Catching up on Classics (and lots more!) discussion

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2019 Old & New Classic Challenge > April's 2019 Old and New Classics that have been on my shelf for more than a year challenge

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message 1: by April (last edited Dec 07, 2019 10:26PM) (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I've read some wonderful books as part of this year's challenge, so I'm looking forward to doing the same in 2019.

Books read: 12

1899 and earlier
1. Fasti by Ovid
2. Prometheus Bound and Other Plays
3. Classical Literary Criticism: Poetics/Ars Poetica/On the Sublime by Aristotle, Horace and Longinus

1900 to 1999
4. Angel Pavement by J.B. Priestley
5. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
6. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty

Wild Cards
7. Manon Lescautt by Antoine François Prévost
8. The Treasure of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan
9. The Bostonians by Henry James
10. The Confessions of Saint Augustine
11. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
12. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

Alternatives
1. The Interior Castle by Teresa of Avila
2. Four Comedies: The Venetian Twins / The Artful Widow / Mirandolina / The Superior Residence


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

Bob | 4850 comments Mod
Looking forward to your list


message 3: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Bob wrote: "Looking forward to your list"

It's almost ready. I've just got to choose my two standbys.


message 4: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I've finished the first book - Tom Jones. There will be a review, but the short version is that I loved it.


message 5: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4850 comments Mod
I have thought about Tom Jones over the years and have always been put off by its size. Glad to know it was good.


message 6: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Bob wrote: "I have thought about Tom Jones over the years and have always been put off by its size. Glad to know it was good."

It is huge and it gives the impression of rambling, but it's very funny. It's a real masterpiece.


message 7: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments Glad to hear you enjoyed Tom Jones, it’s on my challenge list for this year too :)


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

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2916 comments Mod
I see that you have Teresa of Avila Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Teresa of Ávila by Saint Teresa. I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it a couple decades ago, (1988 publication year). I read most of it but had a feeling that very deep things were going over my head. I look forward to hearing from you. Perhaps it will stir me to read my copy.


message 9: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments My review of Tom Jones is here https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 10: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Pink wrote: "Glad to hear you enjoyed Tom Jones, it’s on my challenge list for this year too :)"

It's great fun, but you need to know a bit about life in mid-eighteenth century England to understand parts of it. Only a couple of years ago I would have been confused by the references to sacks, which are gowns and not large bags. There are things I probably missed, because my edition doesn't have any notes. Fielding's observations on human nature, though, don't need any explanation.


message 11: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Lynn wrote: "I see that you have Teresa of Avila Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Teresa of Ávila by Saint Teresa. I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it a couple decades ago, (1988 publication year). I read most of it b..."

That's probably going to be on my list for next year. I might make it a Carmelite year, since I've got that, The Dark Night of the Soul and the autobiography of St Therese of Lisieux.


message 12: by Pink (new)

Pink | 6556 comments April wrote: "Pink wrote: "Glad to hear you enjoyed Tom Jones, it’s on my challenge list for this year too :)"

It's great fun, but you need to know a bit about life in mid-eighteenth century England to understa..."


I’m sure there will be references I’ll miss too, but I’m looking forward to it.


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

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
I have had Tom Jones on my list forever and a day. So glad you found it accessible...I need to just dive in.


message 14: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments It's great fun. It's more about human nature than life in the eighteenth century.


message 15: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I've just started Their Eyes Were Watching God which is a very different prospect to Tom Jones.


message 16: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments The second book is finished. I didn't enjoy Their Eyes Were Watching God at all and I'm glad it was reasonably short.


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

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
Glad you made it through, April. I dnf'd it.


message 18: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (last edited Feb 08, 2019 07:32AM) (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2916 comments Mod
April wrote: "Lynn wrote: "I see that you have Teresa of Avila Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Teresa of Ávila by Saint Teresa. I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it a couple decades ago, (1988 publication year). I read..."

