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2016 Old & New Classic Challenge > Nathan's 2016 Brontë/Pulitzer Challenge

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message 1: by Nathan (last edited Nov 15, 2016 07:14PM) (new)

Nathan | 421 comments My goals for this challenge are to read the three 1847 novels published by the Brontë sisters and to read a collection of Pulitzer Prize winners.

Brontë novels of 1847
1. Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre 5 stars, July 8
2. Emily Brontë- Wuthering Heights 4 stars, May 6
3. Anne Brontë - Agnes Grey 4 stars, March 11

Pulitzer Winners
4. Sinclair Lewis - Arrowsmith (1926) 3 stars, July 28
5. Robert Penn Warren - All the King's Men (1947) 5 stars, January 28
6. Larry McMurtry - Lonesome Dove (1986) 5 stars, March 25
7. Anne Tyler - Breathing Lessons (1989) 4 stars, February 16
8. Michael Chabon - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2001) 5 stars, May 15
9. Edward P. Jones - The Known World (2004) 5 stars, February 2
10. Geraldine Brooks - March (2006) 4 stars, August 8
11. Elizabeth Strout - Olive Kitteridge (2009) 4 stars, March 4
12. Adam Johnson - The Orphan Master's Son (2013) 4 stars, May 13

Alternates
1. John Kennedy Toole - A Confederacy of Dunces (1981) 5 stars, July 15
2. Junot Díaz - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2008) 4 stars, November 13


message 2: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments Saved


message 3: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4995 comments Mod
Wuthering Heights is the first book I read 4 1/2 years ago when I made up my mind to read classics. Of course as I thought more about it, I had read some 19th century books prior to that when I was a kid. Black beauty, Huck Finn, and others. I have not read Agnes Gray, but I may be more partial to Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall then her to sisters books.

Your Pulitzer selections I have read Olive Kitteridge, a little different, but not a bad story. As for Lonesome Dove, one of my all time favorites, defiantly in the top five. My advise start the year off right and read it first. Enjoy your challenge.


message 4: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9652 comments Mod
Nathan what a great idea! Happy reading with your challenge.


message 5: by Sarah (new)

Sarah It looks great, Nathan!


message 6: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1665 comments What a great list. I have only read Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights and Lonesome Dove. And I agree with Bob, Lonesome Dove is awesome. Good luck with your list, and I will be interested to see how you like them.


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Nice list. I've only read the Bronte books - Agnes Grey and Jane Eyre were for this challenge this year. Really enjoyed Jane Eyre, not so keen on Agnes Grey. Loved Wuthering Heights when I read it a few years ago. Might be due for a re-read. Good luck with your challenge :)


message 8: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Great stuff!


message 9: by Teanka (new)

Teanka | 124 comments Wow, you really have thought it out, Nathan. Your list looks very interesting.


message 10: by Desertorum (new)

Desertorum Nice challenge. I have only read Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights and I like them both. This year I will read Agnes Grey but I don´t have high hopes since I didn´t care for the Tenant of Wildfell Hall.


message 11: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments Thanks, everyone. :)

The only one of these books I've read before is Wuthering Heights. I read it for a class in 2000. It was a required class for my major where the professor picked the topic for an in-depth study. It was called Studies in Texts and I had no idea what the topic was until class started. I found out on the first day that we would be studying the Victorian Novel.

It sounded like the worst idea ever. But, it was my last semester and it was the only session being offered. I had no choice but to take it and do well enough to pass. We read Great Expectations, Wuthering Heights, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Villette.

To my surprise, I ended up loving the class. Wuthering Heights was my favorite and I've been wanting to do a reread for a long time.


As for the rest, I've never read a Pulitzer winner I haven't liked. The Goldfinch, The Grapes of Wrath, Beloved, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Road, Middlesex, Gone with the Wind...so many of them are so good!


message 12: by Lesserknowngems (new)

Lesserknowngems | 103 comments From hark a vagrant, The bronte sisters hunt for men http://www.harkavagrant.com/index.php...

I have only Wuthering Heights and Agnes Grey, but I love the project and idea behind the list. I especially want to know what you think of Wuthering Heights since there is such a love/hate relationship with that book in my oppinion.


message 13: by Philina (new)

Philina | 1562 comments Great idea for a challenge!

