Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Salon 25 January 2009

Good morning, fellow Saloners! This hasn't been a really productive reading week for me (although I did finish The Last Days of Dogtown and Jane Austen in Scarsdale). I did, however, clean my apartment. I've also been working on my 101 Things list, I started a new diet - and I've already lost a few pounds! The new diet means my next few Recipe Tuesday posts will probably be kinda boring for everyone else, but I've really enjoyed the recipes I've found and the foods I've been eating. After I finish updating and making the blog rounds, I'll be reading The Willoughbys, which I won a month or two ago from Chris. It's a pretty slim book, so I hope I'll be able to get pretty far into it today. I still have several books to review from last year, so I'll be taking a lesson from some other blogs I've been reading a posting mini-reviews throughout the week.

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This week's Booking Through Thursday question(s):
Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?
My reading is mostly inspired by authors I enjoy already (Gaiman, Fforde, Austen, Palahniuk, Chabon) and by recommendations from friends and fellow book bloggers. When I was younger, my reading was inspired by my dad - he was a big sci-fi geek (he's the one who named me after a character in Dune), which made me want to read the books he had enjoyed. I just wish he had been around to discuss them with...but reading his favorite books helped me feel closer to him.

But you don't have to take my word for it. Check out btt for more opinions.

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This week's Weekly Geeks challenge deals with classic literature. I'm going to talk about question #1:
How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!
Being an English major, I adore the classics. My favorite classic lit author is definitely Jane Austen. I love the wit and social commentary in her novels, not to mention the romance and happy endings. I also really relate to her and her characters, especially Emma Woodhouse.

One of the best things I did during my undergrad was taking a "Spirit of Place in British Literature" class during the summer. We read a bunch of classic novels set in England, Scotland, and Wales, and then spent two weeks traveling around the country, finding the places mentioned in the books. I loved walking on the Cobb in Lyme Regis (the same place Louisa Musgrove fell in Persuasion!) and climbing Arthur's Seat (where the narrator or Confessions of a Justified Sinner sees God); having read about them beforehand made the experience even better. So my love of classic literature is kind of wrapped up in that trip as well.

Other authors I really like: Dickens (especially A Tale of Two Cities), Thomas Hardy, the Romantic and Lake poets (Byron, Keats, Shelly, Wordsworth, Coleridge), and, of course, Shakespeare.

What about you? How do you feel about classic literature?

5 comments:

Robin of My Two Blessings said...

Wow great post. I finally posted as well. The spirit of place in british literature sounds like a really neat class. It must have been a blast getting to check out all the various places.

My brother turned me on to science fiction and periodically I go back to it.

I'm still thinking about weekly geeks question. I'm playing catch up today.

Have a good rest of your weekend.

Nymeth said...

I look forward to your thoughts on The Willoughbys! I love Lowry :)

I've been reading a social history of 19th century England that's really putting me in the mood of Austen. So I think I'm going to pick up Emma soon.

Climbing Arthur's Seat was one of the coolest things I ever did in my life. I miss Scotland. That class sounds so awesome.

Ali said...

What a great experience that class must have been! I took a class on British plays when I was studying in England, but we didn't travel anywhere except we did go see a play once.

I got all excited about reading the Willoughby's to my kids after seeing Lois Lowry speak. Evan thought it was dumb. Ah, well.

Frances said...

Hope you enjoy The Willoughbys. I had high expectations and was a little put off at first because it seemed so derivative of Lemony Snicket. But then... it played out into a booklover's dream and an hilarious one at that. The references to classic kiddie lit are very clever.

Megan said...

That sounds like a fantastic class - I'm terribly jealous of all the fantastic literary places you got to visit! That and ever since I went the first time I've always wanted to go back to Scotland. *sigh*