The Mud and Stars Book Blog

thoughts from a girl who spends her days in other worlds…

The Classics Book Tag

on April 20, 2016

Hi everyone! Hope you’re all having a splendiferous Wednesday!

The lovely Charley over at Books and Bakes tagged me to do The Classics Book Tag back in February. You can check out her wonderful blog here. As you may have guessed, I’m a teensy bit behind with my tags (there’s a backlog of approx. 22). I hope to get to them all eventually, and if I haven’t done yours yet, I still love and appreciate your taggery. ❤

I’m excited to do this tag, because I studied English Lit at university, so once upon a time I was all about the classics. Since leaving uni, I haven’t read many, because I’m mainly about the YA these days, but there are still plenty of classic books on my TBR that I’m hoping to read this year! Here are my answers to the tag…

An overhyped classic you didn’t really like:


I had to study Proust at university, and this book just bored me to tears. It has very little plot, and is basically about a guy who eats a biscuit which reminds him of another biscuit he ate when he was younger. All this biscuity-nostalgia gets him thinking about his childhood, and he begins waxing lyrical about said childhood, and all of the exciting things that happened to him. And by exciting things, I mean, the time he saw some stained glass windows and pontificated about them for 15 pages, and the time he stopped outside a house to look at some flowers for 15 more. The book also opens with what is essentially a 3 page description of somebody rolling over in bed. SNOOZEFEST.

Favourite time period to read about:


I love 19th century classics – my favourites include Wuthering Heights, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Persuasion, and The Woman in White.

Favourite fairytale:

I don’t really have a favourite fairytale now, but when I was little it was all about Sleeping Beauty. I was OBSESSED with the Disney movie and used to watch it over and over again. It was bordering on creepy. I used to think that Malificent was real and that she was coming after me. I also once had a dream that she chopped my legs off. #creepy


These days, however, I’m all about the retellings, and as we’re talking classics, I’d definitely recommend The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, which is a stunningly-written collection of literary fairytale retellings. The title story is a retelling of Bluebeard (which is probably one of the most sinister fairytales I’ve ever read) with a feminist twist. Which is awesome, because let’s face it, that fairytale is all kinds of misogynistic.

What is the most embarrassing classic you haven’t read? 


I’m a big fantasy fan, so I really should have read these books by now. But they’re so mahoosively, intimidatingly long I just can’t bring myself to start them. Even more shameful… I haven’t watched the movies. DON’T HURT ME!

Top 5 classics you’d like to read soon:

I could have listed any of these for the last question, because I really should have read them already. #worstEnglishgraduateEVAR

Favourite modern series based on a classic:

Hmm, let me think about that…

giphy (23)

Nope, definitely can’t beat a bit of Sherlock! ❤

Source: Giphy

Favourite movie version / TV series based on a classic:


I have so much love for the BBC adaptation of Tess of the d’Urbervilles (starring Gemma Arterton and Eddie Redmayne). This series introduced me to what turned out to be one of my favourite books of all time.

Worst classic to movie adaptation:


Hands down it has to be the 2011 adaptation of Wuthering Heights (starring Kaya Scodelario, aka Theresa from The Maze Runner). The dialogue was so stilted, and I felt like they focused too much on being artsy, and not enough on the actual story. Also there was a super-weird scene where Theresa Cathy licked the blood from Heathcliff’s wounds after he got whipped. UMM, CREEPY.

Favourite edition(s) you would like to collect more classics from:

I can’t now remember which blogger drew my attention to Mr Boddington’s Penguin Classics, but ever since I have been lusting over them because they are STUNNING:


Source: Anthropologie

Sadly they’re also extortionately expensive, because they’re sold out EVERYWHERE, and are only available through resellers.

An under-hyped classic you’d recommend to everyone:


You all know I love my books creepy, and this novel I studied in my 19th century lit class at university is one of the most chilling books I’ve ever read. It’s the story of a man who is lured into committing multiple murders, believing his actions are justifiable because he is one of God’s ‘elect’ and is therefore exempt from damnation. I think this is the first classic to ever give me nightmares!

I’m aware that classics aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, so I’m not going to tag anyone specifically for this. However, if classics ARE your cuppa then please do give this one a go! 😀 I’d love to see your answers.

giphy (24)

Source: Giphy

Have you read any of these books? What’s your favourite or least favourite classic?



58 responses to “The Classics Book Tag

  1. Lizzy says:

    What a great tag and a great play! I’ll definitely be having a go at this myself.

    I also adore the Tess of the D’Urbervilles adaptation with Gemma Arterton. She was just how I pictured Tess.

    I’m mildly shocked that you’ve never read Jane Eyre but absolutely stunned you’ve never watched Lord of the Rings. Boy are you in for a treat!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thanks! 😀 look forward to seeing your answers! What’s your favourite classic? The Tess adaptations is incredible – I watched part of it before I started the book, so I couldn’t help but imagine Tess that way, but agree that Gemma was perfect casting for the character. And haha I know I’m really bad – I think I might read Jane Eyre next month, as this tag has got me in the mood to read a classic. LOTR – I watched the first one years ago but at a time when I really wasn’t into fantasy. I think I’ll enjoy it a lot more now! 😀

      • Lizzy says:

        Anything Jane Austen no question!

        Have you read any other Hardy? I’ve only read Far From the Madding Crowd of his novels but he’s cluttering up my TBR list. I absolutely love his poetry too

      • mudandstars says:

        Same – I’ve only read Far From the Madding Crowd, which I enjoyed but didn’t love as much as Tess (I think it just didn’t impact me emotionally the way Tess did). I really want to read more of his novels, and poetry (of which I haven’t read any). There’s actually a pub called Jude the Obscure near my office, and every time I walk past it I think about reading it, so maybe I’ll make that my next Hardy. 🙂

      • Lizzy says:

        I feel the same about Far From the Madding Crowd, I didn’t connect with the characters in the same way.

        What a great pub name! That’s definitely one on my TBR – people keep trying to put me off saying it’s incredibly depressing but that’s kind of just making me want to read it more!

  2. Excellent post! Jane Eyre!!! Must. Read. Now.

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you!! 😀 It’s definitely the one I’m most excited to read, so it’ll be my first port of call 🙂 I started reading it a few years ago and got about half way, but then life got hectic and by the time I came back to it I couldn’t get back into it. Is it your favourite classic?

  3. Awesome tag! Yes, lord of the Ring is so bloody long. The stories are really good, yet I can’t seem to read it all without, growing tiredsome. I’m, looking to start a book haul and would like to get a few classics.

    • mudandstars says:

      I feel the same way – I think it would be a huge commitment to sit down and read the trilogy because I’m a super slow reader, and you have to concentrate so hard to read books with such dense language like LOTR. I think I’m gonna start with the films first and see how I get on 🙂 Which classics are you thinking of picking up in your next book haul?

  4. luvtoread says:

    Great Expectations is so so good! I just finished it and absolutely loved it! I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts about Jane Eyre once you get to it. I read it not too long ago, and didn’t particularly care for it – it was fine, I just didn’t love it. But, I do love Wuthering Heights, and I read somewhere that most people either love Wuthering Heights or Jane Eyre, not both, so I thought that was interesting. Persuasion is my favorite Austen – we like a lot of similar classics! But I’ve never read Tess, I should really read that one! Great post!

    • mudandstars says:

      Thank you 😀 Oooh that’s interesting. I also really love Wuthering Heights – I wonder if I’ll feel the same way. I’m probably going to pick up Jane Eyre first so I’ll let you know how I get on 🙂 Persuasion is definitely my favourite Austen so far too (although I’ve only read Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice) – I really want to read the others at some point this year. And oooh you should definitely pick up Tess, it’s just fantastic. Also the first (and maybe only) classic to make me cry.

