Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Armchair BEA: Introductions and Classics Talk

Hello everyone, I am super excited to take part in Armchair BEA this year! I've seen the posts around the blogosphere the last couple of years but this is the first time I've been organised to actually take part, and I'm psyched to meet some new people.

So I guess I should introduce myself;

Where in the world are you blogging from? Tell a random fact or something special about your current location.
I am in Brisbane, Australia and right now it is absolutely miserable. It's cold and wet but sitting on the couch with a cup of tea writing this post is life at its very best. I can't really think of anything too random or special right now, but we are blessed with pretty amazing weather here in Brisbane. We don't get the turbulent hot/cold/rain/snow/sun mess that Melbourne and Adelaide go through on a daily basis, but we're also southern enough that we don't get the epic tropical heat from the up north. As someone from the tippy top of Australia I can tell you with 100% clarity, tropical heat 70% of the year - it blows.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2013?
I am currently juggling about 6 different books, but my two favourite reads for 2013 would definitely be Attachments by Rainbow Rowell and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Those books are amazing, if you haven't read them yet I highly encourage you to seek them out.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
Hmmmm, I really love buying people presents, everything from the actual gift to the presentation of it. I love to make it personal and just right for that person. You won't catch me buying people socks or gift cards, no siree.

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Ask me this in a week or a month and I'll probably have a completely different answer for you, but right now it'd have to be Beth and Jennifer from Attachments. They're just the lovliest ladies, I love how they care for each other, and how witty they are and how they bounce everything off each other. It would be hands down one of the most enjoyable experiences I could imagine.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
Ugh, so much! The whole community/friend vibe that everyone sends out is pretty fabulous. Like, right now I'm taking part in a Harry Potter readalong hosted by the wonderful Alice of Reading Rambo and it's so great to see what everyone else is thinking as we go through the series, expressing emotions through epic amounts of gifs and having silly arguments and discussions about Sirius or Snape or the school's plumbing.

Today, tell us all the reasons why you love classic literature. What are your favourite 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 to read classics, they're such a fascinating view into how life used to be - which can also be quite confronting or alien at times. I tend to gravitate more towards contemporary classics, I loooove One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn, short stories by H.P Lovecraft, The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles and, of course, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde and co. Recently my classics reading has been a little spotty, a couple of books here and there, but since I finished my literature degree I think perhaps I burnt myself out a little. Regardless I still love to read a classic every now and again and it irks me no end when someone says "nah, I don't really like classics".

The thing is, classics are just like contemporary fiction - just older (I wish I could articulate that better!) You can get classic horror, classic sci-fi, classic romance, classic literary fiction, classic...you get the idea. So when someone tells me they don't like classics, my first step is usually to try to direct them towards a classic in their genre of choice. My second step is to go for more of a contemporary classic, so rather than throw them in the deep end, I edge them into it, maybe with a book from the 1950s or 1920s. Once they've gotten into them I can show them books from the 1800s or maybe even earlier depending on how they're finding it. Typically when someone says they don't like classics it's that the classics scare them a little, or they had to read the super dry ones in high school which turned them off. Of course, some people won't like them full stop but it never hurts to try!


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