"What classic has surprised you most so far, and why?"
The book that immediately comes to my mind is Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Even though I had been told otherwise, there was still a part of me that was expecting the book to in some way actually resemble the black and white film adaptation I saw growing up. Well, of course, it didn't--not at all! I was stunned by how powerful and poignant the book turned out to be. I think it's unfortunate that this great book sometimes get overlooked as a classic because of its current reputation. Plus, it's a pretty quick and easy read! Definitely recommend it.
Now that I have your attention, I also have a couple of questions that I really hope you'll help me answer!
First: Ever since I've been blogging (which, as some of you may know, hasn't been very long), I've been interested in read-alongs, especially for some of the more difficult books I have on my Classics Club list (like Moby Dick and War and Peace). So I've been on the lookout for these things to be announced. However, every time I hear about a read-along, it's from a participant who's already halfway into it and it's too late for me. Any tips from more seasoned, experienced bloggers on how to find good read-alongs (in time to actually participate in them)?
Second: I really need to add a book by Emile Zola to my Classics Club list, but I'm at a loss which one to choose. I know next to nothing about Zola so I need a good introductory work. Any suggestions?