The Sunday Salon: My Classics Club “Clunker” of 2012

Welcome to another Sunday chez Musings. I’ve been thinking about The Classics Club January Meme, which asks:

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?)

This is perfect for the new year, one of those “take stock of where you’ve been” kind of questions.  For those not familiar with The Classics Club, it works like this: members commit to read and blog about at least 50 classics over 5 years.  I read 19 books in 2012, so I am well on my way (a list of the 19 titles appears at the end of this post).  But because of the Club and the influence of other classics bloggers, I keep adding to my list!  It now stands at 64 books.  At my current pace it shouldn’t be a problem to read 45 books over the next 4 years, but then again I’ll probably keep adding to the list, too.  No big deal, as long as I’m enjoying the ride, right?

Now, about the January question.  I enjoyed nearly all the books I read last year, and there was no runaway favorite.  But there’s definitely one that didn’t work for me:  Edith Wharton’s The Buccaneers (read my review).  This was her last work, and in fact she died before finishing it.  My edition was published in 1993 as a finished work, based on research and notes.  The premise was interesting — American women in the British marriage market — but the characters lacked the depth of Lily Bart (The House of Mirth) or Undine Spragg (The Custom of the Country).  Edith Wharton is one of my favorite authors, so it was especially disappointing to read something that just wasn’t up to scratch.

Did you read any classics last year?  Did you have a favorite, or a “clunker”?

Here’s the complete list of classics read in 2012 (visit my Classics Club page for my 5-year list and links to reviews):

  1. Someone at a Distance, by Dorothy Whipple
  2. Lady Rose and Mrs Memmary, by Ruby Ferguson
  3. Cheerful Weather for the Wedding, by Julia Strachey
  4. A Wreath of Roses, by Elizabeth Taylor
  5. Poor Caroline, by Winifred Holtby
  6. The Rising Tide, by Molly Keane
  7. The Vet’s Daughter, by Barbara Comyns
  8. A Game of Hide and Seek, by Elizabeth Taylor
  9. The Sleeping Beauty, by Elizabeth Taylor
  10. Angel, by Elizabeth Taylor
  11. The Soul of Kindness, by Elizabeth Taylor
  12. The Wedding Group, by Elizabeth Taylor
  13. Blaming, by Elizabeth Taylor
  14. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
  15. The Warden, by Anthony Trollope
  16. Barchester Towers, by Anthony Trollope
  17. The Buccaneers, by Edith Wharton
  18. The Hours, by Michael Cunningham
  19. Loitering with Intent, by Muriel Spark

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12 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: My Classics Club “Clunker” of 2012

  1. Gosh, you have done well Laura! I share Taylor and Spark with you this year and I have managed some Dickens and some Russian classics. I’m sure I’ll be reading more this year but I’m not sure what yet….

  2. I think I have 76 books on my list. I did pretty well last year, I read 20 classics from my challenge list in eight months, so that’s pretty good. By far, the biggest dud was The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen. Beautifully written, but nothing happened. Yawn.

    • Three is a good start though! I just had a look at your list and while I’m not familiar with every book, there are some ambitious/challenging ones on there — like Dickens & Shakespeare. Good luck!

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