  5. Annelise Lestrange says:

    YOU ARE NOT ALONE, MY DEAR! I ALSO HAVEN’T READ FRANKENSTEIN OR JANE EYRE OR FINISHED THE LORD OF THE RINGS! They are big, omg! hahaha! I did read Sense and Sensibility and it was kind of meh for me, I hope you enjoy it more! You know… Someday lol
    I also need to re-read Dracula, it’s been too long since I first read it. I was only a child lol I actually love classics, some of my favorite being the picture of dorian gray, pride & prejudice, sherlock holmes and alice ❤ [hm, I see a pattern here lol Maybe I'm nuts about English Classics LOL]

    • mudandstars says:

      Oooh, maybe we should try a classic for book club!! I watched the movie of Sense and Sensibility recently (after Alan Rickman died) and I enjoyed it, but I’ll let you know how I get on with the book. I reeeeally need to read Dracula! I started it once, but never finished it as I got busy and then came back to it and couldn’t get back into it. Pride & Prejudice and Alice are both awesome. I’ve got The Picture of Dorian Gray on my shelf, but haven’t read it yet, and I really want to read The Sherlock Holmes books one day tooo 😀

  6. I didn’t read The Lord of the Rings either, despite LOVING the movie, ahah. Maybe we should…someday 😛

    • mudandstars says:

      Haha “someday” is definitely the word… I really want to read them but I know it’ll take me forever if I do! Glad to hear you enjoyed the movies though – I’m gonna start with those and see how I get on 😀

  7. powbooks says:

    I absolutely love Classics so I will definitely do this tag soon! Love your answers; I think some of mine might be a bit of a controversial. I guess we’ll see.

  8. selinn92 says:

    The Bloody Chamber was great! (I got so excited to see that I’m not the only one who’s read it–well the Bluebeard retelling since I only read that one.) I loved Jane Eyre, though many people (mostly those who aren’t a fan of the classics) I know did not care for it one bit.

    • mudandstars says:

      Ooh me too – I don’t know anyone else who has read it! I loved it – definitely the best story in the collection, but the others were good too so I’d definitely recommend checking them out. I’m glad to hear you loved Jane Eyre – I’ve just treated myself to the penguin clothbound version and I’m going to make this my next classic 🙂 What are your favourite classics?

      • selinn92 says:

        I also liked Pride and Prejudice. I doubt anyone would call this a classic, but I do since it’s old: The Princess and the Goblin as well as The Light Princess, both by George MacDonald. I consider them children’s classics.

      • mudandstars says:

        Pride and Prejudice is one of my favourites too! I’ve never read George MacDonald’s books, but children’s classics are the best 🙂

  9. AAAAAH please read Jane Eyre and Frankenstein! I promise you’ll enjoy them!

    Also, if you’re interested in reading an UNDERhyped classic, I recommend The Monk by Matthew Lewis. 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      I definitely will! 😀 I’ve just ordered a copy of Jane Eyre, and am planning to read it next month! And I just looked up The Monk and it sounds creepy, so right up my street. I’ve added it to my to-read shelf 🙂 thanks for the recommendation!

  10. You changed your blog theme since I last visited!! It looks really nice!! I’m ashamed to say that Classics are not my strong point, and so I haven’t read majority of these books. And I’m with you on LOTR, though. I haven’t read any of the books neither have I seen any of the movies ;\ I’LL GET ROUND TO IT SOON XD

    • mudandstars says:

      Aww thank you very much! 😀 Classics aren’t really my strong point either, despite studying literature at uni. Most of the ones I have read I’ve loved, but I haven’t read half the classics I’m *supposed* to have read. It takes me a long time to get into them and I think they take a lot of commitment. I’m so glad I’m not the only one who’s never seen LOTR!! I think I’m gonna start with the movies and then decide if I can commit to the books!

