Should have read classics discussion

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Group Book Discussions > Watership Down

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message 1: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
This is the group read for February. I'm looking forward to this book after reading some of the reviews.


message 2: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Does 2 months seem extremely long to read this one? It is 478 pages, and I want to give everyone time to read it.


message 3: by Kaila (new)

Kaila (monkeytamer) I'm really excited about this book. A friend of mine recommended it since I loved The Passage (The Passage, #1) by Justin Cronin so much.


message 4: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Just a word of caution-don't read to many of the reviews on Goodreads, some don't have spoiler alerts. Found out the end, darn it!


message 5: by Kat (last edited Jan 12, 2011 11:54AM) (new)

Kat (katcav) | 3 comments This was the first long book I read in English, for fun. My 11 year old has just finished it, and has pronounced that he hates bunnies :D


message 6: by Kaila (new)

Kaila (monkeytamer) Hi, Kat! Nice seeing you over here!


message 7: by Kat (new)

Kat (katcav) | 3 comments It's my new Facebook :D


message 8: by Lisa, the usurper (last edited Jan 12, 2011 04:37PM) (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "It's my new Facebook :D"

I must agree! Rather addicting on this site!


message 9: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Chandler (carolyncc) | 36 comments I'm looking forward to the discussion on this book - it was my first "real" book as a child and I read it often growing up. Haven't reread it but talking about it will bring it all back :)


message 10: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Alright, February is finally here and we can start this book! It is interesting that so many people count it as their first "real" book that they read. I have been looking forward to this one! Bring it on!


message 11: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariefromms) | 39 comments Hurray, I finished Watership Down yesterday. I did enjoy reading the book. This was the first time for me.


message 12: by Kerri, the sane one (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
I still haven't been able to get a copy from our library. One copy is checked out til the end of the month and the other was due on Jan 8th and that person still hasn't turned it in. I'll just have to focus on the rest of my "to read" pile.


message 13: by Robert (new)

Robert (rdowens) Kerri wrote: "I still haven't been able to get a copy from our library. One copy is checked out til the end of the month and the other was due on Jan 8th and that person still hasn't turned it in. I'll just ha..."

Check the book swap here at GR. I found one and it is on its way to me. I hope to have it tomorrow.


message 14: by Amy (new)

Amy | 124 comments Okay, I am bummed my copy disappeared off my e reader! now I am on eternal hold with customer care. UGH!


message 15: by Amy (new)

Amy | 124 comments Okay, Happy again, I got it back and now can really start reading. :-)


message 16: by Carolyn (last edited Feb 03, 2011 01:48PM) (new)

Carolyn Chandler (carolyncc) | 36 comments I'm going to start a bit of a discussion here - something "safe" if you haven't made it to the end...

One of my strongest memories from this book is the great way it explores what it means to be a leader. Hazel isn't the strongest (that's Bigwig) or the most visionary (that's Fiver) or the cleverest (that's Blackberry) or even the best storyteller (that's Dandelion) - some of the things that would make a leader in a less mature group and does in Efrafa, where the leader is the most brutal.

He's just the best leader - the best at using the strengths of individuals to help the whole warren, the best at looking out for the interests of the group, at balancing risks and rewards, anticipating needs for the future, and keeping everyone's spirits up as much as possible.

I love that! Definitely he's one of my all-time favorite examples of a good leader.


message 17: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Chandler (carolyncc) | 36 comments I guess that's not really starting a discussion, but more of a thought. The question would be - what do you think makes a good leader? Something like what I listed above, or something else?


message 18: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (buttondoll) I love your thoughts on Hazel...

Will start reading this soon-it has been many years-but I truly love it! I want to read it out loud to my kids-but they do not want any part of it. I am still working on my son-he is a "reader" like me.

I've never forgotten the word "tharn". Every time I see bunnies sitting still in a field, the word always pops into my head!


message 19: by Carolyn (new)

Carolyn Chandler (carolyncc) | 36 comments Oh yeah - "tharn" and "hrududu!"

