), and the hunka hunka burnin’ love that was a twenty-three-year-old Chris O’Donnell as D’Artagnan, the 1993 version of the Three Musketeers is a rip roarin’, family-friendly interpretation of the classic French novel that I now know does a marvellous job of introducing the infamous musketeers as Dumas first portrayed them—brave, loyal, and chivalrous, with rapier wit and hella impressive skills with a sword (which, fun fact, would have been a rapier). I watched that movie over, and over, and over, and over, and have since enjoyed every big- and small-screen adaptation I’ve seen—especially the recently concluded BBC television series, which I could not get enough of. So you can imagine my delight (and relief) when I loved the book just as much as I have all the adaptions. I guess there’s just something about a pack of unbeatable besties who would lay down their lives for loyalty and honour that warms the cockles of my heart.
No. 12 on my challenge. Originally serialized as Les Trois Mousquetaires in the French newspaper Le Siècle between March and July 1844, the first English translation was produced in 1846 by William Barrow and is still in print today.
As Rory Gilmore once said (in episode 5.5):
I’m very into PG Wodehouse right now.
And to think, before this year’s reading challenge, I had no idea who PG Wodehouse was, nor any idea where Jeeves the Butler originated. But now I’m quite fond of Bertie Wooster, his Aunt Dahlia, and the inimitable Jeeves. I believe I’ll have to find the time to discover more of this brilliant Wodehouse character.
No. 25 on my challenge. Thank you, Rory Gilmore.
Peter Pan is my mom’s favourite story, so Peter and Wendy were always on the periphery of my childhood. When I found this beautiful edition from Puffin Chalk Classics, I couldn’t resist. I may be cheating a bit by including this one on my challenge (it’s not technically written from a child’s perspective), but it was time for me to rediscover a bit of childhood wonder, so I’ll allow it.
No. 9 on my challenge. If you want to watch artist Dana Tanamachi draw it on an actual chalkboard, click here.
If I’d forgotten how incredibly talented the late great F. Scott Fitzgerald was, this gorgeous illustrated version of his most famous short story (thanks, in part, to Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett) reminded me post haste. Me thinks I’ll have to reread a few of old Fitz’s tales.
No. 16 on my challenge. Not technically a book, but he’s long dead, so I’m counting it.
Illustrations by Calef Brown.
It is a strange thing to read a dystopian novel set in a time before your own birth. Disturbing, yet quite good. And the movie adaptation starring John Hurt was powerful.
Definitely not the story I thought it was—pop culture had given me false expectations. Nonetheless, I enjoyed it very much.