  11. […] was sort of tagged to do this post by Jess at The Mud and Stars Book Blog. Well, I saw the tag on her blog. But I immediately knew I had to do it. I haven’t done any tags […]

  12. […] did The Classics Book Tag this month, which put me in the mood for some classic literature. I spent a long time staring at […]

  13. noteablepad says:

    This is such a great tag! I do love my classics, but I must admit there are so many I haven’t read. I’d love to do this tag soon but I have so many tags piling up- I’ll have to bookmark the page so I can remember.
    I love your answers! I’ll be sure never to read that Proust book- sounds a lot like Joyce. I’ve never actually read Joyce but my friend warned me against it and I’ve been hesitant about it ever since. I studied Victorian literature for my A Levels, so I was able to read a lot of classics.

    TESS! The BBC adaptation had me in tears. Recently I read Jude the Obscure and since then I’ve just vowed never to touch a Hardy novel if he’s going to play with my emotions like that.

    Do you mind if I ask what your English degree was like? 🙂 I’m on my gap year at the moment and I actually had a few offers to study English lit. I had an offer from Oxford too, but then decided I wanted to take some time off and write instead, and everyone I knew struggled to understand why. I’m quite okay with it though. But I do want to know what I’m missing out on. 🙂

    • mudandstars says:

      Ahh thank you! 😀 And yes, I’m staying away from Joyce for precisely the same reason. I once tried reading Ulysses, got 1 page in, and thought ‘NOPE’. I also cried at the Tess adaptation (and the book) – it was the first classic book to make me cry. It sounds like Jude the Obscure is just as harrowing! But I do still really want to read it. And sure, no problem! 🙂 My English degree was so much fun (I studied at Reading University) – I loved that my degree was reading books! 🙂 I thought studying books I loved would ruin them, but I managed to come out of university with my love of Wuthering Heights and Tess still intact (although I had to wait for my results before I could actually enjoy them again haha!) It was pretty varied – I studied children’s literature, gothic literature, European modernist fiction, medieval literature, and all kinds of other stuff. Although, one thing I will say is that I barely read for pleasure during my degree (because there are sooo many course books), and only started again after I’d graduated. If there’s anything else more specific you want to know then just let me know 🙂 And congratulations on the Oxford offer – that’s awesome – but I completely understand where you’re coming from; I sometimes wish I’d taken a gap year for exactly the same reasons 🙂 Are you planning on studying English after your gap year or still undecided?

      • noteablepad says:

        Haha I genuinely don’t know what Joyce was thinking.
        I really do recommend Jude the Obscure (I didn’t like it THAT much because it was so so depressing, but I do think it’s worth the read). Hardy just knows how to make you cry.

        Thank you so much for letting me how your degree was! The range that you studied sounds so interesting. I think I’d love that! And I know exactly what you mean about no pleasure reading- idk if I can deal with that. I took a look at my reading list for the first year and it looked like I’d barely be able to sleep let alone have some relaxation time.
        I’m still undecided- partly because a lot of people are telling me to apply again, and partly because I really enjoy writing. I don’t want to wait any longer to write. I’m not sure. I got in contact with my friend studying English at Merton college and she said that it’s very very stressful (which is what I expected in honesty) and she told me that she wishes she took the year off like I did. That just made me doubt it.

      • mudandstars says:

        Haha well I do kinda like depressing books… but I’ll just have to supplement it with lots of happy fluffy books on the side 🙂 I would imagine that the reading list, and the general workload for Oxford is more intense than most! Mine was pretty manageable (and it was only really stressful during exam season). I definitely could have fitted in reading for pleasure time, I think it was more that I didn’t always feel like it, and because I wasted a lot of time on other things such as sleeping haha 🙂 I completely understand what you’re saying and if you have the time to write you should definitely make the most of that (it’s so much harder to do once you graduate and have to work full time). But some English courses offer creative writing modules, so you could end up doing writing as part of your degree (depending on what course you choose, obviously!). I forgot to mention that – I actually did creative writing for my dissertation 🙂 I loved it!

