Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Geeks - January 25, 2009

"The Classics"

In the third Weekly Geeks of 2009, let's have fun with the classics. For our purposes, I'm defining a classic as anything written over 100 years ago and still in print. (If your memory needs jogging, see: Classic Literature Library for examples.)

For your assignment this week, choose two or more of the following questions:

1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

I hate to even talk about "the Classics" because I am so blatantly ignorant of them. I read a few in high school and enjoyed them for the most part, but I really haven't made the effort to read them much since then. It's been over 20 years, but back then I did love CRIME AND PUNISHMENT and DANTE'S INFERNO. I'm afraid that I'm not going to be much of a help to those of you looking for recommendations!

It's not that I don't want to read the classics because I do have loads of them on my bookshelves. In fact, every single year I tell myself that I need to read at least one classic this year; however, I find that I rarely get around to it. There are always other books that take priority or interest me more. The members of my book club feel the same way I do. We always say that we're going to read one classic this year and discuss it, but no one seems to take the jump when it's their turn to select the book.

In the past few years, I have read some books that reference Jane Austen and her life. I have thoroughly enjoyed these novels, but I always feel like I'm missing out because I've only read one of her books. I am certain that I will love them, but why do I keep putting them off? Are any of you in a similar situation to me or am I just crazy?

4) As you explore the other Weekly Geeks posts: Did any inspire you to want to read a book you've never read before—or reread one to give it another chance? Tell us all about it, including a link to the post or posts that sparked your interest. If you end up reading the book, be sure to include a link to your post about it in a future Weekly Geeks post!

As I've been reading the other Weekly Geeks posts, I have been making a mental note of what classics I definitely need to read.

A Girl Walks Into a Bookstore - "For Jane Austen, definitely Pride and Prejudice, or maybe Sense and Sensibility." I would love to read SENSE AND SENSIBILITY and even re-read PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.

Becky's Book Reviews - "A few classics that I've just loved--and would recommend--are Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, Persuasion by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Diaries of Adam and Eve by Mark Twain, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell." What a fantastic list! I agree with GONE WITH THE WIND, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (my all-time favorite) and HUCKLEBERRY FINN, but many of Becky's other recommendations sound great.


Anonymous said...

I love the classics, too, but don't read them often. When I do, it always takes me a little while to get used to the rhythm of the writing.

Ali said...

I feel the same way--there are so many I haven't read and don't know much about. Matt is talking about reading big classics together as a group. I don't know if I'll be able to keep up with him, but I think I'm going to use that to help motivate me to tackle some.

Melissa said...

Oh, do do read some Jane Austen. Read Pride and Prejudice. (Watch the movie first if you have to... it just might help.) It really is funny and lovely.