Make me read it: Classic e-book edition

My last two “Make me read it” challenges have been a smashing success — they encouraged me to read a book that has been sitting around on my shelves for much too long, and each time I was very glad of the push. You can read the results here: Parable of the Sower | L’étranger

Blog readers have seemed to enjoy this feature as well, so here’s another chance to weigh in on what I should read next.

Here are five classic books I’ve picked up over the years; all happen to be on my e-reader. With the exception of Portrait of a Lady, they are all by authors I’ve read before and enjoyed; and am pretty sure I will love — so all other considerations aside, please pick James if you want to give me a challenge, anything else if you want to be nice.. Links are to Goodreads.

In the Mountains – Elizabeth von Arnim
Youth and the Bright Medusa – Willa Cather
Captain Blood – Rafael Sabatini
Manalive – G.K. Chesterton
The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James

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18 thoughts on “Make me read it: Classic e-book edition

  1. Geesh, I’ve had Captain Blood and others on my shelf by Ralph Sabatini for 50 years already, since a teenager, and have never read them. I have way, way too many books to catch up on! Maybe one of these days.

    1. Captain Blood was a popular choice (many have read and enjoyed it, it seems) so I’ve dived into that one. I think I’m going to like it too but still prefer Scaramouche, my first Sabatini. We’ll see if and when I finish it!

    1. You’re not alone in thinking so, so I’m starting that one along with Captain Blood (it was more or less a tie). I love her books too.

  2. The only one of those I’ve read is Captain Blood, which I really enjoyed, so that would be my vote. I’m not a Henry James fan, but I’ve liked other books by the other three authors.

  3. In the Mountains because Elizabeth von Arnim is always a good idea. Or Captain Blood so I can read your review and decide whether to ever get around to the Sabatini books that have been on my Kindle for five hundred years.

  4. My husband would vote for Captain Blood; it’s one of his favorites. I might vote for the Henry James because I remember liking it a lot when I first read it.

    1. I’ve started Captain Blood which seems to have ended up as the front runner. It’s a little hard to tell, because some people just tell me what they have or haven’t read, without telling me what to read. This left James often mentioned but not clearly indicated as the one to read, so I’m going to put him off for another time. But I’ll bear your recommendation well in mind.

  5. From your list I only have knowledge of the James. As much as I love his novellas, his novels are challenging as he is so verbally dense. The Portrait of a Lady is a great story, but it could be told in probably 2/3 of the amount of words he uses. Just my opinion of course!

    I vote for the Chesterton only because I just bought Orthodoxy, which I am looking forward to reading and getting to know him better.

    It’s a good list though, good luck!

    1. Chesterton is quite interesting, will look forward to your thoughts about Orthodoxy. However you were the only one to vote for him, so he will have to wait for another time.

  6. Portrait of a lady is on my shelf, I started reading it last year and don’t remember why I stopped (Covid ?…). I read Captain Blood many years ago and liked it, and Elizabeth von Arnim is one of my favourite writers, so enjoy !

    1. Hm, this was a hard one to judge — I think Sabatini and Von Arnim got the most votes, James third. I decided to read the first two and leave Portrait for later, but I am encouraged by all the people who did enjoy it.

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