Sunday, 27 May 2012

HELLO The Classics Club

I've spotted another challenge on Katherine's blog -  November's Autumn, where I'm currently doing A Classics Challenge. This one - The Classics Club - is hosted by Jillian at A Room of One's Own. What you need to do is read a minimum of 50 classic books in 5 years. Additionally, you need to: read and write about the books on your blog (as little or as much as you want); include a completion date; list a prize you might want to award yourself at certain milestones -  if you want to.

Here's my list of 50 classics that include: 49 novels and 1 diary; 28 authors from 1300's (Divine Comedy) to 1961 (Catch-22).

  1* Louisa May Alcott                       Little Women (1868/9)
  2* Jane Austen                               Sense and Sensibility (1811)  
  3* Jane Austen                               Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  4* Jane Austen                               Mansfield Park (1814)
  5* Jane Austen                               Emma (1816)
  6* Jane Austen                               Northanger Abbey (1818)
  7* Jane Austen                               Persuasion (1818)
  8* Anne Bronte                              Agnes Grey (1847)
  9* Anne Bronte                              The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848)
10* Charlotte Bronte                        Villette (1853)
11* Charlotte Bronte                        Shirley (1849)
12* Emily Bronte                             Wuthering Heights (1847)
13* John Bunyan                              Pilgrim's Progress (1675)
14* Wilkie Collins                            Moonstone (1868)
15* Dante                                        The Divine Comedy (1308-1321) read - 2013
16* Charles Dickens                        Great Expectations (1861)
17* George Eliot                              The Mill on the Floss (1860)
18* E.M.Forster                              A Room with a View (1908)
19* Elizabeth Gaskell                       Cranford (1851-1853)
20* William Golding                         Lord of the Flies (1954) read - 2013
21* Thomas Hardy                          Tess of the d'Urbervilles (1891)
22* Joseph Heller                            Catch-22 (1961)
23* Aldous Huxley                           Brave New World (1932)
24* D.H.Lawrence                           Sons and Lovers (1913)
25* Harper Lee                                To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
26* C.S.Lewis                                 The Magician's Nephew (1955)
27* C.S.Lewis                                 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
28* C.S.Lewis                                 The Horse and the Boy (1954)
29* C.S.Lewis                                 Prince Caspian (1951)
30* C.S.Lewis                                 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
31* C.S.Lewis                                 The Silver Chair (1953)
32* C.S.Lewis                                 The Last Battle (1956)
33* Gustav Meyrink                         The Golem (1914) read - 2013
34* Gustav Meyrink                         The Green Face (1916)
35* Gustav Meyrink                         The Angel of the West Window (1927)
36* George Orwell                           Animal Farm (1945) read - 2013
37* George Orwell                           Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)
38* Samuel Pepys                           The Diary of Samuel Pepys (1660-1670)
39* J.D.Salinger                               The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
40* Mary Shelley                             Frankenstein (or The Modern Prometheus) (1818) read - 2013
41* Robert Louis Stevenson             Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) read - 2013
42* J.R.R.Tolkien                             The Hobbit (1937) read -2012
43* H.G.Wells                                 The Time Machine (1895) read - 2012
44* H.G.Wells                                 The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
45* H.G.Wells                                 The Invisible Man (1897)
46* H.G.Wells                                 The War of the Worlds (1898)
47* H.G.Wells                                 The First Men in the Moon (1901)
48* H.G.Wells                                 When the Sleeper Wakes (1910)
49* H.G.Wells                                 The Shape of Things to Come (1933)
50* Oscar Wilde                              The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) read- 2013

I should average ten classics a year (more or less).


Some of these books are rereads whilst others are ones I've always wanted to read, but never got round to. One of these is The Diary of Samuel Pepys. I love history and I'm hoping this will be extremely insightful.


I'm not sure how I'll be reading these books. Do I read in chronological order? Do I read the full set by the same author? Or just pick at random?


Before I forget. I plan to complete all this by 27th May 2017, on my 45th birthday! I'll have to treat myself to another bookcase.


                                        TESS OF THE D'URBERVILLES

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


Last month I posted about editing/revising of my WIP - The Wind Knows My Name. Well, because I'd gone straight from first draft to editing, I decided I would leave it to steep awhile and let the flavour develop.


I'm now working on the first draft of last years NaNo - The Junk Room. It's been in a cupboard six months.


I read through it and surprised myself - in a good way - at what I'd written. 'Oh, yeah. That's what happens,' I was thinking, as if I'd never read it before. Had I really forgotten parts of the story? I'm not sure it's the right decision, but I'm in the process of changing it from third to first person. It's YA fiction and on reflection, Sam (Samantha) - MC - sounds better in this POV.

That's where I'm at. To be continued...

Other News? A win and a link.

Well, my name was picked out of a hat by Caroline Smailes, who was giving away e-copies of Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White, published by HarperCollins (digital imprint). HarperCollins is behind the online writing community - authonomy - where Mary and her book was spotted. Though I joined this site a couple of years ago, I didn't  upload any work as I hadn't written anything over the required minimum word count (10,000 words). The plan, at the time, was to do NaNo and upload it. 

                                                                            FULL CIRCLE                                                      

The hope is that the like-minded community will read my work and review it, and vice versa. Isn't that what writers require in exchange? Opinions? I'm in two minds about sharing my work on there, which is a bit daft when I've put my short stories on my blog for all to see. I guess it's because this is a novel (my first), and they tend to be precious, don't they?

What are your views on authonomy and similar sites? Have you joined any? If not, would you consider this an option?

Saturday, 19 May 2012

HELLO A Classics Challenge

Literary Movement is the prompt for May - A Classics Challenge.

The book I am reading this month is ...

Back cover blurb:
' of the great romantic heroines of world literature.'

Jane Eyre was written in 1847 in the period that encompasses the literary movement of Romanticism, 1800-1860.  This quote (wiki) neatly sums up the book.

           ''In literature, Romanticism found recurrent themes in the evocation 
            or criticism of the past, the cult of 'sensibility' with its emphasis  
            on women and children, the heroic isolation of the artist or narrator, 
            and respect for a new, wilder, untrammelled and 'pure' nature.'' 

Jane Eyre is the protagonist and narrator of the story, which is written in the first person. We are taken on a highly emotional journey from childhood to adulthood, where Jane is confronted with many of the themes of Romanticism exploring: isolation, social criticism, sense of morality, sexuality, feminism, love and religion.

Despite her youth and troubled background there is a strong woman with a sense of individuality and determination. Jane knows her own mind and rises to the challenges put her way to eventually find  love.

This is a reread (number ?). I love this book. What of the other Romanticists? There are many that I would read including: Charlotte's sister Emily Bronte who wrote Wuthering Heights - published the same year, and Jane Austin.

I'll leave you with this picture featuring my favourite Jane and Edward from the 2006 BBC dramatisation.

Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson