"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?
I'm reading "Germinal" by Zola right now, and overall it seems to be heavily praised among book bloggers, so I guess I would dare to recommend this one. The only other Zola I've read is "Therese Raquin", but it has been a while and I have put it to my CC list again to be re-read. So I'm not the most seasoned Zola-adventurer (yet), but for what it's worth.ReplyDelete
I'm looking for readalongs as well (and have the same books in my list, and am dreading them), hopefully something pops up at some time, somewhere.
Thanks for the suggestions! What did you think of Therese Raquin?Delete
Actually, I read it in high school :) So it has been quite a while and I don't remember that much. But I remember that was when I learned the meaning of "naturalism".Delete
I used to have the same problem with readalongs. As far as I know the solution is to follow a lot of blogs and pay attention to who seems to host readalongs. I now hear about enough of them that I am pretty happy with it.ReplyDelete
The people on my list who most often hold classic readalongs are the WEM Ladies, who are reading down the list provided by Susan Wise Bauer in The Well-Educated Mind. (This is not supposed to be an exhaustive list, rather she gives titles of pivotal works in the genres of poetry, drama, fiction, etc. so that you can get an overall view of the development of a genre over time.) Check out Classical Quest if you're interested. It must be admitted however that they are, like me, moms who are big into classical education but also running households full of children. :)
And of course, you could join the DWJ readalong in March!
Thank you! This is very helpful. I'm actually already following a couple of WEM bloggers, so I'm more than happy to follow more of them. :)Delete
Try this, this, this, this, or else host your own. :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you thank you! Those look great! And I think I will host my own, after I've had a chance to learn a bit from others about how it's done. :)Delete
You might as o for recommendations on Zola. She's a huge fan. Her contact info is to the right on her blo9g. She's very warm and friendly -- and very approachable. Cheers. :-)ReplyDelete
Mabel's pointed you in the right direction (obviously). :D Allow me to endorse what Jean says...follow as many of the Classics bloggers as you can, and you simply can't miss read-along announcement, and other event announcements. They'll just keep popping up on your reader till you're too tempted to ignore them! hehehe...ReplyDelete
As for Frankestein...I'm still not sure I want to read it in spite of all the positive reports I've been reading on many blogs. :-/
Thank you! I am officially going the right direction. :) I hope you do give Frankenstein a try someday. It's the opposite of what I expected!Delete
Emily, both Moby Dick and War & Peace are on my reading schedule this year. War & Peace on July & August, Moby Dick on November. Let me know if you'd like to read them along with me on those months, it would be more fun! :)ReplyDelete
That sounds like a lot of fun!Delete
I read Frankenstein for a classic science fiction course and was also pleasantly surprised. It really is a powerful story about what it means to be human. Hmm... I would definitely be interested in a War & Peace-Moby Dick readalong as well. Those are some of the most intimidating books on my TBR list.ReplyDelete
It's definitely the best science fiction I've ever read (if it can be called that, which I suppose it can if it was in a classic sci-fi class). Let me know if you find a readalong or if you decide to host one!Delete