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2019 Old & New Classic Challenge > Sue's 2019 Old, New & Borrowed

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message 1: by Sue (last edited Sep 30, 2019 07:03AM) (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments I said I wouldn't do this challenge this year since I didn't complete my over-ambitious challenge of history books last year, but here goes anyway.

1899 and earlier Random Shelf Clearing

✔️1. The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories by Herodotus Read June 5 stars *****
✔️2. The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne read April 4 stars ****
✔️3. Candide by Voltaire 1759 read Jan 4 stars ****

1900-1999 Shelf Clearing Women Pulitzers

✔️4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker read Jan 4.5 stars ****1/2
✔️5. So Big by Edna Ferber read Jan 5 stars *****
✔️ 6. My Ántonia by Willa Cather read April 4 stars ****

My Wild Card Six (Shelf clearing male Pulitzers)

✔️7. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay bt Michael Chabon read April 3 stars ***

✔️8. The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love by Oscar Hijuelos read September 2 stars **
✔️9. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren read Feb 4 stars ****
✔️10. Middlesexby Jeffrey Eugenides read March 4.5 stars **** 1/2
✔️11. The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson read Mar 4.5 stars **** 1/2
✔️12. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz read Jan 5 stars *****

Alternates

A-1. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
✔️A-2. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck read July 4 stars ****



message 2: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments planning


message 3: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments planning


message 4: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4860 comments Mod
Sue, she hears whispered. Sue, she hears it whispered again. She gets quiet and still and finally hers the words. Sue, go for it, what have you got to lose.


message 5: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments ~~Sue, Sue, Sue, go for it, go for it, go for it~~
;)


message 6: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Terris wrote: "~~Sue, Sue, Sue, go for it, go for it, go for it~~
;)"


ha ha ha you Bob and Terris! I did decide I'm going to go for it and I'm making it a shelf clearing instead


message 7: by Katy, New School Classics (new)

Katy (kathy_h) | 9346 comments Mod
A great list of books Sue; with many that I want to read off my shelf also. Perhaps I really just need to do someone else's challenge list one year.


message 8: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thanks Katy. If there are any you want to buddy read, let me know. I have to do buddy reads for the most part after May though.


message 9: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4860 comments Mod
Nice to see your list, great choices.


message 10: by Brina (new)

Brina I love it- clearing male Pulitzer’s. Mambo Kings was one of my favorites. Of course I have an affinity with Latin America so maybe I’m a tad biased. Still I found it well done.


message 11: by Tamas (new)

Tamas | 6 comments Hi Sue. I’ll be joining you in on this one. Seemed an interesting list to start with. Ordered today The Scarlet Letter and All the King’s Men.

Was already worth it checking in here: I didn’t know where the title for Woodward’s and Bernstein’s All the President’s Men originally came from. Now I know ;-)


message 12: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments All the King's Men was on my list for so long! When I finally read it I was so glad -- I enjoyed it much more than I expected to!


message 13: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Bob wrote: "Nice to see your list, great choices."

Thanks Bob!


message 14: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Brina wrote: "I love it- clearing male Pulitzer’s. Mambo Kings was one of my favorites. Of course I have an affinity with Latin America so maybe I’m a tad biased. Still I found it well done."

Thanks Brina. I realized that I have so many unread Pulitzers on my shelf and it seems like a crime! I've been wanting to read Mambo Kins for a long time and don't know why I haven't got to it. Even if I don't complete this challenge, I'm pretty sure I will ket to that one.


message 15: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Tamas wrote: "Hi Sue. I’ll be joining you in on this one. Seemed an interesting list to start with. Ordered today The Scarlet Letter and All the King’s Men.

Was already worth it checking in here: I didn’t know ..."



Thanks Tamas. I'm looking forward to tackling this. Maybe we can get some buddy reads going


message 16: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Terris wrote: "All the King's Men was on my list for so long! When I finally read it I was so glad -- I enjoyed it much more than I expected to!"

I'm glad to hear it Terris. I've seen some not so good reviews and it surprised me. It seems like it will be a good book. I have to read it soon before other reviews dissuade me


message 17: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments Sue wrote: "Terris wrote: "All the King's Men was on my list for so long! When I finally read it I was so glad -- I enjoyed it much more than I expected to!"

I'm glad to hear it Terris. I've seen some not so ..."


