Books on the Nightstand discussion

Beowulf on the Beach Reading Challenge and Giveaway!

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message 1: by Michael (last edited May 19, 2009 09:10AM) (new)

Michael (mkindness) | 537 comments Mod
As mentioned on the blog, we're having a summer classics reading challenged centered around the wonderful new book Beowulf on the Beach. There are multiple ways to enter (see the blog for full details), but here on Goodreads, simply answer this question, here in this discussion topic, and be entered!

What one classic, that you haven't read, would you most want to read this summer?

message 2: by Jenn (new)

Jenn (jennwebb) | 1 comments This summer I will read The Count of Monte Cristo. Maybe even on the beach.

Also, I might have entered on Twitter by accident. I RT'd the contest :-) Not trying to cheat!

message 3: by Laura Ellis (new)

Laura Ellis | 88 comments I am planning on reading The Woman In White.

message 4: by Camille (last edited May 19, 2009 10:01AM) (new)

Camille (camt) | 1 comments I think I'm going to start with Great Expectations. Unfortunately, I live no where near a beach, so I'll have to choose to read it by some other body of water. =)

message 5: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 130 comments Hmmm -- I'm not certain I can say I truly wanted to read this as it is more of a case of having felt I am supposed to have wanted to read it -- War and Peace. I will be reading it in the new translation for a group discussion this summer. Now -- does this still qualify for this or do Ineed another that I want to read but which hasn't come to the point of actually on deck to read?

Sorry -- my mind just works that way sometimes.

message 6: by Amy (new)

Amy (amycrea) | 4 comments I actually have a big stack of classics I'd like to tackle. Several I've read before. But one I haven't is Dickens' Bleak House. I loved the miniseries, and I can only assume the book is better.

message 7: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (dottiem) | 71 comments Virginia Woolf's To the Light House is a book that somehow I have never gotten to and it has been on my to-read list for years. So that one and perhaps Pale Fire by Nabokov. When I used to lead a classics book group when I worked at the store, we had these horrendous arguments - one step from physical violence - about what constitutes a classic. Much of the angst was around how long ago the book had to have been written to be sure it would stand the test of time. Finally decided that the most basic requirement was that the author was dead.

dottie m.

message 8: by Rebeca (new)

Rebeca Schiller | 1 comments Are we talking about 18th, 19th, or 20th century classics?

One of my favorites is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.


Washington Square by Henry James


The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck


The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I'm in the process of reading The Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust - which will take me well into the summer and beyond. Does that count?
Otherwise, I have A Tale of Two Cities and Vanity Fair on my to read shelf.

message 10: by Heather (new)

Heather (hsfargis) | 8 comments Hmmm...that I haven't read? There are so many. I think the one I'd most like to read is The Mystery of Edwin Drood. I read Drood by Dan Simmons earlier this year and it made me interesting in the source.

message 11: by Jack (new)

Jack Murnighan | 6 comments hi all

i'm the author of Beowulf on the Beach, and i'll be here to talk about any of the 50 books i feature and most books in general. a few of you are considering books i'd actually not recommend, namely Count of Monte Christo (overlong and not so deep), Mystery of Edwin Drood (unfinished and not one of Dickens' best) and Tale of Two Cities (one of his worst, actually -- in my opinion). and to the Proust reader, good luck. it's a great way to spend the summer.

happy reading to all,


message 12: by Heather (new)

Heather (hsfargis) | 8 comments Jack,

I'll be interested to see what you recommend, once I get a copy of your book (which I will soon). I have a very hit or miss relationship with Dickens anyway (more hit than miss) but Drood made me interested so I thought I'd give it a look. I have many other classics I need to read anyway. Lots and lots of them.


message 13: by Lee (new)

Lee (leekat) | 13 comments I'm going for Anna Karenina and To the Lighthouse.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Jack wrote: "hi all

i'm the author of Beowulf on the Beach, and i'll be here to talk about any of the 50 books i feature and most books in general. a few of you are considering books i'd actually not recommend..."

