Saturday, May 17, 2008

Pre-Challenge Classics Meme

1. My favorite classic is... this one is so hard for me. I love Persuasion by Jane Austen. I love Count of Monte Cristo and The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. I also love Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. And how can I forget Frankenstein. I love, love, love Frankenstein.

2. The classic I had the toughest time finishing is... There are so many I've had a tough time with that I've never finished. War and Peace, for example, I've never conquered though I've tried twice. Don Quixote I've tried once but couldn't get through either. Probably the "toughest" novels aren't tough because of their size but because of the reason why I'm finishing them--school assignments. I HATED (with a vengeance) Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Also I've never really liked Hemingway. I know we had to read The Sun Also Rises and The Old Man and the Sea. Both were "tough" to get through because I had no interest in them whatsoever.

3. I would recommend The Three Musketeers translated by Richard Pevears to someone who doesn't read a lot of classics or who doesn't generally like classics because even though it is long, there is rarely (if ever) a dull moment. It is essentially about four guys who like to drink, gamble, have fun with the ladies, and fight with swords. Sure there is all this talk of honor and duty and whatnot...but it's just guys being guys. This translation is very down-to-earth. And it also has footnotes. Every little thing is explained so that if you find yourself getting lost there is immediate help. But my philosophy was don't sweat the small stuff and the big things you can easily follow :)

4. To me, a classic book is a book that rings true. It has to capture something about life, about humanity, about what it's all about. It has to feel true.

5. The type of relationship I have with classics is on again off again. I go through spurts where I intensely (or obsessively) read classics. But there are times--plenty of times--when I can go months or years without picking one up. I read more classics now that I'm blogging than I did before. Last year I read Pride & Prejudice, Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, The Journey to the Center of the Earth, and at least six H.G. Wells novels. (My favorites being The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

Karen 6:57 PM  

Hi Becky, I had a hard time choosing between Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice for my fave Jane Austen!

Trish 8:11 PM  

Great answers Becky! I'm glad I'm not the only one who has had to abandon some classics. I've wanted to read Their Eyes Were Watching God for a while now--I'll have ot keep that one in mind. Thanks for playing :)

Laura H,  10:30 PM  

When I was in high school I read The catcher in the Rye. I dont remeber much about it except wondering why it was a classic in the first place.

Framed 11:33 PM  

Your answers were so fun to read. I very seldom quit books, but some I refuse to tackle like War and Peace. I have Frankenstein sitting on the shelf and someday I'll get to it. Thanks for the recommend. For Musketeers also, can't believe I've never read it.

Nise' 2:57 PM  

Has anyone ever finished War and Peace? I tried too! I am in that obsessive spurt of reading classics! Just re-read all of Jane Austens.

Amy 3:22 PM  

I have attempted several books and quit with the intentions of finishing later...whether I ever do, well that's another story! I enjoyed your answers a lot.

Amy
http://readingtoolate.net

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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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