Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) discussion

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2016 Old & New Classic Challenge > Caroline's Classics Challenge 2016

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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Sep 24, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Challenge List 2016


1899 and earlier - The Austen Collection

1. Persuasion (1818) - Finished 27/6/16
2. Pride and Prejudice (1813) - Finished 19/9/16
3. Emma (1815) - Finished 4/9/16
4. Sense and Sensibility (1811)

1900-1999 - Decades

5. Five Children and It (1902) - Finished 4/4/16
6. The Lost World (1912) - Finished 24/9/16
7. A Passage to India (1924)
8. Of Mice and Men (1937) - Finished 8/3/16
9. 1984 (1949) - Finished 23/1/16
10. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1950) - Finished 8/1/16
11. Catch-22 (1961) - Finished 8/6/16
12. Watership Down (1972) - Finished 20/4/16


A-1. Goodnight Mister Tom (1981) - Finished 27/2/16
A-2. Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) - Finished 5/1/16


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

As I read Northanger Abbey last year and Mansfield Park this year I thought this would be a good opportunity to catch up on the other Austens. I have actually read Emma and Pride and Prejudice before but so long ago (20ish years) that I barely remember them!


message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I read Catch-22 this year. It's confusing at first but I ended up really enjoying it.


message 4: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Nice list. Can't go wrong with Austen! I'm trying to be methodical about my choices this year. At least one to carry over from 2015.


message 5: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments I've been looking at everyone's plans for next year and all the lists look so good!

You have some of my all time favourite books on your list..1984, Catch 22, Persuasion. I also enjoyed A passage to India and Of mice and Men very much. I'm working through Austen right now, just have Emma and Pride and Prejudice to go, I hope you enjoy your Austen collection :)


message 6: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9437 comments Mod
You first Alternate book, Good Night, Mr. Tom is a lovely book. I very much enjoyed it.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Kathy wrote: "You first Alternate book, Good Night, Mr. Tom is a lovely book. I very much enjoyed it."

I actually read this years ago at school and (vaguely) remember really enjoying it. I recently found a copy in a charity shop so added it to my list as an excuse for a re-read!


message 8: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4913 comments Mod
I like the way you laid out your challenge, very creative. Some excellent choices, I read Watership Down in 1976+- a year. Its one of those books that just stuck, I keep wondering about a reread.


message 9: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Bob wrote: "I like the way you laid out your challenge, very creative. Some excellent choices, I read Watership Down in 1976+- a year. Its one of those books that just stuck, I keep wondering abou..."

Interesting, Bob, that I read it about that same time and have put it on my re-read list. I remember feeling that it had a lot of impact then, I hope it feels the same now.


message 10: by Desertorum (new)

Desertorum You have good ones here! I have read all the Austens here and my favourites are P&P and S&S.
Watership down is good! I also liked 1984 and Of Mice and Men :) Have fun!


message 11: by Janet (new)

Janet (goodreadscomjanetj) | 852 comments You have picked a lot of good books. I have read eleven of them and I plan to read Good Night, Mr. Tom this year.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments I've been wanting to read "A Passage to India," and those other two famous books about India during the Raj.


message 13: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "I've been wanting to read "A Passage to India," and those other two famous books about India during the Raj."

I finally read "A Passage to India" this year. Glad to have done it.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments I'm going to read 1 or two of the Raj books, probably "Far Pavilions" first, and then "Passage."


message 15: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I'm pretty sure that will be on my 2017 list. I want to read all of his novels.


message 16: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments Great list, Caroline! I've read 8 of the books you've chosen and enjoyed them all. My favorite was Watership Down. I've also read The Plague Dogs by the same author and liked that very much.


message 17: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Nathan wrote: "Great list, Caroline! I've read 8 of the books you've chosen and enjoyed them all. My favorite was Watership Down. I've also read The Plague Dogs by the same author and liked that very..."

I have also read The Plague Dogs and loved The Girl in a Swing.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Looking at everyone else's lists I feel like my list is quite tame in comparison but they're all books I've been meaning to read (or in 3 cases re-read) for some time so this seemed like a good opportunity. Maybe next year I can choose some of the lesser known classics!


