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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA Introduction & the Classics

Posted by Charlene // Tags: ,
image credit: Nina of Nina Reads
Since I can't make it to BEA this year, I'm going to try and feel the book community love by participating on my blog through Armchair BEA! There are daily blogging topics, and for this post, I'm going to answer 5 of the Introduction questions posted here.


1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I started blogging a little over a year ago, and I didn't really know what I was getting into, I kinda just set up a blog and a layout and started posting the really short reviews I had written on Goodreads.  It seemed like it would be fun to maintain a book blog, which would help me keep track of the books I read and my thoughts on them.  Visiting other blogs and talking to other bloggers has been a great bonus, as I didn't realize how very much I liked seeing what other people were reading and sharing thoughts on great books.

2. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013? 

I'm currently reading "The Nine Fold Heaven" by Mingmei Yip which is a historical fiction novel set in 30's Shanghai.  Although I haven't gotten very far reading it, I really enjoyed the first book in the series "Skeleton Women" so I have high hopes for this.  One of my favorite reads from this year was "Shadow and Bone" by Leigh Bardugo (I was a little late to the bandwagon on this!) but I loved the story and the characters and I'm really looking forward to going to the "Siege and Storm" launch party next week!

3. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why? 

Well I will pick a character for this fantasy dinner - Mr. Rochester from "Jane Eyre"!  I would love to hear the entertaining stories he must have told Jane during their evening conversations, and as a gentleman I can imagine he would pull out chairs and be very mannered and attentive which would bring joy to my romantic heart. :)  And since he has seen a lot of the world, I think he would be very interesting to talk to.  I'm not much of a talker myself, so if I can get someone interesting started with a few questions and then sit back and absorb, that sounds like a great time to me!

4. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? 

If I have to pick one thing, I think it is the enthusiasm for reading and for books.  I grew up in a family where I am pretty much the only reader, and I didn't really have friends who were keen on reading either.  I wasn't used to sharing what I was reading more than saying the title and author and if it was good or not.  English classes were great to listen to the teachers talk about the book, but generally classmates weren't too keen.  And how amazing it is, that after the isolation, you can come upon a community of like-minded enthusiasts on the internet and interact with them so easily?  I love book blogging, not because I love writing reviews, but because it's so great sharing my love of books with other readers!

5. Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

Well, there is one thing that I would love to have happen someday soon!  It's to have a free ebook version bundled with the physical copy of the book.  I like to buy books that I plan to reread, and if I can have it on my bookshelf, and on my kindle for travel, it would be so useful!

In addition to the Introduction, there is a genre topic, that for today is all about the Classics:


Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature. What are your favorite classics? If you could give a list of classics to someone who claims to hate them to make them change their mind, what would be on it? How would you convince them to give classics a try? And why do you keep coming back to those old favorites?

I love classic literature because they are well-written, and they reward the reader's investment by their well-shaped characters, great plots and complexity.  Classics have endured and continued to attract readers because they are the best of the best in my opinion.

My favorite book is a Classic - "Jane Eyre", but I also love "Dracula" "Huckleberry Finn", "Vanity Fair", "Lord of the Flies", "To Kill a Mockingbird" and probably others I can't think of at the moment.

For someone who hates Classics, it will be hard to give them something that might change their mind, but something with a good pace and not too long like "Lord of the Flies" or "To Kill a Mockingbird" might do the trick.  Possibly the first Classic I ever read would be a good start too - "Tom Sawyer". These books have great, thought-provoking stories and should be a good introduction to the world of Classics literature.

Thanks for reading this post!  And if you would like to follow my blog, I will definitely follow back! :)

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60 comments:

  1. I am impressed that you stuck with reading when you grew up in a family where it wasn't really done. I grew up in a family of readers. My parents were always reading and we had plenty of children's books in the house when I was young. I rebelled at one point in middle school/high school because I hated all the books they made us read and I didn't know enough to understand that there were plenty of books out there that were going to be my cup of tea. I finally figured that out in late high school and college and I have been a reader ever since!

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    1. My Mom was very encouraging with my reading habit so that was good. I did get a little teasing because I would never hear anyone talking to me if I was reading. (I'm able to hear my name called now, even if I tune out conversations. :D) I'm glad that you rediscovered your love of reading!

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  2. I was like you, not many people around me were readers when I grew up. I have always been very stubborn, though, so I kept to my thing. A bonus for me is that I have always been a fast reader, so I could read my book, and also play with my friends :)

    I love the classics you've mentioned! Especially the ones you mentioned for people who think they aren't into classics :)

    I look forward to chatting more with you during Armchair BEA!

    Lexxie

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    1. LOL, I know what you mean, I think it is a great skill to be able to fit in so much reading and also socialize with friends! :) Thank you for commenting Lexxie, I look forward to seeing around Armchair BEA!

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  3. I like the idea of the e-book bundled with the paperbook copy though here in Oz there have been a couple of book 2s of a series that have had book 1 offered for free either with a copy of book 2 or around the release date (e.g. The Eternity Cure & Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa. However as long as they TPTB can keep making money from people like me who will buy an e-copy then by the paperback a few weeks later, I doubt it will happen any time soon :-D Ah Well! Hope you have a blast with AtmchairBEA this week :-)

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    1. Ooh so progressive of the publishers in Australia! I wish they would do a few trial runs of that system over here! Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. I don't like e-books, but your idea of a physical copy/e-copy bundle is really smart for people who read both. Smart lady!

    And eeeeee Vanity Fair! I read it for the first time this year and I really enjoyed it. Becky Sharp was such an interesting character.

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    1. Now if only someone would listen to me! :D Ooh a Vanity Fair fan! I don't meet too many of those! The book is quite hefty but full of so much fun drama!

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  5. The first book I checked out of the library (at age 8) was Tom Sawyer...followed soon by Huckleberry Finn.

    As I aged (into my teens), I loved all the usual books, like Rebecca, Anna Karenina, etc.

    Here's MY ARMCHAIR BEA POST

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    1. OMG, I remember reading Tom Sawyer when I was... 9 maybe and I couldn't get into it. I'm glad I picked it up again a few years later and loved it. I thought it had to be the best Mark Twain book, but Huckleberry Finn proved me wrong! Rebecca is another fave of mine, and I haven't gotten a chance to read Anna Karenina yet!

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  6. Loving your idea of dinner with Mr Rochester. He certainly would be a wonderful, interesting and (no doubt) very charming companion. :0)

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    1. Hee, I know! I wouldn't want to let him go - maybe I could try to spin the dinner out to include dessert and after-dinner drinks!

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    2. Ooh go for a whole weekend, girl!

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    3. LOL! I don't mind if I do! :D

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  7. I too would love dinner with Mr. Rochester, as well as the Count of Monte Cristo and Sherlock and Watson.

    I will be following your lovely blog.

    My introduction: http://mwgerard.com/armchair-bea-introduction-and-classics/

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    1. I would pick Sherlock and Watson if it could be the modern BBC version- I'm so enamored with that TV show! :) Thanks for the follow, I'm following back!

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  8. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!

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    1. Thank you Marilou, I'm following back! :)

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  9. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics too! During Audiobook Week last year, Shadow and Bone was, hands down, a favorite listen. I've yet to get to it. Nice to meet you today.

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    1. Yay a Jane Eyre fan! That makes me happy. :) I should try listening to the Shadow and Bone audiobook, I think it would be a interesting to hear how the reader captures the characters. Thanks for stopping by!

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  10. I grew up in a family where I am pretty much the only reader, and I didn't really have friends who were keen on reading either.<~~ Yep, me too! (At least in my immediate family) It has been so refreshing to be a part of a community that GETS ME.

    Have a fantastic ABEA!

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    1. Exactly! I belong with this group of crazy, creative people! :D
      Thanks for stopping by Jennifer!

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  11. I'm also more of a casual book blogger, I just blog about what I read rather than soliciting ARCs or using Netgalley. The book blogs are kind of a crossover from the writing blogs for me. The writing/reading community is so helpful and welcoming :)

    Did you read Jane by April Lindner? It's a modern retelling of Jane Eyre. I really liked it, and for the most part it managed to work in a contemporary setting.

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    1. I'm not a writer, but I think book blogging has helped my writing skills which is a bonus!

      I did read Jane by April Lindner - it's not my favorite Jane Eyre retelling but it is enjoyable.

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  12. Yes yes yes to the e-book bundle idea. I've wanted this for so long. I'm not a big e-reader but this would go a long way in turning me into one.

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    1. I don't want to be an e-reader only gal, but I do love the convenience, and sometimes when I'm out somewhere I just want to look up a passage in a book!

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  13. I love To Kill A Mockingbird and want to reread that sometime soon. I always wished more kids in high school english class had wanted to discuss the books more. I should have been an English Major in college lol. I haven't read Jane Eyre yet but want to. You got me intrigued since you picked one of the characters as your dinner guest.

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    1. I want to reread To Kill a Mockingbird too actually, I think it will be interesting to see how my perspective changed on the story since I read it in high school. Do read Jane Eyre, it's an excellent book! :)

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  14. I grew up in a family where I was the loan reader too. Though my parents did a really good job of supporting my reading development, they're not actually readers themselves. Same with my friends.
    Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics too! There's just so much in the book.

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    1. My parents were really supportive too which was great! Yay a Jane Eyre fan! It's pretty much a perfect story to me. :D

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  15. I agree that To Kill A Mockingbird is a great "starter" classic. I started blogging the same way- just to keep track of what I was reading. I had gotten tired of picking up a book only to realize a few pages in, that I had already read it! Enjoy ABEA!
    Kerri

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    1. LOL, I know what you mean! I would also look at a book that I wanted to buy in the bookstore and I couldn't remember if I had read it or not! Thanks for stopping by Kerri!