I think you'll be fine ;)


message 18: by Clio (new)

Clio | 34 comments All the King’s Men and Middlesex are my two favorite books of all time. I hope you enjoy them!


message 19: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments Clio, I'm so glad you said that about Middlesex!! It has been on my list for sooo long. I even started it two times (print & audio) and quit both times. I am desperate to read it in 2019!! Thanks for the encouragement and inspiration :)


message 20: by Marilyn (new)

Marilyn | 721 comments Great idea for getting through the Pulitzers.


message 21: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thank you Cilo and Marilyn. I'm so glad there's another All the King's Men lover. I'ver heard others say great things about Middlesex too. I feel like there is no excuse to get these off my unread physical shelf to one of my read ones!


message 22: by Petra (new)

Petra I also loved Middlesex.
I'm also a huge fan of Willa Cather. I don't think she can write a bad book.
Pearl Buck's books are relaxing and interesting. I like her works, too.


message 23: by Rachelnyc (new)

Rachelnyc | 68 comments Great list! I read and absolutely loved The Color Purple this year and also really enjoyed Middlesex and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

The Orphan Master's Son and The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao are in my 2019 plan as well.


message 24: by Richp (new)

Richp | 27 comments Terris wrote: "Clio, I'm so glad you said that about Middlesex!! It has been on my list for sooo long. I even started it two times (print & audio) and quit both times. I am desperate to read it in 2019!! Thanks f..."

This is one of the books I read when my daughter was going through local public schools, so I could get an idea of what they were assigned to do. There were a few stinkers on that list, but Middlesex really stands out on the high side. Even if it has nothing to with the ship Essex (inspiration for Moby Dick, subject of an excellent nonfiction account by Nathaniel Philbrick), or Middlesex County (Massachusetts, whete I mostly grew up and setting for a Minuteman book I read recently).


message 25: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3714 comments What a fantastic assortment, Sue! Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Herodotus.


message 26: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments Richp wrote: "Terris wrote: "Clio, I'm so glad you said that about Middlesex!! It has been on my list for sooo long. I even started it two times (print & audio) and quit both times. I am desperate to read it in ..."

Haha! Good to know it stands out on the "high side"! Thanks for that.
BTW, I've had my eye on that Philbrick book!


message 27: by Lotte (new)

Lotte | 196 comments Interesting list, Sue! I'm curious to find out what you think about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. It seems so nice, but then the first or so GR reviews are really negative...


message 28: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thanks Lotte. There are a lot of negative reviews. It seems to be on a lot of lists though so I decided to give it a try via audio. I know many have a problem with the untranslated Spanish in the book and it may be better hearing inflection on audio. The audio versions have good reviews. I got the one read by Lin-Manuel Miranda & Karen Olivo. Miranda is the guy of Hamilton fame and I really like him, so hopefully, that will help.


message 29: by Terris (new)

Terris | 2391 comments Sue wrote: "Thanks Lotte. There are a lot of negative reviews. It seems to be on a lot of lists though so I decided to give it a try via audio. I know many have a problem with the untranslated Spanish in the b..."

Thanks for the info, Sue. I marked that audio version to order from my library. Now, I just have to wait for your review ;)
I am in no hurry at all, as I never even planned to ever read this book (I also had not heard great things about it!). But it must be on all the lists for some reason! So I'm willing to give it a try but... you go first ;)


message 30: by Susie (last edited Dec 28, 2018 03:19PM) (new)

Susie | 742 comments Great list! I read The Phantom of the Opera and My Ántonia for my challenge(s) this year. Both were good reading/listening.
Enjoy your challenge!


message 31: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thanks Susie! I'm glad you liked those. I have My Antonia on audio and Phantom physical book


message 32: by Lotte (new)

Lotte | 196 comments Sue wrote: "Thanks Lotte. There are a lot of negative reviews. It seems to be on a lot of lists though so I decided to give it a try via audio. I know many have a problem with the untranslated Spanish in the b..."

Thank you for the info, Sue. I don't really get why people get so irritated by non-translated lines in another language - in real life, there's no interpreter popping up either every time someone says something in a language you don't understand.

I had to look up Miranda (and Hamilton). Seems like a good choice for a narrator. I hope you like it!


message 33: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments I had planned to come to look at this and adjust it but forgot so now I'm stuck.