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

yes pINK it is good list , you choose nice novels


message 20: by Sarah (new)

Sarah I think it's more important to read one that you've been wanting to read than to read difficult ones. I've been choosing ones that I already own with only a couple of exceptions. They nag, we listen. :)


message 21: by Desertorum (new)

Desertorum Yes I don´t think the difficultness (is that even a word?) is the reason to choose the books. Whatever book interests you. I have all in my TBR-list, which I choose for the challenge. And in this years challenge I had children´s books as well :)


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments Read what you want!

Don't take the fun out of it by faulting yourself for the books on your list!

Who cares about the level of difficulty? Just enjoy!


message 23: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Amen. I don't find your list to be lacking in difficulty. A Passage to India, Of Mice and Men, Watership Down and all your Austen choices are heavy on meaning and thought provoking. I find all of them worthwhile reads.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm unhappy with my choices or that I think they're too easy. It's more a case of list envy! Looking at everybody else's list has made me realise just how few classics I've actually read :)


message 25: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5046 comments Mod
Caroline wrote: "Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm unhappy with my choices or that I think they're too easy. It's more a case of list envy! Looking at everybody else's list has made me realise just how few cla..."

Ah, now list envy I understand. Sometimes I want to read EVERYTHING and read it NOW.


message 26: by Susie (last edited Nov 29, 2015 04:33PM) (new)

Susie | 751 comments Caroline wrote: "Don't get me wrong - it's not that I'm unhappy with my choices or that I think they're too easy. It's more a case of list envy! Looking at everybody else's list has made me realise just how few cla..."

I hear you...I read almost none of what would considered well known classics during school and college but began to change that a year ago. After joining this group and a Classics beginners group, I managed to read 11 Classics this year and it has been great!
I will add that reading classics opened me up to where I have even started reading and enjoying poetry!

We start where we start, and this group has been wonderful...no judgement what so ever, just a common love of books, reading and the Classics.

2016 will be my first year doing any of the challenges, and I'm very excited...it's been such fun checking everyone's lists and figuring out what I will do...

Look at it this way...we have so many more books to choose from, since we've read fewer! ;)


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Susie wrote: Look at it this way...we have so many more books to choose from, since we've read fewer! ;)

You're right - that is a good way to look at it!


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

Started on my list with one of my alternates (I am hoping to read all 14 books listed).

I'm not really sure how I feel about Memoirs of a Geisha. It falls somewhere between 'liked it' and 'really liked it'. I found the subject fascinating - I had no idea before reading what a Geisha actually was and I suppose I was under the impression it was just a fancy word for prostitute - but there seemed to be so much more to it than that. However, at times I felt the story really dragged and could have done with a bit more action. I'd rate it 3.5 because most of the time I was completely absorbed in the story.


message 29: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Caroline wrote: "Started on my list with one of my alternates (I am hoping to read all 14 books listed).

I'm not really sure how I feel about Memoirs of a Geisha. It falls somewhere between 'liked it' ..."


I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to recommend another book that I always do whenever I see anyone who's read Memoirs of a Geisha. It's called Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha by Mineko Iwasaki who was the real geisha in the story that Arthur Golden wrote about. She was so unimpressed with his version of her life that she wrote her own book. Of course you may not want to read what is essentially the same story, but hers is an autobiography, warts and all, about her true life as a geisha. His is the westernised fictional version.

Anyway, congrats on completing your first book and good luck with the next!


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Pink, that sounds interesting, I'll look out for it.


message 31: by [deleted user] (last edited Jan 08, 2016 10:16AM) (new)

Second one done - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia) by C.S. Lewis

Enjoyed it but probably not as much as I would have done if I'd read it when I was a child. I'm glad I finally got around to it though. I will read the rest of the series as they've been hanging around on my bookshelves for years and then pass them on to a younger relative who will hopefully appreciate them more.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

#3 - 1984 - George Orwell done.

Another one that's been on my tbr list for years but for some reason I kept putting off. I found it disturbing and sad but at the same time I really enjoyed it.


message 33: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9437 comments Mod
Two great books from your list finished. Nice work on reading.


message 34: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Well done so far. I'm glad you enjoyed 1984, it's one of my favourites.


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

#4 - my second alternate (because I just really fancied reading it), Goodnight Mister Tom - Michelle Magorian.

