Weekly Geeks 2009-03: Classics

deweys-weekly-geeks27This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment starts with a definition. For purpose of this post, a classic is a book written 100+ years ago that is still in print.

1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don’t get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

OK, let’s see. I quite enjoy classic literature. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, though; I don’t read solely classics, but I do enjoy a good classic every once in a while. Classics I’ve truly loved:
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton
Sherlock Holmes (so many!)
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
• Shakespeare (where to start?)
• Edgar Allen Poe’s work (Cask of Amontillado, for starters)

Where to start? Well, many people have seen a movie based on Pygmalion (My Fair Lady), which should make that accessible. Both Pimpernel and Man Who was Thursday are short, pretty swift reads — and very accessible, as well.

3) Let’s say you’re vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don’t find her a book, she’ll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her?

I would probably start by asking/recalling what she likes about certain classics. This would help me steer her in the right direction. A few possibilities, though:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
The Truest Pleasure by Robert Morgan
• Patrick O’Brian’s Aubrey and Maturin series
Or what about Night by Elie Wiesel?

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15 responses to “Weekly Geeks 2009-03: Classics

  1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is on my tbr list. I’m off to check out the otehrs you mention.

    My list is here: http://lyndasbookblog.blogspot.com/2009/01/weekly-geeks-24109.html

  2. I love GK! Have you read more of him?

  3. I enjoy the classics, too, but I have to be in the right mood for them.

  4. Demitrii, yes, I have read more of Chesterton than the above. I read all the Father Brown stories I could get my hands on about a decade ago, and just in the last few weeks The Complete Father Brown Stories has arrived at my home; my husband are looking forward to reading them together.

  5. I’ve never read Chesterton, but always have wanted to do so. Now I might have to check them out. Thanks for reminding me of them.

    As for The Scarlet Pimpernel, I just re-read that last year and loved it, and Edgar Allan Poe is one of my all-time favorites, especially The Cask of Amontillado.

  6. Pingback: Weekly Geeks 2009-03: Focus on the classics « An unfinished person (in this unfinished universe)

  7. Now, I’ve never read any Father Brown, but that is something I could look for. I’ve got the Potato peel book on my list to read but it hardly qualifies as a classic does it? I have read a bit of Poe and they do qualify as classics and would be of interest to me with my crime fiction “bent”. Thanks for the suggestions.

  8. • The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
    • The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton

    Both of these are on my reading wishlist. Happy WG.

    My post is here.

  9. I completely forgot that The Scarlet Pimpernel series would be a classic. I loved that

  10. I’ve never heard of CK Chesterton, I’m putting that on my list of books to to check out. Thanks for your answers!

  11. War and Peace has been on my TBR for sometime but haven’t gotten around to reading it. 🙂

  12. You know, I really should read the Scarlett Pimpernell. Oh, and I love Poe, too, though it’s been a while since I’ve read any of his stories.

  13. I’ve never read the Scarlett Pimpernell, but I somehow managed to see it about 3 or 4 times in high school for various classes, and I always enjoyed it! Perhaps it’s time I read the book.

  14. I really enjoy Poe, I love that his poetry read like stories.

  15. Yep, me too, Joanne!

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