Back to the Classics 2019 List Ideas

My selections here are mostly from my Classics Club 50 and are shown in RED.


1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899. – The House of the Seven Gables – Nat Hawthorne 1851
2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1969. – The Ox-bow Incident by Walt VanTilberg Clark 1940
3. Classic by a Woman Author.  NANCY MITFORD’s LOVE IN A COLD CLIMATE
4. Classic in Translation. CANDIDE – Voltaire
5. Classic Comic Novel. Any comedy, satire, or humorous work. ?
6. Classic Tragic Novel. Tragedies traditionally have a sad ending… Hardy: Jude the Obscure
7. Very Long Classic. Any classic single work 500 pages or longer, not including introductions or end notes. – The Three Muskateers should work for this.
8. Classic Novella. Any work of narrative fiction shorter than 250 pages. – One Fine Day – Mollie Panter-Downes 179pp 1947
9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). Includes classic set in either continent or the Caribbean, or by an author originally from one of those countries. – ?
10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Any classic set in one of those contents or islands, or by an author from these countries. – Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook?
11. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. Read locally! Any classic set in a city, county, state or country in which you’ve lived, or by a local author. – The Age of Innocence / Wharton / Newport RI
12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.  X
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago to qualify; therefore, books must have been published no later than 1969 for this challenge.


Maybe this year I will read at least 6 and achieve this Challenge for the first time!


Copyright © 2007-2018. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Twelve Blog Post Ideas in a Trove

Ms. Bookish has challenged us to create a list of blog post ideas for those times when the well might be dry. Personally, I don’t have this problem very often, if ever. I always feel free to open a blank post template and start typing just to see what happens. Random is my friend.

But, since she is offering PRIZES! I thought I would try to generate a bunch of ideas, for “just in case”.

Here’s her EXPLAIN the TREASURE TROVE Challenge post.

1) A post to explain how unhappy I am about WordPress changing their ADD-NEW-POST style. Grrrrrrr.

2) The Tournament of Books hosted by The Morning News.

3) Most recent pie thoughts/activities.

4) Any book connections – those times when one book reminds you or is linked in some way to a book you’ve read previously or one you hope to read someday.

5) A vocabulary post – words recently discovered or tripped over that needed defining.

6) Try (search for) that blog post generator idea!  How fun.

7) Create a list of books that I think everyone should read.

8) Summary recap of challenge progress.

9) Summary recap of monthly/quarterly/whatever time period for books read, etc.

10) Explore the meme and weekly post ideas that others do:  Top Ten Tuesday, Sunday Whatever It Is, Monday What Are you Reading, etc.

11) Re-present a post from the past that I am proud of and/or revisit a book and my review to see if I still remember the book.

12) DO a link-love link up post – which in my case would probably be a highlight of other bloggers who do this well.

OK – that took my less than 10 minutes!  Feel free to borrow if any inspire you.

Oh, Belle also asks about thoughts on the generation process. Well, for me, similar to how I write posts, I just open up a blank post and let the fingers start typing up the words. I edit as I go. I don’t track my ideas. I do sometimes create draft posts of ideas and often of book reviews while reading the book – I get it all set up so that when I’m ready, all I have to do is write my impressions and not do the ‘add book cover’/tags, etc.

Have a great day! – hopefully I will soon be posting reviews of Even If the Sky Falls Down and Dept. of Speculation.

Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

There’ll be challenges for reading
Cups of tea steaming
And reviewing out in the snow blogosphere
There’ll be scary political stories
And nonfiction tales of the glories of
Many good books – just come comment here!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…



I’m committing to  this and to Eva, of A Striped Armchair, who will be the professor as I work towards a Minor in World Citizenship…    Be watching her blog for all the details!     She’ll be announcing a blog devoted to the challenge soon and her original post announcing it is  ==> here. <==

Hour 19 Mini-Challenge!

WORD / SENTENCE Challenge! 

The prize for this challenge is from the Read-A-Thon prize box…  and it will be TWO BOOKS!    other than that, I think Hannah is in charge.   YOU HAVE TWO HOURS.     and I think Dewey is randomly picking from the entries.   

Leave a comment OR blog yourself (you’re all doing both anyway, right?!)  for one or both (or neither?) of the following:

        A – strangest new vocabulary word found during entire read-a-thon

        B – most interesting /  annoying / favorite RUN ON sentence encountered.


Have fun!   Look alive PEOPLE!  