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  16. Love the design of your blog and am happy to now be following you thanks to Armchair BEA!

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    1. Thank you! I love the design Inside the Kaleidoscope came up for me too. :) Thank you for following, I've followed your blog too!

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  17. I was late to the Shadow and Bone party too but I loved it. I don't read a lot of classics these days but I'd really like to.

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    1. Oh good, I'm not alone in that too. :D I think Classics can be very refreshing after reading lots of the new and popular books today, so I hope you'll find time to read more!

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  18. Can I tell you how much I wish I could fly to LA to go to the launch party with you? Awesome!

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    1. Can't you just get fly over real quick?? :) I wish you could come too! Then we could dress up Tsarpunk style as well! :)

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    2. Gah that would be SO fun..who would you want to be? I would want to be Etheralki Squallers or tidemakers..because a blue and silver..gorgeous..

      http://pinterest.com/lbardugo/etherealki/

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    3. Inferni for me! I love red! Heh, I'm going to be like Bertha! JK!!

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  19. Great to meet you!!! Cheers to new-to-me blogs and Armchair BEA!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, it's great to meet you too! :)

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  20. I enjoy listening to people, especially people with exciting stories, too. I will always be an observer so its fun to learn about cool events. Too Kill A Mockingbird is one of my favorite books, good suggestion!

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    1. Mr. Rochester is a good storyteller too from the book, so I am even more eager to have that dinner with him! :) Yay, To Kill a Mockingbird was one of the books I read for school, and I remember being so attached to it, and finishing it way ahead of schedule.

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  21. I absolutely adore Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. It was almost one of the three favorites listed on my own post today, but I then realized that I don't really have a proper review written for it! That's something I definitely must correct.

    Great post! Hope you have an awesome BEA week.

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    1. Huckleberry Finn is my fave Mark Twain book - though I pretty much love all his novels deeply! I'm glad you are such a fan!

      Thanks for stopping by Adam!

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  22. New follower! Welcome to Armchair BEA! Hey...I still haven't read Shadow and Bone. Waiting on my SNL to finish it so I can borrow it from her. Amen amen amen on the free ebooks bundled with the phyiscal copy of the book! I'd be ALL over that 100%! Great suggestion!

    Also, I re-read Jane Eyre this year (after my teacher read it to us in the 5th or 6th grade), and LOVED IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So much!

    Hope you enjoy your Armchair BEA experience! Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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    1. Well at least once you've read Shadow and Bone you can dive into the second book quickly! I wish I had the second book with me, after I finished the first! :) So glad to have another Jane Eyre fan on here! Of course I followed you back! :)

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  23. Hi, welcome to Armchair BEA. This is my second year participating and I'm determined to make a bit more effort than last year :-) I'm hoping to read Shadow and Bone very soon as I've heard it's really good so I can't wait!

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    1. I hope to put a lot of effort into Armchair BEA too, but there are so many blogs participating and so little time! I hope to visit them all though! And I think Shadow and Bone is so good, I'm jealous you are going to experience it for the first time! :)

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  24. Nice choices for converting non-classics-readers. I don't know anyone who doesn't love To Kill a Mockingbird (other than my mother...yeah, I dunno either). It's one of those life altering books. There's no choice other than becoming a better person after reading it.

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    1. I actually wasn't a fan of To Kill a Mockingbird. *ducks*

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    2. Nooooooo RoofBeamReader, you're not allowed to prove me wrong in..uh...6 minutes. *wrings hands*

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    3. LOL, well it takes all kinds in this world!

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  25. I COMPLETELY agree about having a free ebook copy bundled with physical books... this idea comes up in my head all the time! Great minds think alike?? ;D So glad you're also doing ABEA!

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    1. This is definite proof that great minds think alike! :) I'm looking forward to reading all your ABEA posts, I've decided not to do all of them, but I like blog hopping and seeing what others are saying. :)

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  26. I have to agree with you when you said a free version of an ebook with the purchase of a physical book. I was actually thinking about that this week! I compared it to the fact that you buy a Bluray movie and you get a digital copy. Of course now the movie studios are moving to this stupid Ultra Violet video which is sooooo awful. I also play video games and now they are getting rid of used game market by making you have a code for your game. It just all about the money so we will probably never see ebooks included with our purchase.

    Angie

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    1. Very true, it's all about the money in this case! If the publishers found that people don't buy both the physical copy and the ebook maybe they would bundle them together (while charging a little more for the bundle of course!). I was hopeful when Amazon offered mp3 downloads with CDs, but then I guess the CD business isn't doing that well. I'm much more attached to books than I am to having the CD!

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  27. Ohh I want to participate in this as well! :)

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    1. Yay! It's like a fun precursor to the real thing!

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