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August 26, 2018


The Classics Club: 50 questions

by N@ncy

  1. This is the largest library in Ireland.
  2. It was founded alongside Trinity College in 1592.
  3. The 200-foot main chamber shelves 200,000 books and
  4. …is lined with marble busts like the one above.
  5. So  while I dream of being in a library like this one…
  6. …it is time to complete this list of  50 questions about classic books
  7. …for The Classics Club,
  8. I will keep my answers short. (booktags)
  9. #cclubgames


50 Club Questions: 

  1. Share a link to your club list.  Book LIST 1 –  Book LIST 2
  2. When did you join The Classics Club? 2012
  3. How many titles have you read for the club? completed 1 list of 50 +  11 in 2018
  4. What are you currently reading? Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
  5. What did you just finish reading and what did you think of it? Un Vie (de Maupassant) review
  6. What are you reading next?  East of Eden b/c I need an audio book for train commuting


  1. Best book you’ve read so far with the club, and why?
  2. Mme Bovary (G. Flaubert) – Mme Bovary  was my first French classic for my “read French for a year’ challenge. It took me three months to finish the book.. Some days I could just read 6 pages! At times I would take a deep breath and as myself …is it worth the effort? I did not give up and have kept on reading French.


  1. Book you most anticipate (or, anticipated) on your club list?Sentimental Education. I’ve never rad another book by Flaubert since 2012 Mme Bovary. That book was my nemesis.  I can still see the cover on Goodreads….it sends chills down my spine. Oh. how I struggled with that book. Now after many years of reading French I want to see if I can manage Flaubert ‘s vocabulary without the feeling of exasperation. Can I master his language….ever?


  1. Book on your club list you’ve been avoiding,  Why?
  2. Any book by Virginia Woolf.
  3. I have no rational reason for this aversion.
  4. I hope to discover why so many people love her books.
  5. To the Lighthouse is on my  classics list 2.
  6. First classic you ever read? The Tale of Two Cities, C. Dickens
  7. Toughest classic you ever read? Don Quixote
  8. …this was a challenge to read… very long one.


  1. Classic that inspired you? or scared you? made you cry? made you angry?
  2. Inspired: St. Augustine’s Confessions
  3. I read it and listened to an audio explanation via
  4. Audible.Com series The Great Courses.  I would recommend both!
  5. Scared:
  6. Dracula by B. Stoker – shape-shifting creatures
  7. …vampires.
  8. Horror is not a genre like a western or crime fiction
  9. ….it is pure emotion! This is a classic not to be missed!
  10. Cried:
  11. The closest I came to tears was reading
  12. …the last pages of Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.
  13. When it comes to women’s feelings….Edith nails it.
  14. Angry:
  15. The Next Time Fire by J. Baldwin
  16. …b/c nothing has changed since the 1960’s


  1. Longest classic you’ve read?  Herodotus The Histories .
  2. The book is bigger than the bible.
  3. I was not looking forward to this read…but I started…and got through it.
  4. This book left me physically exhausted.
  5. The version I selected on Goodreads is the best translation and includes many maps.
  6. Without the maps I never would have understood it all!
  7. Longest classic left on your club list? Dumas, Alexandre – Count of Monte Cristo
  8. Oldest classic you’ve read?  Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium B.C.)
  9. Myths of Mesopotamia. Here is my review (quickscan).
  10. Oldest classic left on your club list? Suetonius
  11. (Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus)
  12. Twelve Caesars (De vita Caesarum) – 2nd C AD
  13. Favorite biography about a classic author you’ve read?
  14. Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgimage of the Flesh by J. Lahr.
  15. The definitive biography of America’s greatest playwright by
  16. the longtime drama critic of The New Yorker. Excellent book!


  1. Which classic do you think EVERYONE should read? The Scarlet Letter why?
  2. There is so much symbolism, irony and characterization (especially Biblical references)  in the book that one tends to miss many of  the literary puzzles. I would never have understood the impact of this book at the age of 15 years when I had to read it for high-school. This is just another example that some great books are worth re-reading after you have had more reading experiences.I would strongly recommend this book as  an example of a great American Classic.


  1. Favorite edition of a classic you own? A rare small format hardcover of Tale of Two Cities published by Könemann, Köln Germany.
  2. I found it in a second-hand bookstore in Groningen The Netherlands.
  3. ISBN 3829008805. (foto)
  4. It was my first classic book and I wanted to remember it with this beautiful edition.
  5. Favorite movie adaption of a classic? Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by T. Williams .
  6. Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman are the stars.
  7. Their performances  just ‘jump off the screen” …so powerful
  8. Classic which hasn’t been adapted yet which you wish would be adapted to film.
  9. Any book by Charles Dickens that hasn’t
  10. …already been made into a movie or  BBC series!
  11. Least favorite classic? Why?
  12. The Ginger Man by B. Donleavy.
  13. It is just vulgar, honestly…so crass filled with gutter jibes and sexual innuendos.
  14. How did this book get on Modern Library’s
  15. …TOP 100 novel list of the 20th C…is beyond me!


