Today I finished the Winter Classics Challenge! Thanks to A Reader’s Journal, who sponsored this challenge and renewed my interest in the classics.
This challenge encouraged participants to read 5 classics in January and February 2007. I ended up reading seven classic novels from 12/27/2006 through 2/11/2007. My reads included:
1. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I finished reading this one on 12/27/2006. Technically, it was not read in January or February…so I’m adding another classic read below! I just couldn’t wait to read this one until January. I rated it a 4.75/5. Great book about a young man torn between following the conventions of his time or following his heart. Wharton draws the character Ellen perfectly…a woman who is ahead of her time; a free spirit in a time when women were supposed to be pretty things on a man’s arm. The only reason this one didn’t get a 5/5 was because the ending disappointed me.
2. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
DNF – Did not finish this one…I hated it. The dialogue is circular and repetitive; the writing is just plain bad (filled with adverbs and adjectives). I know it is satire and supposed to be a ‘must read’ kind of book; but I longed for some action, any action, any plot at all that would pull me in. I’m adding another book to my list for this challenge to substitute for this one.
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I finished reading this one on 1/2/2007. A wonderful classic that I can highly recommend. A story about love and marriage…and the barriers to them! Lizzy’s prejudice shadows her regard for Darcy. A sometimes tragic, mostly comic view of what happens when gossip distorts the facts. Rated 5/5.
4. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
Excellent book! Finished reading this on 1/18/2007. Highly recommended…a story about an Oklahoma family who moves West during the Great Dust Bowl Migration of the 1930s. Rated 5/5. To read my review of this book click here.
5. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Not my favorite Austen novel. The first half of the book is rather slow, a bit dry. Luckily for the reader, the second half picks up and moves along nicely. Catherine, the MC, is a silly girl – a bit of a drama queen with a tendency to let her imagination run wild. Austen pokes fun at the novel in this story, and there are moments of humor that gave me a chuckle. Rated 3.5/5.
6. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
I finished reading this book on 1/12/2007. A splendid novel which I rated 4.75/5. To read a review of this book, click here.
7. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
I finished reading this book on 2/11/2007. A compelling and tragic novel, rated 5/5. To read a review of this book, click here.