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Unread Feb 22nd, 2012, 03:22 PM   #1
Kasei
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Reading the Classics--suggestions?

Hey all! So I recently decided that in my daily 30 minutes of downtime I might try to squeeze in some reading. I've always wanted to read the "classics" but the last few that I picked up I could not get into at all (Slaughterhouse 5 and One Hundred Years of Solitude...the titles sounded way cooler than the actual text) so to avoid spending another 100 pages wasting my time before I finally put the thing down, I was hoping you guys could recommend me some classic literature that you found particularly enjoyable.

Currently working through As I Lay Dying and The Tale of Genji. Looking at Don Quixote next...excited!
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 08:23 AM   #2
Koudoawaia
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I really like Black Beauty, White Fang, Call of the Wild and The Jungle Books because of how much they're about animals.

Edit: Phantom of the Opera was actually a good one too.
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 09:24 AM   #3
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Black Beauty is a BEAUTIFUL story. One of my favs since I was little. ^^ Another good couple of animal books to read are Watership Down and The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams.
Also, 1984 by George Orwell. It was both great and terrifying. >w> I'd recommend it.

Any of the Sherlock Holmes stories are definitely worth a read too!

((edit: lol I spelled "plaque" instead of "plague"))
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 01:36 PM   #4
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*The Grapes of Wrath* by John Steinbeck
*In Cold Blood* by Truman Capote

(I didn't read these in school and loved them because I'm a loser... nooo..)
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 02:44 PM   #5
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I've found that the Kindle app has helped me rediscover the classics. I read on my phone and on my tablet a lot. I've read Black Beauty, Incidents in the life of a slave girl (written by herself) and I'm part way through Little Women (18%) as well as reading Game of Thrones (but that's not a classic and holy incest on every page batman!)

Best thing about the Kindle classics is that they are free. I can't afford to spend a lot on books at the moment and sometimes I have to make the choice between carrying a book or my knitting and my knitting/crochet/craft often wins. My phone is always with me anyway so that's an easy method for me to carry round. Plus I can read while I knit, just taking my hand off every now and then to turn the page. Please kindle include voice activated turning in your next update- I'd love you forever. Amazon also has the books listed under free classics so it's easy to browse. I used to read for 30 mins a day before bed but got out of that habit this last 6 months. Need to start again!
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Tiny bit off topic, but I really have to admire you guys who can read for only 30 minutes and are actually able to put the book down. Books tend to suck the life out of me until I've finished the whole thing, so I can't sit down with a book unless I have a couple of days to spare. >w> It's problematic.
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Unread Feb 23rd, 2012, 03:15 PM   #7
Kasei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiKitty
Tiny bit off topic, but I really have to admire you guys who can read for only 30 minutes and are actually able to put the book down. Books tend to suck the life out of me until I've finished the whole thing, so I can't sit down with a book unless I have a couple of days to spare. >w> It's problematic.

Ah, don't let me fool you--that 30 minutes of spare time I have often stretches to hours. >< I often end up staying awake hours past my bedtime and I've paid for it many a time, elementary art students wait for no one. I often have to force myself to put it down and go to bed....this is partly why I'm trying to read the classics, they tend to be a bit slower and take more time to digest in the brain, thus I can stop reading easier.
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Unread Feb 24th, 2012, 10:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiKitty
Tiny bit off topic, but I really have to admire you guys who can read for only 30 minutes and are actually able to put the book down. Books tend to suck the life out of me until I've finished the whole thing, so I can't sit down with a book unless I have a couple of days to spare. >w> It's problematic.

lol I meant to say at least 30 mins. As in I would go to bed 30 mins before I really needed too. Some nights with more "boring" books (I read through all the Terry Prachett Discworlds about a year ago. All 38 of them) 30 minuteness was all I could stand- I'm looking at you Tiffany Aching books! But on some I got lost a lot more. The structure of 30 mins at least meant I was reading something at least once a day, that I would eventually get through the books that bugged me and I used to take books with me to Uni because the habit became engraved. Now I don't go to university any more I've lost a lot of valuable knitting time.
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Unread Feb 24th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #9
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How were the Terry Prachetts? I guess pretty good if you muscled through 38 of them, geesh! I've thought about reading them in the past but never done any serious research on which ones to start with or what they're even about (not that I really want to know, I kind of like going into a book/series blind).

Also White Fang is a great suggestion, I need to add that to my list--It's one that I've had sitting on my shelf ever since I can remember and I still haven't touched it. I think I started to read it in middle school but got distracted by the Black Stallion series. Speaking of (For any fans out there) did you know that it's still going on?? I just found that out today at our school book fair--apparently the author's son has continued writing stories about The Black and Alec...too me that almost seems wrong somehow, and yet I am strangely curious.

