August 2012 Classics Clubber of the Month: Fanda of Fanda ClassicLit.

I am really excited to be kicking off one of our new features on the blog today-the Classics Clubber of the Month! We (the moderators) thought it would be a great idea to feature members of our Club who are doing wonderful and fabulous things with their lists and reading. For this first month, we decided to pick a blogger to feature. In the future, you can nominate individuals to be featured by filling out this form.

Our very first Classics Clubber of the Month is a blogger that has inspired many of us. Fanda of Fanda ClassicLit was an early joiner to the Club. Since joining, she has read 13 titles off her list of 100! That’s pretty amazing! She is also working towards spreading a love of classic literature in Indonesia, where she lives, and continues to write posts in English and Indonesian.

To learn more about Fanda, I sent her a series of questions. Her responses are in italics.

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Where are you from? How long have you been blogging? What made you start a blog in the first place?

I am an Indonesian book lover and book blogger. I love books from my childhood, my parents always spoiled me with books because they are also book lovers, especially my father. I am single (and that’s why I have so much time to read! J), and work as a secretary in a small office (and that’s why I have time for blogging—I blog at office, and read at home—because I can manage my own tasks).

Around 2008 I have just been introduced to blogging world, and then I thought, why not blogging about books, since reading is always my biggest passion? So I created my first book blog on November 2008 (Baca Buku Fanda http://bukufanda.blogspot.com). I have read so many books, and I think it will be good to write about what I think about the book, as well as their main plot, so I won’t ever forget them after years. My second purpose is to share my thoughts to the world. I blogged then in Bahasa Indonesia (my first language), so that other Indonesian blogger who did not quite like reading can have information about new good books. I started my Fanda Classiclit blog only last year, because I felt that my interest has been narrowing to certain focuses, that is classics and historical fiction. So, I now have three book blogs, with my first blog serves for general books (besides classics and historical fiction).

Tell us a little about your involvement in The Classics Club. When did you join? What made you want to join?

Because I have decided to focus on classics book blogging, I searched for other blogs about classics, and that’s how I met Jillian’s blog. Not long after that, I found out that she had just started The Classics Club. So I joined quite early, on 8 March 2012. I am a person of challenge; I like challenges because it takes me to a higher level everytime. I don’t like to be at the same level for too long, because I will get bored soon, and will end what I have started. So to keep my spirit of reading and blogging, I used to join reading challenges, and even created my own. The Classics Club is a long-term commitment, and I think it can encourage me to read more classics. Plus, I can meet bloggers or people with the same interest (I feel lonely being in the minority of Indonesian blogger who love classics). That’s why I decided to join in.

What is your goal for your participation in The Classics Club?

First, to encourage myself to read at least two classics every month, that’s why I took 100 classics in five years to be my goal for The Classics Club. Second, to get to know more about classics books and authors.

How many books have you read so far? What has been your favorite? Least favorite?

I have read 13 books so far. My favorite? This is a tough question :) because I like most of them. L’Assommoir by Émile Zola was my first reading, and the ‘blow’ is still echoing in me, so I think it’s one of my favorites. The other one is Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas; Dumas is one of my favorite authors (besides Dickens and Zola) because I love heroics adventures, and Dumas is genius in this. There are not many deep moral values or things about life we can learn from his books, it’s just highly entertaining. And I love books that make me engaged from first to last page.

My least favorites are The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Midsummer was my first Shakespeare ever, and I am not ready to give it up yet, I think I ought to give Shakespeare a second chance. That’s why I volunteered to host the year-long plays event for The Classics Club, this time I will encourage myself to learn how to enjoy plays (especially Shakespeare’s).

Top 3 favorite books of all time.

To Kill A Mockingbird, The Curtain-Agatha Christie, and Harry Potter series.

Anything else you’d like to share with Club Members?