As in, I'm about to take a roadtrip in my hrududu and I hope the snowy conditions don't make me tharn. :)


message 20: by Andrea (new)

Andrea (buttondoll) Yes-please be careful! I hope your trip isn't more than 3 miles, otherwise you and your rabbit friends will not be able to count it!


message 21: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! Would you believe that it is the Year of the Rabbit! How great is that?


message 22: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I wanted to apologize to everyone about the lack of discussion on our group read this month. Apparently, I can't read two classics at once! I hope to get rockin on Watership during March. Again, sorry about that!


message 23: by Amy (new)

Amy | 124 comments It's okay Lisa, I too am struggling with these two at the same time. I was thinking I may have gotten in over my head but, I am not giving up yet! I will keep treading water!


message 24: by Nell (new)

Nell I'm new to the group and love the idea of reading classics and having others to discuss them with. Glad to see the Watership Down by Richard Adams Watership Down discussion hasn't taken off yet. It's on my TBR for March. I'm intrigued by Carolyn's questions and looking forward to the discussion


message 25: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I started this last night and what a fun read. The imagery, the new language(Fu Inle, Frithrah etc)is just great fun. Does anyone know if that is Gallic? Or just something right off the top of the author's head? Carolyn, I agree with your assessment of Hazel, I like him already.
I also enjoyed the rabbit "creation" story, about Frith and how he dealt with El-ahrairah. I laughed thinking about the stories of Brer rabbit. I can't wait to read more!


message 26: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
My this story does keep you reading. I keep thinking about the rabbits that my sons had and how they acted compared to Hazel and Fiver. Rabbits are quite smart, but hard to imagine them talking as ours hardly ever made a sound.


message 27: by Marie (new)

Marie (mariefromms) | 39 comments I am curious. How did fiver get his name, when rabbits
have a counting problem?


message 28: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
They can count up to five and since he was the youngest, he got that designation.


message 29: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
Carolyn wrote: "I'm going to start a bit of a discussion here - something "safe" if you haven't made it to the end...

One of my strongest memories from this book is the great way it explores what it means to be a..."


I must agree with you Carolyn, Hazel is a great example of a leader. He knows his rabbit's strengths and uses them well. He also is courageous as a leader. Willing to send his people, as well, as go himself. I enjoy how he has his self-doubts, but rises to the occasion and makes a decision instead of becoming bogged down is the minutia. He is a good leadership example!


message 30: by Lisa, the usurper (new)

Lisa (lmmmml) | 1864 comments Mod
I have read that Adams intended this to be a roadtrip story for his kids, then they urged him to write it down. He insists that there is not a lot of symbolism, but after reading it, I'm struck by the religious overtones sprinkled throughout the book.
Also, after reading 1984, it struck me how Orwellian the Erfafa warren is. Everything is controlled and managed.


message 31: by Joy (new)

Joy Gerbode (wingsofjoy) | 57 comments Lisa wrote: "I started this last night and what a fun read. The imagery, the new language(Fu Inle, Frithrah etc)is just great fun. Does anyone know if that is Gallic? Or just something right off the top of t..."

"Lapine" is a fictitious language made up by Richard Adams for this book. The word "lapine" comes from the French for rabbit. The words in the language seem to be strongly influenced by Irish, Scottish Gaelic, and even Arabic. I'm just about to begin reading it, hope to finish it within a couple days before I begin my spring break reading.


message 32: by Kerri, the sane one (last edited Mar 26, 2011 09:02AM) (new)

Kerri | 328 comments Mod
Lisa wrote: "Carolyn wrote: "I'm going to start a bit of a discussion here - something "safe" if you haven't made it to the end...

One of my strongest memories from this book is the great way it explores what ..."


OK, here it is the very end of March and because I don't want to watch every darn basketball game during March Madness I am finding a bit of time to read Watership Down. I agree totally with Lisa's assessment and it does answer a bit of Carolyn's question about leadership. Hazel is very discerning, he sees the strengths and weaknesses in the individual rabbits and bases his decision making for the whole group on these assessments. He can quickly, yet rationally figure out the options in a situation a make a decision as to how to lead his group. Those are two strong traits, discernment and levelheadedness which gives a good leader a lot of wisdom.


Maggie the Muskoka Library Mouse (mcurry1990) This is a great book, though rather bloody and violent. The descriptions are amazing, and I really like the way Adams writes.


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