The Classics Club

Recently, thanks to bit of buzz in my corner of the blogosphere, I ran across The Classics Club. It's pretty much what it sounds like. A group of people reading (and blogging about) classic books. To join, you must list a minimum of fifty books that you plan to read within a maximum of five years.

The idea appeals to me for several reasons, so I made my list and I'm joining up! A reading challenge sounds like a great way to start the school year, and I've got quite a few classic, un-read paperbacks lying about my room, as well as a large number of classics that I need to knock off of my TBR.

I've decided to read fifty books in two years. (My finishing date will be 8/15/15) Since I typically read 120-150 books each year, I think my goal will be suitably challenging but doable. I'll be returning to this post to mark and link the books I've read. Want to join me? Visit The Classics Club website.

Classics Club List

01.   The Arabian Nights by Anonymous
02.   Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
03.   Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
04.   Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
05.   A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain
06.   The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
07.   The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
08.   David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
09.   Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
10.   Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
11.   The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
12.   Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
13.   In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
14.   Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
15.   Kim by Rudyard Kipling
16.   The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
17.   Lord of the Flies by William Golding
18.   The Man Who Would Be King by Rudyard Kipling
19.   The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
20.   Middlemarch by George Eliot
21.   Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
22.   The Once and Future King by T.H. White
23.   The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
24.   The Professor's House by Willa Cather
25.   The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
26.   The Sea Wolf by Jack London
27.   Silas Marner by George Eliot
28.   Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
29.   Sons by Pearl S. Buck
30.   The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
31.   The Story of King Arthur and His Knights by Howard Pyle
32.   The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde  by Robert Louis Stevenson
33.   A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
34.   Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
35.   Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
36.   Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
37.   The Virginian by Owen Wister
38.   Walden by Henry David Thoreau
39.   Watership Down by Richard Adams
40.   The Winter of Our Discontent by John Steinbeck
41.   Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
42.   1984 by George Orwell

Plays and Shorter Stories
43.   The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
44.   The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
45.   A Midsummer's Night Dream by William Shakespeare
46.   Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 
47.   The Tempest by William Shakespeare. 

48.   Jane Eyre
49.   Little Women
50.   A Tree Grows in Brooklyn     

Julia Child

      Today is Julia Child's 101st birthday. Perfect timing, because I've just finished reading her memoir, My Life in France. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

     The thing that strikes me about Julia is her warmth, bigheartedness, and good humor. Her memoir was so sunny, and she was such a joyous and passionate person. At the same time, she was frank and straightforward. In her memoir, she never glazed over her trials or disappointments. She wrote about them in the same way that she wrote about her successes: simply and honestly.

     My Life in France was also a story about her husband, which I liked. She devoted almost as many words to describing his work life and his passions as her own. He loved photography, so his photographs were scattered throughout her memoir. I enjoyed that. Paul and Julia Child were obviously in love, and they never appeared to fall out of it.

     She spent a fair amount of time describing the political events of the time periods she lived in, and depicting the general climate and attitudes. The Childs moved to Germany in the 50s, and she wrote about the way it felt to enter the country that had caused worldwide devastation just a decade earlier. Her husband worked for the military, so she wrote about McCarthy's red scare and the way her husbands, friends and colleagues were indiscriminately accused and investigated for Communist sympathies.

     I've always liked Julia Child, simply because she said things like "Every woman should have a blowtorch," and "A party without cake is just a meeting." Her memoir was everything I hoped it would be. After reading it, it is easy to see why she is such an iconic personality. Happy Birthday, Julia Child!

"Find something you are passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it." -Julia Child


Reading the ABCs

     Today Cait is hosting the linkup at our group blog, The Book Chewers. Like most slightly nerdy and bookish people, I enjoy making lists. And I enjoy alphabetizing things. So without further ado, the linkup button and prompt.

Prompt: Have you read a book starting with every. single. letter from the alphabet?! Make a list of books you've read, from A to Z! (Bonus points to those who've read those tricky letters, like X and Z.) Also, you can bypass "the" or "a" in titles, if you need to.

A- Agatha Christie and the Eleven Missing Days by Jared Cade
B- Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys
C- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
D- Davita's Harp by Chaim Potok
E- Emily of New Moon by L.M. Montgomery
F- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
G- The Giver by Lois Lowry
H- Heist Society by Ally Carter
I- Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
J- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
K- Keeping Corner by Kashmira Sheth
L- Letters from the Earth by Mark Twain
M- Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
N- N or M? by Agatha Christie
O- Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt
P- Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie
Q- The Quest for Anastasia by John Klier
R- Reckless by Cornelia Funke
S- Sunrise Over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers
T- Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
U- Up A Road Slowly by Irene Hunt
V- Villette by Charlotte Bronte
W- Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick
X- ???
Y- Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
Z- Zoo Vet by David Taylor

     How about you? Think you've read your whole way through the alphabet? Have you read any of these books? If you'd like to make your own list, linkup HERE


Sunset on the farm.

Just some photos I took on my grandma's farm while the sun was setting. I rather like them.