Whoops, I Did It Again

Well, I think I just bit off more than I intended to.  I signed up for another challenge.   What with Weekly Geeks, my In Their Own Shoes Challenge, keeping up with my favorite blogs (and finding more every day!) and actually spending time reading books just so I can review them here, I really think I might be in over my head.

But then again, I don’t want to get complacent, now DO I?

Besides, this one is ONLY asking for me to give a little more, only 1% more!   No, not quite.   It’s requesting we commit to reading 1% of the currently hot and debated 1001 Books List between May 1st and …    October?  or was it the end of the year?    

Yep, that’s what I did.  Signed up before I really knew what I was in for.

If you want to print the list, follow this link.    I did, I had to see it on paper.  On 20 pieces of paper.  I even printed it on green paper and had mad/crazy thoughts about transcribing the list into my tbr sug book!   I’m excited to see that I’ve read a few, heard of a few authors, etc.    Golly Ian McEwan is all over it.

If you want to be in the challenge, go here.

And, if you want to gently exhort me to “GET BACK TO YOUR BOOK(s) AND READ SOMETHING, SILLY!”   Well, that would be appreciated, too.

At first glance, I want to read these ten:

 1. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro (I have been wanting to try Ishiguro)

 2. Fury – Salman Rushdie (I have never read any Rushdie)

 3. American Pastoral – Philip Roth (I am compelled to read another Roth book.)

 4. Whatever – Michel Houellebecq (gotta love the title.   Maybe not)

 5. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh (isn’t this a movie?!)

 6. Get Shorty – Elmore Leonard (I can always cheat and see the movies?) 

 7. Like Life – Lorrie Moore (I need to include a female writers, I think)

 8. Nights at the Circus (ooo, I like Angela Carter!)

 9. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark (has been on the list for awhile, might as well get to it.)

10.  Anna Karenina – Tolstoy (one of my 2008 must, gotta, absolutely want to finish this!)

alternates:   Ormond, The Absentee, or Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth because I’ve never heard of her. 

If any of these are too long and thus intimidating, I’ll replace with a novella – there HAS to be a novella on this list somewhere!


PS – I spent a good ten minutes perusing Google Images to my search for ‘slap upside the head’ but didn’t find anything I wanted to bring back here.   Saw a few whale pics…

The Uncommon Reader

Review The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

A Novella

After reading a few delightful posts recommending this and seeing it on the list as a possibility for the Novella Challenge, I ordered this from the library.

At only 120 pages, and with above average size font, I was easily able to devour this in a few hours.

The story is how the Queen of England accidently discovers a traveling library van on the grounds of the palace and so she decides on a whim to check out a book.   This activity, her new hobby, snowballs and takes over her life as anyone who loves to read can appreciate.   Once engrossed in a book, she finds every interruption, every duty,  any time not spent reading to be quite annoying!

Her staff becomes concerned and attempts to thwart her new ‘preoccupation.’  Her family is actually glad because they find she no longer pays much nitpicky attention to them.   And eventually, alas, she realizes that she is a ‘doer’ and reading is not doing.    I won’t spoil the ending…

I enjoyed the premise, the lightness, the absurdity.     I chuckled frequently and sympathised (sympathy may not be the right word…   anyone?, anyone?)  with the position of the Queen and how she is supposed to act.

However, I am not familiar  enough of some things the author referred to, I don’t have any understanding of French words (my biggest issue with ‘heavy’ literature), and I don’t get many terms I assume are everyday stuff of British culture.   So, I stumbled a lot and often skipped over these or became disillusioned with my own world knowledge.

Otherwise, despite or because of my lowbrow and American perspective, it was a cute story.



Trish at Hey Lady! has a challenge starting soon (or in my case, already begun) that inspires us to read novellas.   You can read her explanation and challenge description by clicking here.

A novella is defined as a piece of literature that is longer than a short story and not long enough to be considered a novel.

Uh huh.  THAT cleared it all up for you, didn’t it.    My favorite definition is here:   A short novel.  

Now, I am excited about this.    For one reason, short books are faster to get through and gets me closer to my goal of reading (and maybe exceeding) 33 books in 2008.   So, when I failed to remember the title of the book I told PlanetBooks I want to read and knowing that my library didn’t have it even if I did know author/title – I had looked it up earlier and it’s not even available to request – I embarked on a different tactic.

I wandered up and down the fiction section LOOKING FOR SHORT BOOKS.   And checking number of pages.   It was REALLY fun to book-search in this manner!   Who’d a-thunk it!?  I now present to you the books I came home with, in no particular order:

Everyman by Philip Roth (182 pages and my first Roth book, I think…)

I Sent A Letter To My Love by Bernice Rubens (197 pages)

House of Meetings by Martin Amis  (242 pages)

Garden State by Rick Moody (212 pages)

Battle of Cowpens by Kenneth Roberts (104 pages)

Yep, found quite a few in the “R” section.   Truth be told, I ordered the Amis book online.   I had narrowed a search to ‘novella’ and this was the ONLY title to present that was in stock at my library…  

A few fun excerpts from the back of House of Meetings says that it is ‘… more than a love story’ and ‘an impressively full and frightening look into Stalin’s slave labour camps…’   Gulp.   What am I getting myself into?!   Maybe some Russia-reading with get me back to Anna Karenina.

I pulled the Roth book because of the power of his name.    I selected the Rubens book because the inside cover remarks start off eerily similar to the new movie out with Christine Ricci and her pig nose (Penelope?)   Garden State might be the source for the movie of same title but I’m not sure.   And the Cowpens is historical fiction.    I like historical fiction.

I just finished the Roth book and think I will jump into the Roberts one right now!  due to page count…    

Another Challenge – Who Will Join Me?

Trish has challenged all to read NOVELLAS!    you can find her own PR about it here which will direct you to the actual challenge…

Since the last book I read was under 250 pages, can I count it!??!

                 Wind, Sand & Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I don’t yet know which books I will commit to and I am thrilled to know that I’ve read quite a few from her suggested list (but that could only be a clue that I like to read short books!??!?!   nah, couldn’t be)

I think, but may be mistaken on only a couple, that I’ve read these:

I loved Mrs. Dalloway!!!   and Shopgirl.   Both of these I’ve read fairly recently.   House on Mango Street is good, too.       

These I think I might WANT to read…

            The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1962) Muriel Spark

AND!   Trish?  I want to offer to create a possible graphic for it but I’m not sure I can find the time this week.   Vacation starts next week and I will be taking a big blogging break – but hope to do some excellent reading, of course.   POOLSIDE!

Now Reading…

Happy February First!    

I just walked my 3 miles and finished up My War:  Killing Time in Iraq (woo hoo!  I’ve read 6 books so far this year!)   I am half way with the review and wanted to see what Karen at PlanetBooks has in mind for our Jan/Feb challenge and how we ‘chat it up’!   (I will say that I give it 3 – 4 stars… )

So next I will be reading Tom Robbins’ Villa Incognito.              vitr.jpg    I was at the library and remembered (since I failed to bring along my tbr/address book <– see the post on that I wrote way back…)  that Tom Robbins was a recommended author from some blog or t’other.     The library only had this one and Still Life with Woodpecker.     The blog suggested Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas, but alas, not on shelf.    Flipping open the Villa Incognito book, I saw that Tom Robbins wrote Even Cowgirls Get the Blues.   [in 1993, they made a movie… ]   AHA!  I’ve heard of that!    OK.   I’m just out of it, not knowing this author…

I now wish I had brought home Still Life with Woodpecker.   slww.jpgSomewhere in my blog reading, I saw a comment that Robbins’ latest book is not his best.   It wasn’t mentioned which book it was!  but I think it might be Villa Incognito.   Darn.    The reason I didn’t check out the Woodpecker one was because it looked like someone spilled a coke on it.  ew yuck!

Even though I prefer not to read reviews of a book I’m just starting – don’t want any fresh influences, I googled the following question:

Which Robbins’ book is best?

and the result lists Still Life with Woodpecker first.   It doesn’t even rank Villa Incognito.

Of course, I’ll start it anyway.   and, of course, I’ll let you know!

More in the BIO Category

I did something foolish yesterday.   Maybe foolish isn’t quite the correct word – you tell me.

As I’m attempting to slog through akt.jpgAnna Karenina (I’m enjoying it, really!  but I keep finding distractions, ie blogging? to keep me for sitting down and reading!) and I’m also committed to reading mwktii1.jpg Killing Time in Iraq by Colby Buzzell for the January PlanetBooks Challenge, AND, I want to finalize my bio/autobio/memoir list for the other Challenge I discussed in my post prior to this one.   Oh yea, AND…   I have signed up for dangerous1.jpgthe Year of Reading Dangerously and THAT challenge has us reading Great Expectations by Dickens.

Overambitious?   this is NOT a word I usually assign to me!  Just NOT THINKING.

So, what is it that I did yesterday?!?!

I stopped by the library.

To check out Great Expectations.   ged.jpg

And I came home with something else.    NOT Great Expectations.   They had every other Dickens book but not this one.  Go figure.

Nope, I checked out a BIO of P.G.Wodehouse and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking.