Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The NEW Classics Bookclub

Classics Bookclub

Over the last year, I've read almost all of the books that we've hosted for the 5 Minutes for Books Classics Bookclub. That's more than I've read in the last ten years combined for sure. It was a stretch for me, but I enjoyed it: Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, and The Great Gatsby all come to mind.

The team and I over at 5 Minutes for Books have struggled with what to do with it. It's a lot of work to administer, and our turnout -- while often enthusiastic -- was still small. However, most of us liked the idea, and we thought that it was a niche not quite being filled in the book blogging world, so we tried many changes to make it easier for those with the desire to participate to actually make it work.

So, we have restructured it to allow people to get together quarterly to post their reviews about the classics that they choose to read.

If you'd like to join in, check out the post at 5 Minutes for Books about the New Classics Bookclub. If you link up your own goals post by the end of January, you will be eligible to win one of two books.

I definitely want to keep reading classics. My goals are fairly simple, but there are several books that keep coming to mind, and so I'd like to get to them this year:

  • Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter -- know, I know, it's a "children's book," but it's completely iconic.
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding -- Could this be any more current with Survivor-esque shows abounding and The Hunger Games series taking off? It's also completely iconic.
  • Aristotle's The Nicomachean Ethics --This is his work exploring happinesss, brought to my attention by the most excellent The Happiness Project book (review and giveaway forthcoming very very soon). It's a different kind of classic, but you can't get more classicly classic than Aristotle, can you?
  • I also have a copy of The Scarlet Letter (Readable Classics) that I'd like to get to this year as well. It's, once again, most definitely an iconic theme.
Four in one year. One a quarter. I think that I can manage that, and enjoy doing it.

What about you? Can you commit to reading even one classic work this year?? What one would it be? Let me know in the comments, or better yet, link it up over at 5 Minutes for Books.


bravesaintash said...

Hey Jennifer! I'm so glad you and the other staffers are keeping this idea running; this is my first time hearing about the Classics Bookclub and I know I'll be back for more in the coming years!

As for your choices, I've read a few of then (Nicomachean Ethics, Lord of the Flies, The Scarlet Letter) and I think you will enjoy them; Aristotle is dry, but if you can slough through he has some great things to say!

p. s. this is Ashley T. from ShelfLifeReviews.com

morninglight mama said...

Ooooh, Lord of the Flies-- very cool! I remember being horrified and intrigued and disgusted and completely drawn in by that book in high school. Good choice to read again as an adult!

I'm trying for four as well. We'll see how this goes. :) Thanks for keeping this alive and putting the work into getting it out there!

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Wonderful idea and thank you for revamping. I'm also going to be reading Aristotle's Ethics along with a couple others. Looking forward to expanding my mind.

Laura said...

Wow - I sort of tentatively thought about Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics but wasn't sure I could do it. But if there are others of you out there also slogging through it, then I'm game.

I read Polyanna a few years back and really loved it. I read it for what it is and appreciated her attitude and the affect it had on others around her.

Thanks for doing the Classics Bookclub - it was a great experience this past year and I expect it will be a great thing in 2010.

ShelfLife said...

Ashley here again - I hate that my blog doesn't have a "reply to" feature, but I wanted to make sure you saw my recommendations!

Dystopia is one of my favorite genres. Forgive me if you've already read some of these, but if you have I think you'll agree they're awesome! One of the best YA dystopias I've ever come across is M. T. Anderson's Feed. Other good dystopias I've come across are Philip K. Dick's Do Androids Dream and also Time out of Joint; James Dashner's amazing The Maze Runner (another YA one); Bernard Beckett's unforgettable Genesis; and The Machine Stops by E. M. Forester (short story).

Some that I'm looking forward to are William Fortschen's One Second After, P. D. James' The Children of Men, and of course the one that started it all, Thomas More's Utopia.

Whew! Quite the list, I know, but I hope it will be helpful! Thanks for stopping by ShelfLife!

Carrie said...

Children's Classics had BETTER count! =D I just read Pollyanna last year or something. You are right - it's iconic!

Looking forward to this!

Lisa writes... said...

Aristotle? I'm well impressed.

The Scarlet Letter is one I'd like to read as well. Got to work on my own list. So many titles I want to read that I keep forgetting what I wanted to read when! :)

Amy said...

Okay, I've got a LOT of reading to do in order to classically educate my own children--I've never even heard of that Aristotle title! :-)

I love the idea of reading Pollyanna--I've never read it, believe it or not.

I've read the other two, of course, but I haven't read Lord of the Flies since high school. I'm not sure it's one I want to revisit any time soon, though. . .

Love the freedom of the new club! I hope I can keep it up!

Lauren said...

Great list, Jennifer! I would like to reread the Scarlet Letter, but I didn't put it on my list for now. I really like the flexibility of the new challenge!

Debbie V. said...

Hi Jennifer,
I did read The Scarlett Letter - twice - once for high school back in the 1960's and once on my own. It's a good story and really gets you thinking about how religion can be used in the wrong way.
I also read Lord of the Flies back in high school, but did not understand it at all. So I'll see what you think :)
Thanks for hostessing the Classics Club.