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Showing posts from November, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday.

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This week's Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR.1. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. 

I read it last year, I will read it this year, and I will read it next year.
2. The Winter's Tale by William Shakespeare.

"A sad tale's best for winter. I have one  Of sprites and goblins." (Act II scene I)
3. Domestic Manners of the Americans by Fanny Trollope.

This I bought today, and plan on reading as soon as I've finished my James Joyce biography.  It's by Fanny Trollope, Anthony Trollope's mother, and it's a rather damning account of her travels in America (published in 1832), which led her to be, in Mark Twain's words,  "so handsomely cursed and reviled by this nation".
4. The Legend of Good Women by Geoffrey Chaucer.

For my Chaucer Challenge.
5. Good Wives by Louisa May Alcott.

I re-read Little Womenlast Christmas and decided to save Good Wives for this Christmas.
6. Armadale by Wilkie Collins.

This, I hope,…

Reading England 2015.

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Already people are beginning to think ahead to their reading challenges for 2015 (I'm particularly excited by Fanda's Literary Movements Reading Challenge, which I'll write about in the coming weeks, and I see Adam has posted his TBR 2015 Challenge which I shall be joining), and I've been thinking of challenges and the various read-alongs which are cropping up. I've also been thinking of hosting my own challenge, a challenge I've been thinking about since June as it happens: Reading England. This is not unlike the 50 States Reading Challenge, only for this one we would be reading books set in various English counties.

The Goal: To travel England by reading, and read at least one book per however many counties of England you decide to read.
Example: You aim to read three books set in three different counties, and you read Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy, Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, and The Darling Buds of May by H. E. Bates. Reading these means you…

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

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War and Peace (Война и миръ) was written by Leo Tolstoy and published in 1869. It's one of those books that are high on people's list of intimidating books for it's sheer length, but, as it happens, it's not even in the top 20 of the longest novels ever written (it's 21st, I think), about on a par with Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace (both of which are slightly shorter), Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth (slightly longer). It is no Clarissa (Samuel Richardson), and it's certainly no In Search of Lost Time (Proust)
The only danger, as with all books, is that it might be boring. A month ago, having read the Rosemary Edmonds translation (Penguin Classics) twice, I would have agreed. Reading it took a great deal of effort and self-discipline, and ultimately it was a disappointing and a very pointless exercise. Frustration was my only memory of these two reads. When my friend suggested another translator …

Parlement of Foules by Geoffrey Chaucer, and a new challenge.

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This weekend I've been thinking about my various reading challenges, particularly reading Dostoyevsky's major works. It's a challenge I've had going for nearly a year, and it's become a thorn in my side. The list I chose was far from complete, and the idea of adding more on to it filled me with dread. Furthermore, the point was to make a sort of study of Dostoyevsky, and I've simply not managed to whip up enough enthusiasm for the task. It's now a definitive list of vague intentions, and whilst I still want to read through his works, I don't want to make this challenge of it when it is so half-hearted. I was thinking about it this weekend, as I say, and I realised I had five left on the list (and only one of the works I've reviewed on this blog); in theory I could finish some time in the new year, but even so I wouldn't have "studied" anything. And so, for now, I think it is time to suspend the Dostoyevsky challenge and move forward wi…

The Classic Club Survey.

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Before I begin with this monster survey, let me just say that the spin result is in, the number is 13, and I got New Grub Street by George Gissing. I haven't read any Gissing but I've been meaning to ever since I saw The Nether World described as "Zola-esque". I'm pleased to get this one, and relieved that I didn't get Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which I rather regretted including!

And so to the survey......



1. Share a link to your club list.
Here is the current list and here is the completed first list.
2. When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club? (We are SO CHECKING UP ON YOU! Nah. We’re just asking.) :)
I joined on 12th March 2012. I've finished my first list, which was 180 books, and now I'm on to my second, of which I've read 17, so the grand total of Classic Club books is 197.

3. What are you currently reading?
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

4. What did you just finish readin…