Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.3: Classics!

The subject of today's Weekly Geek assignment is one of my favorite bookish things: classics. Ali (of Worducopia) has come up with several questions to get a classics discussion going. First, our feelings about the classics and which ones we love . Then a challenge to read a chapter or two of something classical and review it. Then, suggest something we'd consider a future classic. Finally, share what everyone else is saying!

So for the first question: I love the classics! Several years ago, when I decided to step up my reading and embrace the addiction, I started with the classics. Granted, some of them are a little hard, but for the most part, I find them just as reader friendly as the new stuff. Some of my favorites that I would suggest to newbie classic readers:

If you like books that have a witty way with words, and a little mystery thrown in, try some Wilkie Collins. His most well-known books are The Woman in White and The Moonstone. Both of them wonderful!

If you like books with a soap opera-y feel, lots of love triangles, and character relationships, try reading The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy. Wow, I got so wrapped up in this one a few years ago.

Charles Dickens has always been one of my favorites. I know some people have a hard time with him, but to me, his stories are so involved and interesting. My favorites: Great Expectations, David Copperfield and Oliver Twist. I'm dying to read Bleak House, and keep putting it in challenges year after year, but never seem to get to it!

Of course, there's Jane Austen... and the Bronte sisters... and Elizabeth Gaskell. All have the fun romances and an interesting depiction of the society of the time with simple plots. My favorites: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Wives and Daughters.... and all the rest! I love 'em all!

I also love Thomas Hardy, especially Tess of the d'Urbervilles, but I'm not sure I'd suggest his books to so called newbies. They are a bit bleak and depressing.

Oh, and I love George Elliot. Bybee's been talking about her 10 year reading of Middlemarch. I need to read that one again so bad! And I loved The Mill on the Floss too. Wow.

Wait! I can't leave out Alexandre Dumas and his The Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers! If you love swashbuckling stuff and lots of dudes... read these! :)

As you can see, I could go on and on. But these are the first ones that come to mind.

As for new-ish books that I think will be considered classics someday (thus ones I would recommend to dear cousin Mrtyle!) : The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, and The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.... for starters.

And a little of what other people are saying:

Frances from Nonsuch Book suggests a book I've never heard of: The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic. I'll have to remember this one and try it some day.

Strumpet makes me want to re-read A Tale of Two Cities. I was in 9th grade when I read that one and I know much went over my head. Though I do remember seeing the movie and totally falling in love with Sydney Carton.

Shannon of Confuzzled Books read the first chapter of Peter Pan, which reminded me I started this book years ago, got distracted half way through and then never finished it. Sheesh, I really should do that!

Now as for the challenge... to read a chapter of a classic... I'll have to get back to you on that, because I want to post this RIGHT NOW, but I don't want to take time to go read a chapter RIGHT NOW. So... later on that one!


  1. I tried reading Woman in White a year or so ago and it just didn't click with me. I did enjoy Tess of the D'Ubervilles about ten years ago. I'm currently working through Don Quixote. After that I'm tackling Ulysses. My Weekly Geeks post is here.

  2. Love Dickens and the Brontes too. :)

  3. Moonstone looks really interesting - I'm going to find myself a copy - thank you for the recommendation!

  4. Pussreboots: Wow! Ulysees? Now THAT one is intimidating to me. I'll be curious to see what you think of it.

    Claire: Yes, they are wonderful.

    Farmlanebooks: I hope you like it!

    Chris: That we do!

    The Never Fairy: I also need to read more of Dave Barry's take on Peter Pan.

  5. I love your enthusiasm. You're an inspiration, Suey, thank you!

  6. Well, as the article says all the others contradict Barrie, which includes the Barry/Pearson books. They even change the REASON for him not growing up! I mean, come on!

  7. I've never read any Wilkie Collins, but I've seen his name mentioned several times now. I might have to give him a try one of these days.



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