Classics Challenge November Prompt

This year I have been taking part in a Classics Challenge hosted by Katherine of November’s Autumn. Every month Katherine has posted a prompt to help us discuss the classic novels we are reading.

I have enjoyed taking part in the challenge and although I haven’t managed to answer all of the prompts, I did want to respond to this one as it provides a sort of summary of the year’s reading, encouraging us to look back at all the classics we have read in 2012.

Here are this month’s questions and my answers:

Of all the Classics you’ve read this year is there an author or movement that has become your new favorite? Which book did you enjoy the most? Or were baffled by?

It’s not exactly a movement, but it seems that a lot of the classics I’ve been drawn to this year have been what I would describe as swashbuckling adventure novels: Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini, The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy, The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope and Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott. I would like to read more books by all of these authors, especially Sabatini and Scott.

I also enjoyed Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men on the Bummel (though not as much as one of my favourite books from last year, Three Men in a Boat) and my two Austen re-reads (Mansfield Park and Emma).

I can’t say I’ve been baffled by any of the classics I’ve read this year, but the one I found the most challenging to read was A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway, purely because I didn’t like the style of his writing.

Who’s the best character? The most exasperating?

My favourite character from the classics I’ve read this year is definitely Andre-Louis Moreau, the hero of Scaramouche. I also liked Joe Gargery in Great Expectations – Dickens’ novels are always filled with memorable characters and I remember writing about Joe in response to one of the first Classic Challenge posts of the year.

The most exasperating has to be Sylvia from Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell. I was irritated by her silliness in the first half of the book and although she did start to mature after that, she still continued to frustrate me with some of the decisions she made.

From reading other participants’ posts which book do you plan to read and are most intrigued by?

The Mill on the Floss seems to have been a popular choice for the Classics Challenge and I definitely want to read that one soon. Vanity Fair, The House of Mirth, The Heir of Redclyffe and East of Eden are other books I’ve added to my list for 2013 after reading other participants’ posts.

Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned in this post? Are there any more classics you think I really need to read next year?

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4 thoughts on “Classics Challenge November Prompt

  1. Lisa says:

    I enjoyed The Prisoner of Zenda so much that I’m definitely ready for more swashbuckling! and your post on Three Men on the Bummel got me thinking about it & finally reading my copy (too long on the TBR shelves). I’m still not sure about Hemingway, but I feel like I need to try one of his books, just because he is such an influential writer. I like your 2013 list!

  2. Cat says:

    I think I need to try a swashbuckling adventure as I haven’t read any of these. Nor have I yet read Ernest Hemingway although I added him to my list as a challenge to myself because I don’t think I’ll like his writing but I’ll never know unless I try. I thought the same about Steinbeck and was proven wrong. East of Eden, Mill on the Floss and House of Mirth – probably my three top favourites this year so hope you will love them too.

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