I adore Jane Eyre! And I also want to read March. My neighbor once loaned me Caleb's Crossing and I didn't figure out it was the same author until yesterday.


message 14: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9652 comments Mod
March is a wonderful book! I enjoyed Caleb's Crossing too.


message 15: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments I'm really excited about both March and Lonesome Dove. I've never read Larry McMurtry, but I have read one by Geraldine Brooks, Year of Wonders, and liked that quite a bit.


message 16: by Philina (new)

Philina | 1562 comments Year of Wonders is on my to-read list as well!


message 17: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Nathan wrote: "My goals for this challenge are to read the three 1847 novels published by the Brontë sisters....

Brontë novels of 1847
1. Charlotte Brontë - Jane Eyre "
Loved
2. Emily Brontë- Wuthering Heights Loved, hated, loved, hated, argghh
3. Anne Brontë - Agnes Grey Loved

I haven't read any of your other choices, but I do have The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao sitting on my shelf waiting to read.

Good luck with all of them!


message 18: by Philina (new)

Philina | 1562 comments I felt roughly the same as Pink about Wuthering Heights.


message 19: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 4055 comments Great and inspiring list! Wuthering Heights is my favorite, and I'll be reading Jane Eyre for the first time next year. I think you'll really enjoy Breathing Lessons and Olive Kitteridge.

I'm going to consider the others now ...!


message 20: by Sara (taking a break), Old School Classics (new)

Sara (taking a break) (phantomswife) | 5792 comments Mod
It's a lovely list. I am going to enjoy seeing what you think of them all.


message 21: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments This past weekend, I finished the last of my challenge books. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. All of my picks ended up being 4 or 5 stars, except Arrowsmith, which was a solid three stars. I liked it, but I read Elmer Gantry last year and liked that better.

My favorite book was Lonesome Dove. Larry McMurtry is an amazing storyteller. I went on to read the other three novels in the Lonesome Dove series and enjoyed them all. McMurtry is well on his way to being one of my favorite writers.

Jane Eyre and A Confederacy of Dunces were tied for a close second. Both are brilliant, but, Wow! They sure are different!

I'm looking forward to next year's challenge!


message 22: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1665 comments Great to see that you finished and liked your whole list. And I totally agree about Lonesome Dove, it is awesome. I have read the others in the series as well and they are good but can't touch LD in greatness. Congratulations on completing and enjoying your challenge.


message 23: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9652 comments Mod
Nathan wrote: "This past weekend, I finished the last of my challenge books. I thoroughly enjoyed this challenge. All of my picks ended up being 4 or 5 stars, except Arrowsmith, which was a solid thr..."

Hey, congrats on that.


message 24: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Congrats Nathan! I need to read A Confederacy of Dunces. I'm glad you had a good year.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments Congrats Nathan!

I'm glad to learn that LD is a really good read.

I'm thinking of trying it for bingo in 2017.


message 26: by Sarah (new)

Sarah It's brilliant, Andrea. He creates the most wonderful and dynamic characters. They make you laugh and then they break your heart. It was one of my favorite reads this year, too.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments Thanks for input Sarah Ann.

I don't usually read westerns of watch western movies, but LD sounds extraordinary, so it's on my radar!


message 28: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Congrats on finishing your challenge, it sounds like you picked some wonderful books this year, I'm glad you enjoyed them so much :)


message 29: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4995 comments Mod
Congratulations, you finished all fourteen.


message 30: by Brina (new)

Brina Starting my year with LD. Must get read. Also need to read Dunces thanks for reminding me. Great job on this challenge.


message 31: by Sara (taking a break), Old School Classics (last edited Nov 16, 2016 07:06AM) (new)

Sara (taking a break) (phantomswife) | 5792 comments Mod
Count me in on loving LD. I read the entire series as well, and I hope no one passes because they are thinking of it as a "western". It is so much more than that!

Conf of Dunces is on my list for next year. I just couldn't fit it in this year. Glad to hear you gave it high marks, Nathan.

Anyway, congrats on the finish...now on to 2017.


message 32: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (tnbooklover) Congrats Nathan you had a great challenge year! I need to try A Confederacy of Dunces again. I tried it once a long time ago and it wasn't right for me then but I have so many book friends that have rated it highly.


message 33: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 4055 comments I love how your three favorites are so very different Nathan. :-)Congratulations--what reading year!


message 34: by Nathan (new)

Nathan | 421 comments Thanks, everyone! It really has been a wonderful reading year for me.

I hope all of you taking on Lonesome Dove and A Confederacy of Dunces next year enjoy them as much as I did.


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