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Classics-I-Have-Not-Read - A Challenge Continued, by fuzzi

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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Edited: Mar 27, 2019, 7:40am Top

Last year I decided that I wanted to read "classics" (mostly 19th Century and prior) that I had skipped over in my youth.

Did I make a dent? No, but I did get a few "off the shelves", which I have marked through on the list below.

From last year's list of books garnered from my own "TBR" list, and suggestions by other LT'ers as "classics":

The Song of Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Middlemarch by George Eliot - Read
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Mysterious Island by Jules Verne
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe - Read
The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer - Read some, did not finish
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain - Read some, did not finish
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Peter Pan by JM Barrie - Read some, did not finish
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Read
The Deerslayer by James Fenimore Cooper - Already read
The Heart of Midlothian by Walter Scott
The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Philip Sidney
The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen - Already read
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Already read
Nicholas Nickerby by Charles Dickens (note: I'm having a difficult time finding this in easy-to-read print, and I don't like reading ebooks)
Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Not originally written in English (for those who want a BIG challenge, thanks to harrygbutler for these)
The Iliad by Homer (I have received a graphic novel version from ER, will tackle it shortly)
Daphnis and Chloe by Longus
The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
Orlando Innamorato by Matteo Boiardo
Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto
Gerusalemme Liberata by Torquato Tasso

Care to join me? Us?

Have some suggestions?

Let's GO!!!!

Dec 29, 2018, 6:46pm Top

You've got some heavy reading scheduled for 2019. Some of those books are huge tomes and a couple of them are on my TBR shelf as well. If I'm honest, they have sat there for many years calling out to be read but then along comes a shiny, new (and shorter) book that distracts me from my task. Good luck for 2019. I'll be following your progress.

Dec 29, 2018, 6:50pm Top

I do not think I have ever read any of Sir Walter Scott's books. Maybe this is the year?

Do audiobooks count towards this challenge, fuzzi? I wanted to check before I broke the rules :)

Dec 29, 2018, 6:59pm Top

>2 socialpages: thank you. I want to get through at least some on that list, and I'll never get any of them read if I DON'T START. :)

>3 alcottacre: why not? Books are books, whether electronic, paper, or audio. :)

Dec 29, 2018, 7:14pm Top

>4 fuzzi: Thanks! I know there are a bunch of classics available in audio form, and since that is my primary method of reading these days, maybe I can finally get around to Scott.

Dec 29, 2018, 7:45pm Top

>5 alcottacre: good. I recall reading Ivanhoe years ago, and enjoying it.

Dec 29, 2018, 7:51pm Top

>6 fuzzi: Thanks for the recommendation. I will see if I can find that one!

Dec 29, 2018, 8:09pm Top


I have tentatively chosen The Canterbury Tales for my January classic.

Dec 29, 2018, 10:41pm Top

Welcome back!

Edited: Dec 31, 2018, 10:08am Top

This is going to be my year for trying Sir Walter Scott - Rob Roy will be the first. Although I did read Ivanhoe a year or two ago - it's quite short compared with some.

Dec 31, 2018, 5:25pm Top

Not making any promises, but I have these classics that I haven't read on my radar for 2019:

Charles Dickens
1. Barnaby Rudge (1841)
2. Dombey and Son (1848)
3. The Mystery of Edwin Drood (1870)

George Eliot
1. Scenes from Clerical Life (1857)
2. Romola (1863)
3. Felix Holt, the Radical (1866)

Anthony Trollope
1. The Three Clerks (1858)
2. The Bertrams (1859)
3. Castle Richmond (1860)

I'm also hoping to re-read these:
Austen, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey in detailed annotated editions
Eliot, Daniel Deronda
Trollope, The Kellys and the O'Kellys

I've never read Sir Walter Scott, but he is on my list of to-be-read as well. May not happen this year, though, but will be following how others respond to his writing.

Dec 31, 2018, 5:42pm Top

>11 kac522: nice list! I hope you make a dent in it.

Dec 31, 2018, 6:24pm Top

Wishing you and yours a happy and joyous 2019, filled with peace, love, and great books.

Dec 31, 2018, 9:28pm Top

Hi fuzzi!

>It ounds like a great challenge. I think there are a 2 or 3 Classics on my proposed reading list this year. I am hoping to follow up my Count of Monte Cristo, from 2 years ago, with The three Musketeers some time in 2019. I have WWII on the brain so we'll when or if it happens.

Jan 3, 2019, 7:27pm Top

I love re-reading MOBY-DICK (less the slaughtering) and Thomas Hardy (except for Jude).

Jan 3, 2019, 8:32pm Top

That is a daunting list of classics. I have the 100 Greatest American Classics Library from the Franklin Mint since 1976 and I have a ways to go with those! Also, there are many Folio society classics in the growing To Be Read list.

I am not sure whether I could get through Middlemarch. Ivanhoe was actually a required book for a turn of the century Insurance examination. Maybe we could read that and start selling insurance.

Actually, those are all quite worthy books and I need to keep those in the mix for 2019.

I wish you the best in this pursuit.

Jan 3, 2019, 10:17pm Top

>16 Forthwith: thank you. I only managed to remove three from that list in 2018, but I’m going to keep trying!

Jan 3, 2019, 10:29pm Top

Last year I made such good progress with my classics challenge. I’d hate to give that up, so maybe following this thread will inspire me to read at least a few more this year.

Some possibilities from my shelves:

Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney — I think I read this as a child, but don’t remember a thing about it.

She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith — classic plays make for nice, quick reads.

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens — I’ve started this more than once, but never finished it.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky — I’ve been meaning to read this for years.

Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy — I liked Tess well enough last year to consider trying another Hardy.

The Divine Comedy by Dante — this would be a big challenge. I’d have to try to read a certain number of lines a day, I think.

There’s no chance of me reading all of them, but I hope to manage at least one or two.

Jan 4, 2019, 5:31am Top

>18 foggidawn: She Stoops to Conquer is actually pretty fun (and you're right that it's quick). I'm reading Crime and Punishment right now and I'm really surprised at how much I'm enjoying it, and I have Nicholas Nickleby on my list for this year, too. Far from the Madding Crowd is great, too, and Dante is cool, but yeah, a little at a time with that one, I think, is best.

Jan 4, 2019, 5:52am Top

How are we defining classic? Is there a time frame? Some books are called "modern" classics. Do they count? Just trying to see where some books would fit in and others not.

Jan 4, 2019, 7:26am Top

>20 alcottacre: for me a "classic" is something that I should have read 40 years ago in school. By the time I was a teenager our school was so progressive that they had elective English courses on Conan the Barbarian, lol. I never read Dickens until I was an adult with a long bus ride to and from work, daily.

Read as you like. I'm not strict with the definition except for myself: Dickens, Austen, Longfellow, Chaucer, Bunyan, etcetera.

Jan 4, 2019, 7:49am Top

>21 fuzzi: The reason I was asking for clarification is that I am planning to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn this month, a book I have never read before, and it is considered to be (by some sources at least) a "modern" classic.

Edited: Jan 4, 2019, 10:11am Top

>22 alcottacre: oh, that's a good one! I gave it 4 1/2 stars back in 2017.

I think it qualifies as a classic, not even "modern" at that...it's more than 70 years old.

Jan 4, 2019, 11:59am Top

I am reading now The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann.

Others I might read this year:
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Auto-da-Fé by Elias Canetti
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Zeno's Conscience by Italo Svevo
Germinal by Émile Zola
Against Nature by J-K Huysmans
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
The Idiot by F. Dostoevsky

Jan 5, 2019, 6:48pm Top

>23 fuzzi: Glad to hear it. I will be starting it in the next few days!

Edited: Jan 6, 2019, 9:54am Top

>24 FAMeulstee: I have Middlemarch on my shelves, not sure when I’ll get to it, though.

Edited: Jan 6, 2019, 12:33pm Top

A Classic for today, January 6th:

Three hundred and forty-eight years, six months, and nineteen days ago to-day,
the Parisians awoke to the sound of all the bells in the triple circuit of the city,
the university, and the town ringing a full peal. The sixth of January, 1482, is not, however,
a day of which history has preserved the memory.

Jan 6, 2019, 2:28pm Top

>26 fuzzi: If you like to read it together, let me know when you want to start Middlemarch.

Jan 6, 2019, 5:31pm Top

>28 FAMeulstee: thanks! Not this month, though.

Jan 11, 2019, 1:34pm Top

I've been trying to salt in a lot of those books, Fuzzi, so I'll check in from time to time to see what you're reading. Maybe I can real along. I've been trying to get my book group to read Crime and Punishment, but it's considered too long by many in the group. Boo. We did read Robinson Crusoe last year and it went over really well.

>24 FAMeulstee: One of my book groups read Auto-da-fe a few years ago, and I couldn't finish it. The first section threw me into such a depression I put it back on the shelf, one of the few great books I couldn't read. I may try it again.

Jan 11, 2019, 6:47pm Top

>30 ffortsa: Probably most of list up there are more or less depressing reads.
I will gladly accompany you when you want to try Auto-da-fe again.

Jan 11, 2019, 11:15pm Top

I finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn tonight and am wondering why it took me so long to get to this terrific coming-of-age book. Very highly recommended!

Jan 12, 2019, 7:34am Top

>32 alcottacre: oh, yes. I felt the same way when I finally read it.

Jan 12, 2019, 11:50am Top

>31 FAMeulstee: It was odd. I can read dark books with ease and enjoyment if they are well-written, but when I was reading Auto-da-Fe I found myself turning into the nastiest character in the first section of the book. Then I was told I was only a few pages from a complete change of tone and outlook, but by then it was too late. I'll let you know when I'm ready for it again, but don't let me hold you up!

Jan 12, 2019, 3:48pm Top

>34 ffortsa: You won't keep me from reading it when I feel like it. In the mean time I have enough others to keep me going in the next months, maybe even years ;-)

Jan 12, 2019, 11:02pm Top

I have the following on my radar for 2019:

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
The Stranger by Albert Camus
Crime and Punishment by Fydor Dostoevsky
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner - which is considered to be a early feminist classic and included in the NYRB Classics series

I also purchased Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy as an audiobook recently, but don't have it slated in yet - if I run out of audiobooks, I'll probably listen to it this year.

Edited: Jan 13, 2019, 5:29am Top

>36 rretzler: I may give Anne Bronte another try. I didn't care much for Agnes Grey a couple years ago, but I also didn't finish it.

Jan 13, 2019, 10:07am Top

For audio book lovers, any book published before 1923 is in the public domain, and therefore has a chance to be part of the public domain collections of Project Gutenberg (online electronic text versions of public domain books) and Librivox, which provides audio versions of public domain books. Best part is that all Librivox versions remain in the public domain so you can download files for free, legally burn disc copies, and share any files and copies with friends. The readers are volunteers and I have found a few who really aren't great readers--but I've had that issue with audio books published through the mainstream, too. Google Librivox or download the app and browse their catalog; lots of classics of all kinds await!

Jan 15, 2019, 1:26am Top

>38 CassieBash: I had totally forgotten about Librivox! Thanks for the tip.

fuzzi, we need to get Jim to put this in the index on the 75'ers wiki.

Jan 15, 2019, 3:06am Top

I keep putting Middlemarch and The Forsyte Saga on my to-read-this-year lists every January. Maybe this will be the year!

Jan 15, 2019, 3:09am Top

happy new yead i am still reading this book

Jan 15, 2019, 7:07am Top

>39 rretzler: thanks for the idea! I'll send him a message.

Edited: Jan 15, 2019, 7:24am Top

I am going to try and do one classic a month. Next up for February and March are The Great Gatsby, which I have tried once before and did not like, and Ivanhoe, which I have never read.

ETA: I just realized that the title of this thread is 'Classics I Have Not Read,' so I am going to have to change my plans for February :)

Jan 15, 2019, 7:32am Top

>39 rretzler: Done! The thread's now on the group wiki. Actually, I thought I had already done it, but it appears I was mistaken!

Jan 15, 2019, 7:34am Top

>39 rretzler: No problem. Some classics are easier to squeeze into my schedule if I listen to them rather than try to read them in print. I don't own a lot of classics in print because they're so common to find in libraries and I prefer to keep my limited shelf space for harder-to-find books that I'll re-read or identification guides for animals and plants, so Librivox or OverDrive is convenient for classics. I'm not much for reading books in e-formats because it makes my eyes tired, but audio books are good for the daily commute and long trips.

Edited: Jan 16, 2019, 6:34pm Top

Finished my first classic this year The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann.
It was a great read, it could turn out to be the best read this year.

Jan 16, 2019, 6:18pm Top

>44 drneutron: thank you!

Jan 19, 2019, 5:06pm Top

So, since I need to change my plans for February, I am going to read Crime and Punishment, which I have tried a couple of different times, but not gotten through. I am going to listen to it on audio, which may help.

Jan 20, 2019, 3:31pm Top

I was asked about SciFi classics, and I am fine with those.

Anyone interested in my favorites can check out a list I made, here:


Edited: Jan 23, 2019, 5:24pm Top

>49 fuzzi: Ah, if we're doing SciFi classics, I'll just bang those right out. For this though, I think I'll stick with the fiction classics. I've added another to my list so I think I may be up to 5 this year, which is a number I'm perfectly happy with.

>48 alcottacre: Stasia, I was planning to read Crime and Punishment sometime this year as well. Any other readers?

Jan 24, 2019, 7:10am Top

>50 rretzler: I'm currently reading Crime and Punishment, but I may be finished before you all get started. Depends on how quickly I get through it, of course.

Jan 27, 2019, 6:16pm Top

>51 scaifea: I'm sure you will finish before I get started. I've just started Fool's Errand and The Eye of the World is coming up right behind. Somehow I've planned to read a bunch of "chunksters" this year.

Edited: Feb 8, 2019, 3:46pm Top

These are my plans for the next several months:

February - Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

March - Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott

April - Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

May - Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

June - 1984 by George Orwell

July - The Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov

August - Call of the Wild by Jack London

September - One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez - I have tried to read this several times, but never made it through

October - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Jan 28, 2019, 10:38am Top

>53 alcottacre: I may join you for The Call of the Wild in August, Stasia. It would be a reread for me, but I've not read it for a very long time and would like to revisit it.

Jan 28, 2019, 10:49am Top

>54 harrygbutler: I am not sure how I missed reading it a long time ago, Harry. I would be happy for the company!

Jan 28, 2019, 10:52am Top

>55 alcottacre: I was lucky enough to be given a copy for my 7th birthday, and I'm sure I reread it a number of times thereafter, though I didn't keep track of my reading back then. I'll be reading the unabridged book I got then, which is a little the worse for wear but still has a place in my library.

Jan 28, 2019, 10:55am Top

>53 alcottacre: >54 harrygbutler: I might also join you in a reread of The Call of the Wild. I read it first as a 6 year old with an abridged picture book version, have never lost my initial love for Buck's story.

Jan 28, 2019, 10:59am Top

>56 harrygbutler: Yeah, I bet it is a little worse for the wear :)

>57 fuzzi: The more the merrier!

Jan 28, 2019, 11:39am Top

I'm glad to have found the thread! I know I have quite a few on my shelves, so I will see what I can fit in. I'm going to participate in the David Copperfield group read, so that's one for sure.

Others on my shelf:
The Moonstone
The Woman in White
Les Miserables
Death Comes for the Archbishop

I may join in on The Call of the Wild - I don't think I've ever read it.

Jan 28, 2019, 1:20pm Top

I plan to read several classics this year. Some may be re-reads, but others will be first time efforts. I really haven't settled on which ones yet, but I'm sure my moods will show me which ones to hit!

Jan 28, 2019, 1:26pm Top

>58 alcottacre: yes!

>59 streamsong: The Call of the Wild is a fairly short read, but full.

Jan 29, 2019, 10:24pm Top

>59 streamsong: Les Miserables is a downer and heavy reading so you might want something lighter afterwards...like The Call of the Wild. ;)

Feb 1, 2019, 12:30pm Top

For those interested, there is a group read of Maria Edgeworth's Belinda just beginning here: https://www.librarything.com/topic/303254

Edgeworth was admired by Jane Austen, and Belinda is mentioned in Austen's Northanger Abbey. The group is being led by Liz (lyzard), and all are welcome!

Feb 3, 2019, 1:55am Top

>59 streamsong: Who is doing a David Copperfield group read? That's one I keep putting on my list year after year and then not getting around to it. Ditto The Forsyte Saga and Middlemarch.

I'm also itching for some Jane Austen. I always read at least one every year but last year was the first I didn't since ... ???

And I'd like to finally read something by Wilkie Collins. The Woman in White, maybe.

Edited: Feb 3, 2019, 7:42am Top

>64 madhatter22: I keep putting off Middlemarch, and a group read might give me enough incentive to tackle it this month...

...or next...

Feb 8, 2019, 12:09am Top

I'm currently reading Little Women. I'm at part 2, three years later...I've read elsewhere that it is a separate book at this point, is that correct?

Edited: Feb 8, 2019, 8:59am Top

>66 fuzzi: It's my understanding that they were originally published as two books: Little Women and Good Wives (further research indicates that the title of Good Wives was the publisher's choice, not Alcott's, though she did submit the book for publication in two volumes, which was more common back then than it is now). In the US, they are mostly published together in a single volume now, though I think in some countries it's more common to publish them in separate volumes.

Feb 8, 2019, 9:52am Top

I've got a couple of long books to read for my f2f book groups. If I can get past them, I'll take a look here to see who is reading what. One of my groups might be reading a Henry James work in April. I'll post when I am sure, in case anyone wants to join me.

Feb 8, 2019, 11:00am Top

>67 foggidawn: thanks. That's what I had also read. I think I have fulfilled my requirement for reading this classic. Onwards.

Feb 8, 2019, 12:58pm Top

Late start (as usual) for me. After reading the first couple dozen posts of this thread, I took time out for a little paperwork. Came up with a list of 57 classics I have in The TBR ClosetTM. To me, a classic is a tome penned during or before the 19th century. The list ranges from Euripides and Sophocles through Sterne, Smollett, and Austen to Verne, Zola, and Balzac. Obviously, I am NOT going to attempt reading 57 classics. In fact, I just bailed on Little Women; couldn't like it.

I did rip through The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas pere in January. Written in the mid-19th century, it raises a lot of questions, but it is a page-turner.

Four others on the list I'd like to read this year:

         Emma by Jane Austen [1815]
         Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney [975–1025]
         The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne [1767]
         Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1870]

Feb 8, 2019, 1:16pm Top

>70 weird_O: sounds like a good plan!

Feb 8, 2019, 5:28pm Top

>70 weird_O: I read the Count of Monte Cristo a few years ago, loved it. Thinking of a re-read this year but don't know if I'll get to it, too many others to go through first. I'm about to start Emma, I'll be using it as one of my challenge books, but it's not high on my list of Austen's novels.

