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).
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!
- The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
- Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas
- The Color Purple by Alice Walker
- Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
- Sketches by Boz by Charles Dickens
- The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
- L’Assommoir by Emile Zola
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Nobody’s Boy by Hector Marlot
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
I hope you have enjoyed learning about Fanda just as much as I did!