One thing that I have gained during The Classics Club, is that I become more familiar to read English books, and to blog in English. Before 2011 I would laugh if someone offered me an English book, why must I trouble myself with reading a book not in my own language? It would only make my reading twice longer, I’ll just wait for the translation. A Christmas Carol (read in December 2011) was the first English book I read (I can speak, read and write in English but not too familiar before). But after joining The Classics Club, I read more and more English books, and considering that there would be international blogger who visit my blog, I must forced myself to blog in English (although I still write in 2 languages for reviews so Indonesian bloggers can read them too). So, thanks to The Classics Club, I think I have been, in a way, in a higher level than before!

In addition to just being inspiring, Fanda has been a very active participant in The Classics Club since its beginning. I know that I have received countless comments from her in the past few months as I have tackled my own journey. She is always courteous and encouraging-the best thing to be! I know I have appreciated all she has said and done, and I am looking forward to getting to know her better as we continue forward in our exploration of the classics.

I would also like to feature some of the wonderful things on her blog, before I send you there to explore and get to know her on her own terms!

She hosts a weekly event called Character Thursday to highlight those zany and wonderful characters she meets in the classic she is currently reading. Like her, I believe getting to know and understand characters in classic literature is an important aspect of reading these books. This is a great way to hash out your issues with a character, or rave about how wonderful they are! Click here to get more information about this fun little meme!

Fanda is hosting a readalong of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind starting on September 1st. For those of you who have that book on your Club list, it is the perfect opportunity to read it in great company! If you are planning on signing up, you can click right here and be taken directly to the sign-up post. She has also offered to host some Shakespeare plays in 2013 as part of the Club’s plan to get us all reading the Bard!

You might also be interested in seeking out her Classics Club Book List-there are quite a few books on there that I haven’t read yet, and sadly, aren’t on my own list!

And to see the reviews written for all 13 of the books she has completed so far, here is a list for you to click through!

I hope you have enjoyed learning about Fanda just as much as I did!

Allie

To nominate someone to be September’s Classics Clubber of the Month, please fill out this form. We look forward to hearing from you!

31 thoughts on “August 2012 Classics Clubber of the Month: Fanda of Fanda ClassicLit.

  1. Risa August 13, 2012 / 4:14 am

    Very inspiring, Fanda! I hope you succeed in your goal of introducing fellow indonesians to the classics. :) And that’s an impressive list of books already read. congratulations. :)

    Like

    • Fanda August 14, 2012 / 8:12 pm

      Thanks…It’s maybe because I haven’t studied literature in school and only knew them couple of years ago, that made me so exciting. There are so many books, yet I have so little time to read.. :)

      Like

  2. Chinoiseries August 12, 2012 / 12:54 pm

    Wow, thirteen books already! Well done :) And blogging in two languages too! You really are an inspiration for the rest of us. Gone with the Wind is a book that I have wanted to tackle for ages, so I will definitely join your readalong.

    Like

    • Fanda August 14, 2012 / 8:13 pm

      Thanks for joining the readalong!

      Like

  3. The Classics Club August 11, 2012 / 9:13 pm

    It is incredible that you are not only tackling a huge list of books for the club, but you are also reading them in a different language! What an inspiration! I’m so glad I had a chance to get to learn a little bit more about you. I’ve read (and love) Gone with the Wind, but I may have to reread it with you guys. -Melissa

    Like

    • Fanda August 14, 2012 / 8:16 pm

      You are welcomed to join us if you want to re-read GWTW, Melissa. There’s one of the participants who joined us to re-read it.

      Like

    • Fanda August 14, 2012 / 8:37 pm

      Melissa, one of GWTW participants said that she will re-read the book too, so you are always welcomed if you’d like to join…

      Like

  4. Fanda August 10, 2012 / 9:50 pm

    Thanks Jillian. You know, I decided to read GWTW after reading about how you always love it! I never quite like romance, and to imagine reading 1400 pages of romance story quite terrified me. But seeing how much you love it made me want to at least try. And now…I can’t wait to start it. ;)

    About writing in 2 languages, well..it’s exhausting sometimes, but when you have been familiar in reading in second language, you won’t feel difficult to write in that language. I don’t know how people used to do it, but sometimes I spend 1-2 hours to write a review (with researches etc.), whew….

