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2019 Old & New Classic Challenge > Darren's "Shelf-Clearing" 2019 Old & New Challenge

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message 1: by Darren (last edited Nov 25, 2019 08:34AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Darren's 2019 Old And New Challenge - "Clearing The Shelves"

6 Group Bookshelf:
3 Old School:
Vanity Fair Thackeray, William Makepeace 1847-48 - In Progress...
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Twain, Mark 1885 - Finished. **
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Verne, Jules 1870 - Finished. **
3 New School:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Smith, Betty 1943 - Finished. ***
The Plague Camus, Albert 1947 - Finished. **
The Bell Jar Plath, Sylvia 1963 - Finished. *****

6 Wildcard - My Bookshelf:
3 Old(ish) School:
The Lost World Doyle, Arthur Conan 1912 - Finished. ****
The Good Soldier Ford, Ford Madox 1915 - Finished. ****
Herland Gilman, Charlotte Perkins 1915 - Finished. **
3 New School:
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning Sillitoe, Alan 1958 - Finished. *****
History Morante, Elsa 1974 - Finished. ***
Fatherland Harris, Robert 1992 - Finished. *****

2 Reserves:
Through the Looking-Glass Carroll, Lewis 1871 - Finished. **
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz Baum, L. Frank 1900 - Finished. **


message 2: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
I read The Wizard of Oz a couple of years ago. If you are familiar with the movie don’t worry, the book is way different. Enjoy your list.


message 3: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2610 comments You've got some good ones there, Darren! I just got to Vanity Fair this year and enjoyed it much more than I thought I was going to! Have fun reading :)


message 4: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments I read Barry Lyndon as my first Thackeray (cos of Kubrick film connection) which was pretty good,
but I've heard lots of good things about Vanity Fair...


message 5: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1231 comments I read Vanity Fair this year. It was good but never-ending. 600 pages felt like 1000. I had to switch it up with audio to feel like I was making any progress.

I read Huck Finn at a quite young age and was very impressed with it. And I devoured everything I could find by Jules Verne. Don't know what I'd make of them now. I read the Bell Jar this year, and think I should have probably read it at a much younger age. Through the Looking Glass, on the other hand, I think works better for adults than for children.

I have Herland (the whole trilogy) and History on my Quest for Women Authors challenge for 2019. Actually, I think I've had History on multiple reading challenges the past few years and I somehow never get around to it! Read it with me? I'll let you pick the month.


message 6: by Renee (new)

Renee | 864 comments Great list! I wanted to read Vanity Fair with the group this year, but I was reading Les Miserables at the time, and never got around to it. I hope you enjoy it! Have fun with your challenge :)


message 7: by Darren (last edited Dec 12, 2018 04:05PM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Leni - I have History penciled in for July atm, but could bring it forward to May...?


message 8: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1231 comments Anywhere in May-July works for me.


message 9: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments just started Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
excellent so far - immersive from POV of "jack-the-lad" Arthur Seaton whose life so far revolves around beer, cigarettes, women and factory work!


message 10: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments finished SN&SM and challenge off to 5-Star Start!

superb.
herewith review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

February will be The Bell Jar...


message 11: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
I enjoyed your review, glad you are starting with 5 stars.


message 12: by Petra (new)

Petra Nice start to the challenge, Darren.
That sounds like an interesting book. Good review.


message 13: by Darren (last edited Feb 28, 2019 07:12AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments hoo-yeah! Two for two on the 5-Star front!

The Bell Jar - amazing - how did I not know more about this before?!

review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

March will be The Good Soldier...

oh, and I just started Through the Looking-Glass - always nice to bag a reserve early in the year ;o)


message 14: by Tammy (new)

Tammy | 391 comments Oh goodie! I'm so glad you liked Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, as I have it on my 60 Books for 60 Songs challenge. I re-read The Bell Jar last year and loved it. Glad you are off to a good start.

I am curious about how you'll feel about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I read it last year and thought it was fine, but not up to all the hype I've heard over the years.


message 15: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Whoop whoop for the five star reads 🙌


message 16: by Richp (new)

Richp | 27 comments I heard of this a long time ago, but the only thing I knew about it before I read it was that Plath committed suicide. I was impressed with it, even if I "only" gave it 4 stars; as I interpret it, 3 stars is an above average book.


message 17: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Finished my OANC book for March:

The Good Soldier, which was nothing to do with soldiers or war, but just standard love-affairs shenanigans, but told in amazing style, such that I gave it 4 stars
and am keen to go on to read the Parade's End series... (in a few years' time!)

also finished Through The Looking Glass which was childish nonsense(!) deserving of only 2 Stars, but as a reserve at least gives me insurance against a future DNF ;o)

April will be Huck Finn...


message 18: by Darren (last edited Apr 22, 2019 07:59AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Huck Finn was a bit of a dish of ointment
the "adventures" were mostly pretty clunky/uninvolving
its value as a historical document was its best point, but even this only pushed it up to 2.5 Stars

May will be Fatherland
I tend not to get on with best-sellery stuff, but I keep trying every now and then...
(plus I found a really excellent copy of this for peanuts in a charity shop)

Leni - History will be July btw...


message 19: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1231 comments History in July works for me.


message 20: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Well all my misapprehensions about Fatherland were misplaced!
5 Stars
my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

June will be Camus' The Plague...


message 21: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3290 comments Mod
Darren wrote: "Well all my misapprehensions about Fatherland were misplaced!
5 Stars
my review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

June will be Camus' The Plague..."


