It’s so Classic Book tag

it's so classic blog party

In August, there was a Classics book tag going around the blogosphere. I didn’t participate at the time. But then, I saw Brona’s post, and she tagged whoever wanted to participate.
As I recently finished reading my
first list of 50 books for The Classics Club, I thought I would use these questions to do some type of recap.
So I’m exclusively considering these 50 books to answer the following questions.
Which means that I’ll probably have different answers if I do it again (I might) when I’m done with my 2nd list of 50 titles.
I’m also not considering all the other classics I read before joining The Classics Club.

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What is one classic that hasn’t been made into a movie yet, but really needs to?

I think it would be neat to make a movie on Travels with Charley. It would be a great piece of Americana. I’d see Robert Duvall as a great John Steinbeck.

What draws you to classics?

DonQuixoteMy thinking is that if we have not stopped reading these books along the years and the centuries, it means they have a message or value for all ages, and so for mine as well. So I’m curious to see what it could be.
Also, incidentally, I really love the online community built around the classics, especially through The Classics Club. It’s really great that so many people from many countries can interact on these treasures of humanity.
I’m thinking for instance of Don Quixote, and the 3 readalongs organized around it this year that I know of.
Be sure to visit also this amazing interview with Silvia of this work – and most insightful comments on my and her post.

What is an underrated classic?

Arsene LupinMaybe a book that is on the verge of being forgotten, a bit like an endangered species, and not too many people have read it, for a reason or another. But when you read it, you realize its content can definitely be understood and is meaningful for us today.
I could mention here Arsène Lupin, not that well known in English speaking circles. Yet, it is a seminal series for the mystery genres, and offers a unique perspective on a life of crime, very different from the current tendency of gruesome and violent thrillers.

What is one classic that you didn’t expect to love, but ended up loving anyway?

A Moveable FeastI don’t remember fondly, to say the least, the various novels by Hemingway I read. But so many readers were talking about A Moveable Feast, that I was intrigued and thought I should give it a try, especially as it is set in my native country!
I was probably also feeling ashamed I had never read it. But I approached it with fear and trembling, because of my past experience with this author. Yet, I loved the book very much. It definitely helped it was nonfiction actually. I loved the description and evocation of the place and time, plus the various people we meet in it. Beautiful prose!

What is your most favorite and least favorite classics?

Charlotte's WebThis is a very difficult question, even if I only consider here these 50 titles!
My most favorite of these 50 titles might well be Charlotte’s Web, for its beautiful prose and message. And I love so much the last line! Look at my review if you forgot that line. But obviously, there are tons of other titles I really enjoyed in this list.

As for the one I liked least, I’m also going to choose a children’s book. I was very disappointed by The Secret of the Old Clock, even though I was told I should appreciate the fact that this genre was almost revolutionary at the time. I’m not too sure I read it as a kid in France, so if I read it, apparently it didn’t impress me either at the time. Back then, I read the series by Enid Blyton, and loved it a lot!

What is your favorite character from a classic? Or if that is too hard, one is your favorite classic character trope (e.g. strong and silent, quiet sidekick, etc.)

Francie, in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love her outlook on life, and how important books are in her life.

What’s a popular classic that you felt wasn’t actually that great?

Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers. I was rather disappointed, I didn’t like the social aspect of it. But I’m intrigued that the series is so popular, so I’ll give it another chance and plan to read volume 2.

Who is your favorite classic author?

I’m going to say Marcel Proust. Reading his whole In Search of Lost Time was a fantastic experience. It is so rich! And even if there are some boring passages, like an interminable meal lasting 50 pages or more, what’s really neat with Proust is that suddenly, when you are almost ready to give up, you bump into a real gem of a sentence. So don’t give up!
Actually the very last book is beautiful, with lots of fascinating pages on the art of writing. I now understand why a friend of mine starts reading it again when she’s done, I think she’s read it all 4 or 5 times. If I were younger, I would read it again, as there are so many connections between the different books that you cannot possibly see when you read it only once.

In your opinion, what makes a classic a classic?

I basically answered this question at the beginning. I think it’s a book with a universal message, universal as far as location and time. That whatever culture it was written in, it can apply to all. And whatever time it was created in, it is still meaning today, because it deals with some things that are very deep in our human psyche and life experience.

Relating to newer books, what attributes does a book need to have in order to be worthy of the title “classic”?

the-martian-chroniclesI would say the same as I answered in the previous question.
This could apply for instance to science-fiction classics, (I read The Martian Chronicles; We; Solaris) as they deal with our deep human need for connection with others, with our deep need to prove that we are not alone out there, as Arthur C. Clarke beautifully highlights in Childhood’s End, which I recently listened to (as my first book for my second list of 50 titles!).

Bonus question: Is there a classic you don’t seem to understand?

