Classics Club 10th Anniversary!

 Wow, it's been ten years since Jillian started the Classics Club!  Unbelievable.  To celebrate, the Club has published some questions for us to answer.   Share your links in the comments, I'd love to see your answers too!

  1. When did you join the Classics Club?  I'm a charter member and have been in the whole time.  Here's my first post about the Club!   Here's my first list, and the second one that I'm working on now.
  2. What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?  That is a nearly impossible question to answer!  I've read a heck of a lot of books for this club!  But I think I will pick Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston, for a few reasons: a)  it's an amazing novel and I just love it; b) I'd never read ZNH before, and I went on to read and love several of her works (not done yet!); c) I found a fascinating connection between ZNH, this novel, and an incredibly obscure Danish romanticist writer's first novel.
  3. What is the first classic you ever read?  I've always been a reader, and my home was stuffed with books that I didn't know were classics, so I really have no idea.  I was pretty allergic to the 'classic' label as a kid, and so I do remember that I didn't want to read Little Women just because I knew it was a classic.  A friend gave me a copy, so then I had to read it, and I loved it.  I guess that might be the first book I read on purpose knowing that it was a 'classic.'  The first book I read for the CC was Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita, which I'd read in college and wanted to re-read.  I've since read it a third time and it gets better every time.
  4. Which classic book inspired you the most?  I will pick Booker T. Washington's Up From Slavery, which I found very inspiring.
  5. What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?  I still haven't conquered Thucydides; I would really like to do that.  Henry James' The Wings of the Dove also defeated me, though I liked two of his other long novels.
  6. Favourite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?  I haven't watched as many as some folks have!  I guess my favorite, based on how many time I've seen it, would have to be the 1995 Pride and Prejudice, a more than obvious choice.  I also love the 1987 Anne of Green Gables films and have watched those many times!  As for least favorite, that's even more difficult.  There's the atrocious Anne III, which all Anne fans agree does not exist, and the adaptation of Mansfield Park that stars Billie Piper (!) as a spirited Fanny -- the main problem with Mansfield Park being that Fanny is just not the kind of girl that people of the 21st century like, so filmmakers can't resist spicing her up.  Oh!  And I could also complain about the recent Miss Marple episodes that a) inserted Miss Marple into a classic Tommy and Tuppence story, and b) changed Tuppence from a dashing, highly competent woman into a depressed and wobbly alcoholic (how very feminist -- not).  AND they gave Miss Marple a backstory that included an affair with a married man who then went off and got killed in WWI to explain why she's an old maid.  This turned into a rant, sorry. 
  7. Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?  Oof, what a loaded question!  I want to be as steely as Jane Eyre, but I'm probably not.  Oh dear, I'm probably more like Mrs. Norris in Mansfield Park, sitting on my sofa and doing useless embroidery!  I think I'm nicer than her, though.  Probably not as nice as Marmee.  There aren't that many fabulous librarian mom characters to identify with...
  8. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?  I only read Madame Bovary because of a readalong.  I didn't expect to like it and I'm mostly afraid of French literature.  But Madame Bovary is fantastic and I loved it!  I had a very similar experience with the Count of Monte Cristo, so clearly I should be venturing into French literature more often.
  9. Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?  I've been meaning to read It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis, for a good six years now.  It's about time I actually did it!  And I have a copy right here now, so no excuses.
  10. Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favourite memory with The Classics Club?  I love that Brona and I have been in every single Spin.  May our streaks never be broken!


  1. Thanks, this was fun to read your answers! Kudos to you and Brona for doing every spin, that is really impressive. :) Enthusiasm for classics is such a wonderful thing to share.

    1. Thanks, Lory! I admire your discipline at focusing your energy on what you really want to do. I pick everything (Classics Club! Read around the world!) and then flail around a lot. :)

  2. Congratulations for being a charter member of the Classics Club.

    My read of It Can't Happen Here in high school left me feeling nervous about the world. It would probably leave me feeling even more so if I were to reread it now.

    You have read some daunting books. I am eager to read Count of Monte Cristo and Master and Margarita before I exit this life.

    1. You have a good point there, Deb. Reading that book will probably make me VERY nervous.

  3. Hi, Jean, (It's me Ruth from Great Book Study. I've been gone for awhile, but I have returned and have a new blog now.) Their Eyes Were Watching God is an amazing work. I loved the film version, too. I started to read Hurston's autobiography, but I never finished it. I'll have to check out your link to her other books.

    1. Ruth! It's great to see you! I'll check out your blogs too. :)

  4. A "spirited Fanny Price???" I laughed hard at this one!

    Just want to congratulate you on all your successes and milestones with the Classics Club and to say I am rereading Mansfield Park right now and though I have never met you I can tell you ARE the farthest thing from that awful woman I could imagine!!


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