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Topic: in preparation for Classics Challenge 2014

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Subject: in preparation for Classics Challenge 2014
Date Posted: 10/21/2013 7:47 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I'd like our 2014 Classics Challenge to consist of topics we've used in the last three years. Those who plan on participating could list choices they find most appealing. The deadline could be at midnight, November 10. I would add up the votes to get Top Twelve.

Here are the almost three dozen choices (in alphabetical order). . .

African-American/black; banned book; biography/memoirs; bildungsroman;book on your TBR;  book that changed the world; book you consider long; book you consider short; classic ghost/horror/scary story; classic mystery; classic sci-fi; classic that is also historical fiction; Dickens novel; dystopia; epic; feminist; folklore/fairy tale collection; high school reading list; less famous work by a famous author; letters written by an author; literary award recipient; lost in translation (original book not written in English); made into film; new-to-you author; noir; nom de plume; pre-19th century novel; Russian lit; set during a war; short story collection; transportation; travel; wit lit; work that inspired the writing of others.

Substitutions may be made: works by a particular author (your choice); Modern Library's Top 100 Novels; reader's choice.

Here's what I would love: 1) short story collection

                                          2) book you consider short

                                          3) book you consider long

                                          4) letters written by an author

                                          5) new-to-you author

                                          6) lost in translation

                                          7) a less famous work by a famous author

                                          8) made into film

                                          9) pre-19th century novel

                                        10) classic mystery

                                         11) Russian lit

                                         12) literary award recipient.

What do you think?

                                                                                                                             Rose

                                       

Date Posted: 10/21/2013 10:52 AM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I like it.  I'll be carrying over about half the books I meant to read this year but never got around to-

  • a less famous work by a famous author: Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  • lost in translation- The Inferno by Dante
  • long book- Black Boy by Richard Wright
  • literary award winner (National Book Award)- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  • short book- The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  • made into a movie: The African Queen by C.S. Forrester
  • Russian lit: Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • pre-19th century: Justine by the Marquis de Sade

That leaves classic mystery, short story collection, new-to-you author, and letters by an author (which doesn't really appeal to me so I'll probably pick something else).

Date Posted: 10/21/2013 1:50 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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African-American/black; banned book; biography/memoirs; bildungsroman;book on your TBR;  book that changed the world; book you consider long; book you consider short; classic ghost/horror/scary story; classic mystery; classic sci-fi; classic that is also historical fiction; Dickens novel; dystopia; epic; feminist; folklore/fairy tale collection; high school reading list; less famous work by a famous author; letters written by an author; literary award recipient; lost in translation (original book not written in English); made into film; new-to-you author; noir; nom de plume; pre-19th century novel; Russian lit; set during a war; short story collection; transportation; travel; wit lit; work that inspired the writing of others.

  1. banned book
  2. ghost/horror story
  3. classic sci-fi
  4. literary award winner
  5. short story collection
  6. book I wouldn't want to be caught reading
  7. made into film
  8. not made in America
  9. letters written by an author
  10. classic mystery
  11. new-to-me author
  12. biography


Last Edited on: 10/30/13 10:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 5:57 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Oh! I should have added this category: reader's choice. That makes 13 choices, which won't appeal to everyoe.

What could be a 14th category?

                                                                                    Rose

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 7:36 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,619
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made into a movie is an interesting category. The novels made into movies are usually pretty good but there is always the issue of how much the movie changed the story from the books. Sometimes the changes are radical.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 8:01 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I want to cancel my post about adding on two categories. There is already the option to substitute.

So, 12 categories with the option to substitute.

Charles K., isn't it irritating when a movie distorts a book? I always love when movie makers include the original author in the playwriting process. Much better chance of the author's vision coming through.

                                                                                                                                           Rose

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,619
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Our Town was always a puzzle to me. Wilder was one of three people credited as screenwriters for the movie and yet the movie completely changes the ending of the play.

Probably the worst was Field of Dreams. I had a soft spot for the book that movie was based on, Shoeless Joe by W P Kinsella. The day I saw the movie I felt sick when I left the theater. As I have gotten older I don't let stuff like that bother me anymore.

For the person reading The African Queen. be prepared. the ending of the book is very different from the movie.

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 11:39 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 318
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Last Edited on: 2/7/15 1:16 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:06 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,867
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I'm still working on my selections for this year so it's hard to think about 2014 but I really like Tess's list with the substitution options which gives us a chance to look at our shelves and move some of those we've collected.  So I vote for that list.  



Last Edited on: 10/30/13 6:42 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/22/2013 1:31 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Sometimes the movies is better than the novel:

Cranford (the t.v. series based on three books by Elizabeth Gaskell)

Chocolat

Forest Gump

Princess Bride

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Tome Trader, you're right about movies sometimes being better than the book version.

The Cranford books were on the tedious side; the TV series had charm and wit.

The movie Chocolat, of course, gave us Johnny Depp: definitely better than the book!

