Monday, May 2, 2011

The Back Story of # 27

One of my May goals is to cross something off of my list.  A lot of the items are long term goals or things that I have plans to complete at some point later this year.  I took a look and decided that  # 27 is going to happen.  Maybe not this week but some time in the next 30 days.

The Back Story:
I put "Read A Classic" on my list because old books scare me.  I find them difficult to read, hard to understand, and boring (and that is if I actually read more than 30 pages.)  I LOVE to read but I was the girl in high school that refused to start finish any of the assigned reading.  I learned the basics...Gatsby loved Daisy and they ran someone over, either Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn went down the river with Jim, and Beowulf fought Grendel and his mom.

In 8th grade I was in honors English.  Due to a lack of effort, I did not get awesome grades.  By some oversight, I was placed in 9th grade honors English where I proceeded to do worse than 8th grade.  I convinced myself that English was my worst subject and that I wasn't smart enough to understand the material when the reality was that because I wasn't interested in the books we were reading, I neglected to apply myself.  To be fair I was 14 and being asked to read Charles Dickens.  I didn't even know what socialism was so how was I supposed to appreciate a novel about the social and economic pressures of 19th century England?  High school English class killed my love of reading.*

In an effort to make good on # 27, today I did some recon at B&N. 

I'm still unclear on what actually constitutes a classic.  According to the display I can choose from:
The Wizard of Oz
Don Quixote
Last of the Mohicans
Any novel ever written by Jane Austen

The three that I am considering are:
Little Women (I've seen the movie)
The Scarlett Letter (I've seen Easy A)
The Secret Garden (I've seen the movie)

Any suggestions?  My hope is to read all three before the year is out but my TBR (that is book blog lingo for to be read) pile is like 925 books high.

* Fun Fact:  I buckled down and studied hard for my 9th grade honors English midterm.  I thought I did well.  As the teacher was passing back the midterms, the snobby girl (yes I'm being judgemental) next to me who always got good grades got an 88% on her test.  She turned to me and said, "Well I got an 88, but I'm sure you'll do fine."  I got a 96% bitch...I bet she still hates me.



  1. Well the secret garden is really easy because it's a children's book, but it's a lovely story. Don't read The Scarlet Letter! I vote for Little Women. It's cute, and then we can take a field trip to Orchard House.

  2. I really like Pride and of my faves.

  3. I second Summer - love Secret Garden and it's shorter than the other 'classics' - a good way to ease in. Little Women and any Jane Austen will definitely fit the 'classic' category. Then there's Moby Dick - had to read in 8th grade English. A Tale of Two Cities, Ivanhoe - hey is Rebecca a 'classic?' That's a good one.

  4. Summer - I think I was going to start with The Secret Garden because I already own it! And I really only wanted to read The Scarlett Letter because I liked the movie "Easy A".

    Sarah - The thought of reading Jane Austen gives me hives...maybe if I watch the movie first?

  5. Okay...weighing in on this is a must. I like you, love to read but officially hated to finish any assigned "classics." Ugh. They sucked the fun out of books and I conned my way into AP English. For some really strange reason I liked the Scarlet Letter but it is NOWHERE close to Easy A. I potentially would fall asleep if I read it now.

    I agree with the suggestions of going with Pride & Prejudice or Jane Austen. Just watch the BBC miniseries version w/ Colin Firth and you'll be ready to go. I had a hard time with it at first too, but once I got into it, I was hooked.

    Also, another suggestion is getting an audiobook version of any of these...listening to someone else read it might be easier to digest :-)

  6. i havent read many either for the same reason but my all-time favorite book is to kill a mockingbird. highly recommend

  7. I liked The Scarlet Letter. I think you should try The Great Gatsby again sometime - I loved it. I wonder if I'd like it now...

  8. Miss A!
    I really felt the need to suggest to you these books, as I thought they were really good:
    Frankenstein (was awesome, I thought it would scare me, but I loved it)
    Pride and Prejudice (still good, and the movie w/ collin firth as Mr. Darcy is a really good version to watch, too).

    I'd skip The Scarlet Letter b/c, well, I hated it.

    I also really loved Little Women. I read that when I was in my teens, and it was really good. Go w/ that first.

    Trust me :)

  9. stopping by after hearing sunshine sing your praises..

    i'll admit, i too used to *hate* the "classics" - mostly on principle. i like what i like and who the hell are you to tell me that i should absolutely love a certain novel just because it's old enough to be my great grandfather? jump to present day, and the great gatsby is my favorite book ever and i can't get enough hemingway or faulkner or wharton - that last one being the biggest snoozer of them all.

    anyway, i admire your goal to open yourself up to the classics. i'm sure glad i did. that section of b&n that you photographed? i spend forever there.

    i give the secret garden and little women a vote each, and if you're up for it, i really loved walden as well. if i can also offer a suggestion that's not on your list, the age of innocence by edith wharton is another personal fave of mine and definitely a classic.

    and there's my $.02 :)

  10. MC - I don't do well with audiobooks. My mind tends to wander quickly.

    Steph - At one point in my life I think I was forced to read To Kill A Mockingbird and I didn't read it carefully enough to understand it. I will def. add it to my reading pile!

    Shelby - Actually when I Googled The Great Gatsby to make sure her name was really Daisy I read the plot and it sounded quite scandalous.

    Val - Little Women is going to happen.

    Alyssa - Thanks for stopping by! The names Hemmingway, Faulkner and Wharto scare me. But The Age of Innocence was part of the B&N display.

  11. If you really want to branch out- read An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I read it when I was in junior high and it's still a favorite of mine though it's not easily found in bookstores. If not that, then definitely go with Little Women, just don't expect the movie, open your mind and erase your memory before beginning or you won't thoroughly enjoy it.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...