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2019 Old & New Classic Challenge > Lynn 2019 Old and New Classics Challenge

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message 1: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Nov 28, 2019 07:15AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Lynn's 12 + 2 Classic Challenge - I will only be listing books from our group bookshelf. I will focus primarily on new-to-me books, but there are three books that I read almost 40 years ago that I would like to reread.

1899 and earlier
1. Jane Eyre reread (1847) 6/16/2019 ✔️ 5 stars
2. The Scarlet Letter reread (1850)
3. Heidi reread (1880) 3/29/2019 ✔️ 5 stars

1900-1999
4. The Haunting of Hill House (1959) 4/27/2019 ✔️ 4 stars
5. To the Lighthouse (1927)
6. The House on Mango Street (1984) 6/22/2019 ✔️ 4 stars

My Wild Card Six
7. From the Earth to the Moon (Old School) (1865) 1/19/2019 ✔️ 4 stars
8. Rebecca (New School) (1938) 2/18/2019 ✔️ 5 stars
9. Snow Falling on Cedars (New School) (1994)
10. The Hound of the Baskervilles (New School) (1902) 3/25/2019 ✔️ 4 stars
11. The Pillars of the Earth (New School) (1989)
12. The Catcher in the Rye (New School) (1951) 11/27/2019 ✔️ 5 stars

Alternates
A-1. A Christmas Carol (Old School) (1843) 4/19/2019 ✔️ 5 stars
A-2. To Kill a Mockingbird (New School) (1960) 7/16/2019 ✔️ 5 stars


message 2: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5494 comments Mod
You have a great list here. I've read all but one and I'd say not a loser in the bunch.


message 3: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Dec 03, 2018 04:10PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Thanks Sara. My theme for this year is to try to read the obvious classics that most people agree upon, but that I have simply missed along the way.


message 4: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2627 comments What a wonderful list! You have a lot of good reading ahead of you. Enjoy! :)


message 5: by Renee (new)

Renee | 864 comments Great list! I hope you enjoy them all :)


message 6: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4960 comments Mod
I have read all of your selections, not a dud in the bunch, except maybe Mango Street, but I think that’s more of a guy thing. The books not flawed, I am.


message 7: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Dec 26, 2018 09:57AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I am already revising this list The Red Pony is being removed because I just started reading it with a special reading enrichment group at school. I started too soon. I will replace it with To the Lighthouse


message 8: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I noticed that others were concerned with the number of women authors in their challenge list. I made up the list from the groups' shelf and books I physically own. I did not think about authors' genders. Turns out 7/14 are female or 7/14 are male however you look at it. I read a lot of books by females. I just like the books and it turns out that way. Of course, I really enjoy children's lit and there are so many women that write children's lit.


message 9: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Lynn wrote: "I noticed that others were concerned with the number of women authors in their challenge list. I made up the list from the groups' shelf and books I physically own. I did not think about authors' g..."

I like children's lit, too. That's funny, I was thinking about the women authors ratios today. I was thinking the same thing, wondering if women authors were more common in genre fiction, for example, children's literature, mystery, 'women's fiction', and less common in general fiction/literature.

I think so, but I don't know so. Maybe it wasn't until the last quarter to third of the twentieth century that the scales became more evenly balanced for publication numbers? Not sure, to be honest.


message 10: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
MK wrote: "Lynn wrote: "I noticed that others were concerned with the number of women authors in their challenge list. I made up the list from the groups' shelf and books I physically own. I did not think abo..."

That is a good thought. It is likely that people who read more children's lit and YA books, as well as read more recent literature may read more women authors.


message 11: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments Lynn wrote: "That is a good thought. It is likely that people who read more children's lit and YA books, as well as read more recent literature may read more women authors. ."


That's my gut feeling, too.


message 12: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I have read three books so far from this challenge. I am primarily focusing on the Bingo or monthly group reads, but it is nice when something can count twice. Once Bingo is finished, I will spend more time on this.


message 13: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2627 comments I'm kind of like you. Bingo is my big challenge, this is an extra one that I add to when I can. But whatever I can get to is one more off the list! ;)


message 14: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4960 comments Mod
In past years I’ve planned for books to work out in two or sometimes three challenges. This year, not so much, so I too am working more on Bingo than this one, still, there is a lot of time left, I think. It does go by fast.


message 15: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Nov 27, 2019 03:39AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I have just finished listening to an award winning audiobook version of A Christmas Carol. It has been on my TBR list for so very long. Each year I think that I will read it during Christmas, but then Christmas is so busy that I do not do it. I have read a play version which I taught in 7th Grade ELA class A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley. It is about time that I actually read the original after seeing so many play productions and movie adaptations. It is wonderful. I was in tears more than one morning as I drove in to school. The audiobook version I listened to was read by the incomparable Simon Prebble.


message 16: by MK (new)

MK (wisny) | 2993 comments I always say Dickens isn't one of my favorites whenever his name comes up, but I've now read 3 of his Christmas stories, and they were all wonderful. Only The Christmas Carol (of the three I've read so far) was actually about Christmas tho - the rest can easily be read any time of the year!

