Group Check-In #14 – August 2015

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Hi Clubbers! How’s the reading going? We have been very silent & utterly busy. Have you? Check in with the group below!

(Yes, we are hosting a spin tomorrow. Yes. We are.)

We’d love to hear how long you’ve been with us, what your favorite classic read is so far off your list, or the one you can’t wait to read, some of the friends you’ve made through the club, what you’re reading next, how many times you’ve changed your list since you started with us — (Have you changed it? what inspired the change? how different does your list look these days, or have you hunkered down & remained true to your first impulse — and changed nothing on your list?)

Have you discovered any new favorite authors since we last checked in together? Have you read a book from your list that EVERYONE MUST READ NOW? Tell us about your project — or you! Introduce yourself. Chat. Tell us what you’ve read, how you’re feeling about your progress, how much you love the classics or the community — any struggles, a favorite read so far. Really, whatever you feel like sharing!

Some people prefer writing an update at their own blog and linking it here in the comments. That’s fine, too.

Feel free to respond to one another in the comments below — ask questions, visit each other, tell us you are new to the club, planning to join the club — etc. This is a meet and greet.

If you’re having trouble with your list and need encouragement, say that! That’s understandable. We want new classics readers to join us, so there’s nothing wrong with arriving to this thread with all of the newness showing!

(Please also note the “check-in” feature here is entirely voluntarily, intended for those who like weighing in with others in the group, and having a periodic place to reflect upon goals for the club. For some this feature would feel like an unwanted intrusion. Silent participation in this group is of course welcome!)

Thanks for sticking with us, or joining us, or being generally excellent!

New? Introduce yourself to the group on Twitter using hashtag #ccintroductions @ourclassicsclub. You can also introduce yourself here at the blog. 🙂

Twitter hashtag for reading check-ins: #ccreadingupdate

Note that if you’re on Twitter, you can also tweet your latest classic book reviews to the group using hashtag #ccbookreviews.

32 thoughts on “Group Check-In #14 – August 2015

  1. I joined last year and while my progress hasn’t been as much as I’d like I am making some progress which is better than nothing! I developed an appreciation for Dickens that I didn’t have before and realized that not all of Daphne du Maurier’s books are for me. I’m trying to get my review books under control so I can tackle more classics but the new shiny books keep grabbing me!


  2. This is my first check-in. I joined in January. I have had a slumpy reading year. Several of my classics that I tried to read, I abandoned. Paradise Lost and Villette. I was just too busy. I did finish some poetry selections and Truman. This is a great time to get a classic out! Try, try again.


  3. I’ve been in since January, and an on book #9. To be fair, my project is mainly focusing on children’s classics–I’m a new mom, and wanted to refresh my memory on books that I think my son might enjoy when he’s old enough, and check out some of the stories that I never got to myself. But I did have some things just for me–thanks to this project, I finally finished the Anne of Green Gables series. I read the first four books multiple times growing up, but always got stuck on book 5.

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  4. I haven’t kept up in the slightest! I’m only at four books down, and I started back in November. I think it’s still too early to know if I’ll end up swapping any of my books out, but after such a great experience with my first Austen novel, I may trade out a few for some more Jane. 🙂


      1. I am really pleased with my progress and have enjoyed so much of what I’ve read. It is very hard to pick one favourite! I did love Little Women, A Christmas Carol and The Three Musketeers 🙂


  5. I joined the club about 6 mnths after it started, which means that I am actually celebrating my third year of CC membership this week!

    My original list was 100 books, but it grew to 125 in my second year.
    Emile Zola has been my wonderful find in this time as well as discovering that Wilkie Collins (of Moonstone and Women in White fame) had a huge backlist to enjoy.

    There are too many new blogging friendships to name them all, but one particular highlight was meeting Melissa from Avid Readers Musings and her Huz when they traveled to Sydney last year.

    My job in an Indy bookshop often makes it hard for me to read as many classics as I would like to as it requires me to be up-to-date with contemporary literature (it’s a hard job, I know!!)
    So I have resorted to cheating on my original list.

    If I happen to read a classic that is not on my list, I bump something that has lots its appeal (or in a few odd cases, lost the actual book!) for the read and reviewed book instead. It helps to keep those numbers ticking over.

    I love this community and I’m hoping this reconnect will help me get back on track. (I can’t tell you how much my heart sang when I spotted the #CCspin tweet this evening 🙂


  6. I have been pretty poor to be honest. Life keeps getting in the way! I have finished two off my list since the last spin but I had hoped to do more.


  7. I joined my first spin about a year ago. I have since created my list of 50 classics and have been working away on it. I cheated however because I decided to go back and include all classic books I have read since becoming a high school librarians back in 2005. I plan to retire in 2017. My goal it to finish my list by that time. I currently have 55 books on my list and have read 24 of them. I guess that means I’d better get going if I actually plan on reading 30 classic books in two years. Thanks for updating the webpage. I have been so worried that it was abandoned just when I got around to joining.

