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Topic: It's mid-July. What classic (challenge or not) are you reading?

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Subject: It's mid-July. What classic (challenge or not) are you reading?
Date Posted: 7/12/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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Tome, I wanted to post and copied your June subject.

I'm reading my Dickens choice now.  Evidently I just chose the first Dickens book that came to mind of the ones I haven't read.  I'm about one-third of the way through Bleak House and, for me, it is mostly bleak.  I googled it to see if anyone else had the same opinion as me.  Oops!  I saw it called one of Dickens's best works.  Okay, there are a few interesting parts but, for me, they are few and far between.  So, I'm giving it my "divide the days of the month into the number of chapters"  routine. 

Again, before anyone vehemently disagrees with me, I do find some of it interesting--just definitely not a page turner.

Who else has read Bleak House?

 

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 12:07 PM ET
Member Since: 7/22/2009
Posts: 2,617
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I loved Bleak House -- but to each, his or her own. I just finished reading David Copperfield (for the second time) which seems to be a favorite of many (including Dickens himself!) -- I liked it well enough but it is certainly not one of my favorites.

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 1:37 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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Vivian, I loved Bleak House, but it did take me two months to read it!  I'll confess to having cheated on it with quicker moving books.  I think the book picks up its pace a little before the middle.  I love the character John Jarndyce most of all, but there are many, many other interesting characters, as well.  Would I read it again? Probably not, I suffer during really long books!  Right now for the classic challenge I'm reading Lost Horizon by James Hilton and I'm nervous that it is not classic enough, lol!  It is entertaining, however, and not very long. As soon as I finish it, I'm going to start Oliver Twist.  My thirteen year old daughter wants to read it, too, so that will be fun.

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 8:42 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Well, I blushingly report that I am just finishing Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton.  Awright, youse guys, I admit it is awfully belated on my part, now that I'm an octogenarian, but, well.........a lotta living kept me from voracious reading earlier on.  It's been kinda odd, with these temps in the mid to high eighties here, to be reclining in a hammock on the carport, wearing shorts, tee, and sandals, reading about that BRRRRRR cold, frigid, frozen, inhospitable New England winter that Ethan and Mattie suffered in.

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 9:28 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I just finished my Dicken's selection, Hard Times. I think I've already complained elsewhere that I had a hard time finishing it, but I did finish.

There is some terrific sarcasm and wit in the novel, but overall it was dull and anti-climatic and sappy. At the end it was just, Really? That's all? Gimme a break.

Like Vivian says about Bleak House applies to Hard Times too. It's not a page turner. The thought of picking up anything other than my favorite, A Christmas Carol makes me suddenly very tired.



Last Edited on: 7/12/10 9:32 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 7/12/2010 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I liked Ethan Frome. The frigid weather is perfect for that novel.

Date Posted: 7/12/2010 10:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,476
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Not on my list. A classic? Too soon to tell. 1967. The Adventures of Augie March, to me, is the best bildungsroman of them all, and I have, or course, read Tom Jones, David Copperfield, and The Portrait of The Artist As A Young Man. This is the third time I have read it and each time impresses me more.

Subject: want to read the rest of Dickens next year
Date Posted: 7/13/2010 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I read Nicholas Nickleby for the Classics Challenge, and loved it!.(I also re-read A Tale of Two Cities, which I couldn't abide while in high school--could be because I missed huge elements of the plot!) This makes me aware that I need to fill in the gaps, and read the handful of other Dickens books I've not read yet (including Bleak House).

In the meantime, I finished Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone this afternoon. What a great story! (I also loved his Woman in White).

I appreciate being introduced to the Classics Challenge--it has definitely enriched my life.

                                                                                                                                     Rose

Date Posted: 7/14/2010 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
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Recently finished My Antonia by Willa Cather.  Excellent book.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 7/14/2010 3:31 PM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Northanger Abbey as an audio book. Recently finished Pudd'nhead Wilson.

Date Posted: 7/15/2010 2:23 AM ET
Member Since: 4/18/2009
Posts: 1,376
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At the beginning of the month I finished The Three Musketeers, which I rather disliked, much to my distress. (The Count of Monte Cristo has been one of my favorite novels since middle school, so I thought The Three Musketeers would be a sure thing. . .)

Now I'm in the middle of Lolita, which I enjoyed up until the point that H.H. actually possessed his nymphet, and now I'm just impatiently marking time until the thing draws to a close. . . though I must admit to thinking that the casting of Jeremy Irons must have been a thing of beauty for this role. . . I'll have to check out the movie after I'm done!

Date Posted: 7/19/2010 8:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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Michele, I agree with you that Bleak House picked up around the middle.  I did actually end up enjoying it (the second half at least).

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 10:46 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2008
Posts: 7
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_The Portrait of a Lady_ (Henry James)

James, you silly, silly man - 160 pages and still on character analysis. OH! Wait... 161, 162...

Date Posted: 7/20/2010 11:24 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Ahhh, dear old Henry James,

Now le' see if I get this right: No author makes you work so little and rewards you so greatly?  < evil snicker>

Vienna - ,
Date Posted: 7/24/2010 3:36 PM ET
Member Since: 11/13/2009
Posts: 35
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I'm reading "Don Quixote" it's a challenge but so far I'm enjoying it!  It might take me until 2011 to finish!!!!!! 

Date Posted: 7/24/2010 4:14 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2007
Posts: 702
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Have at it, Vienna!  I read this earlier this year for the challenge.  It was enjoyable but repetititve!

Date Posted: 7/25/2010 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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I thought I could not go wrong with Willa Cather, but Death Comes to the Archbishop and even her Pulitzer winner, One of Ours weren't all that great.

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 7:48 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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I just started "Red Badge of Courage" it has been patiently waiting for years on my shelf and now just seemed like the time to do.

 

Tome: Sorry to hear about Willa Cather. I have her on my TBR as well.

Date Posted: 7/26/2010 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Michael, don't give up on Cather completely. She's wonderful and descriptive writing especially when it comes to farms and prairies.

Subject: The Classics
Date Posted: 7/26/2010 10:16 PM ET
Member Since: 6/16/2010
Posts: 1
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So, recently, I have decided to take on a new genre, which is The Classics.  I haven't read many since high school, which has been ten years.  I just finished The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde.  I loved it!  Now, that I'm older, I was able to really get the true intentions of the piece.  It was inspiring to read, and I want to continue on....

Any recommendations?? 

Subject: Just finished Count of Monte Cristo
Date Posted: 7/26/2010 11:20 PM ET
Member Since: 10/7/2008
Posts: 890
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I finally got it finished, listened on audio while painting.  I really did enjoy it overall but could only take it in small doses because it was so packed with people, subplots and quotes from others books etc.  I may start a topic to get others impressions...it was worth the time and glad I did it.  Going to try Scarlet Pimpernel next.

Re: Willa Cather- loved Song of the Lark, O Pioneers (audio version).  Read My Antonia for a book club a number of years ago and enjoyed it. 

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 402
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Brittani:

I have a few recommendations of books that I enjoyed:

  • "I Captured the Castle" by Dodie Smith: Fun read and awesome narrative. Just a great book overall.
  • "And Then Their Were None" by Agatha Christie: Great mystery but the first 50 pages are laborious.
  • "Time Machine" by H.G. Wells: Fiction at its finest.
  • "The Painted Veil" by W. Somerset Maugham: One of my favorite books ever.
  • "1984" by George Orwell: Everyone talks about it and references it but it is still a worthwhile read.

Hope that helps.

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 5/20/2007
Posts: 559
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I just finished Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and it took me longer to read than anticipated.  I think it took me longer to read because of how it was written.  Some of it was dull but the ending was really good. 

Date Posted: 7/27/2010 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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"The Painted Veil" by W. Somerset Maugham: One of my favorite books ever.

 

Yes, another Maugham fan. He's a favorite of mine too. He writes in a style that sounds like it could have been written today. 

Date Posted: 7/28/2010 4:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2008
Posts: 7
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TomeTrader - I also have to read Willa Cather's The Professor's House for the fall. BOOORRRRIIINNGGGG - it's going to the be the last book I read.

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