Your audiobook sounds wonderful! :)


message 17: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4960 comments Mod
Lynn wrote: "I have just finished listening to an award winning audiobook version of A Christmas Carol. It has been on my TBR list for so very long. Each year I think that I will read it during Chri..."

A true favorite!


message 18: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I just finish book #7, so 5 more to go. I am thinking of this as a one book per month challenge.

I finished Jane Eyre last night. I am not going to write a formal review because over 100,000 people have already rated it. There is no need for one more review.

I thought I read it in High School. I was so surprised at the book. Our edition must have been severely abridged. I did not remember any of the religion, Helen Burns, or cousin St. John at all. Victorian novels are so dense with so many parts to the story. If Charlotte had written today I could see her novel being a three book series. So now I am ready to read Wide Sargasso Sea. I realize that I am now firmly "Team Edward" pun intended. Hehe.


message 19: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3220 comments Congratulations Lynn. You passed the halfway mark!

I Jane Eyre was great.


message 20: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Congrats on finishing Jane Eyre, it is a great story. Good luck with Wide Sargasso Sea. It will be interesting to see how you feel about the characters reading these books back to back.


message 21: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Jun 18, 2019 12:19PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Jane EyrePink wrote: "Congrats on finishing Jane Eyre, it is a great story. Good luck with Wide Sargasso Sea. It will be interesting to see how you feel about the characters reading these books back to back."

I thought I would put a link to my review of Wide Sargasso Sea here, if anyone is interested. It is very negative, but does discuss the characters in light of the book Jane Eyre.
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

Honestly, I disliked Wide Sargasso Sea so much I just want to forget it and move on. I feel like I need to read a sweet heartwarming children's book to wash the taste of this one out of my mouth.


message 22: by Pink (last edited Jun 18, 2019 10:40AM) (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Haha, well those are strong feelings! Sorry you didn’t like it, but at least you tried.


message 23: by Cynda (new)

Cynda | 3058 comments Good catch Lynn. I did not catch all that historical background. I know why I did not check at the time, but I could have checked at anytime since 2011 when I read the novel.

I will have to revisit, not reread the book. Thanks for the catch.


message 24: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Sue wrote: "Congratulations Lynn. You passed the halfway mark!

I Jane Eyre was great."


Thanks Sue. I got distracted by the next book and never responded to you!


message 25: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
I just finished The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. I liked the book. I am familiar with this author because I have taught short stories she has written. They are included in the textbooks for both our 7th and 8th grade students. Honestly, the part of the book I liked best was the introduction. I have the 25th Anniversary Edition which includes a nice long introduction where Cisneros speaks in her own voice as an adult and talks about her road to becoming the author she is today. Usually she writes with a teenage narrator. The introduction gets 5 stars, and the rest of the book 4 stars.


message 26: by Lotte (new)

Lotte | 196 comments Good you liked this book, after your negative experience with Wide Saragasso Sea. Would you say that The House on Mango Street is also interesting for readers from outside of the US?


message 27: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Jul 02, 2019 02:25PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Thanks. Possibly it would be interesting. It focuses on a teenager's point of view of living in a family whose parents immigrated to the United States and the children in the book are a mix of those who were born abroad and born in the United States. Although it is fiction, it is also quite autobiographical. What I liked best was the introduction in my 25th Anniversary edition. Cisneros remembers her struggling early years as a writer and how far she has come since this book was published. After reading her personal story I had great sympathy for her and was ready to enjoy her book.


message 28: by Lotte (new)

Lotte | 196 comments Thank you for your feedback :). It's great that the introduction enhanced your reading experience. Most often than not I find myself skipping them because they give away so much of the plot.


message 29: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Jul 03, 2019 12:14AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Lotte wrote: "Thank you for your feedback :). It's great that the introduction enhanced your reading experience. Most often than not I find myself skipping them because they give away so much of the plot."

This book really does not have a plot. There is a theme. The book is a series of character studies. Each short chapter sketches the personality of one or more characters from her neighborhood. The narrator is present throughout.


