Hello booklings :) Welcome to another Tuesday book post! I sort of struggled to think of what to write for today and in the end, I think this post will come to you in three parts.Part the first
First, how many of you love reading classic literature? I do. But since I've been out of formal education for many years, I find the time I devote to reading the classics shrinks every year. Which is why a few years ago, I started setting myself a personal reading challenge. In fact, I set quite a few reading challenges for myself every year. Now that 2010 is coming to a close, I've been reflecting a bit over this year's challenges. My goals for myself for this year were to read a certain number of books (which I've surpassed already), to focus my reading on subject matter that involves a strong portrayal of women, to read books that contained elements of a LGBT nature or are written by LGBT authors, and finally to read more classics. Fill in the gaps on the authors and books that I feel like I 'should' read.
I think the list of books that people 'should' read will be different for everyone. For me, it's the classics. I'd like to read more of Charles Dickens. I'd like to read more of Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Ernest Hemingway. I'd like to read more of the Victorian English writers and the Russian classics. I'd love to read so many things, but where to start? I absolutely LOVED the required reading in my English classes. I can see how dissecting books for themes can hamper people's enjoyment, but it seemed to have the opposite effect on me.
Here are some classics that I've read and loved:Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
- I know this book is like 10,000 pages long and that fact alone would put most people off. If I'm truthful, if I hadn't read this as a teenager when I had millions of hours of freetime, I probably never would have read it. As I get older, my attention span has shrinked quite a lot. But I still think that Les Miserables is a worthwhile book to devote your time to. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
- This book had a major impact on me. Who knew that I'd love a book about working in a meat-packing factory as much as I did? The horrific working conditions, the hopelessness felt by the characters. I found it to be gripping stuff. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- I was a little bit obsessed with this one in high school. I used to carry the book around with me and re-read it every chance I got. Strangely, I remember very little about the plot, and only hold on to the way that it made me feel when I was reading this book.
And here are some classics that I feel like I should read, and haven't!Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
- I am ashamed to admit that I've never read this book. I should, I really should. And I will do. It's now been added to my personal reading list for 2011. If I don't finish it by the end of next year, I promise you're allowed to set angry dogs on me. Or something.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- I put this on my list because I remembered that the OTHER English class in my high school read this book and that we didn't. I always meant to borrow a friend's book and read it then, but I never did. And I've recently acquired this book and shall rectify that! Any idea what it's about (other than, you know, a tree .. in Brooklyn), I haven't a clue! The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- And then there's this one that has slipped me by all these years.
Which classics are your favourites and which are books you feel you really 'should' read?! Part the second
: December's blurbing book club selection
OK. So it's the end of the month. November's blurbing book club selection was Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I'm still going through the blurbs on the discussion thread but thank you to everyone who participated! I hope that most of you enjoyed reading it and those of you didn't, I wish you would have come forward and joined in on the discussion. We won't always agree or like the same books, but I hope that Nerdfighteria is a place where we can have intellectual conversations about literature.
For December's choice, I've decided to go with a classic. Charles Dickens is an author that I've always meant to read more of, and as of yet, I have only made it through Great Expectations! So, I've chosen A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
! It's nice and short, most people are aware of the storyline, it's Christmassy AND it is widely available to read! No excuses to not take part in the discussion, right? :)
(You've all heard of Project Gutenberg
, right? A website dedicated to providing you with free ebooks? There's a bunch of classic books on this site that you're able to read its entirety and for free seeing as the copyright has lapsed. It's an excellent resource and here's the link to download A Christmas Carol
.)Part the third
: Bookish news and links
First up, Tenley started up this fab forum thread about Book covers
. I find the cover art of books to be absolutely fascinating, especially when looking at really old covers. Someone on twitter (by the way, all of the bookish links I'm sharing today were found via my twitter feed! It's a wonderful resource, Twitter) posted this link to a fab blog called Good Show Sir
which focuses solely on the worst fantasy/sci fi covers with a picture and a short description of why the author things the covers don't work for the story. Love it. Be sure to add YOUR favourite covers to the discussion thread above.
There's a lot of love out there for The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, including John Green who has made several videos letting us all know why and how much he adores the book. This article explains why Holden Caulfield is unactable
and it includes a letter from JD Salinger on his opinion. I found it interesting, I hope you do as well. Can you think of any other books that wouldn't translate very well to the big screen? Which books should NEVER have a movie adaptation?
I know, I know, I focused last week's blog post on the brilliance that is Harry Potter (and I absolutely adored reading each and every one of your comments, thank you) but I saw this and can't help myself. It's a love letter to the character of Ginny Weasley
. It does contain an elements of an adult nature, so might not be suitable for our younger readers. Who would you write your unabashed love letter to and why?
A teacher takes inspiration from October's blurbing book club selection, The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and put together a graveyard walk
in her classroom. What a wonderful way to get children involved and interested in reading the book.. If you could, which book would you choose to turn a room into?
And that's it for me this week. Please do pick up a copy of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens for the December's blurbing book club and join in on the discussion! From a book store, charity shop, from a friend, the library, or Project Gutenberg. I'd love it if lots more people joined us in the book club this month.
As always, if you have any advice, suggestions, or comments about my Tuesday book posts and its content, please do let me know, either via comments or send me a message! I love talking about books, especially with nerdfighters. Let's be friends! Happy reading y'all.