Winter Classics Challenge

Now that I’ve finished the From the Stacks: Winter Reading Challenge, I’m ready to start another one (Am I crazy? Perhaps). This challenge is to read 5 classics during the months of January and February. A classic is a slippery thing to describe, so I’ll just say it has to be a renowned book, and the person who started this challenge said it should be at least 50 years old. I came across the challenge on Lotus Reads, but it was started at A Reader’s Journal So, without further ado, here are my 5 classics:

The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton. This seems a fitting choice for this challenge, because awhile ago, I was trying to fit more classics into my life, and this is one of the books I had chosen, yet it got shoved onto the bookshelf and forgotten.

Henry and June – Anais Nin. Does anyone remember the movie to this book? That Blockbuster wouldn’t carry it, because it was rated NR (two women kissing each other) and yet they would carry movies that were so disgustingly violent. That’s when they lost my business forever. I’m spiteful that way. Doesn’t seem to have hurt their business any, though. Anyway, I’ve heard that Nin is an amazing writer, and I already own the book, so this is as good a time as any to get started.

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert. I’ve actually read this book before, but I checked with the powers that be, and a reread is OK. I think I was in high school when I read this the first time…and I suspect that the wisdom or world knowledge or whatever that comes with being 41 will give me a very different perspective than that of an 18 year old. I’ll let you know.

East of Eden – John Steinbeck. This one squeaks in at over 500 pages, so I’m going to use it for the Chunkster Challenge as well. Ted told me that this book was one of the first books he remembers ever reading and just LOVING. I read the Red Pony in Jr. High (hated it) and The Grapes of Wrath maybe 5 years ago (loved it), so I’m ready.

Tell My Horse: Voodoo and Life in Haiti and Jamaica – Zora Neale Hurston. I’ve only read one of her books before, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”, but it was pretty darned good. This book sounds pretty intriguing…I hope it doesn’t scare the crap out of me. ;)

So now you know what I’ll be doing in January and February. I hope that’s enough time for 5 books, especially since one of them is a ‘chunkster‘. Wish me luck.

11 thoughts on “Winter Classics Challenge

  1. OHMYHOLYGOD!!!You must read East of Eden first. Wharton’s book is on my list, too, but the Steinbeck is a page turner unlike anything I’ve ever read by him. Truly…it will make you salivate.

  2. I am so surprise, I know 4 out of 5 of your books you have listed. This sounds like a very good Jan and Feb for you with regards to your reading pleasure. I hope also these two months will give you the time you need to read, you have got alot reading to do.

  3. Happy reading!

    I love Edith Wharton but House of Mirth just didn’t do it for me. And, I have never read East of Eden either. Perhaps we will make a trip to the library today!

  4. I loved East of Eden. It is so deep and complex and well written.

    As far as spiteful goes, you are the daughter of the woman who won’t drink Coca Cola because they contributed to Phylis Shafley’s fight against the equal rights amendment.

  5. I like this challenge. I’m sure that I have five classics that I haven’t read sitting around here. Finding them may turn out to be a bigger challenge than reading them.

    Your list looks very interesting. Will you be doing a review of each book after you read it?

  6. Thanks ML. I can’t officially start until January, so now I’m reading “The Memory Keepers Daughter.” Didn’t you just read that? So far, so good.

    Wordgirl, OK, it will be first! That’s good, too, because it’s so long, so it will feel satisfying to have it behind me.

    Lalunas, I’m glad you’ve heard of most of these. :) They’re classics for a reason, I think, though I hadn’t heard of some of them until recently either.

    Gina, I haven’t read any Edith Wharton before. I hope I enjoy it more than you did…I’ll let you know.

    Mom, of course, it’s easy to give up things that we don’t like anyway. I feel the same about Dominos pizza. Easy to give it up on principal, when it sucks anyway! :) More difficult if it were corn on the cob that were evil or something.

    Ally, yes, I’m planning on writing reviews. I did this for my last reading challenge. I enjoy it, and I hope my readers don’t hate it. :)

  7. i can’t keep up with the challenges, as much as i’d like to. i had the stacks one and blew it… i have 5 books in a stack for the classics, but can’t commit.

    i’m with wordgirl… read ‘east of eden’ first. you’ll flip out over it. you’ll be sad it’s over in only 500-some pages. trust us.

  8. Oh I LOVE the House of Mirth. ANYTHING by Edith Wharton. I just bought a copy of Old New York and am anxiously looking for time to read it. Who else could make me type in CAPS so much? Well, maybe Henry James. Or Wallace Stegner. In my humble opinion he’s the greatest writer of the 20th century. And I only use that one particular modifier because I can’t discount Tolstoy, Austen, or Hardy. Have you seen Gillian Anderson in the film version, playing Lily Bart? A good film.

    Can you tell I can talk for hours about books I love? Problem is, I tend to stick with classics only and many people read much more modern fiction.

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