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OLD TASK HELP THREADS > 20.3 - Best Review Contest - Amanda VA's Task - School May Be Out

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message 1: by Cynthia (last edited May 31, 2010 10:30PM) (new)

Cynthia (pandoraphoebesmom) | 1378 comments 20.3 - Best Review Contest - Amanda VA's Task - School May Be Out
School may be out, but that doesn't mean we all have to read fluff all summer! Do some serious reading and select and complete one of the following options...

A.Read a Victorian Novel, which is one published during the reign of Queen Victoria of England, which was from 1837 to 1901 (EXAMPLE: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell or Bleak House by Charles Dickens)
OR
B.Read at least 350 pages of works by any of the authors from the St. John's College Reading List, from any year. Note that you don't have to read the exact work on the list, and you don't have to read all 350 pages from the same author. You can find the list here:
St. John's Reading List

If you need suggestions OR have suggestions for books to read for this task post them here.


message 2: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments oh yay! Since getting my MA, I need a little PUSH to read the "older" stuff! LOVE IT!


message 3: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I am going with Great Expectations on this one!


message 4: by Erin (NY) (new)

Erin (NY) (erin_p) | 629 comments I am reading Brothers Karamazov! I am ashamed to say that I have never read that one!


message 5: by Cindy AL (new)

Cindy AL (cangelmd) | 664 comments Nicole, I thought every high school student in America had to read either Great Expectations or A Tale of Two Cities! With your love of language I predict that you will like Dickens, maybe not to read everyday, but no one can make up names like he did.

I've got a question, does the Victorian novel have to be 350 pages long, or just published during that time span. I'm considering The White Company which was published, It think during that time period, but is not a typical Victorian novel.

I read North and South during the last challenge and really enjoyed it.


message 6: by Sandy (new)

Sandy | 16402 comments Mod
The funny thing about Dickens is that we now categorize it as "serious reading" - but in his day, not so much. Makes you wonder how some of our "fluff" might be characterized 100 years from now!


message 7: by Felina (last edited Jun 01, 2010 09:59AM) (new)

Felina Would it be okay for me to read the Sparks version of King Lear. I think its sparks. It has the original text on the left page and then a translation on the right for those of us who don't like classics or the brain pain it takes to decifer the language? :) I bought the book ages ago because I wanted to have some knowledge of Shakespeare but have never gotten to it.


message 8: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Sandy wrote: "The funny thing about Dickens is that we now categorize it as "serious reading" - but in his day, not so much. Makes you wonder how some of our "fluff" might be characterized 100 years from now!"

I think it might be like Shakespeare. It's just HOW we speak and write has changed so much over those hundreds of years. The vocabulary we use has changed so much. I think that is what really makes it challenging or just different.

I have read a lot of things that people are scared to read (like Faulkner) so I am not too concerned about Dickens. I just never got around to it.

I had some teachers that must have gone off the beaten path while I was in high school. I mean I read Wuthering Heights in 9th grade. Every teacher/school is different unless they are REQUIRED to teach specific texts.


message 9: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I am going with Gr..."


Yay Nicole! I had read Dickens in high school (Great Expectations), but I didn't fall in love until I read A Tale of Two Cities for a challenge about a year ago. Then I discovered that he was the author who most influenced my favorite author, John Irving. Now I'm on a mission to read all of both Dickens and Irving. :o)


message 10: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 263 comments Love this task! I consider myself to be very well-read, but I have never read anything by Jane Austen. It's quite embarrassing. :) This task is the perfect chance for me to change that.


message 11: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Katie wrote: "Love this task! I consider myself to be very well-read, but I have never read anything by Jane Austen. It's quite embarrassing. :) This task is the perfect chance for me to change that."

I have come to the conclusion that there are so many must read authors. You do not have to have read all of them to call yourself well read. At least, I think so! :)


message 12: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 263 comments Nicole wrote: "Katie wrote: "Love this task! I consider myself to be very well-read, but I have never read anything by Jane Austen. It's quite embarrassing. :) This task is the perfect chance for me..."

Very true! Jane Austen just comes so highly recommended by so many people that I feel like she deserves a go.


message 13: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Katie wrote: "Nicole wrote: "Katie wrote: "Love this task! I consider myself to be very well-read, but I have never read anything by Jane Austen. It's quite embarrassing. :) This task is the perfec..."

Yes. Austen is definitely on my list of people I think are awesome and therefore a must read! :)


message 14: by Rita (new)

Rita Most of Austen's novels seem to have been published before the 1837 date. Would they still work?


message 15: by Megan (last edited Jun 01, 2010 09:17AM) (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I am going with Gr..."


Ewwwwwwww! I loathe Dickens. I know they didn't have TV and all that, but five pages describing someone's cravat? Please. And high-school me couldn't even figure out where to skim because it was so unnecessarily dense. I'm all for pretty descriptions, but he's just ridiculous.

Edit: I hated Faulkner, too, but I don't think anyone in my class liked Faulkner. Even the teacher. Which I suppose could've colored our view of the book. But I definitely think Faulkner would have turned us off all by himself anyway...


Elizabeth (Alaska) Austen won't work for this task because she died before Victoria's reign. But she would work for 20.8 Happy Birthday To You - Rhiannon's Task (July 21st) - B&N Classics because most of her books on on that list.


message 17: by Liz (new)

Liz Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Austen won't work for this task because she died before Victoria's reign. But she would work for 20.8 Happy Birthday To You - Rhiannon's Task (July 21st) - B&N Classics because most of her books on..."

Jane Austen works for Part B though :)


message 18: by Liz (last edited Jun 01, 2010 09:18AM) (new)

Liz I plan on reading North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell for A.


Elizabeth (Alaska) You're right, Liz - I looked for her, but too quickly I guess.

I'm going to read The Moonstone. I read The Woman in White a few months ago and loved it.


message 20: by Cait (new)

Cait Poytress (caitertot) | 662 comments Ms Anderson wrote: "Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I a..."


Aw Ms. Anderson, I think you just killed a kitten. Or, at the very least, made one cry. :op


message 21: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Cait wrote: "Ms Anderson wrote: "Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studi..."

Dickens slew a legion of kittens by picking up his pen :P


message 22: by Liz (last edited Jun 01, 2010 09:31AM) (new)

Liz Ms Anderson wrote: "Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I a..."


The reason Dickens used so many words was because they used to be paid per word. And the completed books weren't put out all at one time, but in segments in a journal/magazine/newspaper (the reason there are cliffhangers at the ends of chapters - so the readers would want to know what happened in the next installment).


Elizabeth (Alaska) Dickens is, perhaps, my all time favorite author.


message 24: by scherzo♫ (new)

scherzo♫ (pjreads) Tale of Two Cities is one of my all time favorite books.


message 25: by Jayme (new)

Jayme (jaymetheghostreader) | 3015 comments I have some Austen I haven't read yet.


message 26: by Katie (new)

Katie (katieisallbooked) | 263 comments I've never read any Dickens, either. Not sure why, but I'm intimidated by him.


message 27: by Megan (new)

Megan Anderson (ms_anderson) | 1481 comments Liz wrote: "The reason Dickens used so many words was because they used to be paid per word."

Ah, so he was like Scrooge, out for every penny he could get! (barricades herself under her desk so she's protected from the torches and pitchforks) Kidding, kidding.

In all seriousness though, I get the "serial-novel, pay-per-word" deal, but I don't feel that makes his writing good literature, either. Even if he was just trying to make a living, I don't think his stories are strong enough to stand up under the weight of all the words.

And to solve this? I'm going to read something else (like The Awakening, since it was written in 1899 and came highly recommended on the B&N thread). In other words, I'm going to keep my mouth shut so I can leave my barricade *_~


message 28: by Liz (new)

Liz Ms Anderson, you're hilarious!

It was a toss up for me between The Awakening & North & South (N&S has been on my tbr for such a long time, so it won out). I'm excited to hear what those who are reading The Awakening have to say about it!


message 29: by Allie (new)

Allie (tubeofaim) | 37 comments Cindy wrote: "Nicole, I thought every high school student in America had to read either Great Expectations or A Tale of Two Cities! With your love of language I predict that you will like Dickens, maybe not to r..."

I didn't read any Dickens until I had to teach A Tale of Two Cities to my high school English class. I have to say - it was definitely an acquired taste.

The first time round, I hated it. The second time, I was able to get past that and really understand it. The third time, I enjoyed it.

Nicole, Good luck with Great Expectations! I hope it surpasses your expections (ha!) for it.


message 30: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 1341 comments If you like Gaskell, Wives and Daughters is great!


message 31: by Felina (last edited Jun 01, 2010 01:32PM) (new)

Felina Amanda wrote: Sure!

Thanks!!


message 32: by Nicole (new)

Nicole | 1314 comments Katie wrote: "I've never read any Dickens, either. Not sure why, but I'm intimidated by him."

me too. But one of my favorite activities is pushing myself to my breaking point. I would rather be overwhelmed than bored any day of the week. I am so type A it's not funny.


message 33: by Donna Jo (new)

Donna Jo Atwood | 3157 comments Ms Anderson wrote: "Nicole wrote: "It has been decided. I am using this task to right a serious wrong. I have never read Dickens (please don't beat me- I was always a 20th century girl when I studied literature).

I a..."


Ms Anderson, I'm with you. Dickens just doesn't do a thing for me. We had to read David Copperfield in 9th grade. Ugh. I've since tried several others and hated them all, including A Christmas Carol. (Although I have seen several dramatic versions of that that I enjoyed.)


message 34: by Rita (new)

Rita Yea, I thought she was too early but have heard her work called "Victorian"

She's on the list, but can I read any of her novels?

And yes, I saw her on the B&N classics I have two of her novels that I wanted to use.

Thanks!


message 35: by Liz M (last edited Jun 01, 2010 07:58PM) (new)

Liz M Rita wrote: "Yea, I thought she was too early but have heard her work called "Victorian"

She's on the list, but can I read any of her novels?"


Yes you can! The task says:
"any of the authors from the St. John's College Reading List, from any year. Note that you don't have to read the exact work on the list"

Since Pride and Prejudice is on the St. John's list, any Austen novel can be read for part B.


message 36: by Rita (new)

Rita Yea!!! Thank you Liz!!!


message 37: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine (nightrhythms) Just wondering, does the book for part A have to be British? Or could it be a work from any country that fits the dates and the Victorian style?


message 38: by Liz (last edited Jun 04, 2010 08:37AM) (new)

Liz Would Dracula's Guest: and other Victorian Vampire Storieswork for A? It looks like a compilation of vampire stories from the Victorian period.


Sarah (Mood Reader) (bookworm1887) | 467 comments How do you guys see a PART A and PART B???? I thought it was either or.


message 40: by Liz (new)

Liz It is either one or the other, but some books will only qualify for A while others qualify for B.


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