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Topic: How's Your Classic Lit Challenge Coming Along?

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Subject: How's Your Classic Lit Challenge Coming Along?
Date Posted: 2/22/2010 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I am doing pretty good keeping up with my schedule.

I've swapped some books on my list though, and I'll probably do that throughout the year. I keep discovering books that I want to read as well as realizing that some books no longer interest me.



Last Edited on: 2/22/10 2:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/22/2010 3:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2009
Posts: 298
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So far so good for me, Tome.  But I've made it easy by scheduling myself to read one classic a month.  I haven't deviated from my choices yet.  So far I'm ahead of schedule by one book, but I have some books from other challenges that I'm reading, too.   Plus throw in some extras on my TBR list just because - and my hands are full!

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 3:38 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I intended one a month (at least), but I only finished my first (Dracula--LOVED IT!) a week or two ago, so I'm a bit behind.  Tey's Daughter of Time is on deck, and I will probably read it in the next couple days and catch up.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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I'm not even trying to do more than one a month.  This way I can read some of the other books that I want to read.  So, I'm on schedule, having read the first two on my list.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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I am using someone's suggestion about changing the color of the books I have read to RED, in my list.  I just go back to my list and "Edit" the post as I have some progress to report.   I'm on my third Challenge book now.  It's a 900 pager, so it's going to be a while, gang.........

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 8:17 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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I'm doing really well. I'm down to two left. I'm reading Waverly now for the War category, and then all I have left is the Epic.

Date Posted: 2/22/2010 9:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I'm down to two left.

Whaaa? But it's only February, Barbara. You need more books.

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 2:17 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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I'm doing all right. . . planned one a month, since I'm also doing three other challenges. What worries me is that I've only been just making my goals with all the challenges so far, so I don't know when I'm going to schedule the 900-page classics tomes, which will take significantly longer than the 200-page classics I picked for January and February!

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 11:17 AM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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well let's just say unemployment gives me plenty of reading time and leave it at that.

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 2:56 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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PhoenixFalls:  Your post made me remember the young son of Judge Portius Wheeler, in Conrad Richter's trilogy about the earliest days of (what is now) Ohio, i.e., the Northwest Territory, The Awakening Land.  The young man, Resolve,  spends his days doing agricultural labor uncomplainingly, for the most part.  But when his father gets a new book in his modest frontier library, the son can't stand being obliged to spend his days in the fields and with the animals, etc.   So he contrives to 'accidentally' break a leg, and in that way gets to stay in the cabin and read the new book!   So, maybe you could break a leg, or contract some not too severe a disease?  Or something?   A suggestion from a friend . . . . .  

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Terrible, I'm dragging my feet, it's almost March and I never started my Feb classic.  Guess I'll have to double up later on.

Date Posted: 2/23/2010 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,493
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Trying to schedule one a month. Started Balthazar but find it slow going. Interesting investigation into "what is love"  Perhaps a plot will eventually emerge. I got the Le Fanu book you all recommended for scary/horror. Never have been scared of haints, but it is interesting.

Date Posted: 2/24/2010 9:59 PM ET
Member Since: 5/4/2008
Posts: 364
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I was going to try to read one classic per month but that hasn't worked so well.  I've only read one and it's almost March.  I should catch up next month though.  :)

Date Posted: 2/25/2010 8:05 PM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2007
Posts: 559
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I am on schedule.  January went pretty good, I read my classic Farewell to Arms and a Oprah book club book for the month of January, which was good for me.  February was a slow month; was reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles, which was a very slow book, thought I was going to have to give up on it but I stuck it out and finished it.  Now I;m reading another Oprah book club book (The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn MItchard).

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 12:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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So far, so good.  I've read my first two in order, Tale of Two Cities and The Old Man and the Sea and I enjoyed both of them. I did fuss a bit over the Epic selection (intimidated by all those pages epics seem to insist on) and decided to try out The Count of Monte Cristo.  400 pages later, I returned the book to the library and bought my own copy!  Yeah, its a fun read - only 800 or so pages left to go!  Still, what a great escape from this long winter, I never would have attempted this without the incentive of the challenge.