      • noteablepad says:

        See, I really do need my relaxation time (I spend far too much time sleeping) and if I work non-stop, churning out essay after essay, I’d get way too stressed out, and my A Levels alone made me SO STRESSED, so I need to think about myself and what I can handle. 🙂 Maybe another uni would be better. I think I might make a post about it soon. 😀
        And that’s so great! My friend does creative writing, and she loves it. How is it marked?

      • mudandstars says:

        I’m the same, I was so stressed during my A Levels, I felt constantly sick like I was about to throw up! Uni was actually surprisingly a lot less stressful (apart from third year!) I actually didn’t find the essay side too bad – it wasn’t a continuous thing, it was more like an essay period towards the end of term. There was definitely a lot of relaxing time (and English Lit courses generally have less timetabled hours than other subjects). I think it’s definitely sensible to think carefully about what you can handle, but I am one of the most easily stressed people in the world and I survived haha 🙂 And really I find work much more stressful than uni was! 😦 I’ll look out for your post 🙂 And I’m honestly not entirely sure how they mark creative writing – I had to do a critical essay to justify all the writing decisions I made in the short story so I think a lot of it was based on how you thought out your creative decisions, how you edited and redrafted, and what you learnt during the editing process. It’s a bit vague though – university marking is quite weird because they don’t give you criteria you have to include like with A Level assignments/exams.

      • noteablepad says:

        Omg me too! The stress was actually affecting my health. At that point I just had to stop and think- grades or health?
        It’s really relieving to hear that your timetable was quite relaxed, and there wasn’t a terrible amount of essays to write. I did find out the weekly timetable for the first year, and it is anything but relaxing. A whole load of work is cramped into the week, and you have to write essays every week. On top of that, there are 3 hour exams at the end of the year too.
        Thanks for telling me! I’ll take this all into consideration. 🙂

      • mudandstars says:

        You’re very welcome! And wow, I don’t think I could have coped with a timetable like that – I’d have had some kind of breakdown. And what you said about stress affecting your health – that’s exactly what I went through during my A Levels – it’s not nice 😦 I think you’re right, in the end your health is the most important thing, because grades are not the be all and end all in life. Good luck with searching for other courses if that’s what you decide to do! And if you need any more advice on that then just let me know as I’m happy to help 🙂

      • noteablepad says:

        I think it’s hard to explain to people that haven’t experienced it, but when your health is on the line you really do need to take a step back and reevaluate. And yet I still had people telling me to go anyway! Can you imagine? They aren’t even thinking about me, clearly. And writing is so lovely 🙂 I don’t stress about it, I just do it.
        Thank you so much for all your help! 🙂

      • mudandstars says:

        Completely agree – I think people who haven’t experienced that kind of stress think of it as manageable and something you can just suck it up and deal with (probably because that variety of stress is the only kind they’ve ever had to deal with). That must have been horrible having to explain that to all the people telling you to go! I’m glad you’re enjoying the writing, it is a great way of escaping from daily stresses 🙂 It helps me a lot too. I haven’t worked on any stories in a while, but blogging is really helpful as it gives me a purpose. I started this blog when I was stuck in a really stressful job that I hated and it helped me a lot. 🙂

  14. Frankenstein and Dracula are some of my all time favourites! I can’t wait to read The Woman in White and have added the James Hogg novel to my tbr, great post 🙂 I also own Swann’s Way…

    • mudandstars says:

      The Woman in White and Confessions of a Justified Sinner were fabulous, I hope you enjoy them! Since I wrote this post, I have now read Frankenstein and loved it so much. I still really need to read Dracula. I hope you enjoy Swann’s Way more than I did hahaha – unfortunately I found it a bit tedious, but maybe I would enjoy it more if I re-read it now and didn’t have to analyse it for an essay.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: