In May we revisited the very first meme question 'What is your favourite classic book? Why?' and for June we have been invited to mingle and highlight another Classics Clubber on our blog.
|Reading – Auguste Renoir (1890-1895)|
In the interest of efficiency and economy I will combine both memes in the one post.
Mostly, though, it's because my favourite classic has not changed since I first answered this meme in 2012 - Persuasion is my all-time favourite classic, and probably always will be. However several new-to-me classics have been added to my favourites list, since 2012, thanks to the Classics Club.
A pure delight was discovering Their Eyes Were Watching God thanks to a CC sync reading experience in 2013. I haven't had a chance to reread it yet, but I really, really want to and I still find myself thinking about Janie on a regular basis.
There is a readalong of Testament of Youth currently underway out there in blogger-land which I was very tempted to join in simply to experience, once again, the bittersweet pleasure of this classic memoir about WWI.
A surprise addition to my favourites list was Jane Austen's Mansfield Park. Once considered by me as my least liked Austen, it has now catapulted it's way into my top 4.
I was first alerted to Wallace Stegner thanks to a TV book show here in Australia that read and raved about Crossing to Safety. Although not really a classic since it was only published in 1987, it does, however, fit into my idea of a modern day classic. Four years later I read Angle of Repose with doubts and many reservations thanks to the controversy surrounding the provenance of the story. But you cannot deny an amazing story about an amazing woman. Mary Foote/Susan Ward has stayed with me all this time and I now believe this is a book that is worthy of a reread.
Beauty is a Sleeping Cat hosted an Angela Carter's reading week four years ago. I read through the short stories in The Bloody Chamber. I became a little (okay a LOT) obsessed and I'm curious to see if her stories will have the same affect on me with a reread.
Thanks to Fanda and her annual Zoladdiction Month in April I discovered the joys of Emile Zola. I've now read four books out of his Rougon-Macquart series. The rest are on my TBR pile (I hope that Fanda plans to host her Zoladdiction for another 17 yrs!)
Adam @Roof Beam Reader informed me many years ago that Wilkie Collins wrote many more books than just his famous ones The Woman in White & The Moonstone. I've been slowly working my way through his back list ever since. What an amazing writer of the human condition.
Thanks to various CCspin books and readalongs I have also 'discovered' Willa Cather, Elizabeth Gaskell, Victor Hugo and just this week, Angela Thirkell.
I cannot imagine a time when Persuasion or Jane Austen will ever be toppled from its top perch in my heart but I'm happy to spend the rest of my reading life looking for contenders.
Now on to the June question.
Books By the Cup is a recent discovery of mine and I'm still making my way through her older reviews with great delight. You can find her Classics Club list here. But it's her Instagram page that I adore - she obviously has a beautiful set of classic books that go together nicely with her tea set!
My favourite post to date is The Age of Innocence where she discusses what Newland might have learnt if he had actually read his copy of Middlemarch.
If that wasn't enough to impress, then her love of Austen that shone through in her Sense & Sensibility review was the clincher!
Overnight our Classics Club world has changed.
After six years, our wonderful, long-standing moderators have decided to hang up their collective hats. A call has now gone out for new moderators to continue to run the club. If you think you have something to offer the classics community then please consider applying for a role.
I'm sure we will always read the classics with or without a club, but as this post has highlighted, the classics club has the ability to bring together readers, bloggers and classic authors in a way that may not happen otherwise.
Personally, I have discovered so many new-to-me classics thanks to the club. I would hate to lose this wonderful resource and the sense of community that surrounds it.
A huge thank you to Adam, Melissa, Sarah and Allie for holding the fort for so long in and around their own major life changes and bravo to Jillian and Heather for starting the classics club ball rolling.
Although I have been blogging for nine years, I really only got serious about it, seven years ago. Discovering the Classics Club not long after that made a huge difference in the way I understood blogging. Finding a community that I felt comfortable hanging with changed my attitude to what I was doing and encouraged me to keep on trying.
Viva la Classics Club!