The Classics discussion

April's Book

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message 1: by theduckthief (last edited Mar 10, 2010 10:24PM) (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Click here to go to the poll for April's book selection.

Voting ends March 17.

message 2: by Adriano (new)

Adriano Godinho (adrianogodinho) | 3 comments I think Anna Karenina is too long for one month reading, but I'll vote for it! :)

message 3: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I think if a big book like Anna Karenina won I'd extend the reading discussion over two months. We read Les Mis about a year ago and I think very few people were able to get through the whole book in one month.

message 4: by Alex (new)

Alex I voted for Robinson Crusoe - can we say that? - but it'd be sorta tempting to return to Swiss Family Robinson. I must've read that 20 times when I was a kid. I used to play SFR in the woods with my friends. We'd be all "Check it out, I built a windmill!" Awesome.

message 5: by Milt (last edited Mar 13, 2010 04:34AM) (new)

Milt Moise (highlander) | 15 comments Strangely enough, my new year's resolution was to read the great Russian novels. I read The Brothers Karamazov and next up for me is, you guessed it - Ana Karenina! :).

I live in Japan and it is a pain getting books right now, but I'm supposed to go to the US for a few days in early April. Thus, the two month reading schedule works great for me.

Ana Karenina and Fathers and Sons will be purchased by me stateside sooooo... I'm lobbying for Ana Karenina

message 6: by Carol (new)

Carol (goodreadscomcarolann) I just finished reading Anna Karenina with another group -- it took 8 weeks which seemed doable. I was glad to have discussed each section week by week because so much happens. When I read Les Miserables with a group, we took 12 weeks because it is a huge book!

message 7: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
My heart's all for "Emma" but we've already read one Austen book here and haven't done any Tolstoy. So gear up everyone, we're going to be doing "Anna Kerenina" spread over April and May. It's a big book but you have a week and a half to get hold of a copy.

I'll arrange the discussions by sections per week to see how it works out. Then if all of you can provide feedback on whether you liked it or not, we might keep to that discussion method.

message 8: by Alex (new)

Alex God help us.

My wife says this is her favorite book ever. (I thought it was The House of Mirth! Life's full of little surprises.) She's agreed to read along, so I am in. She'll probably join us here; she's on Goodreads, although not as much as I am.

So, anyone have any special insight into translation? My inclination is to go with the new one (2004), despite my completely irrational hatred of anything that says "Oprah's Book Club" on it. It's apparently the first new one in 40 years.

message 9: by Beth A. (new)

Beth A. (bethalm) When I read Anna Karenina with another group a few years ago the consensus was that the new translation was much better. Unfortunately, I read the old one because I already had it as an audiobook.

message 10: by Alex (new)

Alex Beth: I love you for not putting "general" in front of consensus. It kills me when people do that.

message 11: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I'm slightly apprehensive about this read, having avoided the Russians for most of my life. They always seemed so heavy, both literally and figuratively. But if I can slog through Hugo's 'les Mis' I can certainly try to tackle 'Anna'.

I'll be stuck with whatever translation my library has so hopefully it won't differ too far from everyone's else's translation.

message 12: by Daphne (new)

Daphne (daphne2163) I am going to be joining you in this group read. I have never tackled any of the Russian novels (also a little intimidated by them), but I am determined to read more classics and that definitely has to include War & Peace and Anna Karenina.

It seems less intimidating to be able to read along with others and having it broken down over eight weeks. I purchased the new translation on my Kindle today and look forward to getting started.

message 13: by Alex (last edited Mar 18, 2010 09:35PM) (new)

Alex I totally agree, Daphne, it's nice to have backup when you tackle something weighty. And I'll be reading it on Kindle too.

Y'know, Beth mentioned that she unfortunately had an old translation, and Duckthief is crossing his fingers for the library. We all have our reasons for reading books the way we do, but just to let you know...Amazon has used versions of the new translation starting at 44 cents. Obviously I have no idea which one is best, I just want to make sure we all have options. 'Cause this is a big dog, and we should stack our decks as best we can.

message 14: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Alex wrote: "I totally agree, Daphne, it's nice to have backup when you tackle something weighty. And I'll be reading it on Kindle too.

Y'know, Beth mentioned that she unfortunately had an old translation, an..."

Crossing her fingers actually but good news, I just found out my library's copy is the newest edition. Yay!

message 15: by Alex (new)

Alex Sorry Duckthief! I should've remembered that there are, like, no dudes on this site. Because they're off playing video games instead of reading.

Stoked that your library has the latest version. :)

ps I like penguins too.

message 16: by Milt (new)

Milt Moise (highlander) | 15 comments Heyyyy Alex, I'm a 'dude' as you put it lol.

message 17: by Alex (new)

Alex Hey Milt, wanna talk about Hemingway? High five! :)

message 18: by Jason (new)

Jason (jason_b) Hey, I vote in the 'dude' category too.

