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Weekly Geeks

In the third Weekly Geeks of 2009, let's have fun with the classics. For our purposes, I'm defining a classic as anything written over 100 years ago and still in print. (If your memory needs jogging, see: Classic Literature Library for examples.)

For your assignment this week, choose two or more of the following questions:

1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

I feel as though “classic literature” is a very broad category, encompassing pretty much everything: romance, history, mystery, etc. Personally, I think highly of classic literature, though there are of course the books I don’t like and the books I don’t “get” (Joyce's Dubliners and pretty much anything by Steinbeck, for example). But there are other books that I just love—anything by Jane Austen; Wuthering Heights; Jane Eyre; Bleak House; David Cooperfield; The Woman in White; The Moonstone; The Go-Between; Vanity Fair; Great Expectations; Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day; The Painted Veil. And there are many more on my TBR list.

As for recommendations, for anyone looking to start reading Charles Dickens, the places to start are either Great Expectations or Oliver Twist. For Jane Austen, definitely Pride and Prejudice, or maybe Sense and Sensibility. And Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, while not over 100 years old, is a delightful 1930s fairy tale (and it’s much better than the movie which I was disappointed in). It’s a quick read, but very heartwarming. It’s too bad Winifred Watson never wrote much else.


Marg said…
Based on your post I am heading in the right direction at least, having just finished Great Expectations, and my next classic read is going to be Pride and Prejudice!
Miss Pettigrew is still waiting for me so thanks for the gentle reminder. Love your classics taste!
marineko said…
Your post makes me want to seek out and read Miss Pettigrew! :D
claire said…
A lot of your titles are on my list, too. :) The ones that are not, I haven't yet read.
Ali said…
I didn't really get any of the Joyce I read in college, so I don't think I'll be revisiting him anytime soon. Thanks for all the recommendations!
Maree said…
Good list :) I have a hate/hate relationship with Dickens but I'm with you on Jane Austen _ and James Joyce
Laura said…
We share a love of quite a few classics! I haven't read Miss Pettigrew, but since I like all the other books you listed, I think I'll have to read it too!
I didn't really get Steinbeck at first, but I pretended to to impress a relative as a precocious 13 year old and was rewarded with a box set with 12 of his works! And actually, as I started working through them, I found a quite few I genuinely understood and liked.

I too adore Austen, and though I got a bit confused by Wuthering Heights when I first read it, I do like Jane Eyre. Last year I decided I wanted to give Anne Bronte a hearing, and The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall flew up in to take its place alongside her sisters.

And Miss Pettigrew I also read recently. I was worried that I might be disappointed after hearing so much about it, but I was not at all, and rather pleasantly surprised in of all the praise. I learnt of it through Persephone books, and the comedy in was unexpected after Mariana by Monica Dickens, which introduced me to the publisher.
Andi said…
Great answer! I think I'd echo everything you said. There's no reason for me to participate now. lol :)
i feel bad, but i think to read the classics when there is so many great contemporary books out there. but, a big BUT, you've got me intrigued with this Miss Pettigrew… I may venture back a century or two.
RC said…
i didn't even realize miss pettigrew lives for a day was a book pre-movie.

i imagine it could be a delighful book with magic, that perhaps the film just barely missed.
Serena said…
great recommendations. I agree about starting with Charles Dickens' Great Expectations.
Dreamybee said…
Great Expectations was my first Dickens read, and I really enjoyed it!

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