Yes, I have no clue what C. S. Lewis is really talking about in Till We Have Faces, even though I had a whole discussion with a reading group at my church on this book.

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That’s it. Let me know
if you were surprised by some of my answers.

If you feel tempted by these questions,
please post your answers and give me your link.
I’m curious to see what YOU think

Top Ten Books Outside My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Books I Enjoyed
That Are Outside My Comfort Zone

TTT for September 3, 2019
#TopTenTuesday

🌼🌼🌼

For this edition of #TopTenTuesday, we are talking about Books I Enjoy That Are Outside My Comfort Zone.

Please click on the covers to access my review

1. Time travel stories

I usually don’t like time travel stories, but it works here, with a nice mix of history and cultural touches.

Vintage 1954

2-3. Manga

I have tried to read Manga, but often I didn’t like them. Except these:
The Secret World of Arrietty is actually a Film Comic Adaptation, I didn’t even know such a thing existed. This story is cute, and the artwork is just stunning!
I was surprised to love Orange, because it’s basically a teenage love story, but the art is well done (essential for me), and the plot is actually intriguing and original. I quickly devoured the two thick volumes of it.

 Orange The Secret World of Arrietty

4. Ghost stories

I about never read ghost stories, but I won this book for somebody else. Before giving it to the person, I opened it, and devoured it! I was really surprised to enjoy this Middle Grade ghost story. Very rich story!

Trace

5. Hemingway

I really don’t like his books, except this one, a beautiful memoir on his time in Paris.

A Moveable Feast

6-7. Political books

Another genre I almost never read. But these were surprisingly very well done and interesting.

 Fear Democracy in Chains

8-9. WWII  and YA

Having read so much about WWII in my French curriculum and in novels, I now try to stay away form it. However, these 2 books were amazing, the first one for the quality and originality of the writing, the second for the content (WWII and YA, 2 categories I rarely read in).

 HHhH Defy the night

10. Essays

I rarely read short stories or essays collections, because I usually feel the end comes too abruptly. This one however, was fabulous, being written by an amazing author.Chronicles of a Liquid Society

Have you read any of these?
Any other good title you would recommend
in these categories?

2018: December wrap-up

DECEMBER WRAP-UP

You may have seen in my stats of the year, that there was a peak for December. Seeing how few books I had read compared to my usual average (about 30 less books than usual), I tried to read more in December!!
It worked, and December was by far my best month in 2018. Best in reading, and also very good in audio time.

Here is what I read in December:

14 books:
12 in print 
with 3,276 pages, an average of 105.6 pages/day
2 in audio
with 25H12, an average of 48 mn/day

7 in nonfiction:

  1. Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From the Philokalia to the Present Day, by Andrew Louth
  2. A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway – for Classics Club
  3. The Provocative Colette, by Annie Goetzinger – biography, “graphic novel”
  4. Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace
    by Michael Perry – for my Winter LIbrary Challenge, book picked by the staff for me 
  5. Che: A Revolutionary Life, by Jon Lee Anderson – biography, “graphic novel”
  6. Hedy Lamarr: An Incredible Life, by William Roy – biography, “graphic novel”. I chose to read this to compare with Marie Benedict’s historical novel on Hedy Lamarr, see below
  7. Letters to Saint Olympia, by Saint John Chrysostom

4 in mystery:

  1. Kingdom of the Blind, by Louise Penny
  2. Maman a tort, by Michel Bussi – audio, in French
  3. The Book Artist, by Mark Pryor – 2019 release, for review
  4. N’oublier jamais, by Michel Bussi – audio, in French

2 in historical fiction:

  1. The Shadow Land, by Elizabeth Kostova
  2. The Only Woman in the Room, by Marie Benedict – 2019 release, ebook for review

1 in Fiction:

  1. The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, by Sun-Mi Hwang

MY FAVORITES IN DECEMBER

 The Shadow Land  Maman a tort

READING CHALLENGES RECAP

Classics Club: 25/50 (until end of 2020) or 39/64!
The 2018 TBR Pile Challenge: 3/12, but none reviewed yet !!
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??
Total of books read in 2018= 77/100
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 26

MOST POPULAR BOOK REVIEW THIS PAST MONTH

Rebecca

click on the cover to access my review

MOST POPULAR POST THIS PAST MONTH
– NON BOOK REVIEW –

Born a Crime chapter 9-14:
read along at Book Bloggers International

BOOK BLOG THAT BROUGHT ME MOST TRAFFIC THIS PAST MONTH

Fire Quill Book Blog
please go visit

TOP COMMENTERS OF THE MONTH

Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Karen at Booker Talk
Angela at Musings of a Literary Wanderer

BLOG MILESTONES AND EVENTS

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Be sure to check the giveaways posted on my homepage!

Come back on Sunday
to see the books I plan to read in January
and my other plans!

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of December?

Month in Review

Kathryn at The Book Date
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Kathryn, great idea!