Should have read classics discussion

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Favorite vs. Nonfavorite Assigned Classics

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message 1: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Think back to when you were in school, whether it was high school, junior high, or even college: do you remember one of your favorite and least favorite classics that you were assigned to read?


message 2: by Lisa, the usurper (last edited Oct 07, 2010 08:06AM) (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
This took some thought, but I came up with a few books. The ones I liked were:Hamlet,Romeo and Juliet, Gone With the Wind,The Red Badge of Courage.
The books that I like the least:To Kill a Mockingbird,The Great Gatsby,The Old Man and the Sea.
I'm willing to try Mockingbird again, but I shudder everytime I think of Hemingway.


message 3: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
My top favorite required reading from high school was definitely The Scarlet Pimpernel. I loved that story. It was interesting and fun to see all the ways in which the Scarlet Pimpernel eluded the authorities. I also enjoyed Moby Dick, but mostly I liked that novel because for a senior project I analyzed all the religious references and overtones present throughout the novel. It was interesting to go back and look at the book focusing on one common thread or theme. I didn't mind Shakesphere, but only because I had an awesome teacher helping us freshman plod along through it.
My least favorite required reading in school was almost everything I had to read in American Lit. I remember especially disliking The Great Gatsby, Old Man and the Sea, and Light in August. *Please don't be offended if one of these is your favorite... remember, I was only 16.
I am so glad we started this group because I have now read some classics that I would have never touched because of my bad experiences in high school.


message 4: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I think it does have alot to do with the teacher. I had a great teacher during the Shakespeare phase and I also went to see many of the stories as plays. Which, of course, they are. They make much more sense when they are experienced that way.


message 5: by Amy (new)

Amy | 124 comments It seems odd but, I think one of my favorites from school was A Night to Remember. I also didn't mind A Tale of Two Cities, which I couldn't get through as an adult, really odd. I also read Hiroshima, that just made me feel guilty and sorry for those people. Those are all I can remember, I must have blocked out the really bad ones! LOL!


message 6: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I hate to say it since it is heresy, but, I did not like The Catcher in the Rye, either. This is one book that maybe, due to my age in high school, I should read again. That and To Kill a Mockingbird.


message 7: by Amy (last edited Oct 14, 2010 04:04AM) (new)

Amy | 124 comments Now that my mind is being nudged, I am remembering more books, thanks ladies! I did read the basics, The Catcher in the Rye, 1984, Lord of the Flies, and dang, I know there's more.... Oh yea, Cannery Row...


message 8: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Cannery Row? Ha, never even heard of that one. I probably read it-HAHAHA


message 9: by Katherine (new)

Katherine DETESTED Heart of Darkness but LOVED Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Silas Marner, Great Expectations and all of Jane Austen. Wasn't too crazy about Wurthering Heights and only got through Jane Eyre after watching Joan Fontaine and Olivier in the movie--then I read the book but skipped pages of descriptive countryside prose to get back to the story at hand.


message 10: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I didn't like Heart of Darkness either. *Ugh, Shudder*


message 11: by Katherine (new)

Katherine It was only slightly more tolerable than Lord Jim!


message 12: by Enid (new)

Enid | 10 comments I read a ton of books then. There was a class offered called "Novel" my Junior and Senior years. We read and reported on a few books from every genre, including horror and sci-fi. I would love to go back and try some of my non-favorite classics again!

Favorites: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Oedipus, A Raisin in the Sun, Of Mice and Men

Not-so-Favorites: The Tale of Two Cities, Moby Dick, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Anything Mark Twain, The Canterbury Tales, Old Man and the Sea, Beowolf

Mixed Feelings on: The Scarlet Letter, Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby


message 13: by Kaila (new)

Kaila (monkeytamer) I really liked The Great Gatsby. There are some great descriptions in that book. I loved The Count of Monte Cristo. I also really enjoyed the unusual way Faulkner wrote As I Lay Dying by jumping from different perspectives (and, consequently, different language use). It really made you have to think. I enjoyed the story of Lord of the Flies and the issues it dealt with but it's been so long that I can't remember if I liked the writing. I thought The Awakening was interesting. Those are the books that really stand out in my mind from the assigned readings I had.


message 14: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Enid and Kaila,
Great list of favs vs. non-favs. I have never heard of The Awakening or A Raisin in the Sun...and have never read The Count of Monte Cristo or The Picture of Dorian Gray (although I do recognize those titles). I too had mixed feelings about The Lord of the Flies but know that my husband really liked it. It is so interesting to see what other people are drawn to in literature and why. I can't say that I really appreciate Faulkner but I do see what you are saying about his style, Kaila.
Very interesting and thanks for answering ladies!


message 16: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
The Spoon River Anthology sounds very interesting. That is new to me and so is O Pioneers!
I really need to give To Kill a Mockingbird another chance!


message 17: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Lisa wrote: "I hate to say it since it is heresy, but, I did not like The Catcher in the Rye, either. This is one book that maybe, due to my age in high school, I should read again. That and To Kill a Mocking..."

