Horror! Horror! Shudder! Shudder! And More!

I don’t know why I get involved in all this sort of things and again I have Stefanie to thank for this! But now that I have decided that I will do, do it I will….

What am I talking about? I am talking about RIP 2013

The idea is to read any of 4 books belonging to any of the following genre between September –October 2013

  • Mystery
  • Suspense
  • Thriller
  • Dark Fantasy
  • Gothic
  • Horror
  • Supernatural

And though, Fall does seem really far away in this sweltering heat and humidity (remember I am a winter person!) one cannot deny the fun factor of the whole thing – a gothic tale when its dark and stormy and something eerie hangs in the air – here goes my list (like always I wanted to read it all and had incredible trouble in confining myself to 4!)

  • The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe – My favorite author (Jane Austen naturally!!! Northanger Abbey draws its inspiration from this book!) was a devotee of Ms Radcliffe and it’s only fitting that when I attempt something Gothic, Udolpho should take the center stage. I have always meant to read this book and what better time than now to start the journey!
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë – What can I say about this book that has not already been said/written. While I never could relate to all the fury and madness of Heathcliff, I have not read this book in a decade and in a decade I have grown (besides horizontally and vertically!) tolerant and wiser (hopefully!). So this is a good time as any to revisit the book.
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson – Another book which I read as a teen and for a change liked and wanted to revisit again as an adult. I have a sneaking suspicion, that behind all the dark mystery and scare, there is at the very heart of the book a simple morality tale. But this is from remeberances and I could be completely off; so time to re-read again!
  • The Hound of Baskervilles by Author Conan Doyle – There is no way on earth; I would have participated in a reading event of this genre and not read at least one work by the great master of Crime and mystery himself. I love ALL Sherlock Holmes and this one is an all-time best! I know it’s a cliché but how can one attempt without the most successful l fiction detectives by one’s side!

So that’s my reading plan – it’s not all creepy and crawly; can’t do much creepy and crawly especially since my flatmate will be travelling for two weeks starting September 07 and I have to come back to huge rambling apartment in the middle of relatively secluded valley! Anyway, I don’t think I will read any of these works until she is back!

Yes! I know I am faint hearted and no it does not win anybody Prince Charming (Don’t need one…got Mr Soulmate who can be very charming if he wants though its subject to “wants” and is no Prince!) But I will not read any of this until my roomie is back! So there and do not hold your breath until like the 4th week of September!

P.S. Somewhere among all of this I have to read Middlemarch as part of September October Classic Club Spin!

The Only Way Ahead…..the Classics Way!

It’s the Classic Spin time again! Yup! The Classic’s Club has organized another Spin and the rules are as always simple –

  • Pick 20 Classics of your choice
  • On Monday, i.e. May 20th, the Club will pick a number
  • You read the book that you have marked against the number through May and June

The big question is will I do it again? I mean in the last club Spin, I got Madame Bovary which I detested the first time I read it, so may years ago; but with loads of encouragement and support from fellow club members, bloggers and readers, I managed to prod through the book, a second time – net result I still did not like it!

So will I do it again? The answer is …..Of course!! Yes!!! Most definitely!

There is no denying it’s a lot of fun. Even if I did not like the book, I got some wonderful perspective and engaged in some marvelous debates about it. Most importantly, if it was not for the Spin, I would have never read that book again since it was part of my private dreading to read it again list!

Now for the list – here goes….

  1. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  2. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  4. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
  5. Jane Eyre  by Charlotte Bronte
  6. Great Expectation by Charles Dickens
  7. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  9. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
  10. The Way of  all Flesh by Samuel Butler
  11. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  12. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  13. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  14. The Moonstone by Willkie Collins
  15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  16. Wives and Daughter by Elizabeth Gaskell
  17. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn      Waugh
  18. The Alexandria Quartet by Lawrence Durrell
  19. My Antonia by Willa Carther
  20. A Farewell to the Arms by Ernest Hemmingway

Let’s see what faith holds on Monday. I have edited m y previous list a bit and put down a few more books that were in my to-read-but-never-got-around-to –it list.

Can’t wait for Monday!

The Classic Attempt…..

This blog is completely inspired by The Classics Club ….I am not sure why I venture into these challenges, considering I fail most of the time….I mean I am not a person who really thrives on short notices or deadlines! I felt really weird writing the last sentence, I mean the other me – you know the ‘Project Manager’ me – the Corporate wheeler-dealer me,  really thrives and succeeds on deadlines and pressure tactics; in fact the tighter the leash, the better I will succeed. But when it comes to this me – you know the blogging-reading round the clock-with clueless love live-talking endless nonsense me, well, I just so badly fail. I could not complete the NaNoWriMo; I could not complete any of reading challenges, though as God be my witness, I read enough, so this me – the one I consider the real me, does not come out gloriously in these  events. So why do it again – like knowingly set yourself for a fall? Well I guess, you cannot teach an old dog new tricks – if there is a cliff, I will climb to the very top of it, only to fall head long!! Yeah! Yeah!! I know I will live through this!

Anyway after all the procrastination, I amble back to the main subject. So The Classics Club has a Spin list – what one does is, list 20 classics in a random order. They could be a list of books you love reading or never finished or dread starting. On Monday, 18th February, The Classics Club will announce a number – whatever number is declared, you read the book that you have marked against this number by April 1st 2013.  The ideal list is of course a mix of all the above – books you love, books you have been planning to read forever, but never got down to it and naturally, books that you absolutely dread and so on and so forth.

Therefore without any more ado, I present my list –

  1. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  4. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  5. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  9. Great Expectation by Charles Dickens
  10. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
  11. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  12. To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  13. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  14. Madam Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
  15. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  16. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
  17. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  18. The Moonstone by Willkie Collins
  19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  20. Wives and Daughter by Elizabeth Gaskell

I love Austen, Swift and really want to read Gaskell, Burgess and Collins. I shudder at the thought of Woolf or Eliot – never quite developed a taste for them. I have been planning to go back to Flaubert for some time – especially since my sister told me to read closely in the details, because apparently, the beauty of the book lies in those minute details. The same holds true of Anna Karenina – did not like it the first couple of times I read it, but since reading Stefanie’s thoughts on the book, I have been curious to give it another try, though War and Peace remains my favorite Tolstoy book and would love to go over it again!

To end, I am waiting with bated breath for the number draw – again, I wonder why I am doing this? But maybe this time because of the contest, I will have the patience to finish The Awakening and in my mind list, it would be one down! 😉