It was my week to post the Weekly Geeks question and I have to say, after reading the first ten responses, I'm so excited to read the different ways people answered the question, that I don't want to take the time to post my own response! But I have this thing about doing my WG post early. So, I'm going to answer question one right now, and probably do more later.
1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books?
As a child, I read authors like L. Frank Baum, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Lewis Carroll without thinking of them as particularly old. Books were just books, to me. (Did you know The Bobbsey Twins was created in 1904? I had no idea).
Something shifted when I was required to analyze and deconstruct everything I had time to read. I do remember enjoying some of the twentieth century literature I studied in college, like Faulkner and Kesey, but most of what I read was Work. Meanwhile, I was busy figuring out who I was and my place in the world, working on the relationship that would evolve into my marriage. And to be honest, I never quite bought into all the symbolism and hoity-toity stuff my professors got so excited about. It was a game. I did the analysis in the style that was expected, wrote the papers, and moved on to the next thing without a whole lot of appreciation for Greatness.
Time has passed, and now I look and feel remarkably like a 40-ish mother of two, (though part of me is convinced this is all a lovely dream and I'll wake up at some point, back at twenty-three). I'm ready to revisit some of those authors who were required reading in college and high school, and make an acquaintance with others who are nothing more than familiar names to me.
But, flat-out honesty? I don't want to work at it. I don't want to read something because it's Good For Me, or because it's on somebody's list of the Literary Greats. I want to read words that'll make me smile, in a book I'll set down reluctantly at the end of the chapter when my eyelids are heavy. Books that regular people finished because they wanted to, and said to themselves with a happy sigh, "That was a good book."
So now you know the secret behind this week's Weekly Geeks question: It's really all about me.
I'm reading David Copperfield and posting about it most Sundays (I missed last week). Then I'm going to read Steinbeck's Cannery Row in the same way--think I'll switch back and forth between 20th century and earlier stuff (peppered, of course, with ARCs and all those books for the challenges I'm doing). What should I read next?
Edited to add: I forgot to mention my giveaway! Two days left to win an ARC of Ranger's Apprentice: The Siege of Macadaw. Don't be put off by thinking this is a kids' series. My friend Stephanie's two sons, who are old and sophisticated (17 and 20, I think), enjoy them, too.