I JUST read "Catcher in the Rye" and thought it was dumb. Not a bad book, I guess ... just not a good book. It seemed like a bunch of snippets from the life of a young man that had no ambition, no desire to do better, no interest in much of anything. The repetition (way too often) of one particular swear word didn't help any. It wasn't the word that was offensive as much as it was the frequent use of the word. I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are, so if you do read it again, let me know.


message 18: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Kerri wrote: "Think back to when you were in school, whether it was high school, junior high, or even college: do you remember one of your favorite and least favorite classics that you were assigned to read?"

My least favorites were "Lord of the Flies" and "The Old Man and the Sea". I am planning to try Hemingway again this year, but don't know if I can stomache "Lord of the Flies" again. When my daughter was in high school she was assigned LOTF and I asked the teacher if she HAD To read that ... the teacher gave her an alternate assignment, which my daughter said was wonderful ... "I Heard the Owl Call My Name" and that is on my "to read" list for this year. My very favorite from high school was a short story by D. H. Lawrence ... "The Rocking Horse Winner".


message 19: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I have it on my list to read again, but it just keeps getting pushed to the back of the line. If no new books were published for three years, I might get caught up with my books! :)


message 20: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Kerri wrote: "Enid and Kaila,
Great list of favs vs. non-favs. I have never heard of The Awakening or A Raisin in the Sun...and have never read The Count of Monte Cristo or The Picture of Dorian Gray (although ..."


I agree about Faulkner ... In a recent fiction class (college) we read a short story "A Rose for Emily" and I loved the way it told the story of her life, all jumbled up, so you had to figure out what happened when. I was absolutely loving the story, too, until right at the very end, and the surprise ending ... well... I didn't love it so much.


message 21: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Amy wrote: "my favorites included To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, Lord of the Flies, and Spoon River Anthology - Literary Touchstone Classic

I hated [b..."


Hmm ... O, Pioneers is on my to read list this year ... I hope I like it ... but then you liked Lord of the Flies and I didn't, so maybe I'll like this one. I think it's very interesting which books some people love and which some people hate. If you look at the list of 100 best books, and 100 worst books, of all time, guess which book is at the top of both lists? Twilight. It's not a classic, but I imagine some of the classics are on both lists, too! Maybe that's the mark of a really good book, is you either love it or you hate it. I'd be intested in hearing if anyone can articulate a particular criteria for what makes a good book?


message 22: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments I know what you mean. My "to read" shelf (my literal one in my home) is full and overflowing. I set a goal for myself of 100 books this year ... and I'm moving right along, have read 21 already and am working on 2 more. All these challenges will help, and I was able to use books off my reading list to fill the challenge here.


message 23: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I'm not sure about criteria either. Sometimes I'm not sure what makes a classic either. Still trying to figure that out.


message 24: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Joy wrote: "I know what you mean. My "to read" shelf (my literal one in my home) is full and overflowing. I set a goal for myself of 100 books this year ... and I'm moving right along, have read 21 already and..."

Wow! 100 books! That is awesome! Goo luck on that!


message 25: by Kaila (last edited Mar 07, 2011 10:54AM) (new)

Kaila (monkeytamer) Joy wrote: "I'd be intested in hearing if anyone can articulate a particular criteria for what makes a good book? "

For me, it really has to resonate with me. There is something about the book that I don't think I will ever forget. I rarely give 5 stars for that reason. The book really has to hit me somewhere that I can't fully describe. Guess I'm not answering your question too well! Haha I really need to be enveloped in the story.


message 26: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Johnson | 40 comments For me, I have to want to read it, again and again and again. Also, if I learn something new from it each time I read it, I feel that's a classic, too, at least to me.


message 27: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Kaila, I like your comment about wanting to be "enveloped" in a story ... and Kelly, that's it for me, too, if I definitely want to read it again, then it gets a 5 rating. If I might, or won't read it again, it gets less, but doesn't mean it wasn't good, just not good enough to want to read over and over. I very rarely read a book that I don't think was worth the time to read it.


message 28: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
I can really only think of a few books (besides my kids picture books) that I want to take the time to read over again. I wanted to read Hunger Games again and that was one of the reasons I gave it 5 stars but for me the "classics" label doesn't compute with being a book to reread since for so many years "the classics" were those stupid books I had to read in school that I hated. Now as an adult I am glad I have gone back to reading some classics that I would have never had a chance to know if I would have carried forth my negative stereotype of classics from high school. It wasn't until I was in college that I even read Anne of Green Gables and the Lord of the Rings. Now why weren't those the types of stories required in World and American Lit?


message 29: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Johnson | 40 comments Kerri wrote: "I can really only think of a few books (besides my kids picture books) that I want to take the time to read over again. I wanted to read Hunger Games again and that was one of the reasons I gave i..."

After I finally read Anne of Green Gables as an adult, I was actually angry no one had encouraged me to read it sooner as I would have absolutely loved growing up reading and re-reading that series. I still read it every year.


message 30: by Andrea (last edited Mar 08, 2011 04:50PM) (new)

Andrea (buttondoll) Now that I think of it-I should probably re-read all of the Anne of G G books too! So many happy memories of reading those...

Also-least favorite assigned classic--The Picture of Dorian Gray--yuck!

