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message 1: by Colleen (last edited Mar 04, 2010 11:18PM) (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments Okay, so am I one step away from drooling in a cup or are there actually a number of intelligent humans knocking around that don't like, even hate, some books that are considered classics?

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens- did not enjoy in the least
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- didn't see what all the fuss was over but not a bad book, not one I would ever read twice though
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen- would have rather walked over burning coals, no more Jane Austen for me ever.


message 2: by Jo (new)

Jo I don't get the hype over Pride and Prejudice either. I found it really boring. Each to their own i guess!


message 3: by Donna, The Pusher (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 3116 comments Mod
I wasn't a fan of Sense and Sensability. SO much so that I didn't even rate it. I read it soooo long ago and I know I was not a fan.

I never finished reading Pride & Predjudice so I don't know what to say about that!

And I recently brought A Tale of Two Cities and now you got me worried!!!


message 4: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Oh Jo...for us "Americans"....P&P is just so different and we love it!!!! All the waiting and love tension!!! I actually liked the mini-series with Colin Firth better than the book!!!!


message 5: by Jo (new)

Jo Lol i think my dislike of it may have something to do with being forced to read and watch the show by a middle aged teacher that like to go on and on about how dreamy Mr Darcy was. It got a little sickening. I guess it was like the Twilight of that generation and he is the Edward.


message 6: by Desiree (new)

Desiree | 19 comments I have to say the classic i was always not a fan of was The Great Gatsby...I liked the book until the ending and then i felt it ended abruptly...it has been a long time since I have read it though and I might go back and read it to see if i still feel the same way.

As for P&P and S&S, I actually enjoyed the books because when i read them i tried to imagine life at the time period and how it would equate to life now...in a way it is like twilight! I know people are not fans of the twilight series but I am because I take it in the context that it was written for 15 year old girls....I imagined that if i read it at 15 i would probably have a thing for Edward...i try not to take it too seriously.


message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo Wow! Great Gatsby is my favourite classic! Just goes to show how different people are!


message 8: by Donna, The Pusher (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 3116 comments Mod
Funny! I guess maybe if I was 15 I would have nejoyed it more. I tend to think too much when I read. But I thought Edward was supposed to be hot??!!? (I forgot his name) but the guy who does play Edward in the movies...I wouldn't even looked at him twice in the street!


message 9: by Desiree (new)

Desiree | 19 comments Jo wrote: "Wow! Great Gatsby is my favourite classic! Just goes to show how different people are!"

Well it has been about 10 years or more since i read it...i think my teenage mind is different from my quasi-adult mind :) That is why I am willing to go back and read it to see if my perceptions have changed...i think it is similar to when you eat certain things as a child and you hate it...then when you are older your taste buds change and it is delicious! :)


message 10: by Jo (new)

Jo I agree, Desiree. I read it last year (aged 20 or 21). I'm not sure how i would have felt about it if i had read it as a teenager.


message 11: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) I loved Great Gatsby... Love Austen & Dickens! But there are definitely classics I did NOT enjoy..

The Metamorphosis by Kafka. The most depressing book I think I've ever read. And disgusting. The poor guy turns into a bug, and that's not the gross part, its how he's treated. I think I'm going to try to read it again because I think I would appreciate it much more now (I read it in high school.)

Another one:
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. I don't know why I didn't enjoy this book, I liked Tom Sawyer & Huckleberry Finn... And I know its been turned into movies and shows. The idea of it is amusing, but for some reason, I could hardly get through the book.


message 12: by Donna, The Pusher (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 3116 comments Mod
OMG I remember reading The Metamorphosis but I don't really remember any of it. I guess I have no opionion then LOL


message 13: by Jo (new)

Jo I liked The Metamorphosis. It was quite depressing and bizzare though. But it had its point.


message 14: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) Donna, you crack me up!


I do want to read it again. I was so young when I read it... Basically I remember shuddering when someone mentioned the book more than I remember the book itself, lol!


message 15: by Donna, The Pusher (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 3116 comments Mod
I don't even remember if I liked it or not. Does that mean I am getting old??? ;-)


message 16: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 109 comments This thread should be very interesting just to see just how differing our tastes are.

As for me I have rediscovered a love of Jane Austen books. Bronte's Wuthering Heights is my fav though of classics.

For ones I Hated/disliked they go back to things I read in school.


I truly did not like Lord of the Flies


In college a class scheduler talked me into taking a class on Virginia Woolf and said I would love it because I loved to read and that it was just an elective. Turned out was a Lit Major class and that after readin the first required book of hers I was to near tears on 'tell me what you think of this book' days. It was obvious to me that she was on drugs and mentally unstable. The Only one from the entire semester I Kinda got/liked was Orlando...but even it was a bit on the odd side.


message 17: by Colleen (last edited Mar 04, 2010 11:22PM) (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments LOL, not in the least Donna! Maybe the book just didn't make enough of an impression either way.

Oh, I forgot to add The Adventures of Tom Sawyer/Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain; I actually hated that book and it took me several days to get through. I was literally rolling my eyes and had to keep putting it away.

I started this thread because I had tried to read S&S in high school and just couldn't get into it so I am giving it another go right now. I thought that maybe I just wasn't "mature" enough to read S&S being 15; even though I tested at a college reading level. I'm at chapter 27 now and I got to thinking either I am still not "advanced" enough or there actually are people who plain don't like some of the so-called classics.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Love this thread. Although there are many classics that I DO like, there are definitely a lot that I do not. The worst on my list are:

The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka - I read this one for symbology class in high school, but the whole idea just made me ill.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Couldn't agree more with hating this one. Almost made me hate boys.

Anything by Ernest Hemingway - Come on, the man's writing is boring beyond belief. One of my sons actually got yelled at by an English teacher for writing like Hemingway.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I find this book boring and depressing.

Donna - I know what you mean about Edward - I would not have picked the guy they did for anything. Hot he is not!


message 19: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) Lord of the Flies is one of my favorite books! Ever! Its one of the few I always re-read. (I wonder if it means anything about me... that my favorite book is so dark lol...)

But I agree with you Lyn on the Hemingway. Doesn't keep me interested at all.


message 20: by Shelli (last edited Mar 04, 2010 06:48PM) (new)

Shelli Lyn M wrote: "Love this thread. Although there are many classics that I DO like, there are definitely a lot that I do not. The worst on my list are:

The Metamorphosis by [author:Franz Kafka|5..."


I liked Lord of the Flies! I loved Anna Karenina...I liked Wuthering Heights, but it wasn't my favorite. Different strokes!!!


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I know isn't it interesting. In fact, so many people like them, I always wonder what I missed!


message 22: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments I loved Lord of the Flies! A great companion book is The Inheritors by the same author.

Okay so I am trying to figure out why most women readers I run across love, and are even obsessed with Jane Austen. It's not her writing style because I like that, except she overuses the word "quitted" and that drives me nuts. P&P and S&S seem to be about snobs, sisters, and the trials of love; to me it's the same story different book. What is the draw, can anyone tell me?


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Hmmm...interesting topic.

I haven't tried out Austen yet, but in general I find that I do like the classics a lot, but not in the same way I like contemporary stuff. I love all things Dickens, enjoy D.H.Lawrence, Tolstoy, LOVE Steibeck and Graham Greene(but are we talking Victorian literature classics or anything pre-say-1960?), regretably haven't read any Twain since teenage years but that will change soon. I didn't love Wuthering Heights, but I didn't hate it either. I really liked The Great Gatsby. I haven't read any Kafka or enough Hemingway to form an opinion but based on other people's tastes I assume that I would like Hemingway. I did like the Faulkner I just read albeit a bit strange. I'm looking forward to taking on Dostoevsky, Dumas, Maugham and Rushdie as well as Woolf, Austen, Elliot and other Brontes than Emily.

I like classics only slightly less than really good contemporary literature and better than the average contemporary. I love how I start reading them thinking it is 200 years old and yet the characters are really not that different from people today only in a different setting. But that's just me!


message 24: by Donna, The Pusher (new)

Donna (dfiggz) | 3116 comments Mod
I def wanna read some Rushdie. I have some on my TBR and I own 1-2 of them. I will get to it sooner of later.

My goal is to read alittle bit more of the classics but after reading this thread I am second guessing the ones I had in my head!

I plan on readin Orwell and more Hemingway. I have read my fair share of Dickens but might read alittle more depending on my mood.


message 25: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Mar 05, 2010 10:54AM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Colleen - I think that the draw for me with Austen is exactly what Jeremy said about classics in general. I like that fact that I am reading a book that was written so long ago, and yet the story is still enjoyable. I think I even would have liked Anna Karenina, if it hadn't gone on for so long. Another draw to Austen, the Bronte sisters, etc. for me, is that they couldn't even write under their own names at that time, but had to pretend to be men.

Jeremy - I will be interested to see what you think about Woolf. I read my first Virginia Woolf in 2009, and I was expecting to hate it, but found it surprisingly enjoyable. I too love Graham Greene, Dickens, Salinger, Fitzgerald, but my favorite two classic authors are Steinbeck and Twain.


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Hopefully, I will get to her over the next few months!!


message 27: by Colleen (last edited Mar 05, 2010 09:58PM) (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments See, my frustration is the actual story; to me Austen just repeats herself and if I have to read about someone "quitting" a room one more time...

I read a book for the book not taking into account the authors personal history, professional history, or how old it is. If a 500yr old book or a 1yr old book captivates me I want to know more about the author. I loved Jane Eyre so much I actually read it twice in a row and lamented that it took me so long to read. I loved Robinson Crusoe; even though I understood it was a product of the times I didn't like the way Robinson made Friday so subordinate and call him "master".

So I ask again, it seems to make women more crazy than men; what is it about Jane Austen's books?


message 28: by Jo (new)

Jo The thing that annoyed me most about Pride and Prejudice was the word "Agreeable". Maybe my memory has over exagerated but i remember it annoying the hell out of me.


message 29: by Kathy (last edited Mar 06, 2010 08:20AM) (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 300 comments I love this thread, as one of my challenges to myself this year is to read 5 classics that I've been meaning to read. I've recently finished The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte, so now I've read something by each of the Bronte sisters. I plan on reading The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, two more recent "classics." I'd like to read something by Dickens and Middlemarch.

Even though I majored in English in college (many moons ago), there are so many classics I've yet to read. Not that I didn't encounter classics in my studies, but I think that there was a push for contemporary lit then, too. Some favorite classics (some within the 20th century) I have read are Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, The Metamorphosis, The End of the Affair, The Sun Also Rises, Ethan Frome, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird, Fahrenheit 451, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Scarlet Letter, anything by Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare's Macbeth, Homer's The Odyssey and The Iliad, Beowulf: A New Verse Translation, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. Okay, enough for now. If I've forgotten some, I'll add them later.


message 30: by Colleen (last edited Mar 06, 2010 01:09PM) (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments Thanks Jo, she does seem to over-use "agreeable" and "quitted". I am trying to get through my second Austen novel, since the first didn't sway me to love or hate her books, S&S. I can't seems to keep the sisters straight even though I think I should as one of them is prone to constant hysterics. I wanted to read Emma but now I am not sure.

Kathy, have you checked out the thread on banned books yet?


message 31: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 300 comments Colleen wrote: "Thanks Jo, she does seem to over-use "agreeable" and "quitted". I am trying to get through my second Austen novel, since the first didn't sway me to love or hate her books, S&S. I can't seems to ke..."

Ah, Colleen, you have hit upon one of my passions. I don't know why I haven't checked it out yet. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. One of the reasons I want to read The Grapes of Wrath is because I have a non-fiction book about its history as a challenged and banned book, Obscene in the Extreme: The Burning and Banning of John Steinbeck's the Grapes of Wrath by Rick Wartzman. I'll go over and visit the Banned thread now. Again, thanks.


message 32: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments I finally finished S&S and it fell so flat. I couldn't follow the story at all. Normally if I read a book I hate I will never give the author another shot, just as if I love a book I want to read everything else by the author I can get my hands on.

I think since P&P left me so "meh" and I distinctly couldn't stand S&S, since Austen is a "classic" and "highly regarded" (for no reason anyone can explain, without further confusion) I decided to treat this like a coin toss. I will give her one more shot and after that no more if I find I don't like the third book. So once I get over my aggrivation with Austen I think I may give Emma a read.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) OK - I am going to have to try re-reading an Austen. Truthfully, it has been so long since I read one (like high school, and my kids are already out of high school, so you know how long ago that was!) I can't really recall what it was that I liked about them. Just that they seemed romantic to me at the time. BUT - just for you, Colleen, I might try re-reading one and see if I still feel the same. I will admit that there are things I read in high school that I wouldn't give the time of day now.


message 34: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Lyn...I also have found that things I thought were boring in high school I like better now!!!!


message 35: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) Thats so funny that I'm not the only one who has a 'word' that drives me crazy in Austen novels. Except the word I can't stand is "disposition." I swear its on every page.

BUT I still love her books and Colleen, don't give up before you read Emma because that's my favorite one so far! The main character really stands out in that one.


message 36: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments I just started The Age of Innocence and must say I am enjoying it so far; especially since I just waded unhappily out of Austen and it is another banned book to cross off that gigantic list.

For Austen being an acclaimed author for no apparent reason, other than her being a published woman way back when, she didn't seem to know about thesaurus'. Cryin' out loud Jane!


message 37: by Wen (new)

Wen (thespoilingone) | 109 comments Colleen wrote: "I just started The Age of Innocence and must say I am enjoying it so far; especially since I just waded unhappily out of Austen and it is another banned book to cross off that gigantic..."

