Germinal by Emile Zola

Germinal by Emile Zola (first published in French, 1885) is so much more than I can capture in a summary or in an opinion post or review or whatever it is I write. Germinal is 500 pages that immersed me in a world of starving and ill people in an obscure mining town living a life of dire poverty and violence, and it certainly must have happened, given the ways I was drawn in to the story of these people.

Although Germinal is packed full of sexuality and violence, tragedy and despair, Zola somehow caught me in his trap and I couldn’t put the book down. Once I was deeply engaged in the story of the desperate strikers trying to grasp on to some life purpose, it seemed I felt their pain and mourned with them as their never-ending tragedies took away all semblance of hope.Continue Reading

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me

I have not participated in a book blogging community meme for what seems to be years, but this week’s Top Ten Tuesday subject was one that resonated with me: it’s all about the books I feel everyone has read but me. Because I blog primarily about classics (and I recently was shortlisted as one of the top three Classics Book Bloggers participating in BBAW), I feel rather guilty about some of these classic books that I have not yet read.

I still have many years of reading yet ahead of me, though, so I hope I can make a dent on those books I do want to read!Continue Reading

BBAW: Blogging

The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

I have such a hard time planning for the future, since life keeps changing on me. I wouldn’t want it any differently, of course. I’m very excited for my second child to join our family this winter, and I’ve resigned to the fact that my reading will be much slower than it has been in the past. (I don’t, for example, anticipate any 20-books-a-month months anytime in the next five years.)

That said, in the future, I’d like to keep up The Classics Circuit as much as I can and I want to keep blogging about classics. I’m not sure what “tried and true practices” I have in place for this blog, so I’m going to skip that part of the question.

As for new trends in my own blog writing, I’ve considered writing more thoughtful posts on some of the classics I’m reading. Although my spoiler-ific posts don’t get as many comments (I know many in the blogosphere will not read spoilers), I do love writing about a novel in depth. I have in the past written about a book for more than one day, and I’m thinking that may be something I need to do more often. I spent three posts on The Iliad, and at least three on War and Peace. There are so many issues in many lengthy classics that they deserve the time devoted to them.  Some posts would be spoilerific (with warning!), but others would be more general, including my impressions of reading it.

Also, in the past, I used to include a question at the end of each post. I found it did generate more comments, because then even if the person hadn’t read the book in question, they could answer the related question. I haven’t been doing that lately, but maybe I should bring it back.  What do you think?

What things do you wish you’d see on a classics blog? How do you reach out to your readers when the book is one most haven’t read?

To some extent, I’m finding that I don’t worry about reaching out to my readers who haven’t read the book as much. Some posts are just meant for people who have read the book. For those books that got me thinking, I really do want to start a discussion, after all.