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Reading-Challenges > RMFAO 2015 Classics Challenge

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message 1: by Dagny (last edited Jan 18, 2015 09:42AM) (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Classic Catchup 2015:
Need to read more classics? Re-read an old favorite or one you missed by a favorite author? Anything prior to 1900 Counts! - BIG CHANGE - prompted by all the great mysteries of the 1920s and 1930s, we've extended the date to 1940.

Level 1: Casual Reader: 2 books
Level 2: Frequent Reader: 3 - 5 books
Level 3: Bookworm: 6 - 8 books
Level 4: Scholar: 9 - 11 books
Level 5: Professor: 12 or more books


message 2: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Since I read a lot of classics, both with the 19th Century Literature reading group and the French Literature group, I'll be going for Level 5: Professor.

No need to choose your books ahead of time, but I do know of one for myself since it's a scheduled group read for February:
The Crime of Sylvestre Bonnard by Anatole France


message 3: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
I'm totally in!
I'll take level 3: 3-8 books. Though I'm sure I'll read more! ;)

Dagny please post some recommendation also (atleast 10, as I have no clue for these amazing books.)

Also I'm designing logos for all challenges, so I'll design for this as well :)


message 4: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Here's the logo for this challenge:
description


message 5: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Here's the logo for this challenge:
"


Thanks for the logo, Heena!

I'll work on a recommendation list. Everyone is also invited to tell me if they are looking for a specific type of book or author, although I'll try to include all types.


message 6: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Here's the first recommendation. Don't worry, I won't make a separate post for each one, but this one deserves special attention since it is THE book that shouldn't be missed. One possible problem for this challenge: it is long, very long. All the more challenge!

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. High adventure. This book has something for everyone: romance, false imprisonment, buried treasure, revenge, world travel.

As with all that I'll recommend here, a free ebook is available in numerous formats from Project Gutenberg. This one should be readily available at most libraries also - although you have to be careful not to get an abridged version. The PG book: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/1184


message 7: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Here are a few recommendations:

Jerome K Jerome: Three Men in a Boat - hilarious and the shortest of this bunch. Good for getting your feet wet if you enjoy comedy.

Gustave Flaubert: Madame Bovary - when we did an informal poll at the French Literature group, this was the only book on everyone's list.

Thomas Hardy: The Mayor of Casterbridge is my personal favorite. If you're in the mood for something lighter, Two on a Tower or A Pair of Blue Eyes.

Mrs Henry Wood (Ellen Wood): East Lynne - a bestseller, wildly popular in her day

George Eliot: Silas Marner is my personal favorite.

All of these are available free at Project Gutenberg. I'll post some more over the next few days, some from different countries, different genres, even maybe some non-fiction. I have a 'shelf' for 19th Century books here at Goodreads. If you see anything that interests you on it, just ask.


message 8: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
If you're interested in 'adventure' but The Count of Monte Cristo is too long for you, here are some other suggestions. Only Haggard is a 'favorite' author of mine, but these deserve a mention.

Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe

Alexander Dumas: The Three Musketeers (about half the length of The Count of Monte Cristo)

H Rider Haggard: King Solomon's Mines is my favorite. She is another very popular one and there are plenty more from which to choose.

Robert Louis Stevenson:

Mark Twain: Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn among others. He also wrote some travel books.

Jules Verne: Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Around the World in Eighty Days

H G Wells: The Time Machine, The Island of Dr Moreau, War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man (least favorite). I actually like his non-science fiction books like Kipps and Mr Polly better. They were written post 1900, but we can slide on authors that were published before that date and allow all their works.


message 9: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Dagny wrote: "Here's the first recommendation. Don't worry, I won't make a separate post for each one, but this one deserves special attention since it is THE book that shouldn't be missed. One possible problem ..."

Best book ever!


message 10: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote (about The Count of Monte Cristo): "Best book ever! "

Yea, another endorsement! Thanks, Simona. We'll convince them that it's worth the time investment.


message 11: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Here are some more suggestions to tempt you:

Guy de Maupassant: Bel Ami - an all-around fun great read with the usual tricks and double-dealing. De Maupassant was noted for short stories (over 300). He only wrote six novels. This is my favorite of the four I've read.