  1. Name five authors you haven’t read yet whom you cannot wait to read.
  2. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  3. Vanity Fair  by William Makepeace Thackeray
  4. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. The Palace Walk by  N.Mahfouz (Nobel Prize winner)
  6. Effi Briest by T. Fontane


  1. Which title by one of the five you’ve listed above most excites you and why?
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
  3. Due to the very popular TV series  (2017)
  4. I want to read the book about dystopian future
  5. …before I watch the series with Elisabeth Moss.


  1. Have you read a classic you disliked on first read
  2. …that you tried again and respected, appreciated, or even ended up loving?
  3. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (review 2018)
  4. Samuel Johnson is credited with saying that
  5. “A book should teach us to enjoy life or to endure it.”
  6. I think Jane Austen succeeds on both counts!
  7. I’m not a dyed-in-the-wool Jane Austen fan
  8. …but I’m going to toss aside all my preconceived  notions about her books.
  9. I have moved on. I have enjoyed life but at times had to endure it.
  10. Opinions formed beforehand in my youth) are without adequate evidence.
  11. I will read Jane Austen and let her…speak to an older and wiser Nancy.


  1. Which classic character can’t you get out of your head?
  2. The main character in the book The Knot of the Vipers (1933).
  3. François Mauriac (1885-1970) French writer,
  4. winner of Nobel Prize in Literature in 1952.
  5. If you are ‘Reading the Nobels’
  6. …this is an excellent book to put on your list.


  1. Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
  2. Margret Schlegel in Howard’s End. Margaret is chatty, vociferous.
  3. Subtly Margaret changes.
  4. Margaret saw more clearly what a human being is.
  5. Margaret was silent. Something shook her life
    ….in its inmost recesses and she shivered. (pg 340)


  1. Which classic character do you most wish you could be like?
  2. Melanie Hamilton in Gone with the Wind.
  3. She was the kindest character I ever met!


  1. Which classic character reminds you of your best friend?
  2. Constance Baines in The Old Wives’ Tale by A. Bennett. It is strange how fate has changed the lives of the sisters Sophia and Constance. Constance’s had remained, her father had wanted, quiet and the model of consideration. She lived at St. Luke’s Square in Bursley her entire life.


  1. 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?
  2. The Old Wives’ Tale.…this is truly an underappreciated classic!


  1. Favorite children’s classic?  E.B. White’s Stuart Little
  2. Who recommended your first classic? Freshman year English teacher


  1. Whose advice do you always take when it comes to literature?
  2. ….I always listened to my sister.
  3. I had moved to The Netherlands and in the days before internet
  4. …when I would visit home I let my sister
  5. select 10 books I MUST read from
  6. …the Barnes & Noble bookstore we always visited!


  1. Favorite memory with a classic?
  2. Last scene in The Tale of Two Cities with Sydney Carton:
  3. “It’s a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done
  4. … a far, far better rest than I go to than I have ever known.”


  1. Classic author you’ve read the most works by? Charles Dickens (7)
  2. Classic author who has the most works on your club list? Émile Zola (20+)
  3. Classic author you own the most books by? Zola and Dickens
  4. Classic title(s) that didn’t make it to your club list that you wish you’d included?
  5. The Third Man by Graham Greene
  6. If you could explore one author’s literary career from first publication to last
  7. — meaning you have never read this author and want to
  8. explore him or her by reading what s/he wrote in order of publication
  9. — who would you explore?
  10. Virginia Woolf.…I have to read her eventually!


  1. How many rereads are on your club list? NONE…I don’t re-read. I haven’t the time.
  2. Has there been a classic title you simply could not finish?
  3. Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. I wanted to read it for my
  4. Nobel list….but just could not finish it. Bah.
  5. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving?
  6. Winesburg, Ohio by S. Anderson (review 2018)


  1. Five things you’re looking forward to next year in classic literature?
  2. Mann, T. – The Magic Mountain
  3. Classic you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year? –
  4. Morrison, T. –  Beloved  (Nobel Prize winner)
  5. Classic you are NOT GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
  6. Stevenson, R.L. – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (no interest….at all)
  7. Favorite thing about being a member of the Classics Club?
  8. I enjoy the social contacts with other book lovers!