    I just finished listening to the classic: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston. It is a perfect book to consume in the audio format because it is written in 1930s southern vernacular. It is beautifully written. I’ll post a link when I finish my review.


  8. I’ve been with the club for about half a year.
    I’ve figured out that I’m very bad with finishing books. I’ve started quite a couple classics. Only Finished Macbeth. I’m trying to read 200 books in 5 years.
    Doesn’t look like it’s going to happen right now, but oh well.
    I’ve mt a quite few people through the Club as well.
    I’m confused. What’s a Spin?


  9. I joined in October 2013, and since then, I’ve read 33 classics. I’m pretty happy with that, but since my list has grown from 51 to 81, I’m almost exactly where I started. 🙂 Other than The Marquise of O and Around the World in 80 Days, I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read so far, and I have no doubt I can finish my list over the next 3 years, if I stop adding to it. Looking forward to a new spin tomorrow!


  10. I’ve been in the club for 2&1/2 years now. I am projected to achieve my goal of 50 Classics in three years. I am a little backed up at the moment, but I know I can buckle down & make my February deadline. I have found & read so many great books and new (to me) authors. Right now I am halfway through An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser. Amazing. I have read two of Virginia Wolf’s books, she is one of my new favorite authors. I read To The Lighthouse about a year and a half ago and fell in love- that was a sponsered read through here. My list has been loosely planned out, because I don’t do well with having to read a certain book at a certain time. I have to read what I’m in the mood for. I’m going to be trying for two classics a month between now and February to hit my goal. Sounds like everyone here is finding great reads, too! I love this club for reading inspiration!


  11. I’ve been here since November 2014. My major discovery is that I enjoy reading the classics more that I enjoy writing about them. I’ve read 17 so far but have only posted 11 reviews. Clearly I need to remedy that! Currently I’m reading The Fellowship of the Ring. Not a huge Tolkien fan but I’m appreciating the quality of his writing and the integrity of the world he created. In terms of my list I’ve added in a few more Shakespeare titles than I had originally . Toughest read so far has been On the Origin of Species. Favourite (a reread) has been To Kill A Mockingbird. Favourite new reads would be a tie between Germinal and Romeo and Juliet (although that felt like a reread since I was already so familiar with the story despite not having actually read or seen the play). And Othello too.


  12. I started my list something over a year ago, and I’ve read 15 books, so I feel pretty well on target. I have made some changes — sometimes I just lose interest in a book or author, or find something else that appeals to me more. It’s hard to pick out favorites. I think what I like most about the challenge is that each and every book is so different, and yet I can see why each can be called a “classic.” There hasn’t been one that I didn’t enjoy in its own way.


  13. Oh boy, a spin! Maybe that’s what I need.

    I’ve been in CC since the beginning, and I was hoping to get a lot of books crossed off my list this year. I’ve got nearly 50 left to go in less than two years and some of them are doozies! I’ve been in a serious reading slump for the past month, as the end of summer and start of school have done a number on me. But right now I’m reading Kate Chopin’s “The Awakening.”

    Mostly I’ve kept my list the same except that I’ve swapped titles out when I couldn’t get the first one, or when I discovered that I put something insane on there (I had Nahguib Mahfouz’ Cairo trilogy, which is enormous, and then I found out that I don’t like Mahfouz one little bit.)


  14. I’ve been kind of naughty. I have not been keeping up with my reading. I have read a few books, but I am certainly not keeping up to the 2 books a month I promised to do. But I have a little over 4 years left so I am not terribly worried yet.

    I have had to change one or two books on my list – most notably the last SPIN book I read. My original list had Emma by Jane Austen. I just could not get through that. Emma drove me nuts. So I changed the book to Persuasion and LOVED IT!!!

    For tomorrows spin, I just hope that I get a better spin number than the last one. I will certainly take part in this new SPIN challenge. I better go get my list ready for tomorrows spin.


  15. I’m looking forward to another spin. The classic books tnot on my list that I liked best are Cheerful Weather for the Wedding by Julia Strachey and The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I haven’t posted reviews for either of them yet, but they are coming up! I have also been revisiting the pleasures of Angela Thirkell.

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      1. See! That’s what I love about this group. Angela Thirkell….I’m sad to say I’ve never heard of her, but now with two such raves, I will be checking her out at work on Monday morning 🙂


        1. Oh she is fun. Thirkell wrote a whole series of light comedies set in Trollope’s Barsetshire, updated to the 1920s on. They’re good all the way through WWII. It must be admitted that she is an incurable snob but they are lovely books. She is good at human nature, and they’re very funny.


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