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Topic: Classics Challenge for 2011: the official list

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Subject: Classics Challenge for 2011: the official list
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 8:35 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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This is the same as the third draft, except that I divided one category so that there are now 13 options--choose 12. (I'm aware that some have posted their choices already--WONDERFUL!)

1. sea saga

2. a classic author's first novel

3. novel by a non-European author

4. family conflicts

5. Belle Epoque novel

6. novel by an author you've always felt you should read

7. classic play

8. classic written by a woman

9. classic adventure

10. children's clasic

11. frontier/pioneer/western

12. short story collection

13. poetry collection

Subject: How I arrived at my list
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 9:54 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Compiling the reading list is an enjoyable part of this challenge. I get all excited about the possibilities and want to start reading them all. 

So last night I spent about 2 hours researching and choosing. I am still thinking about Swiss Family Robinson (1812) for the adventure. 

I get my best ideas when I am in that twilight state in the morning. I call it the 5 am epiphany. 

This morning my brain said I've always felt I should read The Invisible Man by Ellison and that I should add the book I received in the mail yesterday which is a collection of short stories by Raymond Carver called Will You Be Please Be Quiet published in 1976. Alas, Carver isn't old enough.  I just don't want to read Chekov. 

I had a devil of a time finding an appropriate belle epoque novel. I didn't even have a clear idea what it is. Come to find out it's a novel set in France during "the beautiful era" late 19 and early 20th century ending before WWI. The author is usually a French woman. So last night I scoured Amazon and found that a lot of the BE books are hard to find or incredibly expensive. After all, these books are typically used for undergraduate English courses, not your lay readers much unless you happen to hang out with smarty PBS members in the classic lit forum.wink

So I got lazy and settled on some French woman named Colette as hers was the name that popped up most on my research and her books are mostly available for a couple dollars on Amazon.

I didn't know Madame Bovary qualified as a B.E. novel I thought it was published in the 50s, but NO that's the year that particular book was printed, not the year the original book was published which is in the late 1800s. Silly me.

I might put Madame in the B.E. slot as it's free on Kindle and Colette's work is not.

The poetry was another challenge.  I kept thinking of Leaves of Grass and the thought of having to read that made me sad. Then I found Robert Service and I know a couple of his witty works.

You'll notice that I marked which books are free on the Kindle (or any other e-reader I imagine). This is a big deal for me as I don't want to drop a lot of money on books like I did last year. Besides I want to put this electronic device to work and get my money out of it as well. 

 



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 10:10 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 11:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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John, I enjoy reading your posts.

Do you go to the library? I love everything about libraries.

                                                            Rose

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 11:40 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Huh?

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 12:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,127
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Okay, now I'm confused!  Which thread should have our official lists?  (Tome--I don't want to be first on the list--last year I was first on the Historical Fiction Challenge, and then I felt like I'd better finish that challenge or else,  since everyone will see if I don't!)

I too love the hunt for which books to read--as much as the actual reading, I must admit!  I'm going to drag out making my choices in all my challenges this year to prolong the enjoyment.

Diane

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 1:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Okay, I messed up (although I do enjoy John's posts). TOME TRADER, do you like libraries? The reason I ask is because you're so hopeful of finding books on your Kindle--but libraries are inexpensive ways of getting books, too.

                                                                                                                              Rose

Diane, I think the official lists should go on the other thread that was started earlier. I just re-stated the list for the sake of clarification.

(Also, Diane--have you thought about doing a challenge for contemporary books?)

                                                                                                                              Rose



Last Edited on: 11/10/10 1:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 11/10/2010 1:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I love libraries. Good ones, that is. My library never had what I went there for, but I always found other stuff I wasn't looking for, if that makes sense.

The trouble is my local library--the one that's barely 5 years old is shut down and maybe forever.

There's trouble between Los Angeles County and my city. Apparently my city decided to secede from the county and go private or hire some company to run our library.

Anyway, long and confusing story short, 

My library is closed indefinitely. sad

Of course I can drive across town to the other libraries, but why when I have a Kindle?

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 5:18 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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"family conflicts" ? ? ? ?     like Hamlet?   or The Forsyte Saga?   or  East of  Eden?   or what?    examples, please . . . . .

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
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Thinking about the list...  Does anyone have an opinion about whether or not Indian Summer by William Dean Howells would satisfy the Belle Epoque category?  It was published in 1886.  I'm trying to do more reading from my TBR pile. Thanks!

Date Posted: 11/10/2010 5:54 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I think the novels you mention, Bonnie, all qualify as "family conflicts." So do books like these: Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary, Anna Karenina, Crime  and Punishment, The Good Earth, The Golden Bowl, An American Tragedy, Sister Carrie, Marjorie Morningstar, Green Dolphin Street, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Mansfield Park, to name a few.

Anyone else have some suggestions?

                                                                                                              Rose

Date Posted: 11/20/2010 11:43 PM ET
Member Since: 3/10/2007
Posts: 3,272
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Well, here I go again.  Should I or shouldn't I?  I had every intention of doing this and even have my list done and books bought but I never did it.  :(  I may just sit out this year.

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
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Come Heather, especialy if you've gone to the trouble to get all your books!  Besides you will miss us!!!

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 1:14 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
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I hear you, Heather! Here I sit telling all the world I will do only do a lite challenge next year, and yet I'm tempted! I keep thinking of all the books I could read for the categories I told myself I wasn't going to do, lol!  Then I think of all the mental whining I did this year while reading some of the selections I chose for the 2010 challenge.  That said, I did read a lot of books I have been curious about for a long time and I don't think I would have read them otherwise.  What to do...  I find it very difficult to order my reading world! 

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 2:03 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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Even if you only read a couple books from your list, that would be better than nothing, wouldn't it?

                                                                                                    Rose

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 1/24/2009
Posts: 9,496
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I find it very difficult to order my reading world!

 

Me too!  If I plan my books, then I don't read anything.  I will have to do random selection or I won't read at all this year.  :D

Date Posted: 11/21/2010 11:00 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Obsessed, I don't use libraries much any more. I started when I was about 12 or so. We lived in the country, but Mother had a Girl Scout troop that met weekly. So I hung out at the library for an hour and a half or so. I don't remember them having Bobbsey Twins or Hardy Boys, but I remember they gave me the run of the place and there were good nature books. I do remember checking out this Faulkner book for the horse story. The Fable. 

Then when I went to graduate school at Texas, they talked of their libraries, not their library. TheTower held the main library, and graduate students had access to the stacks and you could get a carrell there to work in. Mine was on the 14th floor. I used to joke half-seriously that I should be getting my mail there.

Date Posted: 11/22/2010 1:55 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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When I first went to a library, I was mesmerized. I was so thrilled to find that there was a Mary Poppins series, a Winnie-the-Pooh series, and---most amazing of all, a Little House series. Well, I was set for years!

I went to a community college, which didn't have much of a library. When I transferred to a four-year school (which was in a development phase--it has bloomed into a fabulous university since then), their library was pathetic.

When I read of people studying in full-fledged libraries--with carrels, I was so envious.

But, over the years, I kept reading and reading. It is totally my favorite thing!

                                                                                                                             Rose

Date Posted: 11/22/2010 1:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,879
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Last Edited on: 6/7/11 8:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 11/22/2010 6:18 PM ET
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When I first went to "the library", I was taken there by my grandpa Patrick, walking several city blocks on my little three-year-old peach-stump legs.  Grandpa used his Irish 'charm' on the children's librarian, and told her I could print my name and I should have my very own children's charge card.  It worked!  And I received that little blue card that allowed me to check out TWO books to take home , , , , ,of course, Grandpa had to read them to me at first.  He had had to leave school himself at age ten ( when his father died in 1879) and so, thinking back, I'm not sure how good his skill at reading the printed word was.  But he would faithfully spend time daily with The Kansas City Times (a.m. paper) and The Kansas City Star (p.m. paper).  When I got bigger, I would read "the funnies" and the little nature stories by Thornton W. Burgess (about Jenny Wren and Robin Redbreast, etc.) that were in the newspaper.  "The funnies" included Gasoline Alley, Little Annie Rooney, Mutt and Jeff, The Little King, Terry and the Pirates, Maggie and Jiggs, Red Ryder, Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers, Tillie the Toiler, Nancy and Sluggo, Fritzi Ritz, the Katzenjammer Kids, and others whose names escape me for the moment.  Ahhhhhh, what a world learning to decipher those little "chicken tracks" on the pages opened up . . .



Last Edited on: 12/30/11 4:09 PM ET - Total times edited: 6
Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 12/15/2010 2:16 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
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Oh, my my first visti to a library was to the main branch of  The Detroit Public Library.  We walked to the bus stop that took us to the street car line.  Then took the street car down the then main street (Woodward Avenue) south to the library.  It's a city block long and since I first visited it's had two wings added.  When I first walked in the door I was stunned.  As you entered you looked up and up and up and floors and floors of books.  I think it was four or five at the time.  I know since then they've opened one of the basement for genealogy research.  They have two or three basements!

Then they built a branch that was about six blocks from our house!  Heaven!  I was there at least once a week sometime twice.

We had a department store in downtown Detroit that actually had the equivilant of a small library (for sale of course) on the mezzanine.  The store was 12 stories high and one part was a city block and they had a bridge to cross the the annex that was only a half block and six stories.  That store had everything in it except groceries and mear.  Candy, baked goods, sweing thread to major appliances and everything in between.  You went shopping there dressed in Sunday clothes.  My grandmother actually went there and bought a spool of thread and had it delivered!  At the time - no charge and the delivery man was dressed in a classy uniform when he got to the door just a bit after she arrived home.

 

Date Posted: 12/20/2010 9:43 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2010
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Question about the non-European author category--I selected Truman Capote because I had made it a goal to read one of his books in 2011 before I found this challenge.  But after reading some of the posts/discussions that everyone had before the lists was finalized, it appears that this category was meant to get us to read a book by an author not from Europe or the US.  So my question is--would it be better to move Truman Capote to another challenge or would it be best to keep him in this category on this challenge?  Thoughts are welcome...Thanks!

Date Posted: 12/30/2011 4:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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