Tagged: The Classics Club

Classics Club Spin #19

spinning-book

…or in my case, Classics Club Spin #3, because I’ve only done this twice before.

I’m a delinquent Classics Club member at best, preferring to stick to my trusty 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list than put the effort in to curate and maintain a custom list and track it over five years, as per the rules. This spin is calling to me, though.

To participate in a spin, you’re supposed to make a list of twenty books, and read the one corresponding to a randomly selected number. Simple enough, but the theme of this 19th spin is “chunksters,” and the theme of my own reading year is “no white people writing in English,” and December is traditionally my month of rereading, so I’m pretty darn limited in what books I can include.

chunk.gif

Only 80s kids will remember this Chunkster

I can only think of five books that: are on the 1,001 Books list, are over five hundred pages long, I’ve already read, and are written by a person or colour and/or translated:

  1. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (536 pages)
  2. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (706 pages)
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (838 pages)
  4. The Idiot by Fydor Dostoyevsky (667 pages)
  5. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo (1480 pages)

Continue reading

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The Classics Spin #3

The Classics Club

It’s Classics Club Spin time again! The timing is impeccable, as I’m suffering a severe reading hangover after cruising through two thirds of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian Maddaddam series, and feel like I need a real classic to cleanse the palate. Plus, I’ve only read five Classics Club books so far, and I need to read ten per year to stay on track.

What the heck is the Classics Club, you ask? Check out my list and the general idea here.

Want to join me? Here’s the deal:

  • Pick twenty books that you have left to read from your Classics Club List (or, you know, your TBR list, if you’re not a Classics Clubber.) Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday (Agust 19).
  • Monday morning, The Classics Club will announce a number from 1-20. The challenge is to read the corresponding book by October 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading!

Here we go! Crossing my fingers that I don’t get Tristram. I’m not ready yet! In the immortal words of Jessie Spano, I’m so excited… I’m so… scared.

Five I’m dreadingclarissa

  •  American Pastoral by Philip Roth. I didn’t know that much about Roth when I added this to my list. Now I hear he’s kind of a gross old man who talks about his penis a lot. SOUNDS FASCINATING.
  • Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne – Long. Abandoned years ago. Too dense. Scary. But also awesome.
  • Clarissa by Samuel Richardson – Long. Sounds dense. But one of those “have to read it” books.
  • Stoner by John Williams – Not my sort of book at all, but added based on a rave review.
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – I’ve been poisoned against Mrs. D by 101 Books! Continue reading

The Classics Spin

**Update**

And the lucky number is 14: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency!

Dirk Gently Douglas Adams

I have a feeling that many Classics Clubbers are going to be reading books they are neutral about. I thought about randomizing my choices, but, you know. Limited blogging time.

Anyway, I am “neutral” about Dirk G because I’ve already read the second book in the series. I really liked it, but it’s sort of weird to be reading the prequel now. On the plus side, it’s probably a short, easy read, and I should be able to finish by April 1st. AND, as if “Dirk Gently” isn’t the best character name EVER.

**Original Post**

I feel like I need to squeeze in another classic between brand-new books (which are also fabulous, seriously, Belinda’s Rings is blowing me away,) but I’m not sure what to read. So I’m going to leave it up to chance by playing The Classics Club Spin!

(What the heck is the Classics Club, you ask? Check out my list and the general idea here.)

Directions:

  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you have left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday (February 18).
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by April 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading!

Okay, so, depending what book I end up with, I may or may not actually finish by April 1. That’s only two and half months, and I have a book in progress to finish. I’m going to commit to START it by April 1.

Five I’m dreading

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Long. About whales. Challenged by my sister’s BF to read it.
  • Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne – Long. Abandoned years ago. Too dense. But also awesome.
  • Clarrisa by Samuel Richardson – Long. Sounds dense. But one of those “have to read it” books.
  • Stoner by John Williams – Not my sort of book at all, but added based on a rave review.
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – I’ve been poisoned against Mrs. D by 101 Books!

Five I can’t wait to read

  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I *do* give a damn. So does MM superfan Maple and a Quill.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – A controversial book, even today.
  • Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford – Downton Abbey-esque, maybe? Loving the 1920s era.
  • The Tenent of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte – it’s by a Bronte, need I say more?
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith – never read her, and she’s still alive, as opposed to most of the authors here…

Five I’m neutral about

  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – A retelling of Jane Eyre, and I’m not crazy about Jane Eyre.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert – Not my usual genre.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis – Added ironically because of this awesome review.
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams – I’ve read book two in this series, so it’s kind of anti-climactic to go back and read book one. But I really loved book two!
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m curious but sort of meh about the whole HP thing.

Five free choice – Authors I love, i.e. safe bets

  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck 
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  • The Ambassadors by Henry James
  • Nicolas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

This is actually really scary! I’m so worried it’s going to be Tristram. I need more time to recover from pregnancy/baby brain! Keep your fingers crossed for me, and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.

Reading Roundup: September 2012

Who knew I could do enough book and bloggy things in one month to warrant an update?

September was a challenging month. Henry went through pink eye, thrush, teething, and colds. He still doesn’t sleep at night. Or ever. But, I feel like I’m getting back into a groove. My commitment to read every day helps a lot. There were a few days where it didn’t happen, but usually, if I tell myself “just one sentence,” I’ll end up reading a few pages. I may never be as prolific a reader and blogger as most, but this feels good.

I got books! And things!

  • Every Love Story is a Ghost Story A Life of David Foster WallaceWon: Every Love Story is a Ghost Story by DT Max, a biography of the late David Foster Wallace. The Edmonton Journal’s book columnist Michael Hingston (@mhingston) had an extra copy to give away and I entered on a whim; I’ve never read any of DFW’s work. I was going to jump right in with Infinite Jest, but Michael suggested I start with something a little less ambitious, like Consider the Lobster“Considering” that Infinite Jest is more than a thousand pages long, I think I’ll take that suggestion.  Check out Michael’s blog for lots of local literary goodness.
  • Bought: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. This might just be the longest book I’ve ever attempted. Eek.
  • Bought: Love in the Time of Cholera. See my rant about the cover here.
  • Gifted: A brand new, pink Kobo Glo. It’s great! Mostly. Review to come.

I read books! Yes, plural, BOOKS.

  • Vineland by Thomas Pynchon – I wrote up my initial thoughts on this excellent book. Four stars, nearly five.
  • From Away by Michelle Ferguson – Review soon. Interesting themes but the characters didn’t come alive for me. Three stars.

I did things on other blogs!

  • I guest blogged on Reading in Winter. Check out my post on Paranormal in Classic Literature. What a great experience. Kristilyn even helped me with the final touches as I was in the middle of sleep hell with my seven month old.
  • I created my Classics Club list! Now I just have to actually join. I figure it’ll be book snob central – so excited.
  • I committed to do a guest post for Angry Vegan in October. It’s not a book blog, so I’ll have to come up with something a little different. Here’s a guest post I did last year about my week-long vegan challenge failure.

Here’s to an even more productive October. And hopefully some sleep.