If you read a book as a child (say at least 30 - 40 years ago) but don't remember anything about it, would you class it as a re-read if you read it again as an adult or just a straight read?

Feb 9, 2019, 4:52pm Top

>72 fairywings: I'd probably list it as a "new" read if I didn't recall anything.

Feb 10, 2019, 8:25am Top

>70 weird_O: Chiming in to say that I read The Count of Monte Cristo a couple of years ago for the first time and it immediately became one of my all-time favorites. So fabulous. And the Heaney translation of Beowulf is wonderful - I hope you love it as much as I did.

Feb 10, 2019, 5:21pm Top

>73 fuzzi: Oh good. That helps.

Feb 19, 2019, 7:24am Top

I finished Crime and Punishment yesterday. It was a 5-star read for me and I am kicking myself for not having read the book years ago.

Feb 19, 2019, 10:32am Top

>76 alcottacre: ::makes notation on tbr/recommended lists::

Feb 20, 2019, 8:12am Top

So far the classics that had been on my "to read" list that I've covered, thanks to that 20 volume Classic Tales by Famous Authors set, are Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. That last has been on the list for years, despite my fondness for the horror genre (which it isn't really, but it is thought-provoking on the nature of good and evil in man). I believe that The Odyssey and The Illiad each have their own volume in the set and they're coming up. I haven't read them since college so I suppose a re-read is about due.

Feb 20, 2019, 9:02am Top

>78 CassieBash: what did you think of the Stevenson book?

Feb 21, 2019, 4:33pm Top

>79 fuzzi: I liked it. Not something I dreaded reading in the dark (the obvious hallmark of a good horror story), but the concept of the dual nature of man, and the struggles of Dr. Jekyll as he wrestled with his previously unacknowledged evil side, was a good psychological tale. Have you read it, or is it on your to-read list?

Feb 21, 2019, 4:38pm Top

>78 CassieBash: Loved Rime of the Ancient Mariner. I reread it again last year. I was fortunate that my 8th grade English teacher (who was also my neighbor and a good family friend) introduced it to my class along with several other classics. She really took the time to analyze the material and made sure that the class understood what they were reading and the significance of it. I've only had two other literature teachers like that - one in HS and the other in a university science fiction class. All of my other English teachers had very cursory and superficial discussions about the books they assigned.

Feb 21, 2019, 9:16pm Top

>80 CassieBash: I tried to read it a couple years ago, couldn't get into it, not very far. But I loved Frankenstein, go figure.

Feb 22, 2019, 7:36am Top

>82 fuzzi: That's a good one, too. :)

Feb 25, 2019, 8:25pm Top

My granddaughter Claire, a high school senior, is taking a classics course at Lafayette College. Greek plays and such like. She leaves her school and drives to the college, about 8 miles away. After the class, she has to drive back to school, if only to collect her twin sister. They live only six or seven blocks from the college. Early introduction to college coursework.

Feb 25, 2019, 10:57pm Top

I finished Belinda by Maria Edgeworth, which was written in 1801, and is mentioned in Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey.

I've just started George Eliot's Scenes from Clerical Life, which is a collection of 3 longish stories/novellas that have related characters and settings. November 2019 will be the 200th anniversary of Eliot's birth (born Mary Ann Evans). Scenes from Clerical Life is one of the last 3 major works by Eliot that I have not read, the other two being Felix Holt and Romola. I hope to finish all 3 in this anniversary year.

Edited: Feb 26, 2019, 9:34am Top

Speaking of George Eliot, I'm ready to read Middlemarch for March...appropriate, don't you think?

Anyone want to join me?

Feb 26, 2019, 12:26pm Top

>86 fuzzi: One of my all-time favorites, but I re-read it recently--actually listened to the audiobook, read by Juliet Stevenson, which is outstanding, should anyone want an audio option.

Mar 1, 2019, 5:18pm Top

Mar 1, 2019, 6:29pm Top

Group Read starting for Anthony Trollope's The Kellys and the O'Kellys. This was one of Trollope's earliest novels. Come join us here:


Mar 1, 2019, 7:52pm Top

>88 madhatter22: yippee! I may start it this weekend.

Mar 3, 2019, 6:50pm Top

>90 fuzzi: I probably won't get started until later this week, but I'm looking forward to it! :D

Mar 3, 2019, 7:52pm Top

>91 madhatter22: I didn't read any yet, had a headache this weekend, but hope to get started in the next few days.

Mar 4, 2019, 9:08pm Top

I might join in here...

I want to read Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and The Three Musketeers by Dumas. I've thrown in Kim by Rudyard Kipling onto my personal list, but not sure if it's a "classic" in the same way.

Of those mentioned, I'm kind of intrigued by Anita's addition of The Man Without Qualities by Musil, and Stendhal's The Red and the Black, which I read for my French course when I was 15/16 and have never revisited. The book group that I almost never have attended is reading Little Dorrit, which is (finally) a book that I haven't read and might be interested in discussing.

