Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Fifty Classics Club Questions: 1-25

I've been lax about joining in the Classics Club monthly discussions and memes and such for a while, but I really love filling out surveys and answering questions, so there's no way I'm missing this one!  It's REALLY LONG, though, so I'm splitting it into two parts.  Here's the first half!

1.  Share a link to your club list.  Link!

2.  When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club? I joined on January 4, 2014, and I've read 15 so far.

3.  What are you currently reading?  Middlemarch by George Eliot, Light of the Western Stars by Zane Grey, and In the Company of Sherlock Holmes edited by Laurie R. King & Leslie S. Klinger.  The latter isn't for the Classics Club, but they didn't specify, so I'm mentioning it :-)

4.  What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it?  I just finished Daddy Long-Legs by Jean Webster and I loved it!  Review coming soon.

5.  What are you reading next? Why?  A Decent, Orderly Lynching by Frederick Allen.  It's research for my next novel.

6.  Best book you've read so far with the club, and why?  The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.  It's so rich and complex and fully realized.

7.  Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list?  By-Line:  Ernest Hemingway.  I read the first fifty pages or so last year and really want to start it all over and read the rest.

8.  Book on your club list you've been avoiding, if any? Why?  To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, because I read Mrs. Dalloway years ago and it gave me headaches.  But I want to be fair and give Woolf another chance.

9.  First classic you ever read?  I have no idea.  I've been reading classics for as long as I've been reading.

10.  Toughest classic you ever read?  Hardest to get through would probably be Mrs. Dalloway, as mentioned before.  It gave me headaches, literal, actual headaches.  I only stuck with it because I'd really liked The Hours, movie and book, and wanted to know how it all tied together with that book.

11.  Classic that inspired you?  Too many to count.  Most recently, probably Tales of the Jazz Age by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which made me see how much more interesting my prose could be.

...or scared you?  The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  I don't read a lot of horror, but the illustration of our sinful nature given a grotesque life of its own was pretty scary.

...made you cry?  Betsy-Tacy by Maud Hart Lovelace.

...made you angry?  The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster, though I was more annoyed than angry.  With myself, for not liking it as well as everyone else I know.

12.  Longest classic you've read?  Ever?  Les Miserables.

...longest classic left on your club list?  Probably Middlemarch, which I'm working through slowly with a friend.

13.  Oldest classic you've read?  Again, I'm taking this to mean ever, not just since I started the challenge.  I've read parts of The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

...oldest classic left on your club list?  Don Quixote

14.  Favorite biography about a classic author you've read — or, the biography on a classic author you most want to read, if any?  I really love A Moveable Feast, Hemingway's autobiography about his life in Paris.

15.  Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why?  I hate this sort of question.  There is no one fictional book that everyone in the world should read or would like.  Pass.

16.  Favorite edition of a classic you own, if any?  I love my copy of The Lord of the Rings so much I wrote a whole blog post about it, which you can read here.

17.  Favorite movie adaption of a classic?  At the risk of beating a drum too often here, I love Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies.

18.  Classic which hasn't been adapted yet (that you know of) which you very much wish would be adapted to film.  Well, Jane Austen's Persuasion has been adapted several times, but never to my liking, so I wish they would make a better adaptation.

19.  Least favorite classic? Why?  Hmm.  Probably The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner.  I couldn't finish it.

20.  Name five authors you haven't read yet whom you cannot wait to read.  Leo Tolstoy, Anne Bronte, John Le Carre, T. H. White, and James Fenimore Cooper.

21.  Which title by one of the five you've listed above most excites you and why?  Probably T.H. White's The Once and Future King, mostly because it gets mentioned a bunch in X-Men 2.  And I love King Arthur stuff anyway.

22.  Have you read a classic you disliked on first read that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving? (This could be with the club or before it.)  The first time I read The Old Man and the Sea I didn't like it at all.  But when I reread it to prepare for the read-along I hosted this summer, I liked it quite well :-)

23.  Which classic character can't you get out of your head?  Hamlet is always with me.

24.  Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?  Hmm.  Jo March from Little Women, probably.

25.  Which classic character do you most wish you could be like?  Jean Valjean from Les Miserables, because he's so pure and forgiving.

More to come!  Probably not until after Thanksgiving, though :-)  I do intend to finish it off before the end of the month.  Meanwhile... Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!  And a very merry unbirthday to everyone else :-)


  1. #18: I quite liked the 1995 version of Persuasion. I thought Amanda Root's take on Anne was pretty spot on. But I can understand why others might not take so well to it. Anyway, Persuasion is my favorite Austen novel except for when I'm reading Pride and Prejudice. :)

    #17: I won't say what I think of Jackson's abomin... I mean adaptations of Tolkien. ;)

    As for classics in general, I can't remember the first I ever read, but when you're pushing 50 a lot of things from younger days aren't remembered so well. I read classics spottily over the years. Oh, now I remember, I'd say Dracula is the first classic I read and remember well.

    Otherwise, hit and miss on a lot of things. I read some Dostoevsky and Tolstoy in college philosophy classes. I read War and Peace while in seminary but not for any particular class. Actually, I got more into reading classic novels when I got into the Harry Potter fandom around 2006 and also when I got an ebook reader I started reading more classics.

    1. I do like the casting in the 1995, and I like the whole thing well enough to own a copy. But it was not well written.

      My husband read War and Peace in college for fun. Sometimes I think maybe I haven't read it yet just because it's almost the only classic he's read and I haven't, and he gets a kick out of that.

      How interesting that Harry Potter brought you to the classics! I do love how she drew from absolutely everywhere for her material. And yes, those e-readers and the free books... I don't have one per se, but I just got my first smart phone and it has a Kindle app, and lo and behold I've got 3 free books on it now. Two of which I already own hard copies of cuz I'm a book nerd that way, but still, it's groovy.

  2. I liked To The Lighthouse but Mrs. Dalloway not that much, if that's any comfort.

    I LOVED your Lord of the Rings posts and was so sad to miss the read-along. BTW, I love how you do your read-alongs ...... very slowly so we have time to think about what we've read and digest it. Just excellent!

    I enjoyed reading your answers!

    1. That is comforting! I've read a lot of blog posts about people really liking To the Lighthouse, so I'm going to give it a shot.

      And awww, thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed the LOTR read-along posts :-) It was great fun. And thank you for mentioning you like the longer format. I've been kind of wondering about that, just because it seems like every read-along I've seen elsewhere has been like, "This week we're discussing chapters 1-5." So I've wondered if people would prefer that or not. I knew with LOTR I wanted to take it super slowly so we could really sift the text for meaning, but then Baskervilles was not a deep, rich book in the same way, and I wondered if that might be silly. I'm glad to hear one person at least thinks it wasn't!

  3. I agree - I had the same answer for question #22. : )

    Whoa, I am getting a little worried about The Sound and the Fury. So many people do not like it or finish it. Very concerning.

    P.S. I know it's not LOTR, but are you excited about the next Hobbit movie? My kids are bouncing off the walls b/c they cannot wait.

    1. I saw that ! I'm so glad the read-along was so positive for so many.

      I know a lot of people really like Faulkner, so maybe you will too!

      And yup, quite excited for the Hobbit movie! Melancholy too, though, cuz it's the last one :-(


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