Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Challenges Wrap-up

It's that time of year...challenge wrap-up time!

I managed to complete all the required categories:
1. A 19th-century Classic: Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
2. A 20th-century Classic: A Room With a View by E. M. Forster
3. A Pre-18th or 18th-century Classic: The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
4. A Classic that relates to the African-American experience: The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner (it doesn't deal directly with the African-American experience, but it's about the American South and has a few very key African-American characters, so I'm counting it...)
5. A Classic Adventure: Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
6. A Classic that prominently features an animal: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

I wanted to do the optional categories, but I had way too much school stuff on my plate! I'm still really happy I completed all the required categories, though. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

2014 I Love Library Books Reading Challenge

I'm obsessed with the library, so this is naturally the perfect challenge for me.

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

2014 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

I did this challenge this year and I have almost made my goal! This coming year, I want to read even more--but, since it'll probably be a really busy year, I'll keep my goals minimal. 

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014

The Back to the Classics challenge is back! (Thanks to Karen for hosting it this time!) I had to sign up just to support, so hopefully I will be able to complete all the required categories this coming year (which I anticipate will be very busy)...

Friday, December 13, 2013

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

I've been working on this post for quite some time now (erm, two months). I keep hesitating to actually post it because I have never heard a single person criticize Where the Red Fern Grows. And I'm about to. Hold onto your hats.

Where the Red Fern Grows is a classic American story--but I hope you won't throw stones at me when I say I hope it's not considered classic American writing.

It's pretty obvious that Wilson Rawls didn't have tons of formal training when it came to fiction writing. That doesn't necessarily mean his book is bad. It's fun, sweet, and emotionally provoking (how many of us have cried at the end?). It explores the timeless theme of humanity's relationship with nature and animals. It's a perfect read-aloud and it's easily relatable.

That said, there were some annoying and even laughable flaws in the writing. I believe that a true classic has both the elements of a good story and a beautiful way of telling it. In that way, this book was more of a fun story than a classic for me (emphasis on for me).