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Topic: Help my bookclub!!!!

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Subject: Help my bookclub!!!!
Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:05 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
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All of the ladies in my book club HATE classics.  My heart is truly broken.   We are reading a classic novel for January and I wanted some suggestions for a good read for them.  I really need to broaden their horizons.....So far, I've considered Grapes of Wrath; The Sun also RisesWuthering Heights..  What are your suggestions? 

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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It might help if we knew some books that they do like. 

I would go with Jane Eyre over Wuthering Heights, I think.  How about Of Human Bondage?  Or maybe A Room With A View?  Or The Great Gatsby?

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:27 PM ET
Member Since: 8/20/2006
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A book that we read on the forum this year that everyone liked was The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy. It is "lighter" than many classics and may have a more universal appeal.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
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Pick a Classic Novella to ease into "stodgy" old classics.

I enjoyed Ethan Frome, The Pearl,  and A Room With a View.

All three are short and have lovely dramatic irony.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 8:12 PM ET
Member Since: 9/11/2008
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Is "Pride and Prejudice" considered to be a classic? I have tried to read it before, but have never completed it. I am thinking I might try it again. Maybe you could suggest your group read it and then watch one of the recent movies about it together. I just love the movies. I have also heard that Tess of d'urbansville (not sure if I spelled this right) is a classic, but sort of depressing.

Date Posted: 11/16/2009 9:57 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
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Room With a View was a good one, so was The Scarlet Pimpernel.  For another fantastic, dramatic classic try The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.  If they're opposed to "classics" I'd stay away from Hardy, Dickens, or anything too long, at least for the first time.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 4:24 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
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I heartily concur with the suggestion of Forster's A Room With a View for a book club of all women who "hate classics".  It was, as some of you will recall, Forster's "nicest novel."

But I'd offer as an alternative suggestion to Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome another novel by her, The House of Mirth.  That's because the principal character is a woman whose desire to "rise" in 'polite society' although she's a semi-pauper gets her in big trouble.  And after reading it, the club could perhaps view the film treatment with Gillian Anderson as Lily Bart.

I don't think I've ever heard of a girt or woman who didn't esteem A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

If the book club ladies have not already read the "tried and true" stories such as Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, Girl of the Limberlost, and Gone With the Wind, they've missed some books that (IMO) are American (or Canadian) "classics".   Maybe including The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 5:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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House of Mirth is one of my favorites!  W.Somerset Maugham's books have a pretty modern "feel" to them.  I mentioned Of Human Bondage above, but The Painted Veil andThe Razor's Edge are wonderful, too.

Or what about Evelyn Waugh?  Vile Bodies, Handful of Dust, Decline and Fall and Brideshead Revisited are all great. 

Date Posted: 11/17/2009 5:33 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
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Thanks for all of the great suggestions.  It looks like it will be A Room with a View.

I had also thought about The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien.  It is modern, but I definitely include it in what I consider a "classic."


Many thanks again for your replies!!!

Date Posted: 12/3/2009 9:21 AM ET
Member Since: 12/2/2009
Posts: 1
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I think the idea to read a Jane Austen book and then watch the movie is a fabulous idea.  Also, how about something that you might think of as more of a children's classic like Peter Pan or Little Princess.  Daddy Long Legs is a really cute book.  Also excellent are Laddie by Gene Stratton Porter or Little Britches by Ralph Moody.  The Old Man and The Sea and The Pearl are easy reads. 

Oh, I have a good one for you.  If they were to only read one classic in their life it should be Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.  That might possibly be the best book I have ever read. 

Good luck! 

Date Posted: 12/7/2009 7:03 PM ET
Member Since: 12/1/2009
Posts: 5
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How about "Animal Farm" by George Orwell?

It's short, it has broad appeal, it has a deep message but is an easy read and it's very entertaining.