Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Classics Club: Year One

It has been one year since I composed this list, signed on with The Classics Club, and set a goal for myself to read 50 classics in 5 years. As a personal bonus challenge, I included five additional books started years ago but, for one reason or another, never finished. My purpose, however, is not so much to read from a specific list, but rather to read more classics. As a result, my list is constantly evolving.

For a quick review of the past year, I'm going to borrow this questionnaire from  LindyLit (who borrowed it from Jessica at The Bookworm Chronicles) and highlight a few key points of my reading.

I have read 11 books, including one from my bonus list:

Brontë, Anne - The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (12/12)
Christie, Agatha - And Then There Were None (4/12)
Gaskell, Elizabeth - North and South (8/12)
Greene, Graham - The End of the Affair (11/12)
James, Henry - Washington Square (1/13)
Hemingway, Ernest - The Old Man and the Sea (9/12)
Pym, Barbara - A Glass of Blessings (2/13)
Tanizaki, Junichiro - The Makioka Sisters (5/12)
Thackery, William Makepeace - Vanity Fair (3/13)  *from bonus list
Thirkell, Angela - High Rising (4/13)
Wilde, Oscar - The Picture of Dorian Gray (3/13)

Looking at the list, I'm struck by it's variety - a mix of male and female authors, short and long books, comfort reads and a few more challenging, and even one in translation.

Most Anticipated:
The Makioka Sisters

Most Beautifully Written:
The End of the Affair

Most Disappointing:
The Picture of Dorian Gray - much darker than expected

Most Surprising (In A Good Way):
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall - Anne Bronte was way ahead of her time. I can't figure out why she is regarded as the 'lesser' Bronte.

The Old Man and the Sea - Why did I hate it so much in high school?

Most Memorable Characters:
Margaret Hale, North and South
Becky Sharp Crawley, Vanity Fair

Most Recommended-to-Others:
North and South
The Makioka Sisters 

Favorite New Authors Discovered:
Anne Bronte
Angela Thirkell

Ambitions for Year Two:
read at least ten classics
participate in a couple of readalongs

Finally, an unexpected bonus in joining the club,  I have met many like-minded readers and discovered several excellent blogs. I'd say it's been a good year!


28 comments:

  1. You're making great progress! I'm reading The Makioka Sisters right now and I love it! It's on my Classics Club list as well, and on my annual TBR Challenge list. I don't have any Barbara Pym on the list but I am planning to read more of her books in June.

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    1. Karen K. - So glad to hear you're loving The Makioka Sisters! I don't think I've ever read a book the so clearly illustrates the pull between old ways and modern Japan... such good book!

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  2. I joined the Classics Club, but rarely even look at my list any more. I need to revise it and start over because I don't like anything I chose last year! I think I'll put The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on the list - I've wanted to read it for a while.

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    1. Anbolyn - Since our tastes change over time, I think it's fine to have an evolving list of classics... that way there are always books I'm excited to read.

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  3. 11 off the list, that's awesome! I'm a big Anne Bronte fan after reading Agnes Grey so I am saving Wildfell Hall for when I get near the end of my list, I know it's going to be awesome so I want to save it!

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    1. Sam - And that's exactly how I feel about Agnes Grey... I'm saving it for a treat!

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  4. Can't believe it's a year already. I decided to join it but couldn't make up my mind since I had other obligations,one of which was to dent by TBR books.

    I still have a few classics (mainly English and American) on my shelf and will clear them.

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    1. Nana - I'm fortunate because many of my Classics Club selections are already on my TBR shelf!

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  5. You're doing great! I haven't joined the Classics Club since I'm still tackling my list from Project Fill-in-the-Gaps. What I really like about C.C. is its openness and all the little read-alongs that are happening.

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    1. Vasilly - Thanks! I'm having a great time with the CC readalongs and the recent "spin" game was fun, too.

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  6. Sounds wonderful and I must say that you're certainly doing a great job on the list. I love your posts because I've been intrigued enough to add a few of these authors to my reading and audio list!!

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    1. Staci - I'm happy so many classics are available on audio... that sure pulled me through Vanity Fair!

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  7. Adding my congratulations on your first year's progress! There's some definite overlap in our readings, even though I haven't joined the club - and of course I owe my introduction to the Makioka Sisters to you!

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    1. Lisa May - The Makioka Sisters is such a wonderful book! My mother loved it, too. I keep meaning to investigate Tanizaki's other work.

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  8. Way to go!! I wish I liked the classics better, but more often than not, I'm disappointed. That said, I'm eager to give Angela Thirkell a try.

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    1. Les - High Rising reminded me of Barbara Pym (minus the clergy) - a real winner!

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  9. You have made great progress. I love the variety.

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    1. Diane - Thanks, there really is a little bit of everything here.

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  10. I love how the Classics Club has encouraged me to get to some of the most intimidating books on my list. You're doing awesome!

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    1. Melissa - Same here. Your read-along was definitely a highlight :-)

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  11. I don't know why I haven't signed up for this yet...I better before I get all my 2013 classics done!

    I really like Margaret Hale too--amazingly, there are many who don't like her.

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    1. JaneGS - I thought you were already signed up! You really should - lots of great readalongs/activities. How can people not appreciate Margaret Hale??

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  13. I have flirted with the idea of signing up for a long time. Just can't seem to commit. I'm marking this post so that when I look at it again I may break down and decide to give it a try!
    Dorian was very dark and not at all what I expected either, but I thought it was okay.

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I can see myself rereading Dorian Gray at some point... and I'll know what to expect next time. Hope you decided to join the Classics Club!

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  14. You're doing much better with your list than I'm doing with mine! I'm so distracted by shiny new books and readalongs.

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    1. Lisa - I know all about distractions and readalongs! My numbers ended up being higher than I expected thanks to the Vanity Fair group read and a short classics spin book.

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  15. nice way to recap your classics in the year. I'll have to remember to do something like this when I get to that point!

    Here's my Classics Club book list if you'd like to stop by.

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