Monthly Meme

The Classics Club monthly meme is another way to bring members of The Classics Club together. New questions were posted from August 2012 to February 2015 to give clubbers an opportunity to talk about literature together.

Starting in August 2015 (through December 2016), we decided to start recycling some of the questions from the club’s first three years, to give those who weren’t members yet an opportunity to answer live, & to allow those who have already answered — or who lacked the time or inclination to answer originally — a space to revisit. We will also be posting a couple of the suggested questions offered by club members in the comments below, since we were lucky enough to get a few after we retired this meme. (Thanks for those!) We hope this is fun and adds to the sense that we are, in a way, reading together. With minimal effort on the part of your moderators, who are strapped! 🙂

Twitter hashtag: #ccmeme


The Questions We Asked:

(click the month to see all member entries)

August 2012: What is your favorite classic book? Why?

September 2012: Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

October 2012: Why are you reading the classics?

November 2012: What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)

December 2012: What is your favorite memory of Dickens’s A Christmas Carol? Have you ever read it? If not, will you? Why should others read it rather than relying on the film adaptions?

January 2013: What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why? Be sure to link to the post where you discussed the book! (Or, if you prefer, what is your least favorite read so far for the club, and why?)

February 2013: From Emily O (ReadingWhileFemale) – “What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”

March 2013: Do you love Jane Austen or want to “dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone”? (Phrase borrowed from Mark Twain).

  1. Why? (for either answer)?
  2. Favorite and/or least favorite Austen novel?

April 2013“Who is hands-down the best literary hero, in your opinion? Likewise, who is the best heroine?” (Contributed by Payton from All Things Bright and Beautiful — April 18, 2012 in a comment at the since deleted blog of our founder.) 🙂

May 2013: Tell us about the classic book(s) you’re reading this month. You can post about what you’re looking forward to reading in May, or post thoughts-in-progress on your current read(s).

June 2013Contributed by kheenand at BookerTalk, who joined us in August 2012: What is your favourite opening sentence from a classic novel (and why)?

July 2013 – Contributed by Crafts4Others, who joined us in August 2012: What classic book has changed your view on life, social mores, political views, or religion?

August 2013 –  Contributed by one of our moderators, Sarah from Sarah Reads Too Much, who joined us in March 2012: Do you read forewords/notes that precede many classics?  Does it help you or hurt you in your enjoyment/understanding of the work?

September 2013 – Contributed by Brona from Brona’s Books, who joined us in August 2012: Rereading a favourite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?

October 2013 – We want you to mingle. Go to our member list and select a fellow classics clubber you’d like to feature on your blog. This can be someone who is active within the Classics Club, someone quiet who inspires with his/her posts, someone new to the club or scarce whom you’d like the club to meet. S/he can be a friend of yours, or someone you’ve never met. Tell readers why you value this club member. Highlight at least one post from his/her blog.

November 2013 – A meme rewind: Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

December 2013 – Let’s do this again: What is your favorite classic book? If you already answered this question in August 2012, great! Tell us what you picked then, and if your answer has changed in the last year and a half. If you are new since that meme, what is your favorite classic as of today? (Yes, you can of course list multiple books.) 🙂

January 2014: Contributed by Ruth, who joined us in March 2012: Which character from classic literature is most important or influential to you and why? Or which character do you most despise and why?

February 2014: “Dead white guys” are all too often the focus when it comes to discussions of the Western Canon. We’d love to see members highlight classic works or authors that are overlooked in the canon that deserve recognition. Pick one/or more and tell us how their work resonates for our century and/or for you. As always, you determine what is a “classic” in your point of view, including works from 2000+, and works from anywhere in the world. // Or, if you have trouble thinking of an author/work to highlight, you could simply discuss the topic itself: What is “The Western Canon” — have you thought about who/what determines which works are recognized from human history?

March 2014: Contributed by Dale, who joined us in September 2012: What is your favorite “classic” literary period and why?

April 2014: Contemplate your favorite classic to date. When was this book written? Why would you say it has been preserved by the ages? Do you think it will still be respected/treasured 100 years from now? If it had been written in our own era, would it be as well received? // Or — ask the same question of a classic you disliked. What didn’t you like about the book, and why do you think history’s readers helped it to be remembered and valued into 2014?

May 2014: Contributed by Vikk Simmons, who joined us in May 2012: Which classic work has caused you to become a master in avoidance? It’s not necessarily because you’re intimidated but maybe there are works out there that just cause you to have the Dracula reaction: cape-covered arm up in front of face with a step back reaction?

June 2014: Think of an example of a classic you’ve read that presents issues like racism/sexism as acceptable within society. Do you think the reception of this classic work would be the same if it were newly published today? What can we get out of this work despite its weaknesses? Or, why would you say this work is still respected/treasured/remembered in 2014?

July 2014: Have you ever read a biography on a classic author? If so, tell us about it. If you had already read works by this author, did reading a biography of his/her life change your perspective on the author’s writing? Why or why not? // Or, if you’ve never read a biography of a classic author, would you? Why or why not?

August 2014: Contributed by Teresa, who joined us in 2012: What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?

September 2014: Select two classics from your list (by different authors) that you have finished reading. Now switch the authors, and contemplate how each might have written the other’s book. For example, what if Charlotte Brontë had written David Copperfield, and Charles Dickens had written Jane Eyre? How might the style, focus and impact change in a work of literature by a different author’s pen? What about William Shakespeare writing Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen writing The Taming of the Shrew? Etc. If you discuss the story, please of course remember to warn folks plot details are forthcoming. 🙂

October 2014: Let’s talk about classic poetry! Have you got a favorite classic poem? Do you read poetry? Why or why not? // You could also feature a poet or a book of poetry, rather than a poem.

November 2014: Contributed by Ruth, who joined us in March 2012: Which argument made by an author (what the author wants you to believe) do you most support or agree with (or disagree with).  First give the argument, then state why you agree or disagree.  For example, what argument does Melville make in Moby Dick, and do you agree?  Why or why not?

December 2014: Let’s talk about children’s classics! Did you read any classic works as a child? What were your favorites? If not, have you or will you try any classic children’s literature in the future? (We’re aware children often read at an adult level. Please feel free to share adult OR children’s classics that you treasured in childhood OR children’s works that you’ve recently fallen for.) 🙂

January 2015: Tell us about post-colonial literature: have you tried work by post-colonial authors? If so, share some of your experiences.

February 2015: Contributed by Teresa, who joined us in 2012: What about modern classics? Pick a book published since 2000 and say why you think it will be considered as a “classic” in the future.

(a brief pause while the moderators regrouped, then we started recycling a few questions so new and seasoned clubbers could revisit live)

August 2015: Contributed by BookerTalk, who joined us in August 2012: “Have you made changes to your list since you first created it? If you added any new titles or removed some, why did you make those changes?”

September 2015: A meme rewind from October 2013 – We want you to mingle. Go to our member list and select a fellow classics clubber you’d like to feature on your blog. This can be someone who is active within the Classics Club, someone quiet who inspires with his/her posts, someone new to the club or scarce whom you’d like the club to meet. S/he can be a friend of yours, or someone you’ve never met. Tell readers why you value this club member. Highlight at least one post from his/her blog.

October 2015: Contributed by Ruth, who joined us in March 2012: “Tell us about your favorite or a most terrifying, frightening, or eerie classic (novel, poem, short story) you have ever read.”

November 2015: A meme rewind from April 2013“Who is hands-down the best literary hero, in your opinion? Likewise, who is the best heroine?”

December 2015: A meme rewind from September 2012: Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book. What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?

January 2016: A meme rewind from February 2013: From Emily O (ReadingWhileFemale) – “What classic has most surprised you so far, and why?”

February 2016: A meme rewind from May 2013: Tell us about the classic book(s) you’re reading this month. You can post about what you’re looking forward to reading in February, or post thoughts-in-progress on your current read(s).

March 2016: A meme rewind from September 2013 – Contributed by Brona from Brona’s Bookswho joined us in August 2012: Rereading a favourite classic at different stages of your life gives you different insights with each reading. Is there one classic you’ve read several times that also tells a story about you?

April 2016: Contributed by Joseph, who joined us in May 2014: “What is your most ‘treasured’ book…not the story…the physical book? Maybe a valuable first or early edition, or an autographed copy, or a family heirloom, or a gift, or maybe just the favorite binding or cover art.”

May 2016: A meme rewind from January 2014: Contributed by Ruth, who joined us in March 2012: Which character from classic literature is most important or influential to you and why? Or which character do you most despise and why?

June 2016: Contributed by Fariba, who joined us in January 2014:  “What is your favorite mystery or science fiction classic? Why do you think it is a classic? Why do you like it?”

July 2016: A meme rewind from February 2015: Contributed by Teresa, who joined us in 2012: What about modern classics? Pick a book published since 2000 and say why you think it will be considered as a “classic” in the future.

August 2016: A meme rewind from November 2012: What classic piece of literature most intimidates you, and why? (Or, are you intimidated by the classics, and why? And has your view changed at all since you joined our club?)

September 2016: A meme rewind from September 2014: Select two classics from your list (by different authors) that you have finished reading. Now switch the authors, and contemplate how each might have written the other’s book. For example, what if Charlotte Brontë had written David Copperfield, and Charles Dickens had written Jane Eyre? How might the style, focus and impact change in a work of literature by a different author’s pen? What about William Shakespeare writing Pride & Prejudice, and Jane Austen writing The Taming of the Shrew? Etc. If you discuss the story, please of course remember to warn folks plot details are forthcoming.

October 2016: A meme rewind from August 2014: Contributed by Teresa, who joined us in 2012: What are your thoughts on adaptions of classics? Say mini-series or movies? Or maybe modern approaches? Are there any good ones? Is it better to read the book first? Or maybe just compare the book and an adaptation?

November 2016: A meme rewind from January 2013: What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why? Be sure to link to the post where you discussed the book! (Or, if you prefer, what is your least favorite read so far for the club, and why?)

December 2016: A meme rewind from March 2014: Contributed by Dale, who joined us in September 2012: What is your favorite “classic” literary period and why?


The Classics Club moderators are not responsible for the content of any posts written in response to the above prompts. We are only offering up discussion questions and are not necessarily for or against any of the topics discussed at the blogs of people who choose to participate, or the way they choose to present these discussions. We just thought up some questions. 🙂
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74 thoughts on “Monthly Meme

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