This was a re-read for me but the first time was when I was at school (a long, long time ago) so it felt almost like a new book. Loved it just as much this time around.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

#5 - Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck

This is a book that, because it is so well known, I felt fairly familiar with even though I'd never read any of it or seen any film adaptations. However, I didn't know how it ended and although I (sort of) saw where it was going, it still came as a bit of a shock. Without giving too much away I have to confess to a little bit of "eye leakage". Steinbeck really knows how to write a depressing tale. 4 stars.


message 37: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4913 comments Mod
I picked up two books from the library last night one of them was Of Mice and Men. It will be a reread, but so many years have pasted the details will be like reading a brand new book. I'm looking forward to it.


message 38: by [deleted user] (new)

#6 - Five Children and It.
Another children's classic that for some reason I never got around to reading. I vaguely remember seeing a TV adaptation in the days when they used to show such things at tea time on Sundays, but couldn't remember anything about it except that the children found a weird looking thing (or "It" I suppose) lurking in a sandy place!
Like The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I think if I'd read this as a child I would have loved it. As an adult I found it charming but a little bit silly. 3 stars.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Halfway through my list! #7 - Watership Down - Richard Adams.

I'm not usually a fan of animal stories but I loved this. 5 stars.


message 40: by Nargus (last edited Apr 20, 2016 05:46AM) (new)

Nargus | 567 comments Caroline wrote: "Halfway through my list! #7 - Watership Down - Richard Adams.

I'm not usually a fan of animal stories but I loved this. 5 stars."


Glad to hear you enjoyed it! That's good news for those of us intending to read it for the upcoming group read. Heard so many good things about it. Despite that, nobody's spoiled it yet, which is good :) I generally like to know not much about a book before I read it.

Great progress with your list Caroline! Many great reads I'm sure. I read1984 this year too, and thought it was excellent. I've thought of reading Goodnight Mister Tom so I appreciate the reminder. Also, I've been wanting to read Catch-22.

Looks like you'll be in for an Austen read-a-thon! Saving Austen till last. Intentional or happened that way? In any case, I hope you enjoy. I'm yet to read Emma. I've watched a good BBC adaptation of it (I know, tsk, tsk...before the book?) and really liked it.


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks Nargus. I didn't want to say too much about Watership Down because I know a lot of people will be reading it soon.

It does look like I'm saving all my Austen's up till the end doesn't it? Not intentional at all, just the way it's turned out. I have actually read Emma before when I was at school (a long, long time ago) and remember struggling with it so maybe that's why I've been putting that one off!

You really should give Goodnight Mister Tom a go. It's a lovely book, I highly recommend it :)


message 42: by Nargus (new)

Nargus | 567 comments Thanks :) I hope to read it soon!

I have other Austen books I'd like to re-read. I hope you enjoy Emma the second time round!


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

I hope so too. I've enjoyed both Austen books that I've read as an adult (Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park), so I'm hoping that I was just too young to appreciate Emma first time around.


message 44: by Linda (new)

Linda Dobinson (baspoet) | 27 comments I am impressed by your list as, apart from the Austen which I have read, it looks tough. I know I ought to get around to 1984 - maybe next year :)


message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

#8 done - Catch-22 - Joseph Heller.

It took me a while to get through this as I found it so confusing at times, especially during the first half, that it gave me a headache and I'd have to have a break and read something else. I'm afraid I'm not a fan. It just never clicked for me.


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

#9 - Persuasion. The first of four Austen books on my list. For some reason I always feel a little bit intimidated by the idea of reading Jane Austen books and keep putting it off. I don't know why because when I do get around to reading them I really enjoy them and this one was no different. 4 stars.


message 47: by Susie (last edited Jul 04, 2016 07:42PM) (new)

Susie | 751 comments Of the 3 I've read so far, Persuasion is my favorite one...planning to maybe do a reread next year to see if it is as good as I'm remembering it... :)

Youre moving right along with this challenge...way to go!


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

#10 - Emma.

It seems ages since I managed to cross a book off my list but I finally got around to reading Emma. It was a re-read but I originally read it so long ago (in my teens) that all I really remembered was struggling with it. I was fairly familiar with the story though from seeing bits and pieces of various adaptations over the years.

I definitely appreciated it more this time around and would have to say it's my favourite Austen so far. 5 stars.


message 49: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments I'm glad you enjoyed the re-read and congrats on finishing another book :)


message 50: by [deleted user] (new)

Pink wrote: "I'm glad you enjoyed the re-read and congrats on finishing another book :)"

Thanks Pink :)


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