Saturday, November 07, 2015

2016 Reading Challenges: women's classic literature event

Women's Classic Literature EVENT
The Classics Club (sign up here)
November 2015 - December 2016
About: We’ll check in January 2016, April 2016, July 2016, October 2016, & December 2016, just to have a little fun & see how everyone’s doing. These check-ins will be very casual: just a place to say hello, compare notes, & maybe mention some of our favorite reads so far. It would be fun to discover some new titles through the check-ins!

I hope to read these authors

Christina Rossetti
Louisa May Alcott
E. Nesbit
L.M. Montgomery
Elizabeth Gaskell
Margaret Oliphant
Georgette Heyer
Agatha Christie
Dorothy Sayers
Josephine Tey
Charlotte Bronte (and maybe some other Bronte sisters as well)
Maria Edgeworth
Emily Eden
Jane Austen
Ann Radcliffe
Fanny Burney
George Eliot

What I've read for this challenge:

1) Eight Cousins. Louisa May Alcott. 1874. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]
2) Let the Hurricane Roar. Rose Wilder Lane. 1932. 118 pages. [Source: Borrowed]
3) Goblin Market and Other Poems. Christina Rossetti. 1862. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]
4) Verses, 1847. Christina Rossetti. [Source: Bought]
5) Complete Tales by Beatrix Potter. 1986/2006. 400 pages. [Source: Library]

Introduce yourself. Tell us what you are most looking forward to in this event.

I'm Becky. I read books. A lot of books. A bit of everything. Including classics. I am looking forward to reading Christina Rosetti (I just discovered her this year) and Margaret Oliphant (another this-year discovery).

Have you read many classics by women? Why or why not?

Some definitely. I've read everything Austen, multiple times. And Jane Eyre? Well, I couldn't begin to say how many times I've read that one. I ADORE absolutely adore Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South and her Ruth. I may not have read everything she's ever written--but I certainly hope to at some point! I just keep getting distracted!!!

Pick a classic female writer you can’t wait to read for the event, & list her date of birth, her place of birth, and the title of one of her most famous works.

Christina Rossetti. 5 December 1830 - 29 December 1894. She was born in London. Goblin Market is her most famous work.

Think of a female character who was represented in classic literature by a male writer. Does she seem to be a whole or complete woman? Why or why not? Tell us about her. (Without spoilers, please!)

 This one's tricky. If only I'd read fewer classics maybe something would come to mind. I love Anthony Trollope, for example, and he can write fascinating characters of both genders. Some of his characters I love, love, love. Some I do not. Decidedly do not. I do think Trollope does write women characters better than Charles Dickens. Just my opinion!

Favorite classic heroine? (Why? Who wrote her?)

This question is torture!!! Why would one ever have to choose? I love Anne Elliot from Persuasion (Austen), not to mention, Anne Shirley (Blythe) (L.M. Montgomery). I love also Valancy from Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery. And then there is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

We’d love to help clubbers find great titles by classic female authors. Can you recommend any sources for building a list? (Just skip this question if you don’t have any at this point.)

A Celebration of Women Writers  I have been visiting this site off and on since my early college years. I was an English major. I wasn't always so very much focused on women writers as British writers. I took a good many courses in women writers however!

Recommend three books by classic female writers to get people started in this event. (Again, skip over this if you prefer not to answer.)

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant

Will you be joining us for this event immediately, or will you wait until the new year starts?

NOW, of course! I've already finished one that will count for the challenge that I've read this month, Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

Do you plan to read as inspiration pulls, or will you make out a preset list?

I have a general list of authors I'm aiming to read. But I don't think I'll make a list of specific titles by each author. I imagine I'll be adding to my list as I go. Especially if I see reviews for the event! I always tend to want to read what other people are talking about.

Are you pulling to any particular genres? (Letters, journals, biographies, short stories, novels, poems, essays, etc?)

Novels, I imagine. With some poems maybe. Or a few short stories.

Are you pulling to a particular era or location in literature by women?

Maybe British authors :) But not to the exclusion of everyone else!!!

Do you hope to host an event or readalong for the group? No worries if you don’t have details. We’re just curious!

I haven't really thought about it. I was planning on hosting a Victorian challenge again next year. So perhaps something might come to mind. If I were to do a readalong, I'd probably want it to be for a book I've read before! Maybe Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell??? Or Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant. Or Elizabeth Gaskell's The Life of Charlotte Bronte. We'll have to see if there is any interest in Victorian women writers :)

Is there an author or title you’d love to read with a group or a buddy for this event? Sharing may inspire someone to offer.

Sure. I *like* to do buddy reads. It's just tricky for me to find someone who wants to read what I do when I want to! Elizabeth Gaskell, Margaret Oliphant, Christina Rossetti, Georgette Heyer, etc. (see above) There are so many books I haven't read yet, and quite a few I'd love to reread. (Sometimes it's hard to see which list is longer. The ones I want to reread because they were oh-so-good, or, the ones I hope to read someday "soon."

Share a quote you love by a classic female author — even if you haven’t read the book yet.

You say that you suspect I have formed a large circle of acquaintance by this time. No: I cannot say that I have. I doubt whether I possess either the wish or the power to do so. A few friends I should like to have, and these few I should like to know well. ~ Charlotte Bronte, 1850 (quoted in The Life of Charlotte Bronte)

Finally, ask the question you wish this survey had asked, & then answer it.

Do you reread books? Why or why not?

I'm a big, big, BIG believer in rereading books. I can't help it. I honestly don't think I could go a full month without rereading something. Granted, I'm not rereading the same book each and every month. But there are books I do visit each year.

© 2015 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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Review Policy

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.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

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