Mar 4, 2019, 9:31pm Top

I'm reading Middlemarch in May/June for a book club, but I don't think I'll get to it this month. I'll be curious to hear your thoughts though!

Mar 5, 2019, 8:49am Top

>93 Chatterbox: please, join us!

It's a relaxed sort of challenge, just read classics when you decide to, and let us know. :)

Kim is one of Kipling's that I've never even attempted, it might be a good one to put on the list...

>94 jennyifer24: I've started Middlemarch, so I don't want to stop to wait for your book club's month. I'll let you know what I think. So far it reads a bit like a Jane Austen, very wordy with lots of concepts to think about, and many quotes to mull over. I am enjoying it, but it's not going to be a quick read!

Mar 6, 2019, 7:01am Top

Update on Middlemarch: I'm about eleven chapters in and enjoying it, but it's going to be a very slooooooow read, as there's so much to understand and digest in each sentence! And no, it's not boring, not at all.

Mar 6, 2019, 1:06pm Top

>96 fuzzi: Yep, it's a great read, isn't it...

Mar 12, 2019, 2:08pm Top

Another update on Middlemarch: I've noticed that there is a lot of foreshadowing about the characters and yet when you think you know what they are going to do, they do the opposite! I like it when I can't guess what's going to happen.

Still plugging along...

Mar 13, 2019, 10:55am Top

I've only finished Book I of Middlemarch so far. I'd actually read at least through Book II a few years ago, but it's still slower going than I'd remembered. I'm finding myself re-reading a lot of passages, sometimes because the writing is so amazing, more often because I'll read half a page and then realize I have no idea what I just read.
I'm getting into Lydgate's story now, and I seem to remember the last time I tried to read Middlemarch that every time the action moved over to him, I just wanted it to get back to Dorothea.
Moving on ...

Edited: Mar 13, 2019, 7:40pm Top

>99 madhatter22: I got back to Dorothea, and now am just beyond...

I know what you mean about having to reread not just because my mind wandered but sometimes because the passages are amazing.

Edited: Mar 15, 2019, 8:37pm Top

Middlemarch update: I am up to chapter 37.

I misspoke: there are only 613 pages, not 700...

A couple nights ago I was distracted by the front cover starting to split off from the spine (it's a paperback), so I took a five minute break from Peter Featherstone's whims to use some strapping/shipping tape to secure the entire spine and both covers.

Exciting life I lead, hmm??

Mar 17, 2019, 3:13pm Top

>101 fuzzi: My copy has many pages more with 1019 pages.
Checking if it is the intro & afterword... No those are only 30 pages. The book has 86 chapters and a Finale. Has your book very small print?

I will start in a couple of days.

Edited: Mar 17, 2019, 3:48pm Top

>101 fuzzi: Mine is an old mass market with 811 pages not including the afterword. Also 86 chapters (in 8 books) and a finale.

Wasn't thinking about my vacation next week. I won't finish before then and will likely want something else while I'm away, but I'll get it done. I was really surprised the first time I tried to read it that I didn't immediately love it and eat it up like I would an Austen/Bronte/Hardy book. I hoped it was just my mood at the time, but nope. (Unless I'm in the same mood. :) I wanted to not be able to put it down, but although I'm enjoying many aspects of it while I'm reading, it's been easy to put down and I keep picking up other things instead.

Mar 17, 2019, 6:09pm Top

>102 FAMeulstee: I have a Houghton Mifflin Riverside edition. The book is trade paperback sized, perhaps that is the difference?

The intro is not included in the page count, which starts with the Prelude on page 3, and the first chapter starts on page 5.

>103 madhatter22: I can't say that I can't put it down, but I am not reading anything else (except my Bible) until I am finished.

I am at the halfway point!

Mar 19, 2019, 1:52pm Top

Hey! I finished the Seamus Heaney translation of Beowulf. The poem is classic, and it has a worthy translator in Heaney. Even I could follow it. I don't know what sort of literature predates it, but it certainly foreshadows 20th century works like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia.

Heaney's translation has the original Anglo-Saxon displayed verso and the translation recto. In his introduction, he says that in British colleges, lit students had to deal with the Anglo-Saxon original.

Very glad that, finally, I have read it.

Mar 19, 2019, 6:25pm Top

Edited: Mar 21, 2019, 8:46am Top

I don't like Mr. Casaubon. Period.

However, I have put in a reserve at our local library for the 1994 production of Middlemarch.

Mar 21, 2019, 7:02pm Top

I started reading Middlemarch today.

Mar 25, 2019, 6:59am Top

How's everyone's Middlemarch read coming along?

I'm less than 100 pages to the end, and it's getting a little intense...

Mar 26, 2019, 8:24am Top

>107 fuzzi: Agree.

