Thursday, May 7, 2015

Classics Club Survey.

The Classics Club is a great community that I have had the pleasure of modding and working for since shortly after it's creation. If you haven't heard of it, it is simply a blogging and reading challenge to incorporate more classics into your reading and discuss these wonderful books! I've been away from blogging for a bit, so I am setting goals to get myself back into the community and reading more classics like I used to.

Anyway, not too long ago, the Club hosted a survey related to all thing classic, and I thought it would be fun to fill out. Please post a link if you've completed this as well! I'd love to check it out!

Share a link to your club list. 
My list is here. I feel like I need to update it a bit to make it a bit more manageable, but that'll have to wait until the summer when I'm a little less insane.

When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club? (We are SO CHECKING UP ON YOU! Nah. We’re just asking.) :)
I joined the club right when Jillian created it. Since I started blogging as a "classics only" blog, it only made sense and I loved the idea of the community from the start. Since it's creation, I've probably read about 50 titles off my Classics Club list, but I have a ton more to go. I see reading the classics as a lifelong pursuit, so I don't imagine I'll ever be "done" reading them.

What are you currently reading?
I'm in the middle of a number of books! The classic that's currently on my nightstand is Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon. I'm only a couple chapters into it, but I have high hopes. I did set it aside while school is still crazy.

What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it?
The last classic I read was Persuasion by Jane Austen over the winter. It was a reread, but I LOVED it. I think it has a great love story that is believable. And Austen is a great old friend.

What are you reading next? Why?
I really want to read A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. It's on my list and the last time I read it was sometime in college.

Best book you’ve read so far with the club, and why?
The one that sticks out to me most is Sister Carrie by Theodore Drieser. I loved An American Tragedy by him as well, but Sister Carrie just blew me away. I really love books that surround "fallen" women (The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, A Portrait of a Lady), so I'm not surprised I loved it.

Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list?
There are a lot of books that I'm looking forward to. I'm excited to get to the last book by the Brontes on my list-Anne's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I also want to give another crack at Clarissa. I attempted to read it a few months ago, but I'm thinking of challenging myself to read it over the summer.

I also want to get to some rereads-some Dickens, more by Cather, etc. And I want to read more by some of my favorite authors-Twain, Wharton, etc.

Book on your club list you’ve been avoiding, if any? Why?
Clarissa. Hahaha. That book really is a beast. I also have another book by Ayn Rand-The Fountainhead-that I'm not that sure about. I read Atlas Shrugged a few years ago with a group of bloggers and slogged through most of it. But looking back on it, I do feel like it was worth my time. I have some other big books waiting as well-more by the Russians, etc.

First classic you ever read?
When I was a kid, my mom bought us a set of those Great Illustrated Classics. I avoided a bunch of them as being "boy" books, but I devoured Little Women, Black Beauty, and Heidi. I'm pretty sure I can still recite passages from those versions of the books. So, probably those. :)

Toughest classic you ever read?
Very early on in my blogging challenge I read Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky. It was actually the second book I read for my blog and while I loved it, it was challenging for me and outside my element. While I considered myself pretty well-versed in the classics prior to my project, I had avoided the Russians. I would also add Clarissa to that list. Because it is a beast.

Oh, I'll also add Moby-Dick to that list. That book was massive and unlike anything else I've ever read.

Classic that inspired you? or scared you? made you cry? made you angry?
That has to go to one of my favorites of all time-The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. It gets me every time.

Although, I would also add Germinal to that list. It's a book that really sticks with you long after reading it.

Longest classic you’ve read? Longest classic left on your club list?
I read War and Peace a few years ago, which has probably been one of the longest on my list. And the longest remaining is the oft-mentioned Clarissa. Considering it's one of the longest books ever published.....

Oldest classic you’ve read? Oldest classic left on your club list?
I still have a lot of Greek lit on my list-The Aeneid, etc. I've read quite a few older works-The Odyssey (namesake of my blog), The Iliad, Lysistrata, and a few others...

Favorite biography about a classic author you’ve read — or, the biography on a classic author you most want to read, if any?
I have a few sitting on my shelf that I'd like to get to at some point-some on Dickens, Wharton, Twain, and Cather.

Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why?
I feel To Kill A Mockingbird is such a classic that if you haven't read it, you should. It's a pretty pivotal piece of American literature. I'd also say The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn as well.

Favorite edition of a classic you own, if any?
My Penguin clothbounds and English Library Editions of course!

Favorite movie adaption of a classic?
To be honest, I don't really enjoy movie adaptations of classics! I find they always miss the passion, etc. That being said, I do like Shakespeare in movie form, so I'll go with the Much Ado About Nothing film.

Classic which hasn’t been adapted yet (that you know of) which you very much wish would be adapted to film.
I'd love to see a modern interpretation of The House of Mirth. Because it's my fav...

Least favorite classic? Why?
Difficult question. If you've been around for a long time, you'll know I have a deep-rooted hatred for Dickens' Great Expectations, but I am planning on rereading it in the future. I feel like now that I have a love for some of his work, I might decide I like it.

I also hate Heart of Darkness. I've read it multiple times. And I just. don't. get. it. NOPE.

Name five authors you haven’t read yet whom you cannot wait to read.
Sherwood Anderson
James Baldwin
Knut Hamsen
Guy de Maussapant

Which title by one of the five you’ve listed above most excites you and why?
I really want to read Hamsen's Hunger, mainly because I've never seen anyone talk about it and I'm intrigued.

