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Topic: FOL category???

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Subject: FOL category???
Date Posted: 7/18/2012 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
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Many folks are trying to say very, very popular books used in the classroom and/ or for book club discussions should be considered "classics" despite not being that old... ...opinions??? Or once we get room in our renovated used book shop, should we add a shelf for popular bookclub novels? (exs: Reading Lolita in Tehran; The Kiterunner)
Date Posted: 7/24/2012 2:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Here on the Classic Lit board we take lots of liberties. We can pick the most obscure novel written decades ago and call it a classic because it fits a classic lit challenge catagory.

So what's wrong with setting up some shelves for "modern classics"?  Go for it.

Date Posted: 7/24/2012 2:47 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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Or simply call the shelf "BEST SELLERS", in a candid obeisance to good old American materialism, and 'taste in reading' ?

Date Posted: 8/1/2012 2:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/9/2008
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I got myself confused recently trying to define 'classics' to a friend. I really felt that classics have been around awhile and stood the test of time. But then...some of those are only a little older than I am, these days. I refuse to go in that direction for some reason, lol. So yeah, a 'modern classic' might work for me. I can be a modern classic, even tho, honestly, I am not.

I read too much into my books, I know!

Date Posted: 8/2/2012 6:26 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
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I think Bonnie's suggestion makes the most sense.

                                                   Rose

Date Posted: 8/2/2012 6:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
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I'd go with Bonnie's suggestion too.

Date Posted: 8/4/2012 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
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In my mind some modern books such as the Harry Potter series are becoming classic reads.  I'd like to know what others might fit this category in your opinion. 



Last Edited on: 8/8/12 7:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/4/2012 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Kite Runner

The Help

Snow Falling on Cedars

Atonement

Never Let Me Go

Date Posted: 8/17/2012 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/28/2009
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yep, Tome, all those plus Lovely Bones,  The Hours, Running with Scissors,  Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Color Purple, and many of Oprah's book club choices.

 regarding a "Best sellers" category :    Most of our thousands of paperbacks on our FOL shelves are best sellers so that wouldn't narrow anything down for us--- trying to help folks who come in looking for specific titles cause they heard a book club was reading it or a recommendation was made on a talk show.  We only have one shelf for adult classics cause as soon as we fill it, they get purchased---- often from one day to the next, only a third of the previous day's titles are left !!

Date Posted: 8/17/2012 7:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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The New York Times publishes, as part of its "year-end" edition, a list of what the NYT journalists consider "notable books".  The number of "Notable" books varies in composition---I remember one year when there were only four novels adjudged "notable."   In other words, the Times doesn't pick "the top ten fiction works" or "the best non-fiction works published that year", etc.  

The only trouble with using the word "notable" (or "noteworthy") is the way we Americans regularly cheapen our adjectives.  Something that is perhaps a bit better than "mediocre" is "fantastic", "fabulous", "extraordinary", "great", "splendid", "superb", "majestic", or (the teenagers' favorite) "awesome".  This cheapening of adjectives leaves me wondering what does one do if a legitimate  linguistic need for a superlative  arises?

I remember once hearing a young woman at the local university say, by way of expressing her favorable opinion of something, that it was "decent".  

It just seems to me what is at work here is what could be called the literary equivalent of "Cheap money drives out good (money)"---something similar to the time when runaway inflation in Argentina went sky-high, leading that country to abolish that  currency and set up an entirely new one.

(But you don't have to mind what this old woman thinks---I  suppose I'm something of a "purist" when it comes to our American English.)



Last Edited on: 8/18/12 8:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 6