|No reason--I just like this picture today.|
Christmas is well under way here and I even have a tree up, which is a first for me. Normally I don't get a tree until at least the 10th, and here it's been up for several days now. We shall see if I can survive this--although I love a Christmas tree, after a few weeks I can't wait to get rid of the whole thing and all the decorations (which I don't even have many of) and start fresh. As for gifts, I decided that this year I just can't hack all the sewing I usually do. I'm not even wishing I was sewing, which is downright strange. Instead, practically everyone is getting books--used books, so that I can give 3-4 instead of one. Don't worry, they are in good shape! No one will mind.
Anyway, it's time for our monthly Classics Club meme. This month's question is a cruel one:
Let’s do this again: What is your favorite classic book? If you already answered this question in August 2012, great! Tell us what you picked then, and if your answer has changed in the last year and a half. If you are new since that meme, what is your favorite classic as of today? (Yes, you can of course list multiple books.)I skipped this question the first time around, because it's too hard to answer. I am completely useless at picking just one favorite anything, much less when it comes to books. So here are some of my favorites from the last year or so:
Anna Karenina, by Lev Tolstoy. Oh wow, I loved this book! It's just wonderful and amazing. I would very much like to read it again sometime, and try a different translation to see what I think. But first, I would like to read War and Peace because I bet it's wonderful too.
A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth. Indian family saga that includes people from all walks of life and paints a portrait of India in 1950. What's not to love?
In the First Circle, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. I loved this one too. A portrait of the USSR in 1950, rooted in the lives of gulag prisoners. Amazing book.
Niels Lyhne, by J. P. Jacobsen. So beautifully written, although so sad too. Both Romantic and Modern, so kind of unusual. I wish more people knew this book.
The Queen's Diadem, by C. J. L. Almqvist. A really strange novel--well, fantastic, in the old sense of the word. Another title I wish more people knew.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain. I did not expect to enjoy this one as much as I did, so it was a surprise. I'm not all that big on American literature, or Southern literature, or anything. But it's so funny, and a truly great American novel.
If I'm going to pick a #1, I think I'll have to go with Anna Karenina, but picking a #1 is overrated, right? :) Sometimes I might want a Russian saga of doomed love, and sometimes I might want something else.
Looking over the past year of reading has made me really happy to see how many great books I've gotten to enjoy. Lucky me! And it's also made me impatient to read more on my CC list--they are all so tempting and yummy-looking. Isak Dinesen is beckoning me to read Winter's Tales. Jane Austen and Anne Elliot want me to enjoy Persuasion for the 10th time (I'm reading a fun mystery that reflects it). And The Makioka Sisters are wondering if I will ever get to them, given that they never get picked for the Spin.
And, hooray for the Chunksters Challenge. I've always been so nervous about reading gigantic novels, and most of my best books this year have been exactly those gigantic books I was putting off.