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Peppermill
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: A Level Recommended Reading Lists

Those lists are even more troubling than the AP lists!  Many of those seem excessively dour pictures of life.

 

Time to take heed of TiggerBear's warning to not leave these things to the academics?

 

 

She may not be great literature, but do suggest Anne Tyler to your granddaughter for pleasure and her quirky, believable characters -- e.g., 

 

 

Back When We Were Grownups 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Patchwork Planet  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety  or  Angle of Repose

 

 

 

But where is Thoreau or Whitman or Dickenson or Emerson or Hawthorne or Wharton or Frost or Sontag or Friedan or Carolyn Heilbrun or Hemingway or Eudora Welty or Joan Didion or Paine or Jefferson or Madison or Frederick Douglas or Twain or Atwood or Davies (is there a Canadian category) or .... (It is nice to see Maya Angelou represented -- she is upbeat out of tough experience.)

 

This note is not well-thought through -- it is really first cut random reactions to the A level reading list posted previously.

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Choisya
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: A Level Recommended Reading Lists

[ Edited ]

Thanks P - I am pleased that you confirm my own feelings.  I have written to the appropriate authority about this and will be writing to my daughter's MP too. 

 

I will pass on your recommendations although I don't think she has time for any reading outside of her list at the moment!   I don't think any your older authors are represented because she is currently doing Modern Lit.  But I agree that if they do Chaucer, Milton & Shakespeare as preparation for EngLit they should also take in someone who represents an older tradition in America - Hawthorne perhaps.  She did a Hemingway and another Fitzgerald at GCSE level but they are Mods too.

 

 


Peppermill wrote:

Those lists are even more troubling than the AP lists!  Many of those seem excessively dour pictures of life.

 

Time to take heed of TiggerBear's warning to not leave these things to the academics?

 

 

She may not be great literature, but do suggest Anne Tyler to your granddaughter for pleasure and her quirky, believable characters -- e.g., 

 

 

Back When We Were Grownups 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Patchwork Planet  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety  or  Angle of Repose

 

 

 

But where is Thoreau or Whitman or Dickenson or Emerson or Hawthorne or Wharton or Frost or Sontag or Friedan or Carolyn Heilbrun or Hemingway or Eudora Welty or Joan Didion or Paine or Jefferson or Madison or Frederick Douglas or Twain or Atwood or Davies (is there a Canadian category) or .... (It is nice to see Maya Angelou represented -- she is upbeat out of tough experience.)

 

This note is not well-thought through -- it is really first cut random reactions to the A level reading list posted previously.

 


 

awthone perhaps.

Message Edited by Choisya on 03-09-2009 03:38 AM
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Authors

landscape
plainsong
all the pretty horses
the jungle
in cold blood

 


In cold blood...  how did a true crime exploitation novel get on there?

 

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Authors

No idea TB.  Does it not have descriptions of landscape?   

 


 

TiggerBear wrote:

landscape
plainsong
all the pretty horses
the jungle
in cold blood

 


In cold blood...  how did a true crime exploitation novel get on there?

 


 

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Ryan_G
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Authors

My best guess would be because of it's description of life in rural Kansas

Choisya wrote:

No idea TB.  Does it not have descriptions of landscape?   


TiggerBear wrote:

landscape
plainsong
all the pretty horses
the jungle
in cold blood

 


In cold blood...  how did a true crime exploitation novel get on there?

 


 


 

"I am half sick of shadows" The Lady of Shalott

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: A Level Recommended Reading Lists


Choisya wrote (excerpt):

 

I will pass on your recommendations although I don't think she has time for any reading outside of her list at the moment! 



Anne Tyler reads quickly.  Her characters tend to do kind things for other people within the scope of their own personalities and the limitations of the resources available to them.  

 

It has been awhile since I read it, but Stegner's Crossing to Safety is a thoughtful look at marriages, at least in terms of the passages I recall. 

 

I should think Monte Walsh might also be fun for a Brit young person, at least for stories out of the Old West.   I wouldn't put it on a literature list, but for a rainy summer day....

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Authors


Ryan_G wrote:
My best guess would be because of it's description of life in rural Kansas

Choisya wrote:

No idea TB.  Does it not have descriptions of landscape?   


TiggerBear wrote:

landscape
plainsong
all the pretty horses
the jungle
in cold blood

 


In cold blood...  how did a true crime exploitation novel get on there?

 


 


 


Oh yes I bet all the people in Kansas just love being descibed by a NewYorker who spent less than a month there, in only 2 counties. Should be labeled my crime voyer vaction in rural Kansas.

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Book List - James Woods

Back in 1994, James Woods published a list of the best books written by American and British writers since 1945 (cutting off in 1985) - the list was prompted by a dispute with Harold Bloom (yes, that Harold Bloom).  The list isn't available online but the Elegant Variation blog reprinted the list in honor of Woods's speaking engagement at Queens College in February.  You can find the list here.

 

Just thought y'all would be interested to see Woods's take on things since the subject of lists came up :smileyhappy:

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Authors

Lol.....Tig I agree with you, I'm not a fan of the book.  I was only saying that it's the reason why it's on the list.  Of course I would rather be know for this crime than BTK.  That got really old after a while.  My apartment is only 2 blocks from the courthouse.

TiggerBear wrote:

Ryan_G wrote:
My best guess would be because of it's description of life in rural Kansas

Choisya wrote:

No idea TB.  Does it not have descriptions of landscape?   


TiggerBear wrote:

landscape
plainsong
all the pretty horses
the jungle
in cold blood

 


In cold blood...  how did a true crime exploitation novel get on there?

 


 


 


Oh yes I bet all the people in Kansas just love being descibed by a NewYorker who spent less than a month there, in only 2 counties. Should be labeled my crime voyer vaction in rural Kansas.


 

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Book List - James Woods

Melissa -- thanks!   I found the Wikipedia article on James Wood of interest.  It touches on several of the issues we have been discussing here and introduces a few more.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wood_(critic)

 

 


pedsphleb wrote:

Back in 1994, James Woods published a list of the best books written by American and British writers since 1945 (cutting off in 1985) - the list was prompted by a dispute with Harold Bloom (yes, that Harold Bloom).  The list isn't available online but the Elegant Variation blog reprinted the list in honor of Woods's speaking engagement at Queens College in February.  You can find the list here.

 

Just thought y'all would be interested to see Woods's take on things since the subject of lists came up :smileyhappy:


 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Book List - James Tyler

 I love Anne Tyler. I read her 30 years and didn't understand her. Now she's hit home with the older, middle-aged me.

 

How did those ads get into C's post?

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Anne Tyler, Book Covers


foxycat wrote:

 I love Anne Tyler. I read her 30 years and didn't understand her. Now she's hit home with the older, middle-aged me.

 

How did those ads get into C's post?


Good input.  Maybe Anne Tyler wouldn't appeal to C's granddaughter at 18.  I was thinking of healthy helping relationships rather than the suicide leaning tales C was decrying.  If I remember Patchwork Planet correctly, some of its characters are 20's types.

 

 

If by ads, you mean the pictures of books, choose "Add Product" on the icon line of the message text editor.  There will be two choices for adding a book or CD or DVD to the text.  One enters the picture.  The other enters the link and when a cursor is passed over the link, some additional product information, including B&N price, appears.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Anne Tyler, Book Covers

Useful thankyou.
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!


TiggerBear wrote:

So what makes a book a "classic"?

 

Is it

Continued popularity 

Partly.  But this isn't all the answer.  Shakespeare was  largely ignored for quite awhile.  And some books can be very popular but perhaps not really be classics.   But a classic does have to appeal to multiple generations, at a minimum.  And there are some books that will remain classics even if few ordinary people read them.  Aquinas's Summa Theologica is one good example.  Uncle Tom's Cabin is another.  Few people actually pick that book up on their own and read it all the way through; even fewer read it a second time.  But it remains a classic because of the huge impact it had on society. 

Staying in print

Books stay in print because people buy them.  So I would say that a book that stays constantly in print is a good candidate for a classic, but some classics can go out of print for awhile and still be classics.

Used in text books

No.  Textbooks are too dependent on the shifting moods of educational fancies.    And recently they have been subject to political correctness run rampant.  Many works of "dead white males" will remain classics no matter how much the feminist critics may howl.  And some works that are shoved into textbooks as a sop to feminist critics or some other set of currently pop critics will never be classics.

Used for collage courses

Same answer as above.  Unless the college course at issue is the curriculum of St. John's College, or the University of Chicago Honors Curriculum, or some other similar curriculum.  

 

How many comentary books and papers are published about the works

Tempting, but considering that newly minted PhDs find the principal ground plowed over and over and have to go far afield to find anything to study that allows them to come up with an arguably original thought, not that good a test.  

Lauding by the literally

If you meant to say literary reader, I think this is a pretty good test.  At least as long as by that you are referring to the nonprofessional reader.  Just because scholars keep reading a book that doesn't make it a classic (nor does it take it out of classic contention).  But if literate readers laud it, and do so over time, that helps a lot.

 

hmm, which or all?

One importnat factor I think you left out:  that it informs the reading and writing of later writers and thinkers.  A classic is a book that matters.  It is a book that is carried forward into what is often called "the Great Conversation."  It is a book that thinkers and writers not only have read, but have used to develop their own thought, have referred to either directly or indirectly in their own writing, and thereby have kept fresh and alive.

 

While it's hard to quantify this test, a classic is a book that matters and continues to matter.  A book the loss of which would be a meaningful loss to serious readers. 

 

One of my personal tests is that it must have appealed to and been found valuable to read by at least three generations.  That means that it isn't just a pop sensation or so dated that it isn't relevant to future generations.  

 

Another personal test is that a classic should crave rereading.  It should be a book full enough of value and meaning that one realizes after reading it once that one would get significantly more out of it reading it again.  And again.  


And the very bottom line?  Of course, it's simply this: a book is a classic to anybody who considers it a classic for whatever reasons they consider it a classic.  

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!


Everyman wrote:

TiggerBear wrote:

So what makes a book a "classic"?

 . . . . . . . . . .

 

hmm, which or all?

One importnat factor I think you left out:  that it informs the reading and writing of later writers and thinkers.  A classic is a book that matters.  It is a book that is carried forward into what is often called "the Great Conversation."  It is a book that thinkers and writers not only have read, but have used to develop their own thought, have referred to either directly or indirectly in their own writing, and thereby have kept fresh and alive.

 

While it's hard to quantify this test, a classic is a book that matters and continues to matter.  A book the loss of which would be a meaningful loss to serious readers. 

 

One of my personal tests is that it must have appealed to and been found valuable to read by at least three generations.  That means that it isn't just a pop sensation or so dated that it isn't relevant to future generations.  

 

Another personal test is that a classic should crave rereading.  It should be a book full enough of value and meaning that one realizes after reading it once that one would get significantly more out of it reading it again.  And again.  


 

 Eloquently, put, Everyman. As an illustration, here is an exchange we recently had on the Epics, Etc. board regarding Dante's Divine Comedy, in particular Canto 7 of The Inferno, which concerns the punishment of the greedy and wasteful:
Choisya wrote:
Ah, a Circle for our times - where 'all the ills of the world are cast', for the Moneygrubbing and the Wasteful, for those who 'chuck away' and those who 'grab so tight'!   Like Dante we 'feel quite shocked and like stricken man'!  (Sisson tr.)

 

There is a great deal in this Canto which speaks to us of the economic dilemma we now find ourselves in but what is worse is that many of the references go back to the time of Virgil's Aenid (29-19BC) so we know that these 'ills of the world' have been with us for a long long time:smileysad:. Our stockmarket and our politicians can be seen in: 

 

'Here the biggest crowd had come together                   25

With great howls, from one side and the other,

And rolling heavy weights forward against their chests.

 

So they struck one another as they met;                      28

And then turned round, and, rolling back again,

Some shouted 'why hold on?' some 'why let go?'

 

Let us hope that those who are predicting civil unrest during this economic crisis are wrong and that we will not:

 

[See] people covered in mud, there in the swamp,         109

All naked, and with anger in their faces.

 

They struck each other, and not only with their hands,    112

But with their heads and chesters and with their feet,

Biting each other to pieces bit by bit.' 

 

 

And all so that 'one race should rule, another languish' (L82)

 

This is a Canto which makes you realise why men dream of Utopias (or Heavens) and, like Thoreau, make attempts to 'get away from it all'.

 

Tammie responded:


Choisya,

A fabulous analogy!!  I may have to go back and reread that Canto again! 

 

Virgil would have indeed known much of the problems we know of today and in Dante's 4th Circle!

 

Choisya replied:


Thanks Tammie - yes, do read it again with today's problems in mind.  That is the beauty of classical literature, isn't it - it still speaks to us centuries down the line.


All I can say is, Beautiful indeed. This week I finished reading one book for the second time and another for the sixth or seventh time and kept thinking how each was speaking to the other and to the other things I am reading and have read and each is adding to the value of all. The conversation goes on and on and on. And sometimes I read the newspaper or speak with a neighbor and it continues.

 

 

 

"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!


Everyman wrote:

Lauding by the literally

If you meant to say literary reader, I think this is a pretty good test.  At least as long as by that you are referring to the nonprofessional reader.  Just because scholars keep reading a book that doesn't make it a classic (nor does it take it out of classic contention).  But if literate readers laud it, and do so over time, that helps a lot.


literally -those that create societal buzz about an author or book.
That's the social gatherings and machinations of publishing houses, literary critics, authors, socialites, ect...
Oprah is the most visable currently.
hmm, which or all?

One importnat factor I think you left out:  that it informs the reading and writing of later writers and thinkers.  A classic is a book that matters.  It is a book that is carried forward into what is often called "the Great Conversation."  It is a book that thinkers and writers not only have read, but have used to develop their own thought, have referred to either directly or indirectly in their own writing, and thereby have kept fresh and alive.


That not a bad point. However lots of non classic books have changed the way books are written. And the current largest contribution to the "great coversation" right now is genre writting.

 


And the very bottom line?  Of course, it's simply this: a book is a classic to anybody who considers it a classic for whatever reasons they consider it a classic.  


    No arguement there.

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!

Another list of "100 Best Novels" in English, this one from Time magazine.
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!


Peppermill wrote:
Another list of "100 Best Novels" in English, this one from Time magazine.

 

Well!  That was depressing - I've read a whole NINE of them!  And about a half of those just because of class assignments.

 

I did much better with their 100 movies list - 59. 

 

I usually do better with lists of movies (on another site, someone posted a link to another 100 movies list, and I had seen 86 of those).  I guess I have more eclectic tastes in movies - with books, I tend to stick with genres and authors that I know I like.  It's more of a time investment to read a book than to watch a movie, so I'm more willing to experiment with movies.  Also, with foreign movies, you can watch them even if you don't know the language, because of subtitles or dubbing, whereas it could be more tricky to find a foreign book translated.

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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!

Denise -- you amaze me on the number of movies you have seen! 

 

I actually have difficulty taking time to watch a movie.  I would rather read!

 


dulcinea3 wrote:

Peppermill wrote:
Another list of "100 Best Novels" in English, this one from Time magazine.

 

Well!  That was depressing - I've read a whole NINE of them!  And about a half of those just because of class assignments.

 

I did much better with their 100 movies list - 59. 

 

I usually do better with lists of movies (on another site, someone posted a link to another 100 movies list, and I had seen 86 of those).  I guess I have more eclectic tastes in movies - with books, I tend to stick with genres and authors that I know I like.  It's more of a time investment to read a book than to watch a movie, so I'm more willing to experiment with movies.  Also, with foreign movies, you can watch them even if you don't know the language, because of subtitles or dubbing, whereas it could be more tricky to find a foreign book translated.


"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Re: THE BOOK NOOK: Welcome to the LbW Common Room!

Good Lord, if you think that's a lot - it is only a fraction of the probably thousands of movies that I have seen!  My own collection is easily a few hundred.

 

I guess I love entertainment and media in general.  Books, DVDs, and CDs are all great weaknesses and indulgences of mine.

 

One thing about watching something is that you can do other things at the same time.  With a book, your hands are pretty much occupied and you have to concentrate more.  Of course, as you probably know by now, that doesn't mean I don't love to read or that I don't read much!

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