Saturday, January 31, 2015

A Reading Challenge: The Classics

If you know me, you know that I love to read. The books I am typically drawn to are mysteries (have you read Louise Penny? She is my all-time favorite), middle grade fantasy (Harry Potter, anyone?), the occasional sci-fi (Ender's Game blew my mind) and young adult novels (Rainbow Rowell is my current favorite). With that said, there are a few times a year when I think it would be nice to read something with a little more substance, something to spend some time in and come away stretched in my way of thinking.

That is why I am excited about the reading challenge happening over at the Hollywood Housewife. Laura Tremaine, the lovely author of the blog, has instituted a year long list of classics that she, along with any other interested followers, will read and then discuss on her blog. First up is one I have actually read, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I am excited to read it again and am already a few chapters in.

 "Pride," observed Mary, who piqued herself upon the solidity of her reflections, "is a very common failing I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency  on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonimously*. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us." (Pride & Prejudice, p 14)

Already, I have noticed that when I read a classic I can't read it quickly. I mean, I could, but the novel lends itself to being read slowly and thoughtfully. I like that. My days can feel so frenetic at times (enter in one energetic 2-year-old and one 3-month-old), so it is nice to come to a novel that forces me - my mind, my body, even my breath - to slow down. Does anyone else feel that way when reading a classic?

If you are interested in joining me, head over to HH to see the list of books for the year. The first discussion (on Pride & Prejudice) is February 16. Most of the titles are free on Kindle or available at your local library (hint, hint).

Oh, and let me know if you will be joining the challenge! I love reading buddies.


*I know that this word is normally spelled "synonymously" but my copy of P&P spells it "synonimously" instead. I just didn't want you to go and start thinking that I can't spell.


stuhlsem said...

Hi, Elizabeth! It's so good to see you blogging again--I love to hear your thoughts about great books! I was thinking of you earlier this week, and I checked out Still Life!

elizabeth said...

Hi, Erin! I think about you often and miss our library days!