I also bought Dark Night of the Soul at the same time I bought the Saint Teresa. I have read much of it as well. I remember it being beautiful and thought provoking, but at the same time very specific to a religious. I was a young mother with three little children at the time. It is nice to revisit the contemplatives. St. John of the Cross comes under harsh criticism in some circles and I think that criticism may have gotten me to lay it aside. That was probably a mistake.


message 19: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Sara wrote: "Glad you made it through, April. I dnf'd it."

I wouldn't have finished it if it hadn't been part of the challenge. It was hard work.


message 20: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Lynn wrote: "April wrote: "Lynn wrote: "I see that you have Teresa of Avila Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Teresa of Ávila by Saint Teresa. I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it a couple decades ago, (1988 publication..."

I think there are things we can learn from those in the religious life. I also think it's misguided to judge people of the past by modern standards. They were products of their time and spoke and acted accordingly.


message 21: by Hayley (new)

Hayley Shaver | 172 comments I thought Their Eyes Were Watching God was a bit so-so.


message 22: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Hayley wrote: "I thought Their Eyes Were Watching God was a bit so-so."

Since I finished it, I've been trying to work out why so many people consider it a great novel. The blurb on the back of the edition I read described it as one of the finest novels of all time.

Some of the narrative bits are beautiful, and I was impressed by them at the beginning, but they're repetitive. The characters aren't terribly well-drawn and the conclusion only makes sense because Hurston keeps telling the reader what things mean to Janie.


message 23: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4850 comments Mod
April wrote: "The second book is finished. I didn't enjoy Their Eyes Were Watching God at all and I'm glad it was reasonably short."

I have it on my shelf, based on you and Sara I may just leave it there for a while, a long while.


message 24: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Bob wrote: "April wrote: "The second book is finished. I didn't enjoy Their Eyes Were Watching God at all and I'm glad it was reasonably short."

I have it on my shelf, based on you and Sara I may..."


Many people love it. The reviews here on GR and on Amazon are overwhelmingly positive. I just couldn't see anything in it.


message 25: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 708 comments Their Eyes Were Watching God. Remember loving it. Checking bookshelf for rating. Yep, 5 stars!


message 26: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1549 comments I loved that one too, Marilyn, even though it had heart-breaking moments.


message 27: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Marilyn wrote: "Their Eyes Were Watching God. Remember loving it. Checking bookshelf for rating. Yep, 5 stars!"

What was it that made you love it? I found it really hard work and not worth the effort I put into it. I'm always interested in what makes one person love a novel and another hate it. I didn't hate it, but I was indifferent to it.


message 28: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3707 comments I fall in the loved it category too--in fact it became an instant favorite.

I think it's the language that makes readers love or hate this one. I fell right into it, didn't find it difficult at all, and found the whole thing very beautiful and poetic. Maybe this book is more like poetry that way, in that readers have a personal reaction that makes them love/hate it?


message 29: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Kathleen wrote: "I fall in the loved it category too--in fact it became an instant favorite.

I think it's the language that makes readers love or hate this one. I fell right into it, didn't find it difficult at a..."


The narrative sections are very poetic and beautiful. I thought I was going to love it after the first page, then the characters started talking and never really stopped. That's where it got hard.


message 30: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2916 comments Mod
April wrote: "Lynn wrote: "April wrote: "Lynn wrote: "I see that you have Teresa of Avila Interior Castle (Classics of Western Spirituality) by Teresa of Ávila by Saint Teresa. I have it on my shelf. I tried to read it a couple decades ago, (198..."

I agree. There is a lot of judging of people from the past. It is probably a mistake.


message 31: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I've finished Prometheus Bound and Other Plays. It took over a month to read this short (fewer than 160 pages) book. I enjoyed only one of the plays and I'm looking forward to something a bit easier for my next book in the challenge.


message 32: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Book 4, The Treasure of the City of Ladies, is finished. It's a great insight into life for women of different social ranks in Paris at the end of the fourteenth century. I enjoyed it.


message 33: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
You don't come across that many books written by a woman at that time period! I'll have to check it out.