Plague Dogs!! I always forget that one too, need to read it. Seems like every time I turn around someone on my watch list is drawing fan art from it. Keep hearing about 1984 and In Cold Blood too, guess I should grab those one as well.

Wasa-yessss Kindle holy wow. I never thought I would like it, but my friend surprised me with one a few weeks ago and man has it made me excited about reading classics. I downloaded SO MANY for free, I have like 50 novels I've always heard of/wanted to read laying next to my bed in a thin little piece of plastic. Awesome.
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Unread Feb 24th, 2012, 07:57 PM   #10
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Wow I had no idea that The Black Stallion series was still going. I wonder if they're any good.
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Unread Feb 25th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kasei
How were the Terry Prachetts? I guess pretty good if you muscled through 38 of them, geesh! I've thought about reading them in the past but never done any serious research on which ones to start with or what they're even about (not that I really want to know, I kind of like going into a book/series blind).

Wasa-yessss Kindle holy wow. I never thought I would like it, but my friend surprised me with one a few weeks ago and man has it made me excited about reading classics. I downloaded SO MANY for free, I have like 50 novels I've always heard of/wanted to read laying next to my bed in a thin little piece of plastic. Awesome.

Here is a good idea if you want to read a particular story arc, like the watch ones (which is Ankh Morporke's police force) which are my favourite. I read through them in numerical order which I enjoyed because if I was bored with a particular group then the next book wouldn't be about them. For example, Rincewind is a character that grates on me after a while. Book 1 and 2 are all Rincewind so by the time I got to book 3 it was a deserved rest for me!
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Unread Feb 27th, 2012, 09:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamiKitty
Tiny bit off topic, but I really have to admire you guys who can read for only 30 minutes and are actually able to put the book down. Books tend to suck the life out of me until I've finished the whole thing, so I can't sit down with a book unless I have a couple of days to spare. >w> It's problematic.
This is why I never read anymore. :( I always liked reading in big several-hour blocks.

Anyway, I am particularly fond of anything by Mark Twain because his works are fairly clever. On the surface they're just interesting stories, but he weaves social commentary throughout. I enjoy Shakespeare for the same reason, although I tend to prefer his tragedies over his comedies. The comedies tend to be more lowbrow humor while the tragedies tend to be more witty and involve more complex commentary and humor.
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Unread Apr 1st, 2012, 05:47 AM   #13
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I agree with Dyani on In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It's a poignant, interesting book that was largely based on true events.

Another one I would recommend is Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It's one I'm currently working on in my A-Levels, but it's a good one. The language is a little hard to understand, but if you get a copy with notes in it then you should be fine.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame was another one I enjoyed. I bought it in a charity shop and read it in about a week or two. It's been about two years since I last read it, but I remember it well. It's a tad slow in places, particularly in two chapters where it describes the settings, but don't let that put you off! I'm thinking of reading it again soon, in fact...
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Unread Apr 1st, 2012, 08:15 AM   #14
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Some more recommendations:

Bambi: A Life in the Woods
The 101 Dalmatians
The Once and Future King: This seems to be what Disney's The Sword in the Stone was based on since young Arthur is called Wart, there's a Sir Ector and a Kay as well as Merlin having a talking owl. It had a bit of what I thought was useless drivel at first but it didn't last too long and I'm starting to enjoy it now.
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Unread Apr 1st, 2012, 06:37 PM   #15
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Alrighty, adding In Cold Blood to my list! Yaaaay books!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koudoawaia
Some more recommendations:

Bambi: A Life in the Woods
The 101 Dalmatians

Oh man I loved the Bambi book, it was so different than the Disney film. Did you know he wrote a sequel? It was much shorter and not nearly as good about Bambi's kids (pretty sure he wrote it after the original was popularized by the movie).

I have tried F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to find the 101 Dalmatians book and I can't. It makes me so sad. :(
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Unread Apr 2nd, 2012, 07:20 AM   #16
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Yeah I know there's a sequel. Even used to see it in one of the libraries I used to live but have never read it. Should've checked it out when I had the chance. That sucks you can't find The 101 Dalmatians. =/ Have you even tried ebay and Amazon for it? Hope you do find it one day. It has really nice black and white illustrations in it. Surprisingly enough, there's a sequel for The 101 Dalmatians also called The Starlight Barking.
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Unread Apr 3rd, 2012, 01:38 PM   #17
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101 Dalmatians is available for kindle for fairly cheap. They have the app for computers and phones/tablet devices as well so even if you don't have a kindle you can read it fairly easily. I'm just finishing Hunger Games series on my phone at the moment. Great for any kind of downtime.
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