                                                                                                    Rose

Date Posted: 10/22/2013 6:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,930
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I think whether or not the film is better depends on three things:

  1. Whether the filmmaker has a clear vision for how it should translate from great book to great movie, not just a color-by-numbers dramatization of the book; Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and The Shining are both better than the book.  Also Double Indemnity, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Silence of the Lambs, Rebecca, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  2. When the filmmaker's vision is different enough from the source material but good enough to stand on its own; Jackie Brown & the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Children of Men, Blade Runner, There Will Be Blood, Apocalypse Now, Interview with the Vampire
  3. When a mediocre book becomes a great movie; The Godfather, Psycho, Fight Club, Jaws, Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Princess Bride
Subject: my votes
Date Posted: 10/23/2013 10:02 PM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 244
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  1. Banned book
  2. Book on your TBR
  3. Classic science fiction
  4. Book you consider long
  5. Book you consider short
  6. Classic ghost/horror/scary
  7. Literary award recipient
  8. Lost in translation
  9. Made into a film
  10. New-to-you author
  11. Transportation
  12. Work that inspired the writing of others
Date Posted: 10/24/2013 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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For a 14th category, I'd like to suggest "a book you would be (a) proud or (b) ashamed to be seen reading in public".

For 2014 Classics Challenge categories, I vote for (1)  Dickens novel; (2) banned book; (3) new-to-me author; (4) lost in translation (originally written in a language other than English); (5) book still on my TBR list; (6) book I'd be ashamed/proud to be seen reading in public.

I already know what my Dickens novel will be----Dombey and Son.



Last Edited on: 10/29/13 4:55 PM ET - Total times edited: 5
Subject: Votes for 2014 Categories
Date Posted: 10/25/2013 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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Here are my votes for 2014 categories, though I really have no problem with any of the other topics being chosen.  My list is in random order.

 

1. Book you consider short

2. Book you consider long

3. Letters written by an author

4. New-to-you author

5. Lost in translation

6. Less famous work by a famous author

7. Literary award recipient

8. Biography/Memoir

9. Classic ghost/horror/scary story

10. Classic that is also historical fiction

11. Set during a war

12. Short story collection

 

Date Posted: 10/25/2013 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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excellent 14th category, Bonnie. Now I am trying to think what book I'd be ashamed to be seen reading and I can only think of Pride and Prejudice or The Great Gatsby at the moment.

I was embarrassed to be seen reading Gone With the Wind, but it was such a terrific book that I changed my mind.

Even more difficult is thinking of a book I'd be proud to read. Hmmm. Metamorphosis? I really don't know.

Date Posted: 10/26/2013 12:44 AM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 244
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I agree: love that idea for a category, Bonnie!

Date Posted: 10/26/2013 3:42 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Actually, I had changed my mind about the 14th category (because any of the 12 we eventually vote on have substitution options).

However, I'm certainly counting all these ideas as votes.

(And I love Bonnie's suggestion as well!)

                                                                                       Rose

Date Posted: 10/27/2013 5:32 PM ET
Member Since: 9/14/2009
Posts: 611
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Here are my preferred choices so far:

1. banned book
2. new-to-you-author
3. made into a film
4. less famous work by a famous author
5. short story collection
6. literary award winner
7. classic historical fiction
8. lost in translation
9. set during a war
10. nom de plume
11. fairy/folk tale collection
12. a Dickens novel

Date Posted: 10/31/2013 1:08 PM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
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What is "wit lit?"

 

Date Posted: 10/31/2013 7:39 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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For the year we did "wit lit," I read a book of Dorothy Parker short stories.

Hence, the work should have humorous overtones.

                                                              Rose

Date Posted: 11/1/2013 9:00 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,619
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how about an author's first book. if you can figure out what it is.

Date Posted: 11/2/2013 2:28 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I like the idea of an author's first book--look online for the author's bio.

                                                                  Rose

Date Posted: 11/4/2013 12:48 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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To help anyone considering that "ashamed to be seen reading" category, I can offer a couple of examples----one was a piece of literary bubble gum entitled Nice Girls Finish Last, by Sparkle Hayter.   I was called out for being a "book snob" by someone who chided me for being so prejudiced against certain categories of books and challenged me to read something from one of those categories.   But I sure didn't like to be seen, in public, reading that one!

Nor would I care to be seen reading a "vampire" novel, a book about astrology, a "bodice ripper", or a "celeb's ego bio", either.  Were I to think about it, I'm sure I could think of more examples, but you do get the idea, don't you?

Book I'd be proud to be seen reading?  How about The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, by Fritjof Capra, or The Autobiography of Mark Twain?  I was reading the first=named book in the eye doctor's waiting room. once, and it brought  a woman who saw the title over to talk with me.  She turned out to be the bio-ethicist at the Med School at the nearby university, and she had been assigned the book when she was in Divinity School!   But about that Twain book---kinda hard to read in public, the darned thing is SO BIG that you almost need a lectern or dictionary stand to support it!   Maybe you could consider being seen reading Stephen Hawking's A Brief History of Time, but, friends, that one is "one of the chewiest of the chewy books".

(Full disclosure:  I've been married for more than a half-century to a nuclear physicist, so I occasionally read (or try to read) an off-beat book such as Capra's.)



Last Edited on: 11/5/13 11:37 AM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 11/4/2013 1:51 PM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,619
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I was in a used furniture store once a few years ago. the store was in a town about 40 miles from the town I live in. On a coffee table near the front door was a hardcover of Mien Kampf(?). I thought at the time that I would be scared to be caught with the book in my car if I got stopped on the way home. Not so much ashamed but definitely scared.

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