The Classics Club is celebrating its tenth birthday and has provided the following ten questions for members to answer.
When did you join the Classics Club?
August 2018. I’m currently reading the 41st book of my first 51 book challenge and yes, I know the challenge is to read 50 books over five years but I miscounted. I’ve always preferred reading to math (since you’re reading this, I wouldn’t be surprised if you felt the same way).
What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far?
Villette. Charlotte Bronte’s story and writing were beautiful and the heroine, Lucy Snowe, was one of the most resilient characters I’ve ever met. The ending made me cry great big, gulping sobs.
I wish I’d read Villette years ago so I could have had the pleasure of re-reading it over the years.
What is the first classic you ever read?
If Little Golden Books count, my Grade One teacher gave me a copy of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson although I didn’t love this book as much as Tommy Visits the Doctor (while not a classic I couldn’t resist including the book in my photo).
Little Women, which I read so many times the cover has fallen off, the Heidi series, Aesop’s Fables, The House at Pooh Corner, Pollyanna and What Katy Did would have come my way later, although I couldn’t say which came first. I think Anne of Green Gables, Black Beauty, the Billabong books and abridged versions of Pride and Prejudice and The Hound of the Baskervilles came my way later in childhood.
Which classic book inspired you the most?
Out of the forty or so books I’ve read in this challenge, this has to be Dubliners by James Joyce. Dubliners made me want to tell the story of the place where I grew up and the people who lived and visited. unfortunately, I don’t have the talent but the following excerpt from my review will give you an idea of ‘my’ Dubliners.
“stories about the old women who gathered weekly to cackle over afternoon tea at each other’s homes, farmers who worked hard, raised families and brought their daughters up to know they could do anything, eccentric fishermen, lonely local children who looked forward all year to the arrival of playmates in summer, a handful of mad artists, a school teacher who took drugs and fell into a chest freezer, one or two blow-ins who resented anyone whose family had been in the area for generations and in summer, hordes of moneyed, boarding school-educated squatters from the Western District who sun-bathed together, played golf with each other then drank all night at the golf club without ever noticing a local.”
What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
Out of everything I’ve read so far for this challenge, Pamela by Samuel Richardson has been the most irritating, slowest moving and dull, and not surprisingly, I didn’t finish the book.
I didn’t much like Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald because I felt as if the author wrote too freely of his wife’s personal affairs even though wanting to know more about the Fitzgerald’s private lives had been one of the reasons I initially added the book to my Classics Club list. However, I found the story to be tawdry and felt that the author had taken too much advantage of his wife’s history and mental health issues in writing about them.
Favourite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
Favourite: Vanity Fair with Reece Witherspoon as Becky Sharp.
Least favourite: None. All of the movie adaptations I’ve seen of books from my list have been good.
Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
Seriously? You have to ask? Aren’t we all Lizzie from Pride and Prejudice?
Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
Wuthering Heights. I read this as a teenager, hated the story and couldn’t understand what Cathy and Heathcliff saw in each other. When I re-read Wuthering Heights as an adult I realised the book was not a romance, but a story about the cycle of family violence.
Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
Middlemarch. I’ve been putting this book off for years because it is so long!
Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favourite memory with The Classics Club?
Taking part in a review-along of L.P Hartley’s The Go-Between with other Classics Club members and WordPress bloggers. The experience of sharing ideas about a book I loved with other reviewers brought me more joy than I could have imagined.