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

Bob | 4960 comments Mod
Mango Street is one of those books I just couldn't identify with. I read it for a personal challenge and had no problems with the writing or the author, maybe the problem is that I'm a guy. Maybe I should give is another go in a few years, after all it is pretty short.


message 31: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5494 comments Mod
Not a gender thing, Bob. I had the same reaction. No problem with the writing or the author, but a total lack of connection with the story.


message 32: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Nov 27, 2019 03:37AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
This is the challenge that I am concerned about. Bingo is complete and my Women's Century Challenge only lacks one book. I started The Catcher in the Rye yesterday. There is a nice audio book on Youtube. It will be pretty easy to knock out, but the other remaining books are more hefty.

11/27/2019 I need to read 3 of these books:

The Catcher in the Rye
The Scarlet Letter
The Pillars of the Earth ( which I started but then stopped a couple of hundred pages in)
To the Lighthouse
Snow Falling on Cedars


message 33: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4960 comments Mod
From what you have left, I have read them all. Snow Falling on Cedars and The Scarlet Letter were great. Snow Falling on Cedars maybe an easier read than Scarlet Letter, both well worth the effort. Catcher never really grabbed me and Lighthouse, at least for me, was a difficult read. Pillars I enjoyed very much, but I’m a big fan of Ken Follett. Good luck, hope you finish.


message 34: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 5494 comments Mod
I was just about to say exactly what Bob said! Snow Falling on Cedars is great and it will read very quickly. The Scarlet Letter is such a marvelous story...won't read as quickly, but I believe you will be so glad to have read it. The Catcher in the Rye did not resonate with me, but it doesn't take much time or effort to knock it out.

You can do this for sure and huge congratulations on finishing the others!


message 35: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Nov 27, 2019 07:42AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Thank you Sara and Bob for the advice. Snow Falling on Cedars may be the next one I try to finish. Luckily, I am moderating A Christmas Carol next month which I have already read. I think The Catcher in the Rye is ok, not great, at the mid-point. If I could stop playing with planning maybe I could finish it. LOL


message 36: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
One more finished. I am surprised how much I liked The Catcher in the Rye. Normally, the foul language would bother me, but poor Holden was so pitiful I could not help but feel sorry for him.


message 37: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I read The Catcher in the Rye last year and loved it. I wanted someone to hug Holden and tell him things would get better.


message 38: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
April wrote: "I read The Catcher in the Rye last year and loved it. I wanted someone to hug Holden and tell him things would get better."

I just wrote a review for this book. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show.... Some books are finished and quickly fade from consciousness. This story is staying with me even the next day. I just bumped my rating up to 5 stars. I really liked it.


message 39: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Dec 31, 2019 06:24PM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
For 2019 my plan was two challenges: Bingo and The Old and New Classic Challenge. I added one more because I almost had enough books to complete the Women Authors Challenge. In the end I only completed one of my three challenges. I was two books short in the Old and New Classics and one book short on the Women Authors Challenge. That is Ok.

2019 Achievements:
1. I completed Bingo.
2. I read 130 books, children's books, or short stories total.
3. I read 41 books or short stories from the Group Bookshelf.
4. I focused on the books I wanted to read and only struggled to finish two of my 130 selections.

Overall it was a great reading year. I could have pushed to finish the last three books during my Christmas Break from school, but with family and other interests I really wanted to take things a little more slowly and I'm glad I did.

One other challenge I faced this year is that I have been working on my health. A little history: in 1993 when I had my third child I was diagnosed with diabetes. I went to nutrition classes by the American Diabetic Association and learned about their exchange program. I was able to keep my blood sugar under control with diet and exercise for 26 years!!! But not surprisingly as a 57 year old, controlling this became a little harder. Oct 22 I was put on medicine for diabetes. Since then I have lost 28 pounds (almost all water) and tightened up even more on my diet. So I have spent many, many hours on cooking, watching doctors on youtube and reading nutrition articles. - The guidelines for diabetics have been almost completely rewritten! Yet it is funny to note that I have been intermittent fasting for the last 26 years before it even had a name!! Overall 2019 was also a good year because I feel healthier than I have in quite a while and am wearing clothes that I bought about 12 years ago!! Now on to 2020.

(I will copy and paste and put this in a couple of threads.)


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

Sara (phantomswife) | 5494 comments Mod
That's a great list of accomplishments, Lynn, not the least of which is getting your health in hand. Congratulations!


message 41: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3291 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "That's a great list of accomplishments, Lynn, not the least of which is getting your health in hand. Congratulations!"

Thank you Sara.


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