Classics Club

50 Questions about reading the classics: Part 2

classicsclub3The Classics Club has posted a survey asking members 50 questions about their experience of reading classic works of literature. Here are my ramblings on the first 25 questions. 



  1. Which classic character reminds you of your best friend? Biddy in Great Expectations. Loyal, generous and honest. What more could you ask for?
  2. If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading? Or, would you avoid the augmented manuscript in favor of the original? Why? I would stick to the original – what’s to say that 500 more pages make it any better.
  3. Favorite children’s classic? I loved Enid Blyton’s Naughtiest Girl Series, maybe because I had a secret desire to break out of my shell.
  4. Who recommended your first classic? It was probably bought by my mum on the basis that’s what she loved as a child.
  5. Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.)  There are too many bloggers to mention here whose guidance I appreciate.
  6. Favorite memory with a classic? Reading
  7. Classic author you’ve read the most works by? I haven’t counted but it would probably be Wilkie Collins
  8. Classic author who has the most works on your club list? I’m surprised by this since it wasn’t my intention but it seems to be Charles Dickens
  9. Classic author you own the most books by? This would be C.P. Snow, an author who seems to have completely disappeared from our consciousness. I spent hours scouting the second hand shops in Hay on Wye to collect the entire Strangers and Brothers series (eleven novels written between 1940 and 1970) and then never got around to reading them. They’re in the house somewhere.
  10. Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included? I’ve overlooked Emile Zola it seems – only one of his titles made it on my list even though I’ve loved everything I read by him and there are many I have yet to explore.
  11. If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last — meaning you have never read this author and want to explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication — who would you explore? Zola’s Rougon-Macquet series. I know some other readers have said it isn’t necessary to read them in publication order but I’d like to see how the series developed.
  12. How many rereads are on your club list? Eight out of a list of 60 are titles I’ve read previously. I chose them again because I read them in too much of a hurry to fully appreciate ( they were required reading at university). Having now re-read Graham Greene’s Heart of the Matter and The Power and the Glory  I can see what I missed the first time around I’m looking forward to starting afresh with George Eliot’s Mill on the Floss and Adam Bede.
  13. Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish? Tale of Two Cities. I have tried the latter about three times now and always come to a halt at the same point.  I also gave up on Samuel Richardson’s Pamela – very slow and repetitive
  14. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Mice and Men was a surprise
  15. Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature? Reading five books from the list!
  16. Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year? Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It’s long overdue
  17. Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?  Probably The Good Soldier – by Ford Madox Ford. I’m going off the idea of reading it and may well take it off the list
  18. Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club? Being challenged by the monthly questions
  19. List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs? Fleur in her World; Heavenali; ;Nishita’s Rants and Raves; Roof Beam Reader;  The Book Musings
  20. Favorite post you’ve read by a fellow clubber? An explanation of Zola’s theory of naturalism that appeared in the Shiny New Books newsletter – read it here 
  21. If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, tell about the experience?  My first – and only experience – was reading Crime and Punishment. It started well but I found I enjoyed the book so much I couldn’t slow down to the pace of the readalong.
  22. If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why? Canterbury Tales – it might help me finish it
  23. How long have you been reading classic literature? It started in earnest about 40 years ago one summer when there was a heatwave in the UK and I spent all day in the garden. I took to going to the library and getting as many books as possible by authors with exotic sounding name.
  24. Share up to five posts you’ve written that tell a bit about your reading story. Reviews, journal entries, posts on novels you loved or didn’t love, lists, etc. My review of Little Dorrit; A Favourite Classic Poem; My Favourite Literary Era; Love and Hate in the Classics; The Influence of Classic Novels
  25. Question you wish was on this questionnaire? (Ask and answer it!) What book from the twenty-first century will be a classic for the future? And my answer – I have absolutely no idea because I’m still trying to understand what makes some books ‘a classic’ that gets read and re-read for centuries and others (like the C. P Snow titles mentioned earlier, just drop off the cliff).


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

2 thoughts on “50 Questions about reading the classics: Part 2

  • I am quite tempted to join the Classics Club, starting my challenge in the new year. I have so many classics on my TBR that I keep putting off reading and there are plenty more I read when I was pretty young and would like to re-read. Your answers to this survey have whetted my appetite!

    • It is a good way of pushing me to read books that otherwise wouldn’t get a look in because I think they’ve been round afore a hundred years or so and this can wait a few more. Which means I Never get around to them. Hope you decide to join us


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