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Topic: April Classics Conversation

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Subject: April Classics Conversation
Date Posted: 4/5/2010 3:26 PM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
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I wanted to see how everyone was doing on their Classics Challenge. I have been a sore reader of late but I am getting back into the swing of things. My list is now in a state of transition. An update should occur shortly. Is anyone interested in having a Book of the Month for this month?

Last Edited on: 4/5/10 3:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 4/5/2010 5:13 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Jiminy Cricket, Michael! You're involved in a heckuva lot of challenges.

I am plugging along reading one or two classics per month. I am sorta off on a WWII D-Day tangent and a natural history kick, but I hope to get back to Scarlett Pimpernel soon.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
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Sorry, no interest here.  I'm busy reading the ones for the challenge (some of which would not be what I would normally choose), plus the non-classic books that I want to read.  I'll be glad to join some of the Classics of the Month next year or the next or the next....when I DO NOT JOIN A CLASSICS CHALLENGE!!!!  LOL!  I know, I know, it's me imposing these things on me--but I am.

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 7:01 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Thanks, but no thanks, to a Book of the Month on top of the Classics Challenge.  The Challenge is plenty and enough for this old gal, plus I just don't like time constraints on me in my 'retirement'.   All those deadlines I labored under when I was a working newspaperwoman (and college returnee in my late fifties) were too frequent and too numerous for me to want to impose one again on my "pleasure" reading, if you can understand me.  Sure I know we cannot fight the clock and the calendar, but now that I have gotten so blamed old, I want to keep on reading "the good stuff" at my own pace, and not to race through a book

At the moment, I'm finishing up Middlemarch, and I find that in the denouement, the story is moving more briskly.  Eliot introduced the characters, showed us their thoughts and feelings, caused their lives to interact in lots of different ways, and introduced some conniving and finagling and mystery into the plot, and then, as the cliche goes, "the plot thickened".  I find myself anxious to find the time daily to sit down with this great novel, as the author knits things together and reveals the earlier secrets in the lives and actions of the Middlemarchers (in the last 100 or so pages.).

Date Posted: 4/5/2010 8:36 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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I am about halfway through The Good Soldier Schweik. If you have enough of a graveyard sense of humor, this one will knock your socks off. The theme, the  subject, the total message, is the absolute absurdity of war. Any war. All wars. A lot of the stuff Hasek speaks of is based on facts. That  reinforces his point. e.g. He tells of draftees preparing to be sent to the Eastern Front, and how "medics" would, for about the equivalent of $20 inject them around the wrists or ankles with something, mostly petroleum. It would cause a disabling infection, always bad enough to prevent them being shipped out. Fairly often, it resulted in amputation. Even in the worst cases, it was universally preferable to being sent to the Eastern Front (to fight Russians), Very few ever returned. I will be surprised if I read another book this year as good, even though I have two Nobel Prize winners on my list.

Date Posted: 4/6/2010 12:40 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
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I'm not interested in a Book of the Month this month -- too busy! However, I would be down next month if the book was A Farewell to Arms. . . I know a lot of people have it on their challenge lists (though I don't know if a lot of those people have already read it). . . ;)

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 1:52 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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medics" would, for about the equivalent of $20 inject them around the wrists or ankles with something, mostly petroleum. It would cause a disabling infection, always bad enough to prevent them being shipped out. Fairly often, it resulted in amputation. Even in the worst cases, it was universally preferable to being sent to the Eastern Front (to fight Russians),

 

Holy crap! I am morbidly fascinated.

Date Posted: 4/8/2010 4:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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There's a copy of A Farewell to Arms in my "overflow" collection in the garage, and I can't remember whether I ever read it, in years gone by.   (This is not surprising, as I'm now in my eighties, and I've had a library card since I was three.)  Anyhow, I will join Phoenix Falls in suggesting this book for a possible April (or later) Book of the Month. 

I was considering reading Babi Yar , by A. Anatoli, as my "war-time" book, but  I've changed my mind.   With the return of mild weather, it doesn't seem appropriate to be reading a novel about W W II atrocities while reclining in my hammock in Minnesota.  Sure, Hemingway's book is not cheery, but the scale of the tragedy is individual, not the slaughter of 100,000 men, women, and children  near Kiev, Russia..  

Later in the spring,  I'll be looking for lighter reading, possibly even some "fluff".   (Heh heh heh.) 



Last Edited on: 4/8/10 4:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/8/2010 8:30 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I also have A Farewell to Arms on my reading challenge list. In fact, I think I have it scheduled for May. What a coincidence. I am in!

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 4:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
Posts: 1,930
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Yes, I would be interested in A Farewell to Arms also.

May would give everyone time to get a copy of the book and allot time for reading it. Who would like to lead discussion? I think if we put up a thread a few more people would join in.

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 7:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Who would like to lead discussion?

I think if we put up a thread a few more people would join in.

As far as leading the discussion, whomever can post a thread and start the discussion.

If you mean posting an annoucement that we're reading AFTA in May, then yeah, let's do it.

Date Posted: 4/9/2010 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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I suppose I could moderate the discussion. I know those places, and I know what Hemingway was trying to say. Still married to my nurse, though. :P

Date Posted: 4/11/2010 10:37 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,450
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For those reading A Farewell To Arms:

Google Caporetto and follow where it leads (I have not done this).  It will give you some idea of the situation.