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 5:16 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,955
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Am into The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins.  Finished Tristan and Iseult, an age-old love story.   I put it under pre19th century as the story was retold by Joseph Bedier who dates from 1864 to 1938, so I am assuming that it took place much earlier.  His sources were many and varied including a 13th century poem.   This romance, as told by Bedier, is easy to read and flows well in most spots.  The love between Tristan and Iseult the Fair continues throughout their lives, even though Iseult is married to King Mark.  It was Iseult of the White Hands who seems to be responsible for the death of both.  According to legend, Iseult the Fair dies of her grief and love when she finds Tristan dead and the two are buried side by side by King Mark, who loved them both.  It's a very good quick read.  Also finished The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas, a historical fiction classic.  The story begins with the public murders of  two brothers, Cornelius and John De Witte, who are believed to be traitors opposed to the rule of Prince William of Orange.  Cornelius Van Baerle is the godson of one of the brothers, Cornelius De Witte, who has been given a sealed packet by his godfather to hold in safety for him.   Van Baerle leads a quiet life, focusing primarily on the growth and development of beautiful tulips.  Van Baerle is arrested and convicted by association.  He has been working to develop a pure black tulip.  He is sentenced to live imprisonment.  The story unfolds with the jailer's daughter falling in love with Van Baerle and he with her.  They grow a black tulip to submit it to the Horticultural Society and gain the prestigious prize.  This is a most enjoyable tale.  Completed Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, a new to me author.  This is a story of  man loses two wives, retires and moves into a cabin in the woods.  He writes about his love for the woods and why he likes being alone.  As the tale unfolds he recalls many incidents of his earlier life with his parents, his friends and his wives.  One might think that the story would not hold together but it does in a gentle, flowing way.  A very good read.  Just finished T.S. Eliot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats that I have wanted to read for a long time.  Fortunately, my 11-year-old granddaughter must have been a cat in a previous life as her passion is cats of any type - wild and tame so we attended the musical production, Cats, which reminded me about Old Possum.  Fun, fun read!



Last Edited on: 4/19/10 11:03 AM ET - Total times edited: 14
Date Posted: 2/27/2010 5:23 PM ET
Member Since: 9/24/2005
Posts: 30
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Have finished 4 books, working on the fifth now.  So far I have read Nicholas Nickleby,  Framley Parsonage,   Journey to the Center of the Earth,  and

Middlemarch.  I loved Nicholas Nickleby, enjoyed Framley Parsonage, thought Journey was sort of silly, and didn't care for Middlemarch too much (and it was my epic - so very long).  Now I am reading A Country Doctor by Sarah Orne Jewett.  It is quite accessible and I am enjoying it quite a bit.

Vienna - ,
Date Posted: 2/27/2010 5:50 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 35
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Hi All,  I am ahead of the game so far with this challenge  with underlying thoughts of "I want more!".

 So, I've already read "The Leopard", "Cannery Row", "Brideshead Revisited", "All Quiet On The Western Front".    D

Date Posted: 2/27/2010 7:48 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Now I am reading A Country Doctor by Sarah Orne Jewett.

I want to read Jewett's work. I love Willa Cather's stuff. Did you know they were friends. I just finished O Pioneers.

Subject: Count of Monte Cristo
Date Posted: 2/27/2010 9:21 PM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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Michele - The Count of Monte Cristo is one of my favorite books of all time! My dad put a beat-up abridged version in my hands sometime in middle school and I devoured it. Read it almost every year through high school, then when I got a job at a bookstore I noticed how much thicker their copies of the book were. . . went home, checked the publication info and discovered it was abridged! I got to discover it all over again. . . so much fun! Somehow I never got around to reading Dumas' more famous works (The Three Musketeers and Twenty Years Later) so I'm planning at least The Three Musketeers for this challenge. . .

Date Posted: 2/28/2010 8:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/16/2006
Posts: 730
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I am just trying for the 'lite' version.  However, I'm reading a classic then something else then a classic.  Just finished Martian Chronicles for my Sci Fi.  It was good! 

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 7:24 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 54
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I was tearing it up, until I plowed headfirst into The Tale of Genji.  I'm enjoying it, but man, it is long.

Date Posted: 3/5/2010 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 1,588
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I've read three now:

1) Dracula for the Horror category -- LOVED IT!!!  And I generally dislike horror.  I don't watch horror movies or read horror books.  But I loved Dracula.  5/5

2)Josephine Tey's Daughter of Time for the Classic Mystery book.   Really, hearing a description of that plot and book, it should not work.  It really shouldn't.  Particularly for one who doesn't care for mysteries, either.  But I've heard lots of good things about it, so I tried it and loved it.  Sucked me right in within 10 pages.  5/5

3) Classic Sci Fi: The Time Machine by HG Wells.  It was good.  Interesting theories and setting (setting aside entirely scientific feasibility, which will always outdate such books) and a well-told story.  Short, though.  It easily held my interest, but it wasn't gripping.  4/5  I'll probably read War of the Worlds, before much longer, and that's longer and hopefully more meat to the story.  We'll see.

Date Posted: 3/8/2010 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/31/2006
Posts: 14,634
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I decided to try this..I'm woefully lacking in classical literature. I read mostly light romance, some vampire stuff, christian fiction here and there(again mostly romance!) in short I can't  handle too much drama - I think Rebecca is the most 'stressful' book I've read in the past few years LOL and yes I did enjoy it.

some of the categories I have no idea or have a few that aren't appealing to me..or I'm not sure if the book is considered a classic.

Is Gone With the Wind a classic? how 'bout Agatha Christie? Moonstone and is it a mystery?

is there a website that lists some classics and what category they're in? seems like someone mentioned them once.. Ineed some light stuff! and what's an epic? is that like Paradise Lost or is there something s horter I can read?!

Date Posted: 3/8/2010 6:56 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I'm a month behind.  I didn't read a classic in January, but hopefully I'll catch up in the next month or so.  I should start my book for March soon.

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