I am glad you like Fatherland so much. This is one of books I have actually had in my Amazon cart and I got control of myself and did not order it. There are still too many books I own to keep buying more. As soon as my TBR lists shrinks a bit, I want to read it.


message 22: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Finished The Plague - well-written but duuuulll (think I may've been missing the point) - 2 stars
also Wizard Of Oz - poorly-written, but guess that's what passed for children's stories in 1900 - 2 stars

so here's hoping for an improvement in July - speaking of which:

Leni - I will be starting History: A Novel tomorrow - my edition has 750 pages and small font, so may need to carry over slightly into August(!) - hope you can join me...?
History A Novel by Elsa Morante


message 23: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1231 comments Yes, I'm in! And a no rush approach that goes into August would be good. I have overbooked a bit this month, so to speak.

Should we set up a buddy read thread for this?


message 24: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments I have just read the first couple of chapters, and YES we need a thread for this!

[goes off to Buddy Read folder to sort it...]


message 25: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1231 comments Ooh, exciting! I just have to hurredly finish up another book and then I'll start History this evening.


message 26: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
Darren I felt the same about The Plague. The writing is the reason I finished it, but at the end I was just left puzzled. Why is this considered so good? I have no answer.


message 27: by Ila (new)

Ila | 399 comments I hated The plague as well. You might want to try some of his essays though. I read his Reflections on the Guillotine after much prodding and was highly impressed.


message 28: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments I didn't dislike The Plague, I just didn't see the point!
I liked The Outsider though, so will persevere with Camus - maybe try The Fall next...?


message 29: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1574 comments The Plague is my favourite novel by Camus. I read it in French, during university, and the professor did an excellent job explaining the novel to us. I reread it not that long ago and gained a lot of new insights that I didn't get 40 years ago.


message 30: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Darren wrote: "I didn't dislike The Plague, I just didn't see the point!
I liked The Outsider though, so will persevere with Camus - maybe try The Fall next...?"


Same here!


message 31: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments I did finish History in July, although I was somewhat disappointed (having absolutely loved Arturo's Island) but still awarded 3.5 Stars
review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

the eagle-eyed among you will have spotted that I cunningly nominated one of my list books as a group read and it won the poll!
so for August I'm about to start A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


message 32: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Aug 11, 2019 06:34AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3290 comments Mod
Darren wrote: "I did finish History in July, although I was somewhat disappointed (having absolutely loved Arturo's Island) but still awarded 3.5 Stars
review: https://www.goodreads.c..."


Oh that is definitely the way to do it - nominate with challenges in mind. I also find that keeping up with monthly group reads will get me very close to finishing the Bingo Challenge. I have owned A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for years, but your nomination moved it to the front of my list. You have almost finished this challenge. Way to go.


message 33: by Darren (last edited Sep 02, 2019 06:51AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Tree Grows In Brooklyn was very well written, but not really my "thing", but still 3.5 Stars, and glad to have finally ticked it off

meanwhile, it's September and next up is Herland...


message 34: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6554 comments Darren wrote: "Tree Grows In Brooklyn was very well written, but not really my "thing", but still 3.5 Stars, and glad to have finally ticked it off..."

I felt the same way.


message 35: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments finished Herland
nicely written and some good ideas, but incoherent - 2.5 stars

October is 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea...


message 36: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments finished 20,000 Leagues well within October, herewith review:
"Thrilling adventures and amazing sights as we journey around the world in a submarine in the company of the enigmatic Captain Nemo and the astonishing imagination of Jules Verne. This would've been a 5 star read before the advent of TV natural history programming, but in a modern context this maxes out at 3.5 stars rounding down to 3."

November is Conan Doyle's The Lost World and already liking Professor Challenger more than Captain Nemo...
The Lost World (Professor Challenger, #1) by Arthur Conan Doyle


message 37: by Darren (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Finished Lost World - excellently written entertaining/archetypal stuff - 4 Stars

I was intending to round off the year with Vanity Fair, which is v.long so I could start straight away but...
I have read both the reserves, so could omit VF and still "technically" have completed
still pondering whether to leave VF til 2020...


message 38: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4959 comments Mod
Twelve is the goal and you did that, congratulations on a successful challenge!


message 39: by Darren (last edited Nov 25, 2019 08:39AM) (new)

Darren (dazburns) | 1919 comments Thanks Bob!

and what the hey - I've started Vanity Fair, so I should bring all titles home to roost...

oh, and in breaking news,
I now seem to have both group and personal shelves under control (in terms of not having many that have been waiting too long)
so my 2020 OANC will have a different theme... TBA... ;o)


message 40: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 3290 comments Mod
Darren wrote: "Thanks Bob!

and what the hey - I've started Vanity Fair, so I should bring all titles home to roost...

oh, and in breaking news,
I now seem to have both group and personal shelves under control ..."


That's great progress. I can hear the sense of accomplishment coming through your post. Congratulations on clearing the shelves a bit.


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