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Rita_Lot
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎05-25-2011

Exercise for the brain

It's been while since I've read what would be considered good literature and after looking at the stacks of books that I have read I thought it would be a good idea to reread a favorite from High School, Jane Eyre. So here I am trying to get through the first few pages and i'm thinking, what did I get myself into. Getting use to the formal language took some time and yes I did have to reread pages and chapters multiple times, but I'm loving the challenge. I find myself checking the dictionary frequently and actually thinking! Yes, I'll admit it. I'm marking up the book with post its and making notes in the margins. Looking forward to any suggestions.
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chad
Posts: 1,477
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Exercise for the brain

[ Edited ]

Rita_Lot wrote:
It's been while since I've read what would be considered good literature and after looking at the stacks of books that I have read I thought it would be a good idea to reread a favorite from High School, Jane Eyre. So here I am trying to get through the first few pages and i'm thinking, what did I get myself into. Getting use to the formal language took some time and yes I did have to reread pages and chapters multiple times, but I'm loving the challenge. I find myself checking the dictionary frequently and actually thinking! Yes, I'll admit it. I'm marking up the book with post its and making notes in the margins. Looking forward to any suggestions.


 

Well, sometimes school makes the classics "required" reading material- and they never should be. Just don't give yourself a test at the end of it.:smileywink:

 

Chad

 

PS- I think the B&N editions have study questions in the back, but no answers to them- I think there are no right or wrong answers......:smileysad:

 

Frequent Contributor
Sleeves_Rolled_Up
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎05-09-2011
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Re: Exercise for the brain


chad wrote:

Rita_Lot wrote:
It's been while since I've read what would be considered good literature and after looking at the stacks of books that I have read I thought it would be a good idea to reread a favorite from High School, Jane Eyre. So here I am trying to get through the first few pages and i'm thinking, what did I get myself into. Getting use to the formal language took some time and yes I did have to reread pages and chapters multiple times, but I'm loving the challenge. I find myself checking the dictionary frequently and actually thinking! Yes, I'll admit it. I'm marking up the book with post its and making notes in the margins. Looking forward to any suggestions.


 

Well, sometimes school makes the classics "required" reading material- and they never should be. Just don't give yourself a test at the end of it.:smileywink:

 

Chad

 

PS- I think the B&N editions have study questions in the back, but no answers to them- I think there are no right or wrong answers......:smileysad:

 


Maybe by not giving the answers they're subtly agreeing with you that the reader should draw their own conclusions :smileywink: I don't remember feeling very engaged with the literature I read at school, but now, years later, I've come full circle. Perhaps that was my teachers' plan all along, the cunning devils! :smileyhappy:

The Cambridge List: a wickedly funny novel of gods, sex and death.
http://www.the-cambridge-list.blogspot.com
Inspired Correspondent
Camoena
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎03-09-2011

Re: Exercise for the brain

I'm willing to bet you're done with Jane Eyre now.  So I'll just say this for next time you get yourself into a conundrum with heavy reading.

 

In my mom's AP English class, there was a reading list that we had to pick "x" number of books off of during the semester.  Generally we weren't required to do major projects or anything over our own selections, but we did keep a dialectic journal.  As much of a pain in the rear as it was at times, it really was pretty useful in making notes.

 

Essentially, you have three columns:

 

In the first column, keep track of the page number.

 

In the second column, write down the literary device being used, if applicable.  Things like "foreshadowing", "repetition", etc. can help you keep track of the devices the author uses, and this may be helpful if you're being at all critical of the text.

 

In the third column, write your reactions to the text or quotes pertaining to column #2.  You can put pretty much anything here, and it's a more comprehensive view than trying to go back through 157 post-its later.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!
Reader 4
Anchoress
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-15-2011
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Re: Exercise for the brain

Rita,

 

I bought a NOOK reader the end of May and since I am currently unemployed I decided this would be a great time to read the classics, since they were never required reading when I was in school.  I started with Pride and Prejudice then moved onto Little women and finally The Secret Garden.  They all came free with the purchase of my NOOK.  I then took a break and read some of the free NOOK book offerings.  Today I just posted a review for The Time Machine (a short story) by H.G. Wells.  I have learned to temper my enthusiasm for the classics by reading other genres in between the heavy classic reads.

 

I am still enjoying reading the classics, but they do require much more attention and I sometimes find myself having to re-read some of the sections also.  I broke down and bought some of the ebook specials that have 50 classic stories and 50 classic English authors, 50 classic mythologies etc.  I bought 11 of these books and now have some serious classic reading ahead of me.

 

I really like the classic stories because they contain/share cultural and community building values that are quickly disappearing.

 

Good luck with your Classic reading efforts, although the classics can be daunting to read at times, they are well worth the it.

Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

Re: Exercise for the brain

Reading the Classics may seem hard, but there is much to learn from them...even if you have to struggle past the "old language" and sentence structure and archaic meanings.  My great, great + aunt was a high school English Teacher in the late 1800s and by luck I have her copies of the novels that she taught.

It is quite interesting that 80 years later these same novels were the classics that I was reading in the same grades when I went through high school.  Now as I sit and visit with high schoolers who take high school literature classes, I hear they are reading the SAME selection of novels for American literature, English Literature, and World Literature.  Sure there have been some modern novels added, but WOW, after 120 years the core classics for high school have not changed.

I still go back and read some of these books and have started to go back and re-read some of the ones I read in high school.  My question as I start tackling these books, as an adult who has gone through life is how will I view these stories from this end versus how I viewed them from my youth of high school.  Will the story be the same for me, or will my 30 plus years of living give me a total new perspective?

What do you think?

Some of the stories that I am looking to re-read are:

The House of Seven Gables 

 

 

 

Les Miserables   

 

 

The

Silas Marner  

 

and

A Tale of Two Cities (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of these were light reading then.  I seriously think I will find them any lighter fair now.  But I am eager to learn what they have to say to me.

 

Mtn Muse 

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
Distinguished Bibliophile
dulcinea3
Posts: 4,389
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Exercise for the brain

Maybe we can get The House of the Seven Gables selected for an upcoming discussion - I'll try to remember to nominate it next time.  That is one that I always thought that I would like a lot, and I've read other Hawthorne works, but I started reading it twice (years ago) and couldn't get into it, so I didn't get very far.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Grand Dame of the Land of Oz, Duchess of Fantasia, in the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia; also, Poet Laureate of the Kingdom of Wordsmithonia
Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
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Re: Exercise for the brain


dulcinea3 wrote:

Maybe we can get The House of the Seven Gables selected for an upcoming discussion - I'll try to remember to nominate it next time.  That is one that I always thought that I would like a lot, and I've read other Hawthorne works, but I started reading it twice (years ago) and couldn't get into it, so I didn't get very far.


Dulcinea,

 

That sounds good to me.  With the other reading I am doing GWTW has been a challenge.  The shallowness of Scarlett has been a tough read.  I had forgotten HOW shallow that "chit" was.  7 Gables just might be some fun.  Believe it, or not,  I don't even remember the plot.  lol  But I'm game.

BTW.... to those who are new to the idea of reading the "classics"  this is not to be confused with the "Anne of Green Gables" books.  TOTALLY different book and author.

 

keep me posted.

 

Mtn Muse

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
Inspired Correspondent
Camoena
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎03-09-2011
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Re: Exercise for the brain

Scarlett is incredibly shallow.  I really want to slap her.  Not that I would even if she were a real person, but...I think it'd do her some good.

 

I've never actually read any Hawthorne.  I've meant to, I just....haven't.  Not really sure why, either.  Huh.

'A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows how to read.' --Terry Pratchett, Guards! Guards!