This is my first post about 2016’s books for The Classics Club. I’ll be reading one classic book a month through 2018. Track what I’m reading for the Classics Club here. I’ll try not to include too many spoilers in my review but I may need to discuss some in order to fully review the book. I’ll warn you if I’m going to mention one.
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
- Year Published: 1889
- Reread? Or new to me?: new to me
- Number of Pages: 268
- Date Finished: somewhere at the end of January (see story below for why I was completely unable to keep track of how many days it took me to read this.
- Number of Days to read it: way too many
- Page/Day ratio: ???
- Will I reread this?: probably not
I started out by listening to A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court on audio book on 1/1/16 (impressed with myself about how on top of things I was in the new year). I was almost done with it before I figured out that it was an abridged version. I was thinking, “Wow! this is super easy to understand, fun, engaging, why didn’t I read this sooner?” Consequently, I was so mad and demotivated when I figured out that, of course, it was abridged. When I went back to read the real thing, I had to fight my annoyance at “slogging” through all the actual writing. Not that it’s that bad – it really is a fun, engaging and at times, super-thought-provoking story – just not compared to an abridged version. It probably took me three weeks to finally finish the book but I am certainly glad I read it.
Some quotes that I liked:
For my patent law attorney brother-in-law:
…[The] very first thing I did, in my administration – and it was on the very first day of it, too – was to start a patent office; for I knew that a country without a patent office and good patent laws was just a crab, and couldn’t travel any way but sideways or backwards.” (p. 42)
A good reminder for me as we are slowly but surely purging our entire house:
[When] we inherit property, it does not occur to us to throw it away, even when we do not value it.” (p. 97)
Food for thought in this election year:
“There are wise people who talk ever so knowingly and complacently about “the working classes,” and satisfy themselves that a day’s hard intellectual work is very much harder than a day’s hard manual toil, and is righteously entitled to much bigger pay. Why they really think that, you know, is because they know all about the one but haven’t tried the other. But I know all about both; and so far as I’m concerned, there isn’t enough money in the universe to hire me to swing a pickax thirty days but I will do the hardest kind of intellectual work for just as near nothing as you can cipher it down – and I will be satisfied too…The law of work does seem utterly unfair – but there it is: and nothing can change it: the higher the pay in enjoyment the worker gets out of it, the higher shall his pay be in cash, also.” (p. 167-168)
How about you? Have you read Connecticut Yankee? Any favorite sections in it for you? I was particularly intrigued by how he fixed the miraculous healing well. Anyone else find it impossible to spell Connecticut without spell checker help?
In February, I’m reading Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers. Even with very few days left in the month, want to join me in reading it?