Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Classics Club January Meme & Progress Report

This January prompt of Classics Club meme could as well serve as my first check-in of this year for Classics Club progress. The question is:

What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why? (Or, if you prefer, what is your least favorite read so far for the club, and why?)

That’s very easy :) because I have just posted my Top 5 Most Favorite (Classics) Books of 2012 for my Book Kaleidoscope yearly meme. As Classics Club was started in 2012, the best book of 2012 serves automatically as the best book I’ve read so far for the club, and that is….

Germinal by Emile Zola

Need I to say (again) that I love Zola? And he had crafted his story very beautifully in Germinal. I can say that it was a perfect reading for me, with every emotion that you can get from a book. You can read my review of Germinal, as well as a quote (ending quote) that I loved so much! I have also picked Etienne Lantier, the hero from this book as my most favorite Book Boy Friend of 2012.

As for my least favorite read so far for the club, I must say…

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

I know, many people might disagree my choice, but I really struggled to read it that I have to skip quite many pages at the end. It’s just too tedious for me (no, not the length of the story, but the story itself). You can read my thoughts in Gone With the Wind’s review.


My Classics Club Progress Report for 2012:

**Books read = 28**

- Novel = 23 (in chronological order)

L’Assommoir - Emile Zola - READ 2/4/12
The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald - READ 16/4/12
The Man in the Iron Mask - Alexandre Dumas - READ 7/5/12
Nobody's Boy - Hector Marlot - READ 15/5/12
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - READ 22/5/12
The Color Purple - Alice Walker - READ 31/5/12
Sketches by Boz - Charles Dickens - READ 18/6/12
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell - READ 25/6/12
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde - READ 29/6/12
The Old Curiosity Shop - Charles Dickens - READ 16/7/12
Twenty Years After - Alexandre Dumas - READ 31/7/12
The Palace of Dreams - Ismail Kadare - READ 10/8/12
Mahabharata (Mythology) - Anonymous - READ 20/8/12
Germinal - Emile Zola - READ 31/8/12
Lord of the Flies - William Golding - READ 03/9/12
Courrier du Sud (Southern Mail) - Antoinne de Saint-Exupery - READ 11/9/12
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe - READ 19/9/12
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson - READ 19/10/12
Beloved - Toni Morrison - READ 31/10/12
The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne - READ 6/11/12
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell - READ 8/11/12
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - READ 7/12/12
Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad - READ 21/12/12

- Play = 5 (in chronological order)

A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare - READ 23/4/12
The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde - READ 30/7/12
Julius Caesar – William Shakespeare - READ 13/11/12
Antony and Cleopatra – William Shakespeare - READ 3/12/12
The Merchant of Venice – William Shakespeare - READ 17/12/12

**Books unfinished = 1**

Notes From Underground – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

From the beginning of first chapter I instantly knew that this one would be difficult. I have tried to read slowly and patiently, but the farther I went, the farther I got lost. The logic is very good, Dostoyevsky played a lot with his words, and I was struggling to catch up with what the narrator was up to. I don’t mean to give up yet; I have made a lot of notes during that first reading, that I think one day I could go back to it and try for the second time. Hopefully I can do better next time…

**Events hosted = 1**

Sep – Oct: Gone With The Wind Read Along (with bzee)
- Signed up participants = 36
- Final review post entries = 12

(I don’t know what happened with the other 24, perhaps they just could not make it, or they cancelled the reading at all, but anyway….I think the event was quite successful—although my reading is not :)—we  have warm discussions about it also in twitter, and many of us could not have read the at all without this readalong). As this was my first experience ever in hosting events, it has been some kind of a milestone for me.

**Projects created = 1**

The Well-Educated Mind Self Project (begin on October)

- Books finished in 2012 = 2

**Reading Challenges/Events participated = 7

- Reading challenges = 3

Back to the Classics Challenge 2012 = completed – 9 books
A Classics Challenge 2012 = completed – 11 books | 12 prompts
Victorian Challenge 2012 = completed – 10 books

- Reading events = 4

May: The Color Purple Readalong (hosted by Bettina)

Jun-Jul: A Victorian Celebration (hosted by Allie) – 7 books | 3 short stories | 6 Victorian-themed posts

Dec: December Readathon (hosted by o) – Great Expectations – 278 pages in 2 days

Dec: Dickens in December (hosted by Caroline & Delia) – 1 book | 1 movie adaptation

And now I’m so excited with 2013, there are a lot of new things and challenges, and I can’t imagine where I would end up when this year ends…


  1. You are doing great, Fanda. Keep it up!

    I'm hosting a week long read-a-thon starting on the 21st. I host four a year--seasonally--winter, spring, summer, and fall. The dedicated blog is seasonsreading.blogspot.com Check it out, if you like. Would love for you to join us!

    1. Thanks Michelle :)
      And thanks for the invitation, but I don't know if I can make it for another readathon in so short time...

  2. Fanda, I loved your review of Germinal and that quote is beautiful. I think I'm going to read Germinal for the Turn of the Century Salon. :) (btw, thank you for the follow on twitter ;) )

    1. Yeah...in fact, that's one of my favorite reviews. The book touched me deeply, and I wrote the review as soon as I finished it, when my emotion was still fresh.

      Yayyy...you're going to read Germinal! Can't wait to read your thoughts, I think you're going to love it!

      You're welcome Joon Ann, now we can discuss things over there as well as in our blogs.. :)

  3. I am highly impressed, Fanda. You've done so well and it seems we have some books in common on our list. But I must say that you are the first I know to say that your least favourite so far is Gone With the Wind. Not having read it myself, I can't comment much.

    1. I picked GWTW with a high expectation as I have read a lot of appraisals for this book, so I was quite disappointed when I didn't found anything special with it. It's good as historical fiction, but not something that impressed me.

      Well, it's partly because of you that I have picked Toni Morrison--and I loved her! I plan to read Song of Solomon sometime this year.


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