I read AK in the early 90's, and think the strong female protagonist will lead to interesting discussions in this 'mostly female group.' I'll try to break away from my MMORPGs and reread this book:) Although for my money, it's 4th behind War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, and The Brothers Karamozov

message 19: by Alex (last edited Mar 22, 2010 05:54AM) (new)

Alex We should start a club and, like, go out to the woods and play bongos.

message 20: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie | 10 comments Any input on which translation is best? Someone said "the new one" could you specify a little?

message 21: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Pevear and Volokhonsky as translators is the new version.

message 22: by Alex (new)

Alex Ronnie, the new translation we've been talking about is this one, by Pevear and Volokhonsky. People seem very jazzed about it; I looked up a bunch of 'em and while no one disses the old ones, even Tolstoy geeks are fans of this. The opinion seems clear. It's the first one in 40 years. Even Oprah likes it!

message 23: by Alex (new)

Alex Damn it, duck thief! Stealing my thunder!

message 24: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie | 10 comments Thanks. I'll try and get it this weekend. I might use it as an excuse to get an e-reader as well :)

message 25: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Mwa ha! Stealing thunder is one of my favourite hobbies.

message 26: by Alex (new)

Alex Seriously, a 900-page book is as good an excuse for an e-reader as you're gonna get.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) | 18 comments Anna Karenina is my all time favorite book, too.

message 28: by Cody (new)

Cody Todd (codester) | 2 comments For anyone who has avoided the Russians (especially Tolstoi), you are in for a treat. I've found no other group of writers more capable of creating an entire world and setting you into the middle of it.

message 29: by Alex (new)

Alex I'm one of those who's somehow missed Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. I'm pretty jazzed about this. It's not too often that you get to read one of the best novels ever for the first time.

message 30: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie | 10 comments Well I got my hands on the Pevear translation and Im ready to read :D

message 31: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
I'm picking up the book tomorrow from the library and was talking to one of my crazily well-read friends who's read it twice. She says it's a great read!

Tensy (bookdoyen) (tensy) Ronnie wrote: "Well I got my hands on the Pevear translation and Im ready to read :D"

I just bought this translation because of the recommendations on this board, but guys, this book is HEAVY! (Literally and figuratively) I read it in college and I'm hoping to get it read in time for the discussions.

message 33: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Well I've read longer but probably nothing as dense. Section 1 starts on Thursday so you've got a week to read about 120 pages. Good luck everybody!

message 34: by Alex (new)

Alex Jesus, there are sections? Where are the Cliff Notes for this?

I've managed to schedule this and Boccaccio for the same month. Nice job, me. I CAN TOTALLY HANDLE IT. Everything's fine and I'm totally not intimidated.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) | 18 comments The Pevear and Volokhonsky translation reads wonderfully. You'll be finished before you know it! :)

message 36: by Alex (new)

Alex Where and when do y'all read?

My main time is on the subway in Boston - 20 minutes there, 20 minutes back. I've slowly been trying to carve out more time; I'm trying to train myself to read while my wife watches Law & Order, and sometimes I just wake up early, go to work and read until 9. But I find it surprisingly difficult to find time to read.

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) | 18 comments I'm not working right now, so I can read any time I want. That has its ups and its downs. I'd rather have less time to read and more money from work.

message 38: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie | 10 comments I often read during my breakfast which is like 20 min. Lately I have tried to set some time of to read before bed, but my success rate hasn't been impressive. Often I have some stuff to take care of or get caught up in something and end up getting to bed too late. Then there's weekends, which is when I do most of my reading I guess.

message 39: by theduckthief (new)

theduckthief | 269 comments Mod
Alex I had some suggestions from group members to try separating a book into sections for the month we're reading. We'll try it and see how it works.

As for me, I usually read whenever I can. Before bed, on the bus, etc.

message 40: by Jason (new)

Jason (jason_b) Try setting your email inbox to auto delete. Over the years, I've found it carves out a lot of extra time during work hours.

message 41: by Alex (new)

Alex Good idea, Jason. :)

Hope you find work again soon, Gabrielle. Tough time, huh?

Duck Thief, don't go to too much effort on my account. :) I'll figure it out.

message 42: by Jason (new)

Jason (jason_b) Alex, another good tip. Don't actually read the book, but follow all the reviews closely, so you can participate in the discussions. Over the years, I've found it carves out a lot of time to work on your email.

message 43: by Julia (new)

Julia You peeps are funny! Love the mental image of the dudes reading Hemingway in the woods with bongos. In my head you are all dressed in camo, there is beer involved, and the sports illustrated swimsuit edition is present but ignored, in favor of The Old Man & the Sea. (**shakes head despairingly**)

OK, off to find Anna Karenina. My recollection is that I read it when young and found her annoying, but maybe I'm confusing her with Mme. Bovary. One can hope, anyways. ;-D

TheGirlBytheSeaofCortez (Madly77) | 18 comments Alex wrote: "Good idea, Jason. :)

Hope you find work again soon, Gabrielle. Tough time, huh?

Duck Thief, don't go to too much effort on my account. :) I'll figure it out."

Thanks. I have a job. I'm just taking some time off to do what I want. :)

message 45: by Alex (new)

Alex Very glad it's by choice, Gabrielle! Good for you.

message 46: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 2 comments Catherine,
I am going to be reading C. Garnett's translation also. I get installments from Daily Lit, but I also have the physical book. I like reading some books online but not many.
Here is the url to Daily Lit if anyone is not familiar with it, it's a great site with lots of free e-books.
Lisa in IN

message 47: by Milt (new)

Milt Moise (highlander) | 15 comments Hey Alex, I have not read as much Hemingway as I should have. My reading is confined to 'The Old man and the Sea,' 'A Farewell to Arms,' and a couple of his short stories, most notably 'The Snows of Klimanjaro."

Now about Anna Karenina, I got the Peaver Volokhonsky translation and I must say- IT IS AMAZING. I am soooo reading their translations whenever possible for my foray into Russian Literarure. Into page 237 (End of part 2) of 800 or so.

message 48: by Alex (new)

Alex Seriously dude, this translation is ill. I'm having a blast with this book. I'm maybe 100 pages ahead of you.

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