Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Sunday Coffee: Classics Club Update and March Meme

Catching Up with the Classics Club

It's been a while since I've updated my classics club list, and since I've finally finished the modern classic Invisible Man, I thought it was time for a post.

The Classics Club is a community of classics lovers, and whatever other interests my reading life includes, the classics are always there to comfort and sustain me. Even though I may dally with the delights of YA fiction or the latest hot title, opening a classic gives me a different kind of pleasure.

The Classics Club Meme: Question #20
Since March is nearly over, I'd better answer the Classics Club Meme question for March:
What is your favorite classic literary period and why?
If I had to pick just one literary period it would be the Victorian era. The age of the triple-decker, three-volume novel, the age of George Eliot and Charles Dickens, the Brontes and Anthony Trollope. The reason I love this era is that the large, panoramic canvas of a novel like Middlemarch (favorite book) or Our Mutual Friend (second favorite book) just pleases me. And, over time, I've read so many Victorian novels that I've absorbed quite a bit of knowledge about the period (go ahead, ask my about primogeniture, curates, and the idea of the gentleman).

A close second for me is 20th century literature: Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston,Toni Morrison, Vladimir Nabokov, among others.

Now for that update: I finally finished reading Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. It only took me five months. Seriously.

Invisble Man is a dense, episodic novel. There were times when I would sit down to read Invisible Man for a couple of hours and just get completely absorbed. Then life would get in the way, and I would end up just reading a few pages or even paragraphs at bedtime. All this time I was reading other books, but because Invisble Man isn't really plot-driven, that didn't seem to interfere with me picking up just where I left off, over and over again. I had one copy at home, and one at school, and sometimes I read while I ate lunch. This is kind of what happened with me with Our Mutual Friend.

At this point I'm really glad The Classics Club exists, because it keeps me thinking about my list. Here are the books I've completed so far:
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
The Crossing Cormac McCarthy
Cities of the Plain Cormac McCarthy
Go Tell It On the Mountain James Baldwin
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
The Ladies' Paradise Emile Zola
The Known World Edward P. Jones
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison

I'm still thinking about what classic I will read next. One book that is on my list that I'm thinking of is Joseph and His Brothers by Thomas Mann. Joseph and His Brothers is a book that was recommended to Ralph Ellison by Langston Hughes. Ellison often mentioned Mann's novel as one that he admired. The only thing that's scaring me is that Joseph and His Brothers is 1,492 pages!

Well, dear readers, do you have a favorite classic literary period? Or how about a favorite classic book? Check out my list and see if you've read any of the classic books I've read or am meaning to read. Maybe you can give me an inspired recommendation for my next classic....


Andi said...

The Classics Club has greatly increased the amount of classics I read, but now I've got off the list and gone classics crazy! Need to reel myself back in so I can make more headway. lol Oops! #readerproblems

bibliophiliac said...

@Andi-I know what you mean! I will probably end up adding books to my original list. For instance, after reading The Ladies' Paradise by Zola, I want to read Germinal (not on my list)!