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2016 Old & New Classic Challenge > Laurie's 2016 Old and New Challenge

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message 1: by Laurie (last edited Oct 18, 2016 07:55PM) (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments My goal for 2016 is going to be to read more globally, so this is the basis of my wild cards and alternates. I wanted no authors native to or books set in the US or UK since I read so many of those anyway.

12/12 complete

1899 and earlier
1. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen 1814 5/29/16
2.Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert 1856 10/2/16
3.Heidi by Johanna Spyri 1880 1/2/16

1900-1999
4.My Ántonia by Willa Cather 1918 1/30/16
5.Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons 1932 4/9/16
6..The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy 1958 DNF

Wild Card Six
7. Broken April by Ismail Kadare 1978 10/9/16
8.The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende 1982 2/23/16
9.A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute 1950 7/4/16
10.The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki 1943
11.My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk 1998 4/26/16
12.Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 2006 2/13/16

Alternates
The Bone People by Keri Hulme 1984 5/19/16
The Ice Palace by Tarjei Vesaas 1963 10/18/16


message 2: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9434 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "My goal for 2016 is going to be to read more globally, so this is the basis of my wild cards and alternates...."

What a great idea. Nice list!


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

Bob | 4913 comments Mod
I like your idea for your wild cards. I read The Ice Palace this year for my Bingo 2015 challenge, I was well pleased, an intriguing story. Good Luck!


message 4: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Bob wrote: "I like your idea for your wild cards. I read The Ice Palace this year for my Bingo 2015 challenge, I was well pleased, an intriguing story. Good Luck!"

I put The Ice Palace on my TBR after reading your recommendation of it. Even though it is one of my alternates, I plan to read it next year.


message 5: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I've changed my mind about two of my 19th century novels. I added Mansfield Park and Madame Bovary. I meant to read MB with the group this year but couldn't fit it in. And I will complete the Austen main 6 with MP. So this should give me greater motivation to get these read.


message 6: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Nothing like last minute changes. It's late evening on December 31st here in Texas, so I have a little time to make my last change. I decided to replace one of my wildcard six. I am replacing Riders in the Chariot with A Town Like Alice. I went with Patrick White initially because he is a Nobel winner, but I have wanted to read this Shute novel for a long time so I am switching.


message 7: by Cosmic (last edited Dec 31, 2015 11:50PM) (new)

Cosmic Arcata | 132 comments I did the same thing yesterday. Decided to go with a theme of 1922. Some of the older works were influencing these later works, or at least I think they might.

You have a fun year ahead! Enjoy!


message 8: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Finished my first one yesterday with Heidi. I only gave it three stars which makes me feel bad for such an enduring classic, but there were just too many things about the too sweet story that bugged me. It truly should be read by children who won't be so critical.


message 9: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Oh you're very organised completing your first challenge book and group read for 2016! I haven't even read a single page since before Christmas!

Good luck with your other choices.


message 10: by Cynthia (last edited Jan 05, 2016 05:28PM) (new)

Cynthia | 3 comments Laurie wrote: "Finished my first one yesterday with Heidi. I only gave it three stars which makes me feel bad for such an enduring classic, but there were just too many things about the too sweet story ..."

I agree, Laurie. I read Heidi when I was 10, and adored it, but I doubt it would enchant me in quite the same way today. I wonder if kids are still reading those enduring children's classics? I've lost touch now that my own children are grown, but my sense is those stories may not be as popular today as they were 50 years ago.


message 11: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Cynthia wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Finished my first one yesterday with Heidi. I only gave it three stars which makes me feel bad for such an enduring classic, but there were just too many things about the t..."

I think some of the classics are still read but not as much as when we were children. My friend just got her 10 year old granddaughter to chose Little Women as her first ebook purchase, but I doubt if most girls her age read it. They are busy reading about Percy Jackson and Harry Potter.


message 12: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finished my 2nd book of this challenge, My Ántonia and I enjoyed it very much. I look forward to reading more of Willa Cather's novels.


message 13: by Susie (last edited Jan 30, 2016 03:58PM) (new)

Susie | 751 comments I'm reading O Pioneers! for this and my Bingo Challenge. I read some of her short stories last year and liked them.
This will be my first full length book by her...looking forward to it!


message 14: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
I have Death Comes for the Archbishop on my list. There are a lot of Cather's novels that I still need to read. Glad you liked My Ántonia, I did as well.


message 15: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I probably should have started with O Pioneers! since it is the first of the trilogy, but it seems like they work as stand alone novels. I didn't feel like I needed to have read the first two after reading My Antonia.


message 16: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
My Antonia and O Pioneers will definitely stand alone. It isn't a trilogy in the way modern trilogies work...a continuing story with a cliff hanger ending.


message 17: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finished my first wildcard novel, Half of a Yellow Sun and it was seriously good. It is not a comfortable story to read since it is about war and suffering, but the characters were very real to me and I cared about what happened to them. I have loved the two Adichie novels that I have read so far and look forward to reading her most famous novel, Americanah, at some point.


message 18: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments I'm the other way around to you, I've read and loved Americanah, but haven't read her other books yet. I do have Half of a Yellow Sun on my shelf though, I just haven't got to it.


message 19: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Pink wrote: "I'm the other way around to you, I've read and loved Americanah, but haven't read her other books yet. I do have Half of a Yellow Sun on my shelf though, I just haven't got to it."

I just really like Adichie's style of writing, so I look forward to more of her novels as she continues to write. I expect to enjoy Americanah as much as the other two. It was certainly popular in another group I'm in when it was a group read.


message 20: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I'm now a third of the way through my 12. I finished The House of the Spirits and I gave it 3 stars. It is a Latin American classic of great acclaim, but her style just wasn't for me. The story itself was good though, so I am disappointed that I didn't like it better.


message 21: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9434 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I'm now a third of the way through my 12. I finished The House of the Spirits and I gave it 3 stars. It is a Latin American classic of great acclaim, but her style just wasn't for me. T..."

I've been afraid to read this for a similar reason, it has great acclaim and many friends have loved it -- but I'm afraid I might not like the style as Magic Realism is not always a favorite for me.


message 22: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Kathy wrote: "Laurie wrote: "I'm now a third of the way through my 12. I finished The House of the Spirits and I gave it 3 stars. It is a Latin American classic of great acclaim, but her style just w..."

I agree that magical realism isn't for everyone. And not for me. I felt the same about Midnight's Children which had many more magical elements in it than this novel.


message 23: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I am so bummed to have a DNF on my list, but that's why we have the two alternates. I made it more than a third of the way through The Dud Avocado before I decided it is a dud for me, although I would have given up earlier if it wasn't on my list. The main character is so vapid and shallow, and she is the most interesting character. This novel is supposed to be funny and entertaining, but clearly it was neither for me.


message 24: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1869 comments the only one left on your list that I've read is Cold Comfort Farm which I loved - the main character Flora is one of my fave characters ever although I have heard some people find her annoying, so interested to hear what you think...


message 25: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Darren wrote: "the only one left on your list that I've read is Cold Comfort Farm which I loved - the main character Flora is one of my fave characters ever although I have heard some people find her..."

I definitely look forward to Cold Comfort Farm. I have read many wonderful things about it.


message 26: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
Had to laugh a little that "The Dud Avocado" was a dud. Sorry, though, I know how much I hate getting a book I simply cannot enjoy on any level.

I have not read Cold Comfort Farm, although it is on my TBR now for a while. I am encouraged by the good feedback you have gotten.


message 27: by David (new)

David | 1 comments Cold comfort farm - simply the best book ever. The one book i return to year after year - and I even named my kids after the characters, that's how much I loved it.


message 28: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments David wrote: "Cold comfort farm - simply the best book ever. The one book i return to year after year - and I even named my kids after the characters, that's how much I loved it."

That is an amazing recommendation. I need to check it out soon.


message 29: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finished Cold Comfort Farm today. I liked it but I can't say, as David did above, that it is now my favorite novel ever. But it was enjoyable and definitely worth reading, so I am pleased to have chosen it for this challenge.


message 30: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4913 comments Mod
Double dipping, my favorite why to get ahead on challenges.


message 31: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Double-dipping is a must if I want to actually finish these challenges. I used this for all three challenges, so I scored a field goal with this novel.


message 32: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9434 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "Double-dipping is a must if I want to actually finish these challenges. I used this for all three challenges, so I scored a field goal with this novel."

A hat trick!


message 33: by Laurie (last edited Apr 26, 2016 07:33PM) (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Finally halfway through this challenge! I finished My Name is Red today and it was such a struggle. I didn't really like or seriously dislike this book hence a 3 star rating. It was so different from most novels I've ever read. And while it purports to be a murder mystery, that is really just a side story. One must be extremely interested in art of the middle ages, specifically as relates to the art that the Ottomans utilized as opposed to the art of the Western world. I knew nothing about all of that and it is discussed in great detail. In the end, it was fairly entertaining which is one of the criteria I ask for in a book.


message 34: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finished my 7th book of this challenge, The Bone People. It was both horrible and wonderful to read. The style and lyrical language was beautiful once you get used to it. But the main topic, child abuse, is so abhorrent that I almost stopped reading when I got to the bad chapters. But I kept going because the child, Simon, had completely captured my heart by then.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments Oh no! I was planning to read "The Bone People."


message 36: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Andrea (Catsos Person) is a Compulsive eBook Hoarder wrote: "Oh no! I was planning to read "The Bone People.""

Andrea, please don't let me deter you from reading this novel. If you can handle reading about this topic, it's a good book. The child is such a wonderful character. And the abuser is actually a very likeable character as well which I think is one of the hard things about it.


message 37: by Desertorum (new)

Desertorum As I read all your comments about the Cold Comfort Farm I start to believe that I missed something about it...I just didn´t care for it. I thought it was weird (and not in a good way) and dull. When I read the description about it, I was waiting something weird and funny but this was just gloomy to me, could´t find the funny...


message 38: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments Desertorum wrote: "As I read all your comments about the Cold Comfort Farm I start to believe that I missed something about it...I just didn´t care for it. I thought it was weird (and not in a good way) and dull. Whe..."

I didn't find it gloomy, but it wasn't funny either and that is what I expected after reading descriptions about it. That's how many readers characterize it and I didn't find it particularly funny at all. I think weird may be a good way to describe the story, but for me it wasn't in a bad way. I am sorry that you didn't enjoy it.


message 39: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I completed my 8th novel of this challenge, Mansfield Park. It is the last of the main Austen novels that I had not read. I put it in next to last in order of preference since I didn't care for many of the characters. Fanny is not a strong female protagonist which is such a hallmark in the other Austen novels. So a slightly disappointing read but I am still glad to have read it.


message 40: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
Not my favorite Austen, but still worthwhile. Plowing through this challenge, aren't you!


message 41: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments It doesn't feel like great progress, but I am 2/3 through my challenge so I guess that's pretty good.


Andrea AKA Catsos Person (catsosperson) | 1791 comments I really like "Mansfield Park," but I can understand why it is unappealing to many readers.


message 43: by Laurie (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finished my 9th book of this challenge, A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute which I enjoyed very much. This was my first novel by Shute that I have read, but it will not be my last.


message 44: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
So glad you enjoyed A Town Like Alice. I really love it and thought On the Beach was good as well. I really need to read some of his other work.


message 45: by Laurie (last edited Oct 03, 2016 10:47AM) (new)

Laurie | 1631 comments I finally finished my 10th book of the challenge, Madame Bovary. I am so glad to mark this one off my TBR since I've meant to read it for so many years. Can't really say that I liked the novel, but Flaubert created such a memorable character in Emma Bovary. I will think of her from now on when I hear about dissatisfied wives.


message 46: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
Exactly my feelings, Laurie. Not a book you actually like, but one you are unlikely to ever forget. Congrats!


message 47: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9434 comments Mod
Laurie wrote: "I finally finished my 10th book of the challenge, Madame Bovary. I am so glad to mark this one off my TBR since I've meant to read it for so many years. Can't really say that I liked th..."


Well I guess that is why this is a book challenge. This way you read books you otherwise would not have read perhaps.


message 48: by Julia (new)

Julia | 61 comments Cynthia wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Finished my first one yesterday with Heidi. I only gave it three stars which makes me feel bad for such an enduring classic, but there were just too many things about the t..."

As a book seller I can tell you I see mothers and grandmothers pushing their kids towards the Little House and Anne of Green Gables series. I think the latter held up better than the former, but there are much better series out there for the kids of today...


message 49: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5044 comments Mod
We sometimes want to share with our children the best experiences of our own childhood, so they push them that direction because they want them to have that sweet moment that they have already had.


message 50: by Renee (new)

Renee | 864 comments Julia wrote: "Cynthia wrote: "Laurie wrote: "Finished my first one yesterday with Heidi. I only gave it three stars which makes me feel bad for such an enduring classic, but there were just too many th..."

I did that. I bought Anne of Green Gables for my daughter because it was my favourite book when I was younger. I always thought it was such a fun book to read. She got to I think Chapter 6, then stopped reading it. Maybe it was going a little too slow for her, or it just wasn't her type of book. She read Divergent in school and loved it, now she's on the third book of the series. I'm just glad she was able to find some books she likes.


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