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Topic: Which classic will you tackle first?

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Subject: Which classic will you tackle first?
Date Posted: 1/3/2014 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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Now that it's 2014, our new Classics Challenge can begin. What are you reading first?

I'm going to start with Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago. Having loved Tolstory's Anna Karenina last year, I'm in the mood for more Russians.


Last Edited on: 1/3/14 12:38 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/3/2014 7:41 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 2,966
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Just finished enjoying my literary award winner: The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (Pulitzer Prize winner), 1/3/2014, 3.5 stars, and I finished Legs by William Kennedy, 1/10/2014, 4 stars, for the selection made into a movie.  I read The Professor's House by Willa Cather several years ago.  I remember enjoying it but am thinking that I should read it again.  Good choice Bonnie.

Last Edited on: 1/10/14 7:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 1/3/2014 8:43 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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My "less famous work by a famous author"---The Professor's House, by Willa Cather.  It's my fifth Cather work, and they have all had something to make the reader think about, afterwards.  I'm unsure of what I'll turn to next, since I am going to attempt the World Lit Challenge for 2014 (the "light" version) along with the Classics Challenge, in addition to some "serendipitous" reading.   I finished the Cather novel today, and began an off-beat book entitled Strange Medicine: A Shocking History of Real Medical Practices Through the Ages.   I'm reading it because of a practice I have of trying to keep in touch with my grandkids' interests----one of them is a physician.

Last Edited on: 1/3/14 8:56 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/4/2014 5:35 PM ET
Member Since: 1/10/2007
Posts: 1,240
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Hello!  I just found this challenge this year and am looking forward to getting a few books off my shelves.

In the "Less famous" category, I'm reading "Rachel Ray".  No, not the TV cookbook author, but Anthony Trollope.  Written roughly around the time of "The Small House at Allington" Barsetshire book, it's quite pastoral, so far. The introduction quotes a letter from Trollope to George Eliot regarding a backlash against "sensational" novels, so he was trying to be more like her.  Village politics and economics seem to be coming up, though. And the clerics are amusing.

Funny, though.  The print on my paperback copy has become much smaller over the years.  I had to download a free ebook instead and now jump back and forth.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 8:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/3/2010
Posts: 8,728
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I'm about to reread "Great Expectations."  There's a new contemporary book out called "Havisham," which caught my eye, but want to refamiliarize myself with the lady before I read this new book.

Date Posted: 1/4/2014 9:10 PM ET
Member Since: 2/16/2009
Posts: 483
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I'm reading The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Short Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson.  It's fabulous so far!  smiley

Date Posted: 1/5/2014 6:43 AM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2009
Posts: 929
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Just started "The Hound of the Baskervilles".

Date Posted: 1/5/2014 2:05 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Tackled "A Wrinkle in Time" and I am glad I got that out of the way.

Currently tackling "Andersonville" (award winner category) and enjoying it. Well, if you can call reading about the horrors of that infamous Confederate prison enjoyable.

Last Edited on: 1/5/14 2:06 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Subject: January Selection
Date Posted: 1/5/2014 3:43 PM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2011
Posts: 56
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I'm planning on starting Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson this month. (Short story category)  I still have two other books in line ahead of it, though.

Date Posted: 1/9/2014 9:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/25/2006
Posts: 314
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On the snow day of Tuesday, January 7, I started "A Tale of Two Cities." The opening chapter has wine barrel busting open and the poor people in Paris stooping and crawling in the street and gutters in order to lap it up.  Good ole Dickens, nothing like an incredible opening chapter to make you want to keep reading.....

Date Posted: 1/9/2014 10:33 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
Posts: 143
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I am reading and absolutely adoring John Collier's Fancies and Goodnights, a collection of his best short stories. ( with an excellent foreword by Ray Bradbury, who was a huge fan ). How to describe Collier? Sardonic, satirical, macabre, just all around weird and very funny. In  addition to short stories, Collier was a Hollywood screenwriter and wrote several tv scripts for "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" -- so if you liked that show, you'll love Collier.  Many of his stories are sly send ups eviserating the kind of egotistical creatures he must have encountered in Hollywood -- the vain, ambitious starlet, the creepy and controlling producer -- but all living in Collier Land, which is on the other side of the Twilight Zone. He writes about the dangers of allowing our obsessions to take over and how it's rarely wise to be granted the wish of getting our heart's desire. In fact, his world is populated with wish-granting genies and devils who strike deals with hapless souls who don't know what they bargained for. 

Seven Spiders, I'm wondering if you've read him and if so, I'd be curious to know what you think.

This is NOT  an "eat your peas" read --More like a "where have you been all my life?" read.






Last Edited on: 1/9/14 11:07 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/11/2014 10:10 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Alas Janet, Collier isn't available through my city library. Wahhh. Sounds delightful.

Date Posted: 1/16/2014 1:35 AM ET
Member Since: 10/4/2010
Posts: 249
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I read "A Study in Scarlet" for my first classic book this year and really enjoyed it. Can't believe I haven't read more of the Sherlock Holmes stories. I think I read one in high school, but that's it.

May read "A Wrinkle in Time" next. It's one of those childhood classics that I never got to.