Have you read a classic you disliked on first read that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving? (This could be with the club or before it.)
My Antonia. Didn't love it fully as a high schooler, but reading it for this made me LOVE Cather. I need to get back to my Cather project....

Which classic character can’t you get out of your head?
Jane Eyre is a great character. I still can't believe I waited SO LONG to read Jane Eyre.

Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
This is a really hard question....I think I have a lot in common with Jane Eyre, but we're also very dissimilar. Actually, I have no idea who I'm most like!

Which classic character do you most wish you could be like?
Scarlett O'Hara from Gone with the Wind. The girl's got spunk and fire, and I need more of that in my life.

Which classic character reminds you of your best friend?
Too hard for me to decide... ;)

If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading? Or, would you avoid the augmented manuscript in favor of the original? Why?
I actually wouldn't wish this. I'm very much of the belief that an author's work should stand as itself, and that a reader's interpretation is more important than how the author views it. So....I wouldn't want my impressions of a book to be altered because of new information....

Favorite children’s classic?
Definitely The Little House books, or Black Beauty.

Who recommended your first classic?
Probably my mom. :)

Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.)
Adam at Roof Beam Reader. He's a great resource for new lit. Not classic related, but he introduced me to Andrew Smith, who is certainly one of my favorite writers.

Favorite memory with a classic?
When I was going into ninth grade, we had to read a few books over the summer. One of those was The Count of Monte Cristo. I had brought it with me up north to my grandparents cottage, and I can remember reading it on the back of the boat as it rocked back and forth. Reading the prison scenes and escape while on the lake is still incredibly vivid!

Classic author you’ve read the most works by?
Oh man....probably Shakespeare because of the sheer amount of his plays I flew through a few years ago during Shakespeare Reading Month. I'd also add Wharton to that list, and probably Dickens.

Classic author who has the most works on your club list?
Again, probably Shakespeare, but also Dickens, Henry James, and a few others...

Classic author you own the most books by?
Shakespeare. :) I own most of his work, and I think I only have 7 or 8 plays to get to complete my little collection....

Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included? (Or, since many people edit their lists as they go, which titles have you added since initially posting your club list?)
My list is SO LONG that I have no idea....

If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last — meaning you have never read this author and want to explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication — who would you explore? Obviously this should be an author you haven’t yet read, since you can’t do this experiment on an author you’re already familiar with. 
:) Or, which author’s work you are familiar with might it have been fun to approach this way?
I've already started this process with 3 authors-Shakespeare, Cather, and Dickens. I'd like to add Dostoevsky to that list. And perhaps Toni Morrison for a more modern writer?

How many rereads are on your club list? If none, why? If some, which are you most looking forward to, or did you most enjoy?
So many! I love rereading books. I'm planning on jumping into Gone with the Wind shortly, as well as Germinal.

Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish?
I've struggled through a few. Heart of Darkness was probably the worst one. I've read it at least 5 times (once in high school and multiple times in college for classes). I just....hate it.

Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving?
I really didn't have any expectations for David Copperfield, but man, that was a fabulous book.

Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature?
I really want to get back into reading classics on a more regular basis. I've lost sight of that the last couple of years as school stress piled up. But I feel like I'm at a manageable level I'm ready to dive in.

Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
Uncle Tom's Cabin. Considering I teach AP U.S. History, I feel like this is a book I SHOULD read. I always say I'm going to read it, but never do. Need to make it happen.

Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
I'm probably going to continue pushing off Ulysses.

Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club?
The supportive community!

List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs?
I'm out of touch with the community, but I'll give another shout out to Adam, also Melissa, and Lost Generation Reader.

If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, tell about the experience? If you’ve participated in more than one, what’s the very best experience? the best title you’ve completed? a fond memory? a good friend made?
I love readalongs! One of my favorites was one of the first I ever participated in, for Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov. It was a great group of bloggers and I really enjoyed getting into the community.

If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why?
All of them. Because fun. :)

How long have you been reading classic literature?
I started regularly reading the classics in high school, and picked up reading them even more in college. I started my blog when I was 24, so since then, I've read many that I probably would have never read otherwise.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Introducing: A Victorian Celebration 2015!

Welcome to the launching post for an event that I'm super excited to be hosting once again. Way back in 2012, I hosted a 2-month long celebration of Victorian literature. I loved the event as it celebrated many of the things I love about the book blogging life-books, a great community, and lots of amazing posts.

This summer, I'm hosting the second edition of A Victorian Celebration, and I hope you'll join in on the fun. I'm planning on having a few giveaways during the event, as well as guest posts, information about Victorian writers, and lots of posts related to the Victorians.

The Victorian era in literature refers to the time that Queen Victoria was ruling in Britain (1837-1901). It was a time period of great peace and prosperity for Britain and allowed for a lot of artistic and literary expression. Generally speaking, Victorians are only the British authors who published during this time period. However, some like to group American writers and others into the mix since their work can be closely tied together. I'm okay with you reading and linking any books published during this time period, but ideally you'd be reading what are considered to be the Victorians (British writers). 

Starting on June 1, I'll have a Master post up to link your reviews and posts about the Victorians. The event will last until the end of July. You can stop by any time to read other posts and reviews of Victorian literature!

If you're interested in joining along, please sign up below, and feel free to take a look at some of my favorite posts from the last event 3 years ago.

I look forward to celebrating the Victorians with you this summer!