I remember really liking a book called "A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" about a Russian man in some kind of prison camp in Siberia. Really good!


message 31: by Amy J. (new)

Amy J. | 79 comments Andrea wrote: "Now that I think of it-I should probably re-read all of the Anne of G G books too! So many happy memories of reading those...

Also-least favorite assigned classic--[book:The Picture of Dorian Gra..."



Oh no. I'm starting that this weekend!


message 32: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (buttondoll) Amy wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Now that I think of it-I should probably re-read all of the Anne of G G books too! So many happy memories of reading those...

Also-least favorite assigned classic--[book:The Pictur..."


IT'S OK-BE STRONG! I'm sure you are much stronger and more capable than my teenaged self!


message 33: by Shannon (new)

Shannon | 13 comments Amy wrote: "Andrea wrote: "Now that I think of it-I should probably re-read all of the Anne of G G books too! So many happy memories of reading those...

Also-least favorite assigned classic--[book:The Pictur..."


I read Picture of Dorian Gray recently (think I skipped it in HS) and really enjoyed it. So stick to it and give it a try.


message 34: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments I have too many other books to read but I think I might watch the Anne of Green Gables movies some night when I'm exhausted and want to veg in front of the tv. I did really enjoy them, too ... and love the Megan Follows movies based on them.


message 35: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
My two boys and husband even loved the "Anne" movies. We are even talking about visiting Prince Edward Island.


message 36: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments My daughter and I have discussed that, too. Right now, though, I'm saving up for a trip (hopefully summer of 2012) that is a 12 day cruise around the British Isles, including stops in England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and France.


message 37: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Johnson | 40 comments I love the "Anne" movies except for that third one. It was an okay story for the movie, but I was horrified with how much they strayed from the original series. It made me sad to watch, too, because I, like Joy, loved Megan Follows and thought she would have done well with the original Montgomery story line I loved so much!

PEI is als on my bucket list of places to visit!


message 38: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Joy wrote: "My daughter and I have discussed that, too. Right now, though, I'm saving up for a trip (hopefully summer of 2012) that is a 12 day cruise around the British Isles, including stops in England, Scot..."

If you are needing a porter, keep me in the back of your mind!:)


message 39: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariefromms) | 39 comments On each end of PEI is a lighthouse. If you visit both they give you a certificate . The place used for the book " Anne of Green Gables" is fun to walk through.


message 40: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Marie wrote: "On each end of PEI is a lighthouse. If you visit both they give you a certificate . The place used for the book " Anne of Green Gables" is fun to walk through."

Thanks for the insight!


message 41: by Kayla (new)

Kayla | 15 comments Favorites-Odyssey, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol, Pride and Prejudice

Least Favorites-Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Things Fall Apart

Mixed Feelings-Lord of the Flies, The Sun Also Rises, Edgar Allan Poe (I love his poetry but I could not get into many of his stories)


message 42: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Kayla wrote: "Favorites-Odyssey, The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, Collected Tales of Nikolai Gogol, Pride and Prejudice

Least Favorites-Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, Things Fall Apart

Mixe..."


Great list Kayla,
I still have not read P&P although I have seen the movie and miniseries and enjoyed them both. Might have to put that one on my to-read list. My also did not like Wuthering Heights or The Sun Also Rises.


message 43: by Ninney (new)

Ninney | 4 comments Joy wrote: "I know what you mean. My "to read" shelf (my literal one in my home) is full and overflowing. I set a goal for myself of 100 books this year ... and I'm moving right along, have read 21 already and..."

Did u say "100 books this year ... 21 already" ?
Wow ! Indeed an avid & voracious reader.

Hats Off ! Highly inspired ! Great going ! Keep it up !
***** 5-star from my side to you.


message 44: by Ninney (new)

Ninney | 4 comments Favorites: Pride & Prejudice, Humble Romance, Wuthering Height, The Mill on the Floss. Almost all of Jane Austen & Bronte Sisters, Montgomery.

Not-so-Favorites: I read the preface first & if it doesn't interests me I wont read further. Too precautious while choosing. Few chapters / events might be boring but not the complete book. After all, All's well that ends well.... so none found yet in classics.


message 45: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Kerri wrote: "My two boys and husband even loved the "Anne" movies. We are even talking about visiting Prince Edward Island."

You really should and, if you do, make sure to take in the stage play in Charlottetown--really wonderful.


message 46: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Talk about timing, the movie I just received from Netflix today is the Anne series!


message 47: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Talk about timing, the movie I just received from Netflix today is the Anne series!"

How did the movie compare to the book, Lisa?


message 48: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Katherine wrote: "Kerri wrote: "My two boys and husband even loved the "Anne" movies. We are even talking about visiting Prince Edward Island."

You really should and, if you do, make sure to take in the stage pl..."


Thanks for the tip Katherine. We are definitely thinking about a trip this summer to PEI.


message 49: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Kerri wrote: "Lisa wrote: "Talk about timing, the movie I just received from Netflix today is the Anne series!"

How did the movie compare to the book, Lisa?"


The disk arrived broken so I could not watch it. Must try again.


message 50: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Johnson | 40 comments I have the series if you want to borrow it.


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