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Topic: 2012 Classics Challenge--an updated working list

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Subject: 2012 Classics Challenge--an updated working list
Date Posted: 10/29/2011 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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Considering the imput from the previous working list, here's a cleaned-up version. (I'd like to limit the categories to 13, with participants choosing 12.)

1) a book that changed the world

2) biography/autobiography

3) wit lit

4) noir (American or otherwise)

5) buldungsroman

6) literary award recipient

7) dystopias

8) book you would consider long

9) book you would consider short

10) classic sci-fi or fantasy

11) short story collection

12) letters written by an author

I would also like the option to fill in categories with books listed in compilations such as Modern Library's 100 Best Books, or with authors of one's choice.

Comments, please.

                                                                                                                   Rose

 

Date Posted: 10/30/2011 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Works for me.

I'll probably do a lite version for 2012.



Last Edited on: 10/31/11 11:20 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2011 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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Last Edited on: 11/3/11 5:51 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2011 2:20 PM ET
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Sounds good. I'm going to swap out two books from the list of best books instead of the biography and letters categories. And I have to decide on a wit lit that isnt by P G Wodehouse because I've already read practically everything he's ever written. Maybe Confederacy of Dunces. Anyone one know if that one's funny?

Last Edited on: 11/1/11 2:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/1/2011 9:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
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I only made it to around page 50 in Confederacy of Dunces.  I realized that everytime I picked it up, I got a headache!  I really didn't care for Ignatius.  Have you read any of the Lucia novels by E.F. Benson?  I think they are a lot of fun.

Date Posted: 11/1/2011 9:55 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
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It's been a while since I read Dunces, but my memory of it was that it was very, very funny in a dark way. The Lucia novels are a hoot. My wit lit pick will be Oscar Wilde - any of his comedies.

Date Posted: 11/2/2011 12:54 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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My working list will include-

1) a book that changed the world- The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

2) short story collection- I think I may just pick 10 classic short stories rather than read 1 particular anthology or collection

3) wit lit- A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kenneedy Toole

4) noir (American or otherwise)- Farewell My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

5) buldungsroman- Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

6) literary award recipient- The World According to Garp by John Irving (National Book Award Winner)

7) dystopias- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess/ Lord of the Flies by William Golding/ The Children of Men by PD James

8) book you would consider long- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (754 pages)

9) book you would consider short- Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (233 pages)

10) classic fantasy- The Once and Future King by T.H. White

11) Modern library top 100 pick- An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

12) Modern Library top 100 pick- Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald



Last Edited on: 11/2/11 9:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/2/2011 8:28 PM ET
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I'm with Tome.  Will have to do a lite version.

Date Posted: 11/4/2011 12:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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I am nitpicking, so my apologies in advance.

Make sure your book choices were first published at least 50 years ago because this is a classic literature challenge.

Of course one can always break this super duper lose rule, but why?

Date Posted: 11/4/2011 4:19 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Sorry Tome, I'm going to have to use 30 years as my cut off.  I think that's classic enough and a bunch of the ones I really want to include are not quite 50 years old, but I'd still argue are classics (Confederacy of Dunces (1980), A Clockwork Orange (1962), Cat's Cradle (1963), World According to Garp (1978)).

Date Posted: 11/5/2011 6:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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About that first category------a book that changed the world.................er, uh ............the WHOLE world?    not even the "sacred scriptures" of various peoples and places did that, exactly . . . .

But I did get to thinking about books that made BIG differences, and one of the prime examples, I think, would be Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  There's a story about how when Mrs. Stowe went to the White House, President Lincoln said to her "So you are the little lady who wrote the book that led to the big war."    Now, if there is truth in that remark, I submit that THAT is changing the course of History!

Also, some of our American muckrakers did a pretty good job of changing parts of the national life significantly.  Think of The Jungle. by Upton Sinclair, and the way the meat slaughterhouse working conditions were "BEFORE" and "AFTER" the exposé.   

I read that Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther touched off a craze of suicides in Europe.  Seems some young people thought it would be just 'so romantic' to die for "LOVE", as the 'hero' did!

When I spoke with Friend Husband about this, he (being a physicist) offered Galileo's treatises (such as Discourses Concerning Two New Sciences), and Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica (that famous work on mathematical principles of natural philosophy).   About that second title, I have always wondered if Isaac was not one of the greatest intellectual snobs of human history, because he deliberately wrote that piece in Latin so that the "riff-raff" could not read it.

After our little converstion, I recollected the difference that publication of On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection made on the readers of 1859.  The book sold out its first day out, I heard, and it sure was translated into other tongues pretty promptly, but I suspect the big stink it made was pretty much confined to Europe and North America.   I dunno........the theory of evolution seems to bother a whole lot of the world, to this day.



Last Edited on: 11/6/11 10:12 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/5/2011 7:08 PM ET
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books that made BIG differences

I won't argue with this at all. yes

 

Books that changed the world is a bit grandiose, isn't it?

Date Posted: 11/5/2011 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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and sevenspiders,

 

No worries. I still like you!heart



Last Edited on: 11/5/11 7:10 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/6/2011 6:23 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I put down "book that changed the world" because someone suggested it. NO ONE objected until very recently. You should have complained earlier.

                                                                                                                           Rose

Date Posted: 11/6/2011 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Dear Obsessed R.:   I would have 'complained' earlier, but I was computerless for most of the month, waiting for a new hook-up here at my winter place.   So I was "cyber-incomunicado" .   And it was not truly a complaint, I guess it was just the old newspaperwoman in me demurring at what sounded like a kind of hyperbole,,,,,sorry about that.  



Last Edited on: 11/6/11 10:13 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/6/2011 11:57 AM ET
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No worries Rose, nobody's complaining.  Aren't we all striving for constant betterment?  Isn't that why we're here pushing ourselves to read the great books of the world?

And thanks Tome.  I figured if a book is older than me and still talked about, it must be worth a look.

Subject: seven spiders...30 years
Date Posted: 11/6/2011 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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You might also like to check out the 2012 contemporary lit. challenge:

http://www.paperbackswap.com/2012-Contemporary-Lit-Challenge-Categories/topic/249409/

Subject: dystopias & sci fi/fantasy
Date Posted: 11/6/2011 5:53 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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Am I wrong, or is there an overlap with categories 7 & 10?

Date Posted: 11/6/2011 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I just looked up "dystopia," since it's not a word familiar to me, so that I can answer Kristin's concern about #7 and #10 maybe overlapping.

A "dystopia" is a society charged by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding. I don't really think most classic fantasies fall into that category. So I think there's a clear-cut difference.

And Bonnie, I do sympathize with your not having a computer for a month, but I also like that you suggested Uncle Tom's Cabin as an example of a "world"-changing book. So let's all look at it that way--a book that made a major impact on society.

                                                                                                                 Rose

Date Posted: 11/6/2011 7:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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No overlapping. Not all sci-fi has the dystopia seting, but those are pretty much the only kind of sci fi I am interested in.

 

Date Posted: 11/6/2011 9:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
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I believe that any dystopian setting would have to be science fiction (though not fantasy) -- that was the overlap I meant to point out. Sorry I wasn't more clear. I was considering, really, variety in the categories. Anyone wanting to participate in the full challenge who loathes science fiction/fantasy would inevitably have to read something from that genre. I'm not one of those people - I too like dystoptian novels - but feedback had been requested...

Date Posted: 11/7/2011 12:36 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Again, anyone wishing to skip a category can replace it with a book from Modern Library's 100 Top Novels, or with a classic author of their choice.

This thread is the working list--we've actually moved on and are posting our choices on a newer thread.

                                                                                                                                     Rose