  1. List five fellow clubbers whose blogs you frequent.
  2. Brona’s Books (Brona)
  3. On Bookes (O)
  4. Classical Carousel (Cleo)
  5. One Catholic Life (Nick)
  6. The Once Lost Wanderer (Joseph)
  7. Favorite posts you’ve read by a fellow clubber? 
  8. One of those days..(Brona)
  9. Books to Pull Out of a Reading Slump (Cleo)
  10. Silver and Gold   (O)
  11. Nick’s Great Book List (Nick)
  12. 100 Greatest Novels of all Time Wrap-up (Joseph)


  1. If you’ve ever participated in a read-a-long on a classic, tell about the experience?
  2. Read-a-long with Brona’s Books The Lord of the Ring
  3. This was a struggle because I’m not a Tolkien fan.
  4. But I made an effort to join
  5. Brona’s #HLOTRreadalong 2017(wrap-up)


  1. I participated in five  #AusReadinMonth @Brona’s Books.
  2. Here is my 2017 Q&A Aus Reading.


  1. Read-a-long with  Nick’s One Catholic Life  #LesMiserablesRead-A-Long
  2. This is also a struggle to keep on schedule (chapter a day)!!
  3. I am thankfully up-to-date and reading is in progress ( reading the book in french)
  4. Conclusion:  I need to ask myself if I am a ‘read-a-long’ type of person!
  5. I keep struggling.


  1. How long have you been reading classic literature? – 50+ years!
  2. Share up to five posts you’ve written that tell a bit about your reading story.
  3. #AusReadingMonth 2017 – wrap-up
  4. The Classics Club book list nr 1 – completed ( 50 books)
  5. List of my French books….I keep reading #NeverGiveUp
  6. Monthly Planning ( these are the latest books…)
  7. Passègere du Silence ( this is an amazing story about a female French artist…)
Read more from Classic, Messages
16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Aug 26 2018

    A wonderful post, for someone who doesn’t read a lot of classics, your post is certainly full of many that are very tempting.


    • Aug 26 2018

      Thank you, Claire!
      I hope you are tempted to add a few classics to your reading schedule!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aug 26 2018

        Well I did just purchase a book that on the front cover is described as ‘the classic novel of South Africa’ Between Two Worlds by Miriam Tlali, banned when it was first published in 1978 under a different title Muriel at Metropolitan. I find it hard to read/support writers who’ve had so much recognition for so many years, so I like to find books that need a light shining on them, even if my light is only little. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aug 26 2018

        Wonderful! I’ll keep an eye out for classics that need a place in the spotlight! Good idea! A. Bennett’s book The Wives’ Tale is that kind of book! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aug 26 2018

        A clue: they tend to be written by women, not born of privilege, who fortunately for us managed to get an education and write their stories down!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Aug 26 2018

        I will remember that!


  2. Aug 27 2018

    I loved your answers, Nancy, and read every one. I’m happy to hear that you were able to finally appreciate Pride and Prejudice, one of my favourites. I’m so glad that we’ve become book-friends! I hope that we can do a read-along together one day when I have some free time. So until then, keep reading classics! 🙂


    • Aug 27 2018

      Thanks so much for your comments, Cleo. Our book-friends goes back to 2012! You’ve nudged met into Herodotus, Iliad and Ovid! I never would have read those books without you. Use your time wisely….and keep reading!


  3. This is great – I really enjoyed reading your responses!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aug 28 2018

      You must be very busy…and I thank you for taking the time to comment.
      Your classics club list has truly inspired me to read women writers.
      Quietly…behind the scenes I will follow you….reading your list.
      I won’t make much noise….just content to read over your shoulder. 🙂


  4. That would be fun! I am really hoping to read two classics a month but we will see…


  5. Delighted to read your responses to the survey. Here are some of my random thoughts: Glad to see how much you like Edith Wharton. The truth is that I mostly like authors who get women. I’m not a rereader, as a rule, but somehow I seem to have thirteen rereads on my CC list. I love how you read in French for a year. Languages are so difficult for me, but I still struggle on with them. I especially adore this photo of the largest library in Ireland. So glad it is in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Apr 5 2019

    Good luck with The Magic Mountain—I studied Mann in college, and this one just about did me in! Melanie is the definition of kindness. Vanity Fair is wonderful—one of the best classics, imo. Hope you enjoy it. I’ve never heard of The Old Wives’ Tale—I’ll have to check it out.

    I enjoyed reading your answers

    Liked by 1 person

    • Apr 6 2019

      Thanks so much for you comments! I see you have also completed the 50 questions for Classics Club! I leave a few comments on your post…shortly!



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