You are making good progress on this challenge (I am already seriously behind).


message 34: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Sara wrote: "You don't come across that many books written by a woman at that time period! I'll have to check it out.

You are making good progress on this challenge (I am already seriously behind)."


She's the first woman we know of who earned her living as a writer. Sadly, few of her works have been translated into English. I enjoyed this one more than its predecessor, The Book of the City of Ladies, as it has lots to say about everyday life.


message 35: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
That is a serious first. I'm delighted to learn about her. She would be worth the reading just for the historical perspective.


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

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2916 comments Mod
Sara wrote: "That is a serious first. I'm delighted to learn about her. She would be worth the reading just for the historical perspective."

I agree Sara. What an interesting book you have introduced us to April! Thanks. I put it on my TBR list.


message 37: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Lynn wrote: "Sara wrote: "That is a serious first. I'm delighted to learn about her. She would be worth the reading just for the historical perspective."

I agree Sara. What an interesting book you have introdu..."


I'm glad to be of service :-)


message 38: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I'm moving on to my fifth book: The Origin of Species. I'm not expecting to enjoy it anywhere near as much as the previous one in the challenge.


message 39: by Petra (new)

Petra Good luck, April. I started that years ago but didn't get far. It was dense, if I recall, and my head wasn't in the right place. I will try it again one day. I look forward to your thoughts.

You're making good progress on this challenge.


message 40: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Petra wrote: "Good luck, April. I started that years ago but didn't get far. It was dense, if I recall, and my head wasn't in the right place. I will try it again one day. I look forward to your thoughts.

You'..."


Thank you. I'm struggling, but I've set myself a number of pages for each day and that's almost working. I thought it might be a bit more accessible than it is.


message 41: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
One of those books that you don't really enjoy reading, but you are usually glad to be able to say you have.


message 42: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Sara wrote: "One of those books that you don't really enjoy reading, but you are usually glad to be able to say you have."

I don't know. It's a long way out of my comfort zone. I know I'll be glad to finish it.


message 43: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Finished On the Origin of Species. It was hard work and I'm glad it's over.


message 44: by Lynn, Revisit the Shelf (new)

Lynn (lynnsreads) | 2916 comments Mod
April wrote: "Finished On the Origin of Species. It was hard work and I'm glad it's over."

Well done. It is not one that I personally want to tackle, but it is such an important work. Congratulations.


message 45: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Lynn wrote: "April wrote: "Finished On the Origin of Species. It was hard work and I'm glad it's over."

Well done. It is not one that I personally want to tackle, but it is such an important work. Congratulati..."


Everything else on the list should be easy in comparison.


message 46: by Petra (new)

Petra April wrote: "Finished On the Origin of Species. It was hard work and I'm glad it's over."

Nice! That one is a hard slog. I didn't make it very far but will try it again one day.
Well done on making it through.


message 47: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments Petra wrote: "April wrote: "Finished On the Origin of Species. It was hard work and I'm glad it's over."

Nice! That one is a hard slog. I didn't make it very far but will try it again one day.
Well done on mak..."


Thank you. If you do give it another go, I'd recommend starting with the final chapter. It summarises all the others with more clarity than you'll find in those other chapters.


message 48: by April (new)

April Munday | 277 comments I've finished Manon Lescaut. It turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. It's not a great love story, but really something a bit tawdry. This year's books aren't turning out that well at all.


message 49: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4850 comments Mod
April wrote: "This year's books aren't turning out that well at all."

Sorry to hear this, so many of your books I am unfamiliar with and hoping to hear they were worth while. I guess I'll pass them by when I see them on the shelf. See how much time you saved me, thanks!


message 50: by Sara, Old School Classics (new)

Sara (phantomswife) | 4818 comments Mod
You started off with a tough list, and you have made amazing progress with it. I'm sorry it hasn't been more fun. Sometimes it pays to just take a break and read something that is for nothing but pleasure.


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