One down and a good one it was - The Color Purple. It was my first Alice Walker and won't be my last.


message 34: by Leni (new)

Leni Iversen (leniverse) | 1200 comments I think that once people have read a few classics where untranslated Latin crops up as a matter of course and characters toss in some French in dialogue even though they are British (or Russian), they find nothing to gripe about when a book set in a Hispanic community is dotted with actual Spanish.

Anyway, if the negative reviews are focused on "I didn't understand all the non-English stuff", then I should feel free to ignore the review. I'd be more concerned if the reviews said that the untranslated Spanish was all wrong and nobody actually talks like that!


message 35: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4860 comments Mod
I read The Color Purple a couple of years ago and had no idea what to expect. It was surprisingly good, yet the story was gritty and harsh. Thinking back I think I under rated this by a star, glad you liked it.


message 36: by Sue (last edited Jan 13, 2019 01:48PM) (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Leni wrote: "I think that once people have read a few classics where untranslated Latin crops up as a matter of course and characters toss in some French in dialogue even though they are British (or Russian), t..."

I'm very curious to see how much Spanish there is Leni . If it's like The Name of the Rose, with the Latin, I'll be fine. I was almost scared off with that one from reviews also. I purchased a guide that interpreted the Latin. After a while I realized that it didn't add much to interpret it, it was more of a bonus for people who love Latin. The phrases kind of summed up some concepts, but didn't add new ones. I'd compare it to having chapter headings, that may prepare you for what you're about to read, but they don't change the story and don't make or break a book. I'm hoping it's like that with Oscar Wau.


message 37: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Bob wrote: "I read The Color Purple a couple of years ago and had no idea what to expect. It was surprisingly good, yet the story was gritty and harsh. Thinking back I think I under rated this by a star, glad ..."

I've become a much easier reviewer than I was in the past Bob. It's because I enjoy reading so much more now. I also change my review ratings after time passes. Some books stick with you more than others


message 38: by Petra (new)

Petra Good start on your challenge, Sue.

I've seen the movie of The Color Purple....way back when it first came out....but have never read the book.


message 39: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Petra wrote: "Good start on your challenge, Sue.

I've seen the movie of The Color Purple....way back when it first came out....but have never read the book."


I saw that long ago when it came out too.


message 40: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Got my second one off this list - The Brief Wonderous life of Oscar Wau- I loved it! 5 big stars.

My review: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...


message 41: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Finished Candide and now I have one in each category. I think I may actually finish this one this year!


message 42: by Petra (new)

Petra You're on a roll, Sue!

I have A Bried & Wonderous Life of Oscar Wau on my TBR list. I should really get to it soon. It always gets great reviews.


message 43: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Petra wrote: "You're on a roll, Sue!

I have A Bried & Wonderous Life of Oscar Wau on my TBR list. I should really get to it soon. It always gets great reviews."


I hope you like it as much as I did Petra


message 44: by Sue (last edited Mar 17, 2019 09:43AM) (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments I haven't updated this since early January. I've been doing more reading than Goodreading since it's my real busy time at work. I feel great to have passed the halfway point on this challenge so early in the year. I'm determined to complete this one this year since I failed last year.

Since my last update I've read:

So Big 5+ big stars - Review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
The Orphan Master's Son 4.5 stars https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...
All the King's Men 4 stars (no review yet)
Middlesex 4.5 stars (no real review yet)


message 45: by Rosemarie (new)

Rosemarie | 1549 comments You are making terrific progress, Sue!


message 46: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thank you Rosemarie!


message 47: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 3714 comments So glad to hear you're enjoying these, Sue. :-)


message 48: by Sue (new)

Sue K H (sky_bluez) | 3101 comments Thanks, Kathleen! Focusing on Pulitzer's has been good for me so far.


message 49: by Jacm (new)

Jacm | 34 comments Great list! I'm glad you enjoyed Candide - it had me in stitches at times with it's dry wit.
I also enjoyed the Scarlett Letter.
Good luck with the rest of your challenge!


message 50: by Bob, Short Story Classics (new)

Bob | 4860 comments Mod
Six finished in three months, you’re doing great. Of the four you just finished I have a copy of Orphan Master’s Son and All the Kings Men, just sitting there waiting. If I run across a copy of So Big, I will move it to the top of the stack. As for Middlesex, it has never been of particular interest, but 4.5 stars, I’ll have to look at it again. Thanks


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