>109 fuzzi: Nealy finished part 4, so about halfway.

Edited: Mar 27, 2019, 8:21am Top

Last 30 pages are waiting to be read after I get home from work...I just couldn't keep my eyes open last night for the time needed to finish it.


Middlemarch by George Eliot

A thoughtful yet entertaining read about the people and customs of an English town from the earlier part of the 19th century. The characters are very well drawn, their personalities are not superficial, and I was willingly dragged into the story, something I expect a very well-written book should do. This tale is never boring, but as the sentences often have deeper meanings one needs to take time to read this work slowly, unhurried, and without distraction. Quite good and worth the time and effort. Solid.

Mar 27, 2019, 9:13am Top

>111 fuzzi: I read that one sometime in the 80s and liked it. I should re-read it sometime.

Edited: Mar 27, 2019, 9:30am Top

>112 thornton37814: I'm thinking ahead for April, and am considering a graphic novel of The Iliad by Gareth Hinds, which I received as an Early Reviewer book this year.

I need something a little shorter this upcoming month...

Mar 27, 2019, 8:17pm Top

I finished Middlemarch just before bedtime. More tomorrow.

Apr 4, 2019, 12:48am Top

>109 fuzzi: I just got back from a 2-week visit with my littlest nephews and I never get much reading done when I'm with them. (Not much of my own reading - I did get through quite a bit of Dr. Seuss and Mo Willems. :) I am about halfway through Middlemarch, and very happy that it finally clicked for me somewhere in Book 2. By the time I got to the part in Book 3 where ... Mr. Featherstone asks Mary to do him a favor ... I was in don't-want-to-put-this-down territory. So good.

Apr 4, 2019, 8:18am Top

>115 madhatter22: haha! Where you are currently with Mr. Featherstone is just about the same point at which I had to repair my copy!

>114 FAMeulstee: I'd love to see your thoughts of Middlemarch here on the classics thread. :)

Apr 4, 2019, 9:41am Top

Ohhh I forgot to put my tiny review of Middlemarch in this thread. I read it in recent Dutch translation

Nice peak into early 19th century England.
Love and marriage in Middlemarch families, with a large cast of believable characters, all with their flaws and struggles.
I am not familiar with most of the references to books and events, they were explained in the endnotes, and think they will speak more to readers who grew up with English culture and history.
Not the stellar read I hoped for, interesting and enjoyable read.

Apr 4, 2019, 6:02pm Top

>117 FAMeulstee: thanks!

I found myself unfamiliar as well with references to books and events, but my edition had notes at the bottom of some of the pages which helped me with occasional puzzling items. Other archaic stuff I either guessed at by context, or I just kept going and didn't worry about it.

What's next for you? Any classics on the list for April reading? Anyone?

Apr 20, 2019, 7:28am Top

Quiet in here...hope you're busy reading...

I did read the ARC graphic version of The Iliad.

The Iliad by Gareth Hinds

I cannot comment on the accuracy of this adaption as I have never read the Iliad, and am unfamiliar with the story. I felt that the illustrations ranged from excellent to fair; some were a bit "graphic" (one frame depicted a warrior's eyes falling out). I liked and appreciated the cast of characters depicted at the front of the book, and the map and author's notes at the end. Despite the violent nature of the story, I did like this illustrated version.

Sep 26, 2019, 9:50pm Top

Well...I finished the 4 that I had planned to read this year. Not a big dent in my overall list of those I want to read, but at least its something. I read this year David Copperfield, The Stranger, The Turn of the Screw and The Wind in the Willows. That's probably all I'll get in for this year, as my reading seems to have slowed in the last month or so and I don't see signs of it picking up. I'll have to start planning for next year.

Sep 27, 2019, 7:10am Top

>120 rretzler: nice to see you here!

Although I started several books in my list I managed to finish three classics so far this year, and may give Kim a second try. As I'd noted above that I'd read three classics in 2018, at least I'm "on schedule"! 😁

Edited: Oct 26, 2019, 10:39pm Top

Wha-ho! This is a long neglected thread. Back at >70 weird_O: I listed 4 books that met my definition of a classic, 4 that I expected to read this year. A bit later I announced my completion of Beowulf (>105 weird_O:).

Here's a link to my book report on it: https://www.librarything.com/topic/301936#6777985

Prompted by the resurrection of this thread, I revisited my original (private) list of 57 TBR Classics, as well as my commitment in post 70 (above), and I have this amended list for you (and me).

         Emma by Jane Austen [1815]
         Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney [975–1025]
         The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne [1767]
         Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1870]
         Faust by Johannes von Goethe [1831]

Emma is out. Emma is back in. Goethe's Faust is still in.

ETA: 20,000 Leagues... read; check! And Emma reinstated.

Edited: Sep 28, 2019, 5:28pm Top

>122 weird_O: did you read Emma or just Beowulf?

