The Classics Club Survey

classicsclubI never could resist a list of questions, and so when The Classics Club Survey appeared I just had to start thinking up answers …..

1. Share a link to your club list.

Here it is!

2. When did you join The Classics Club? How many titles have you read for the club?

I joined in March 2012 and I’ve read eighteen books from my original list.

3. What are you currently reading?

I’m reading ‘Haxby’s Circus’ by Katharine Susannah Prichard – which isn’t on my list, but I definitely think it would qualify as a 20th century classic – and I’m listening to ‘Villette’ by Charlotte Bronte which is on my list

4. What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it?

I’ve just finished ‘Phineas Redux’ by Anthony Trollope and I loved it. Finally falling in love with Trollope and racing through the Palliser novels has been a major highlight of my current reading year.

5. What are you reading next? Why?

‘An Australian Heroine’ by Rosa Praed – for Australian Reading Month.

6. Best book you’ve read so far with the club, and why?

‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ – I loved it and when I came to the end I could quite happily have gone back to the beginning and read it all over again.

7. Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list?

‘Kristin Lavransdattir’ by Sigrid Undset

8. Book on your club list you’ve been avoiding, if any? Why?

‘The Trial’ by Franz Kafka – it really isn’t my kind of book, I can’t remember why I listed it, and I think I might have to rework my list soon.

9. First classic you ever read?

I read a lot of classics as a child and I really don’t remember which one came first. ‘Peter Pan’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Little Women’, ‘The Wind in the Willows’, ‘The Secret Garden’ …..

10. Toughest classic you ever read?

‘Clarissa’ by Samuel Richardson – I gave up very quickly, though I think it was just that I picked the book  up at the wrong time.

11. Classic that inspired you?

Reading ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ at school was the book that gave me the confidence to tackle other classic.

12. Longest classic you’ve read? Longest classic left on your club list?

The longest I’ve read is ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ by Alexandre Dumas, and ‘Kristin Lavransdattir’ by Sigrid Undset is the longest book left on my list.

13. Oldest classic you’ve read? Oldest classic left on your club list?

The oldest classic I’ve read is Aesop’s Fables, but I don’t have anything earlier than the 18th century in my list. The oldest book I have left is ‘Manon Lescaut’ by Abbe Prevost, from 1731.

14. Favorite biography about a classic author you’ve read — or, the biography on a classic author you most want to read, if any?

‘The Love-Charm of Bombs’ by Lara Fiegel. Not one author but five, in London during the Blitz.

15. Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? Why?

I don’t think there is such a book – we all have different characters, different lives, different experiences, and so we will all see books differently.

16. Favorite edition of a classic you own, if any?

I can’t pick out a single volume, but I love my Persephone Books and my Virago Modern Classics.

17. Favorite movie adaption of a classic?

‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘Manon du Source’ from the books by Marcel Pagnol.

18. Classic which hasn’t been adapted yet (that you know of) which you very much wish would be adapted to film.

‘Love in the Sun’ by Leo Walmsley

19. Least favorite classic? Why?

I’m not going to name a book, but I will admit that I don’t get along with modernism very well.

20. Name five authors you haven’t read yet whom you cannot wait to read.

Charlotte Smith, Maria Edgeworth, Sir Walter Scott, Ouida, Lettice Cooper

21. Which title by one of the five you’ve listed above most excites you and why?

‘Folle-Farine’ by Ouida – I’ve read a little bit, and I just love the way she wrote.

22, Have you read a classic you disliked on first read that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving? (This could be with the club or before it.)

I don’t think so.

23. Which classic character can’t you get out of your head?

Anna Karenina

24. Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?

He doesn’t remind me of me, but, like me,  Phineas Finn often takes things at face value only to discover that things are rather more complicated than that.

35. Which classic character do you most wish you could be like?

Madame Max Goesler (from Trollope’s Palliser novels). I just love her approach to life.

26. Which classic character reminds you of your best friend?

Melissa, from ‘Lucy Carmichael’ by Margaret Kennedy.

27. If a sudden announcement was made that 500 more pages had been discovered after the original “THE END” on a classic title you read and loved, which title would you most want to keep reading? Or, would you avoid the augmented manuscript in favor of the original? Why?

I’d really rather not know – I much prefer to be able to wonder what might have happened next.

28. Favorite children’s classic?

It’s so difficult to pick just one, but if you pushed me I’d probably say ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson-Burnett.

29. Who recommended your first classic?

My mother saved the classic books she loved as a child for the time when she had a daughter, and later, when I moved up from the junior to the main library, she steered me towards some wonderful authors.

30. Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature. (Recommends the right editions, suggests great titles, etc.)

A few trusted book bloggers and friends on Librarything and Goodreads.

31. Favorite memory with a classic?

My mother being excited about the television adaptation of Cranford, because she remembered loving the book at school, some fifty years earlier.

32. Classic author you’ve read the most works by?

It might be Wilkie Collins or it might be Thomas Hardy

33. Classic author who has the most works on your club list?

Nobody – I deliberately chose only one book per author!

34. Classic author you own the most books by?

Edith Wharton

35. Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included? (Or, since many people edit their lists as they go, which titles have you added since initially posting your club list?)

‘Les Miserables’ by Victor Hugo. I’d meant to put it on my list, but it got lost somewhere along the way.

36. If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last — meaning you have never read this author and want to explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication — who would you explore? Obviously this should be an author you haven’t yet read, since you can’t do this experiment on an author you’re already familiar with. 🙂 Or, which author’s work you are familiar with might it have been fun to approach this way?

I have a few authors I read years ago in mind to re-read in publication order – Elizabeth Von Arnim, Thomas Hardy, Willa Cather ….

37. How many rereads are on your club list? If none, why? If some, which are you most looking forward to, or did you most enjoy?

I have six re-reads on my list.  I loved ‘The Woman in White’ by Wilkie Collins and I’m looking forward to ‘The Tenant of Wildfell Hall’ by Anne Bronte.

38. Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish?

I’ve had several attempts at ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ but I’ve never made it through to the end.

39. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving?

No – if I don’t think I’m going to like a book I’m not going to read it.

40. Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature?

I’m trying not to tempt fate by planning too far ahead, but I definitely plan to read more Trollope during his bicentenary.

41. Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?

The Beth Book by Sarah Grand – it’s been sitting on my bedside table for ages.

42. Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?

I’m not ruling anything out – I just want to read the books that call when they call.

43. Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club?

Knowing that there are so many other people out there who feel the same way about books.

44. List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent. What makes you love their blogs?

gudrun’s tights


she reads novels

fig and thistle


45. Favorite post you’ve read by a fellow clubber?

Lots of them – I really can’t pick out a single post.

46. If you’ve ever participated in a readalong on a classic, tell about the experience? If you’ve participated in more than one, what’s the very best experience? the best title you’ve completed? a fond memory? a good friend made?

‘The Moorland Cottage’ by Elizabeth Gaskell was my favourite, because it’s such a lovely book and I might not have discovered it if not for that particular readalong.

47. If you could appeal for a readalong with others for any classic title, which title would you name? Why?

I’m seriously thinking about reading the thirteen books that make up ‘Pilgrimage’ by Dorothy Richardson next year, and I’d love company.

48. How long have you been reading classic literature?

Ever since I started reading classic children’s novels.

49. Share up to five posts you’ve written that tell a bit about your reading story. Reviews, journal entries, posts on novels you loved or didn’t love, lists, etc.

Margaret Kennedy Reading Week

The Dickens Decision

A Retrospective A to Z to Mark a Milestone

Ten Books for Cornish Holidays

Reading the 20th Century

50. Question you wish was on this questionnaire? (Ask and answer it!)

No, I really can’t think of anything else …..

18 responses

  1. The Dorothy Richardsons are wonderful Jane – I read them many years ago and I’m almost tempted to join you….. 🙂

  2. I didn’t realise it was a Trollope centenary next year either but it would be a good time for me to finish the Barsetshire series.

    Perhaps we need a readalong for Kristin Lavransdattar. Although the Dorothy Richardson sounds interesting – I had to go and google her and from what I read I think I would like her Pilgrimage.

    Helen also makes glowing comments about The Count of Monte Cristo – I really am going to have to read it.

    • There doesn’t see to be as much fuss about this centenary as others, and I’d have read more Trollope even if it wasn’t happening.

      You must read The Count of Monte Cristo, Cat. It’s fabulous and I am so glad that I listened to Helen and Lisa singing its praises,

  3. I took part in the readalong of The Moorland Cottage too and loved it. It’s probably not a book I would have thought about reading otherwise. And I’m also looking forward to Kristin Lavransdatter – it’s the longest book left on my list as well.

  4. You give me courage…I have been planning to do this survey for some time but kind of found it daunting…but today I shall venture forth!!! I am also really looking forward to one day reading Kristin Lavransdatter despite being 3 volumes long!!!

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