Your book sounds really interesting; I can't wait to win (oops get) a copy!

message 15: by Jack (new)

Jack Murnighan | 6 comments thanks. and i promise my book is much more David Sedaris than Harold Bloom...

message 16: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie My classic for the summer is Jane Eyre. Oh, and Emma. Even as an English major, there are so many I have missed along the way...

message 17: by Pam (new)

Pam | 19 comments Bleak House.

message 18: by Amy (new)

Amy (amycrea) | 4 comments Oh, good--a classics David Sedaris! This is going to be fun.

message 19: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments I probably should give Jane Austen another shot.

message 20: by Marlyn (new)

Marlyn | 1 comments There are a few I'd like to reread, but that seems kinda like cheating to me. The one I haven't yet read but have been intending to for some time is James' Wings of a Dove.

message 21: by Savvy (new)

Savvy  (savvysuzdolcefarniente) | 102 comments I'm finally going to read...

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

And looking forward to winning Jack's book! :-)

message 22: by Jack (new)

Jack Murnighan | 6 comments in my not-so-humble, rereading isn't cheating -- reading a great book only one time is!

message 23: by Kristin (new)

Kristin | 4 comments I am so excited to have found this group and to read about Beowulf on the Beach (which I just added to my To Read shelf after reading the awesome synopsis).

I have spent the last 4 summers reading classics - on the beach, btw, which is just a mile from home - that were long over-due in my life. Over the past couple summers I've gotten to Jane Eyre, Catcher in the Rye, Wuthering Heights (my new fave), and To Kill a Mockingbird, among others. There are some from high school lit that I trudged through back then, but feel I want to give another shot (Great Gatsby and Little Women, for example).

But ridiculously, I have never read Jane Austen! So this summer will kick off with Pride and Prejudice. And then I seriously might have to hit Beowulf on the Beach! But oh... the list of classics is long and intriguing. If only summer was as long! Happy reading!

message 24: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments Maybe I should pick up that copy of Don Quixote that's been sitting on my shelf for a year.

Maybe Great Expectations would be a better choice. I've been wanting to read it ever since reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series.

message 25: by Sonya (new)

Sonya | 16 comments Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham; and I am currently reading Tolstoy's Hadji Murad. Have been working my way slowly through Proust, as well.

message 26: by Kathy (new)

Kathy (kathyd) I love Don Quixote! I think I'll read more Sherlock Holmes stories. I've reread the Adventures of . . . and the novels so many times, but I'd like to revisit the other short stories.

message 27: by Graceann (new)

Graceann (silentsgirl) | 26 comments I've been wanting to read Wuthering Heights for a while, and it's been more than 20 years since I've read Grapes of Wrath. The Pit is on my current TBR and I'm looking forward to more Frank Norris.

message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited May 20, 2009 12:28PM) (new)

Make sure pop-up windows are enabled and then click on the display of the widget itself. A pop-up window should appear with the page you clicked on... It will only show one page at a time (there is no forward or scroll function) so you will have to click on each page you want to check out (but you do not have to re-enable pop-up windows.)The first page after the title page is a blank and then I there are 3 pages to the Table of Contents and the whole entry for "The Iliad."

message 29: by [deleted user] (last edited May 20, 2009 12:33PM) (new)

Of the Classics that I haven't read that I would like to tackle, I think "The Decameron" tops the list. I've read excerpts, but not the book in toto.

message 30: by Shannan Lee (new)

Shannan Lee This summer I have tons of classics I will be reading such as MiddleMarch and David Copperfield for sure. Several other that I do not have on hand yet. Most of my bookshelves are full of classics.

message 31: by Dottie (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 130 comments There's a widget to a list? Where? I must be asleep at the switch but I don't see any widget anywhere.

message 32: by Chris K. (new)

Chris K. Dottie,

The widget is on the Books On the Nightstand homepage.

message 33: by Chris K. (new)

Chris K. I'm going to read The Canterbury Tales for the challenge.