Giggle I still like Austen books. I am more than part way through Persuasion now and like it.
I can really explain why some love her work and others dont at all. I like the romantic notions but also that the characters are flawed. Yes she uses many words over much but still like the books.

I read Age of Innocence last year and it was ok for me so you may well love it...giggle.


message 38: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments I think maybe Austen is like Dickens, some people rave over her/him and some people hate her/him. I didn't much care for A Tale of Two Cities but I have always loved Great Expectations and A Christmas Carol is one of those stories that a lot of people grew up on. Versions anyway, LOL, my first "Dickens" was the Donald Duck version of A Christmas Carol.


message 39: by Lyn (Readinghearts) (last edited Mar 10, 2010 12:23PM) (new)

Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Colleen - I remember that one! It was a natural with Scrooge McDuck being Donald's uncle!

I almost picked up an Austen at the library today to see if I still like them, but decided it could wait. I have so many books queued up as it is.


message 40: by [deleted user] (new)

It's all about the long queue these days. If anything, it just keeps getting longer! I think my next classic will be Tom Sawyer followed by Huck Finn. I usually don't read back to back by the same author but those two belong together I think. I haven't read them in forever and want to see what I think as an adult.


message 41: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 300 comments Colleen wrote: "I think maybe Austen is like Dickens, some people rave over her/him and some people hate her/him. I didn't much care for A Tale of Two Cities but I have always loved [book:Great Expecta..."

Colleen, the Muppet Christmas Carol with Michael Caine as Scrooge is my favorite. LOL


message 42: by Colleen (new)

Colleen (nightoleander) | 676 comments Jeremy, my TBR pile will never be at an end even if I lived in a cave with nothing but books and no distractions! I try to only read the same author back to back if it happens to be a sequel or part of a series. In that case it's like the same book broken up into segments.


message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Sounds similar to what I do! If there is a series like the first part of Enders Game with 3 books, I plan on reading those back to back. But the Sharpe series I am reading or the Repairman Jack series - I read those intermingled with all of my other reads. I am going to start Harry Potter sometime soon, but it'll probably be at least a full year before I go through all of the books when mixed in with other reads.

It is kind of a weird rule I set for myself. For instance, I love all that I have read from Richard Russo so you would think I would just devour his canon. And yet, I will probably not read all of his books within the next 5 years.


message 44: by Shelli (new)

Shelli I read Ender's Game and loved it. Now I'm reading Ender in Exile which is the direct sequel, but is actually I think the last book in the series...I don't know if I'll read the others in between, but I'm really enjoying this one that takes place right after the first!!


message 45: by Kathy (new)

Kathy  (readr4ever) | 300 comments I have got to read Ender's Game sometime. It's been on the back burner for a long time.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) Me too Kathy.

Colleen and Jeremy - I do the same thing with series and non series books. That way I can spread my reading time around.


message 47: by Ashley (new)

Ashley (ash88) I loved Ender's Game... I've read that one and Ender's Shadow. I read them in high school and the other books didn't look interesting to me then but they probably would now. I'm confused about what order you are supposed to read them in though! Should they be read in some kind of order?

I don't read authors back to back unless the books are in a series, and then I HAVE to read the next one, especially if its good :) That's why I still haven't read Harry Potter. I'm going to have to give myself a whole summer to do that...


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Funny that we have these quirks on reading authors and series. Somewhat different but very similar.

Shelli - is Ender in Exile directly after the 1st book of Enders Game or after the whole series? Is it fill in story or a parallel story?


message 49: by Shelli (new)

Shelli Hi all...I believe the second book in the series is called Speaker for the Dead. Ender's Game is kind of "wrapped up" at the end of the book...but leads you to know that Ender can travel around out in space. Ender in Exile which I'm reading now, came later, but it goes back and fills in what happened to Ender right at the end of Ender's Game...before the "wrapped up" part...does that make sense?


message 50: by Shelli (last edited Mar 17, 2010 05:27AM) (new)

Shelli I just looked them both up. Speaker is #2 and Ender in Exile is #6, but if you look at the summaries for each, you'll see what I mean. I didn't so much care about all the sci-fi stuff that happened after Ender's story....soooo....EIE #6 goes back and continues what happened to Ender right after he left Earth. It's good, and I don't think I'll read all the ones in between...but I guess you can do it either way...depends if you really like sci-fi stuff, or just Ender(like me)!!!


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