    Like

  5. joon*ann August 10, 2012 / 9:04 am

    Fanda, you are so inspiring! Thank you Allie for introducing us to her! :)

    Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 9:40 pm

      Hi Joon Ann, thanks :) I just saw your blog, and like it! I’m glad to be a member here, where I can find new friends who share my interest. Would stop by your blog again sometimes.. :D

      Like

  6. The Classics Club August 10, 2012 / 7:16 am

    Congratulations Fanda! I’m glad to get to know you a little better, and I think you are doing some wonderful things to promote reading classics in your country! Looking forward to reading more of your posts/reviews!! -Sarah

    Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 9:34 pm

      Thanks Sarah, being the first to be featured here will encourage me more to keep reading and writing posts/reviews for classics. And I think, if I keep my present pace, I could even finish my list before 5 years!

      Like

  7. Cat August 10, 2012 / 4:15 am

    Congratulations Fanda ….well deserved. I discovered your blog through the Classics Club and am enjoying your posts – I particularly loved the series you did from Sketches by Boz.

    Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 5:14 am

      Thanks :) I love those posts too..

      Like

  8. melmarian August 10, 2012 / 3:07 am

    I have known Fanda for 2 years now (I usually call her “Mbak” which is “Big sis” in Indonesian) and from the very start I am amazed by her perseverance in reading books and sharing what she gets in them. Her Character Thursday feature especially is wonderful if you want to dig deeper through the classics. There’s always something to learn, to love, or even to loathe from those characters, hehe. And yeah, Fanda and I have this project to promote classic literature to Indonesians. Hopefully they will learn to read and to love classics as much as we do! ;)

    Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 9:27 pm

      Aww…thanks Mel! I think I can’t make it without knowing that you are always there; someone who has the same love of classics, to whom I can discuss or only have a chit-chat on books I am reading, or books I want to buy :)
      Yeah..promoting classics to Indonesians seems difficult, but I think we can do it with patience… We have already..how many friends here in Classics Club? 4 (excluding us) ? It’s something, eh?

      Like

  9. Fanda August 10, 2012 / 1:19 am

    And thanks for all the moderators, without you, classics reading will be less fun (for 5 more years!)

    Like

  10. Angus Miranda August 10, 2012 / 12:49 am

    “I feel lonely being in the minority of Indonesian blogger who love classics.”

    Fanda, I have the same sentiments for the blogosphere here in the Philippines. Most bloggers here focus on YA, which makes me feel like an anti-YA blogger, but I really have nothing against it.

    Some of the local bloggers that I adore do not blog much about the classics. One even told me that he will never read the great Victorian novels (a sad thought). I myself do not blog so much about them; my reading currently leans towards the contemporaries. And with 13 books off your list, I am suddenly inspired to start ticking off books from my own list.

    Thanks for this great feature! :)

    Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 1:14 am

      You know, I have actually started an online Classics Reading Community (together with a friend) to promote classics to Indonesian reader. Indonesians do not familiar with English, so they mostly read translation. When there are more classics lovers, we hope that publishers would be interested in translating more classics literature (more than YA I hope!). So far we got many followers, but when we made events..well.. we begin to realize that it’s not a simple task to make them realize the precious of reading classics!

      Good luck with your classics reading then, Angus! We are minority, but who knows…with our persistence, people will start noticing.. Let’s hope so! :)

      Like

    • Fanda August 10, 2012 / 1:00 am

      Thanks Adam! I never imagine that anyone would feel my excitement with The Classics Club, but I am!

      Like

  11. lostgenerationreader August 10, 2012 / 12:36 am

    I love that Fanda is taking on this challenge when English is not her first language. How inspiring! I may have to sign up for the Gone With the Wind challenge since it’s on my list. Cheers to you, Fanda! Keep up the good work. :)

    Like

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