Wilkie Collins: Most are long. Two of the most famous are The Moonstone (love it) and The Woman in White (not so much). Many readers are in opposing camps on these two books, preferring one or the other. My two favorites are The Moonstone and Armadale.

Sheridan Le Fanu: Uncle Silas - featuring an orphan and a French governess.

Daniel Defoe: The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (I like this one much better than Robinson Crusoe which was mentioned earlier in the 'adventure' line. It's a matter of preference and what you're looking for.)

Abbe Prevost: Manon Lescaut

Since we're letting H G Wells slide on the time frame, we'll do the same for any author who was publishing prior to 1900 and count all their books as eligible. So . . . .
Edith Wharton: My personal favorite is The House of Mirth, published in 1905. A couple of other books of hers which are very popular are The Custom of the Country and The Age of Innocence.


message 12: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
If both of you (Dagny and Simona) like it so much, then I'm totally game for TCOMC.
I'll get the e-book asap but I'll try and see if my library has it, cause I strongly think that great books should be read in paperback! Thanks Dagny for such great recommendations... I'll try and read as much as possible... hopefully all :)


message 13: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: " I'll try and read as much as possible... hopefully all :) "


Good for you, Heena! I still have some more I could add, some Russian authors and some more French authors (my favorites Balzac and Zola) if anyone might be interested in exploring them.


message 14: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Heena wrote: " I'll try and read as much as possible... hopefully all :) "


Good for you, Heena! I still have some more I could add, some Russian authors and some more French authors (my favorites..."


That's great Dagny! I look forward to read them :)


message 15: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
The Russians:

My favorite is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Lev Tolstoi). It is longish, but not as long as War and Peace which I have never managed to finish. A shorter Tolstoy work is The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

Fyodor Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment is an odd read. It's not a favorite of mine, but depending on your mood, worth reading. I found it a very compelling read. I didn't like the main character and even when I didn't like the read, I had to keep going to see what happened. Longish, but not as long as Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. A shorter Dostoevsky that would be a good one to start with is The Gambler.


message 16: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Honoré de Balzac is my favorite author. Pere Goriot is the first one I read. This mid-length book is a great started since it introduces several recurring characters in their student days. Another great one to start with is Two Brothers (The Black Sheep). Loads of fun. Eugenie Grandet is a popular mid-length read.

A shorter one to try is Colonel Chabert. It's not a war story. It mentions what happened to him in the war, but is about him after he returns.

If you're up for a long one, Cousine Bette is loaded with back-stabbing intrigue - always fun, lol.

Our Balzac group's blog has loads of information about the books and summaries of all, plus illustrations and further information on some.
http://balzacbooks.wordpress.com/


message 17: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
And now for Zola. My personal favorite is L'Assommoir, but apparently it's not for everyone because after reading it, one gent told me he would never read another Zola book. Too coarse and vulgar for him I think.

A kinder, gentler book would be Au Bonheur des Dames (The Ladies' Paradise) which is also fascinating as it details the first of the gigantic department stories and the people that work in it.

If you are into psychological terror, then Thérèse Raquin is the book for you!

Germinal is another of the biggies and I've read it two or three times.

The collaborative Zola blog is still newish and doesn't have something on every book, but you might find something there if there is a particular one you are wondering about, or ask me.
http://readingzola.wordpress.com/


message 18: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Wow! Great reccs Dagny...
I'll take out time and sit and go through the blurbs of all these books :)
Thanks :D


message 19: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Wow! Great reccs Dagny...
I'll take out time and sit and go through the blurbs of all these books :)
Thanks :D"


You're very welcome, Heena. It was a pleasure to do.

Anyone, please feel free to ask for more details on any of these authors or books or for other suggestions for 19th Century books.


message 20: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
I downloaded almost all the books ;)
Thanks Dagny...

description


message 21: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I downloaded almost all the books ;)
Thanks Dagny..."


You're so welcome! Ambitious, too. That's one of the great things about the older classics, they're almost all free to the taking. Makes it so easy.


message 22: by Heena (last edited Jan 04, 2015 07:17AM) (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Heena wrote: "I downloaded almost all the books ;)
Thanks Dagny..."

You're so welcome! Ambitious, too. That's one of the great things about the older classics, they're almost all free to the takin..."


Hahah! Indeed!

I'm gonna read Journey to the Center of the Earth and The War of the Worlds for RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge from the classics for Science-Fiction this month :)


message 23: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I'm gonna read Journey to the Center of the Earth and The War of the Worlds for RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge from the classics for Science-Fiction this month :) "

Cool! I'll be curious to see what you think of The War of the Worlds. Most people like Wells' science fiction and maybe don't even know that he wrote other books since the SF ones are the 'biggies.' I've read some of his others thanks to a friend of mine who is a great fan of his books. I prefer the others. Odd that. I think it has to do with sympathy and/or connecting with the characters.


message 24: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
I've been reading two classics, neither of which count for this Challenge, lol. Fortunata and Jacinta by Spanish author Perez-Galdos is an 800+ blockbuster which I started in December. Fantomas by French authors Allain and Souvestre, which I finished yesterday, was published in 1911.

Finally, I am ready to begin Classic #1 for this Challenge. The Haunted Hotel by Wilkie Collins. It's a shortish one which is the group read beginning tomorrow at https://www.goodreads.com/topic/group...
Available free in numerous formats from Project Gutenberg:
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/170
Or audio from LibriVox:
https://librivox.org/the-haunted-hote...


message 25: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Hi Dagny :)
Can you please suggest some Mystery Classics...?
Also I wanted to know whether Agatha Christie's books can be counted under this challenge???


message 26: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Heena wrote: "Can you please suggest some Mystery Classics...?"

Hey Heena,
Agatha Christie's are definitely Mystery Classics as are Arthur Conan Doyles, and some of Wilkie Collins'

Check this list out

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


message 27: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Also I wanted to know whether Agatha Christie's books can be counted under this challenge???"

You know, they probably should. Agatha's first book wasn't published until 1920 though, so she wouldn't even sneak in under the "already writing at the turn of the century" leeway.

I'm thinking maybe we should make this for pre 1920 or 1930 books instead of 1900?

What does everyone think?


message 28: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "Check this list out
https://www.goodreads.com/shelf/show/... "



Great shelf, Simona! I definitely think we should extend the time frame for "classics". We can't leave out all of these great authors.


message 29: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Dagny wrote:"You know, they probably should. Agatha's first book wasn't published until 1920 though, ..."

I totally agree. We should include works of the '20s/30s


message 30: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Hi Dagny :)
Can you please suggest some Mystery Classics...?"


Edgar Allan Poe's The Murders in the Rue Morgue is considered one of the earliest detective stories. It's included in this collection: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/2147 and is also available in audio.

A personal favorite of mine is Wilkie Collin's The Moonstone. This features one of the earliest appearances of a detective in British fiction.
http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/155


message 31: by Dagny (last edited Jan 18, 2015 09:44AM) (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "I totally agree. We should include works of the '20s/30s"


Right, let's do it! It would be a crime (pun intended) to leave out Christie, Sayers and the like.


message 32: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
SPECIAL NOTICE: Our time frame for the Classic Catchup Challenge has been extended to 1940.


message 33: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Another great classic mystery is The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. It's the first in his Richard Hannay series.
Ebook: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
Audio: https://librivox.org/the-thirty-nine-...

For myself in February, I'll be doing Mr Standfast which is the third in the series.


message 34: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "Heena wrote: "Can you please suggest some Mystery Classics...?"

Hey Heena,
Agatha Christie's are definitely Mystery Classics as are Arthur Conan Doyles, and some of Wilkie Collins'

Check this lis..."


Great list Simona! Thanks a lot :D
I'll read as many as I can!


message 35: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "SPECIAL NOTICE: Our time frame for the Classic Catchup Challenge has been extended to 1940."

That's great... I'm reading all Hercule Poirot books, as well as Miss Marple books :)
THANKS :D


message 36: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Another great classic mystery is The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan. It's the first in his Richard Hannay series.
Ebook: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/558
Audio: https://librivox.org/the-thirty..."


Thanks for all the reccs Dagny... you're the best!
Also thanks a ton for the links... I'll download 'em all! ha ha ha! I guess I'm gonna go crazy reading all books from Project Gutenberg alone! lol!


message 37: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "Also thanks a ton for the links... I'll download 'em all! ha ha ha! I guess I'm gonna go crazy reading all books from Project Gutenberg alone! lol!"

LOL, that's the great thing about these old classics that are in the public domain in most countries. Fast and easy to grab for free.


message 38: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Heena wrote: "I'm reading all Hercule Poirot books, as well as Miss Marple books :) "

If you don't already have it, the first Hercule Poirot book, The Secret Adversary, is at Project Gutenberg.


message 39: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Heena wrote: "Also thanks a ton for the links... I'll download 'em all! ha ha ha! I guess I'm gonna go crazy reading all books from Project Gutenberg alone! lol!"

LOL, that's the great thing about..."


Hehehe! I agree! :)


message 40: by Heena (new)

Heena Rathore Pardeshi (heenarathore) | 2223 comments Mod
Dagny wrote: "Heena wrote: "I'm reading all Hercule Poirot books, as well as Miss Marple books :) "

If you don't already have it, the first Hercule Poirot book, The Secret Adversary, is at Project Gutenberg."


I'll have to check it. Actually I issued this big book of the entire Hercule Poirot series...
This is the one... Hercule Poirot The Complete Short Stories  by Agatha Christie


message 41: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
I now have two classics read this year since the January book at the French Literature group counts under our new guidelines.

1. Fantômas
2. The Haunted Hotel


message 42: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Oh, I just noticed that technically I did not yet sign up on a level for this challenge. Well, I am going to do it now: I will go with level 5 - 12 or more books;

So far I have read Claude's Confession and Le Voeu D'Une Morte;

Next I will tackle some Arthur Conan Doyle and probably some of Agatha Christie's (wheter it's going to be Hercule Poirot or Miss Marple I don't know...)


message 43: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Dagny wrote: "I now have two classics read this year since the January book at the French Literature group counts under our new guidelines.

1. Fantômas
2. The Haunted Hotel"



Fantômas seems to be a pretty cool read. I think I will read that one, too! :)


message 44: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "So far I have read Claude's Confession and Le Voeu D'Une Morte "

Yea, welcome to Level 5, Simona.

Two Zola books! I've read a lot of Zola including all the Rougon-Macquart novels. L'Assommoir is one of my all time favorite books by any author. I love the character of Gervaise.

I've not read either of yours, although I've heard of Claude's Confession.


message 45: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "Fantômas seems to be a pretty cool read. I think I will read that one, too! :) "


It was fun. It started out like a country house mystery at first. I was fooled a couple of times.

If you read it in February, it will count toward the Mystery Genre in that Challenge.


message 46: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Two Zola books! I've read a lot of Zola including all the Rougon-Macquart novels. ..."

They are both quite enjoyable.
I definitely will read more Zola books. I read some L'Assommoir excerpts when I was in highschool but I never got to read it before.


message 47: by Dagny (last edited Jan 25, 2015 12:20PM) (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Simona wrote: "I definitely will read more Zola books."

It's still a work in progress, but here's a Zola site with some good information.
http://readingzola.wordpress.com/


message 48: by Simona (new)

Simona F. (simona21) | 79 comments Dagny wrote: "Simona wrote: "I definitely will read more Zola books."

It's still a work in progress, but here's a Zola site with some good information.
http://readingzola.wordpress.com/"


Great! Thanks :)


message 49: by Leah (new)

Leah (fictionfanaz) I'll join in for the Bookworm level - it's possible I'll read more than 8 since I'm planning to read some Dickens, some Austen and some sci-fi classics this year but I'd rather beat my target than miss it...

Starting with a re-read of A Tale of Two Cities.


message 50: by Dagny (new)

Dagny (madamevauquer) | 3486 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "I'll join in for the Bookworm level - it's possible I'll read more than 8 since I'm planning to read some Dickens, some Austen and some sci-fi classics this year but I'd rather beat my target than ..."

Glad you made it over here, Leah! Thanks for joining. We started out pre 1900, but when we started talking about Mysteries for the Genre Challenge, just couldn't leave off those early 20th century ones, so upped the cut-off date to 1940.

You need an audio book of A Tale of Two Cities so you can knit along with the character.


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