Natasha (Vasilly) (vasilly) | 2 comments I plan on reading The Grapes of Wrath this summer. I also have Blood Meridian on my list. Good luck to everyone.

message 35: by Dottie (last edited May 21, 2009 04:39PM) (new)

Dottie (oxymoronid) | 130 comments Chris -- is it in the blog post or the podcast notes -- I'm still not seeing this -- wonder if my IE just isn't showing it for some reason?

It isn't just not opening because it's a pop-up because it would show up as a look at the info bar and click to show pop-up and that is not happening.

message 36: by Liz (new)

Liz (lizgore) | 1 comments The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is my choice!

message 37: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Dottie, if you can't see the widget on Books on the Nightstand, you may be able to see it on the Random House page for the book:

If you still can't see the widget, it might be a javascript problem in your browser. If that's the case, I'd recommend downloading the Firefox browser and trying that.

Love this thread, everyone, thanks for your participation. And Jack: welcome, and thank you!

message 38: by Jody (new)

Jody (jodyls) | 3 comments I'm planning to jump into James Joyce's Ulysses to kick off my summer reading.

message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Jody wrote: "I'm planning to jump into James Joyce's Ulysses to kick off my summer reading."

Holy moly! That is ambitious!

message 40: by Gavin (new)

Gavin (gavin9) I'm planning on reading Middlemarch but I'm already taking part in 9+ reading challenges so am not sure I'll get to it!

message 41: by Shiloki (new)

Shiloki (bookzombie) | 1 comments I've got three classics sitting on my shelf and begging to be taken along on holiday this summer. Paradise Lost, The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde and Vanity Fair.

message 42: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (mkowalewski) | 46 comments I'm planning on Middlemarch and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

message 43: by Cindi (new)

Cindi | 1 comments I will be reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert!
Thanks, Cindi

message 44: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (sandikal) | 89 comments Cindi wrote: "I will be reading Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert!
Thanks, Cindi"

I love that book! I read it once just because and a second time for a World Lit class in college. I loved it both times.

message 45: by Shannon (last edited May 23, 2009 04:22PM) (new)

Shannon Wells | 13 comments Add me to the folks reading Bleak House. When I got my Kindle a couple of months ago, one of the first things I purchased was a Complete Works of Charles Dickens. So, finished Tale of Two Cities (again -- sorry, Jack, have to disagree with you about Tale of Two Cities -- I really enjoy it) and have just started Bleak House, which I had not read before. Since it is really long, I may have to break it up with some "lighter" works, too -- so I will get back to it when I finish Cemetery Dance (LOVE Preston/Childs!).

Just listened to the podcast today while running around doing weekend errands, and as soon as I got home I downloaded Beowulf on the Beach to my Kindle. Can't wait to dig into it tonight, and glad to join the challenge! Other Classics I already had on my summer list: Lady Chatterly's Lover and I wanted to read something from Jane Austen (Another first purchase for my Kindle was a Complete Works of Jane Austen!). I haven't read any Jane for years, so I might wait to look at the BOTB tonight, and see which Jane is the most recommended!

What fun!

message 46: by Heather (new)

Heather I'm going to read Lolita. I've been wanting to read it since I read Reading Lolita in Tehran A Memoir in Books. Can't wait!

Heather in KS

message 47: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Stebbins | 1 comments I'm going to read Don Quixote but being an Aussie it will probably be in front of the fire down at the holiday house instead of on the beach.

message 48: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie Joanne wrote: "I've got three classics sitting on my shelf and begging to be taken along on holiday this summer. Paradise Lost, The Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde and [book:Vanity ..."

Paradise Lost is in my top 10 favorites of all-time. Enjoy!

message 49: by Lauren (new)

Lauren (elvahaley) | 6 comments I am going to read Cather in the Rye or Dracula.

One of my favorite classics is The Great Gatsby. I also love The Awakening and The Picture of Dorian Grey. I think that The Scarlet Letter is great. And, someone said he/she was going to read Huck Finn. I love that book! It is wonderful. Good luck to all!

message 50: by Shona (new)

Shona (anovelobsession) | 178 comments This summer I vow to finally read Pride and Prejudice. I've had it on my bookshelf for years, but never got to it. After that, I think I'll take on Wuthering Heights.

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