Project Wonderful

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Geek - Classics

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 am a little intimidated by classics mostly because when I read them I don't remember them. They just don't stick in my brain like more recent books do. That does not mean it stops me from trying to read them. Ones I remember that I do love.
1) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
2)Dracula by Bram Stoker
3) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
4) Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
5) Les Misrables by Victor Hugo
6) Dead Souls by Nicolai Gogol
7) Little Woman by Lousia May Alcott

I also at on point in my life was a fan of Edgar Allan Poe. I can't really read too much scary stuff now though. I still have a collection of his work that hopefully I will read again someday.

I would recommend for someone starting on classic Little Women, or Treasure Island.

2) A challenge, should you choose to accept it: Read at least one chapter of a classic novel, preferably by an author you're not familiar with. Did you know you can find lots of classics in the public domain on the web? Check out The Popular Classic Book Corner
, for example. Write a mini-review based on this chapter: what are your first impressions? Would you read further? (For a larger selection of authors, try The Complete Classic Literature Library).

I read the first chapter in Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie. I have never read Peter Pan by I have read the Disney versions of the stories. Peter Pan is so differently written. It is almost I hate to use the word but it is a little scatter brained or maybe a better explanation because scatter brained makes it sound bad, but it like a child's thought process it starts in one place goes to another and ends where it started out again. I like that it capture's something so child like.

3) Let's say you're vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don't find her a book, she'll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her? I tend to stick to children books so I would have to go with Charlotte's Web by E.B. White which I can't believe but was only published in 1952.

4) As you explore the other Weekly Geeks posts: Did any inspire you to want to read a book you've never read before—or reread one to give it another chance? Tell us all about it, including a link to the post or posts that sparked your interest. If you end up reading the book, be sure to include a link to your post about it in a future Weekly Geeks post!
Alessandra at Out of the Blue wrote about reading the first chapter of Wizard of Oz also something I have never read. Go here to see the post.


Suey said...

I read half of Peter Pan years ago, then never finished it. Strange. I really should dig it out and finish it once and for all.

Matt said...

Classics makes up about a third of my reading in a year. I appreciate classics and the elements in writing, which tends to be more aplomb and staid than contemporary fiction. When I go on vacation, I usually pack at least one classics with me.

Some classics I like to re-visit:
Anna Karenina
The Master and Margarita
A Tale of Two Cities
Sense and Sensibility
Madame Bovary
The brothers Karamazov

Alyce said...

I haven't read Peter Pan either, and most of the classics that I have read were read in English lit classes. I have read a few since then (like for the Classics Bookclub) but not many.

claire said...

Thanks for reminding me about Dead Souls.. I have been meaning to read it. :)

Ali said...

I read Peter Pan to my kids years ago and was surprised at how dark it was, compared to the Disney-fied version. The basics are similar, but it has such a different feel to it! It was a good read-aloud with kids, though.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the actual story is much different than the cartoon and musical.
Ali - it's cool that you appreciated the 'darker' tone, too :)

I also liked this book:


Maree said...

Reading Peter Pan is on my ''someday'' list :)

Dreamybee said...

I've never heard of Dead Souls, but it sounds intriguing. What a concept!