Sep 28, 2019, 5:35pm Top

Only Beowulf. I sent Emma back to the minors 'cause my wife rated it "meh".

Sep 28, 2019, 5:43pm Top

Too bad about Emma. I really enjoyed that one.

Oct 26, 2019, 10:37pm Top

Finished reading 20,000 Thousand Leagues Under the Sea on 10/25/19. A decent, engaging adventure yarn/travelogue.

Have had second thoughts on Emma, so I've reinstated her without setting Faust to the showers.

Oct 27, 2019, 10:20am Top

>126 weird_O: I recall reading that Jules Verne as a youth and enjoying it.

Dec 2, 2019, 7:25pm Top

Hi Fuzzy! I've been reading a lot of classics over the years. This year I've been focused on reading the major George Eliot and Thomas Hardy novels I haven't read yet.

I saw the Decameron on your TBR list. Have you read it yet? I enjoyed it much more than the Canterbury Tales, which were influenced by the Decameron. The tales are funnier, and sometimes raunchier.

Dec 2, 2019, 10:42pm Top

>128 madpoet: hi back atcha! No, I've not yet read Decameron. I have one month left to add to this year's classics, not sure what I'll get read.

I'll keep trying.

Dec 2, 2019, 10:50pm Top

Yikes! It is December...how did you do this year?

Let us know, whether you read 10 or just 1 classic in 2019.

Dec 10, 2019, 2:52pm Top

When I signed onto this challenge, I asserted that, to me, a "classic" is a book published in the 19th century or earlier. Yeah, awfully simplistic; doesn't have to be good, just old. Anyway, back at >70 weird_O: I listed 4 books that met my definition of a classic, 4 that I expected to read this year. They were:

      Emma by Jane Austen [1815]
      Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney [975–1025]
      The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne [1767]
      Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1870]

Then...I got cold feet about Emma and replaced her with Goethe's Faust [1831]. Later, the cold feet ambled in again and I put Emma back on the list.

As of today (12/10/19), my list is as follows (the orange checkmark indicates that I've read the book):

      Emma by Jane Austen [1815]
      Beowulf as translated by Seamus Heaney [975–1025] (Finished 3/19/19)
      The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne [1767]
      Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne [1870] (Finished 10/24/19)
      Faust by Johannes von Goethe [1831] (Finished 11/4/19)

As of today (12/10/19) I am halfway through ...Tristram Shandy. I expect to finish it before Christmas.

A reading of Emma is not going to happen in what remains of 2019.

However, I scanned my list of books read this year, I came up with 8 other books that meet my (simplistic) definition of classic. So they add to my total.

      The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas [1844] (Finished 1/12/19)
      She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith [1771]and School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan [1777] (Finished 2/8/19)
      Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe [1604] (Finished 2/12/19)
      The Golden Cockerel by Alexander Pushkin [1834] (Finished 3/3/19)
      The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith [1766] (Finished 4/14/19)
      The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare [1623] (Finished 5/3/19)
      Common Sense by Thomas Paine [1776] (Finished 7/31/19)

Dec 10, 2019, 8:43pm Top

>131 weird_O: super job!

I've not yet returned to Kim. I've been keeping an eye out for a used paperback copy, as I have difficulty reading ebooks.

Edited: Dec 27, 2019, 11:45pm Top

My classics for 2019

Novels by publication year:
Emmeline, Smith (1788)
Belinda, Edgeworth (1802)
The Kellys and the O'Kellys, Trollope (1848)
David Copperfield, Dickens (audiobook) (1850)
The Poor Clare, Gaskell (1856)
Scenes from Clerical Life, Eliot (1857)
The Three Clerks, Trollope (1858)
The Bertrams, Trollope (1859)
Fathers and Sons, Turgenev (1862)
Heidi, Spyri (1880)

Othello, Shakespeare
Macbeth, Shakespeare
Inherit the Wind, Lawrence & Lee, (1955)
A Man For All Seasons, Bolt (1960)

Spoon River Anthology, Masters (1915) (sometimes performed as drama)

Dec 27, 2019, 9:14pm Top

>133 kac522: wow! Excellent list.

Dec 27, 2019, 9:36pm Top

Dec 31, 2019, 8:55pm Top

5:54 pm on 12/31 and I have finally finished Middlemarch. (I started it back in March. I'm feeling quite accomplished.) The long read is no reflection on how much I liked the book - it was fantastic. Alrighty! Feeling optimistic about finally reading The Forsyte Saga in 2020. :)

Dec 31, 2019, 9:19pm Top

>136 madhatter22: I love that! Squeezing the finish in at the wire. Kudos!

Dec 31, 2019, 10:11pm Top

>136 madhatter22: yes!!!!!!!! Agreed. A book like Middlemarch is so deep, so rich, that it needs to be thoroughly chewed and not gulped down...savored, if you like.

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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