The Classics Club recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, and posed some questions to its readers. I began participating in 2015, wrapping up my first list in 2020 and starting a new one weeks later. My original plan with the Classics Club Strikes Back (my second list) was to knock it out in three years. A year and a half into CCSB, I’ve read 21 books, so it’s still possible. Given my lack of progress this year (I’ve read one title), I’ll have to come out swinging in 2023.
When did you join the Classics Club?
What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?
Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago comes to mind. It’s an amazing blend of eye-opening history, insight into human nature, and wholesale condemnation of the communist state.
What is the first classic you ever read?
As part of the Classics Club, Emma; in general, The Call of the Wild.
Which classic book inspired you the most?
It’s not from my CC lists, but Thoreau’s Walden was part of the reason I began pursuing simple living and minimalism.
What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
From this list, Catch-22; it took me four times. In high school, I tried and failed (quickly) to read Faulker’s Sound and Fury.
Favourite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
Gotta go with Gone with the Wind for a favorite; I haven’t seen many others, but I have assurances from multiple parties that the new Persuasion is terrible.
Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
Ivan Ilyich, because we both have/had serious kidney issues. :p
Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
I expected to read The Jungle with a scowl on my face the entire time, but Sinclair delivered a compelling story, for the most part — until Jurgis disappears as a character to become nothing but the passive listener of lectures on politics and economics.
Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
Er, the ones I don’t get to this year. I’ll say Plutarch’s Heroes because it’s very unlikely (unless I suddenly get in a Greco-Roman mood) that I’ll get to them in 2022.
Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favourite memory with The Classics Club?
Finishing War and Peace and reveling in my ability to brag about having read it. Gulag Archipelago is larger and Brothers Karamazov more complex, but they don’t have the same cachet as Tolstoy, for whatever reason.