Call me the girl who hasn’t updated her blog in forever…

Oh hi, my poor abandoned blog. I never meant to abandon you. I just got distracted for a little while. (More like over a year…but Twitter has been keeping me busy!) I’ve decided to start posting on my blog again, so feel free to add me to your Google Reader. I might even host giveaways once in a while.  What about starting now? I was going to give away a copy of one of my favorite books of 2010, The Wrong Blood by Manuel de Lope, to my 4000th follower on Twitter. The person never responded to my DM, so it’s your lucky day! Leave a comment in this blog post about your favorite classic novel of all time, and I’ll pick a winner randomly from all of the comments.

So I’m on a staycation all week, and I’m celebrating by reading a classic I’ve had on my list forever: Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Many claim it is THE Great American Novel. I’ve heard lots of folks say how they could never get through it, but I’ve also been told by many readers I trust that it’s one of their favorite books of all time.  What made me finally decide to read it? Paul Harding, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers, told me it’s one of his favorite books. As many of you know, Paul’s book is probably my favorite contemporary novel written, so I’ll read ANYTHING he tells me to read. And boy, I’m glad I listened.

I’m reading this book slowly. It’s one to savor and linger over, like the most delicious meal. I’m happy that I stumbled across Power Moby-Dick, an online annotation of the book. There are so many mythological and biblical references that I would miss if I didn’t have this handy reference. It’s like taking a class on the book from the comfort of your home.

How can you NOT love a book that has this incredible sentence on the first page?

“Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people’s hats off– then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.” – Herman Melville, MOBY-DICK

I can already tell this is going to be one of the best books I will ever, ever read.

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17 Responses to Call me the girl who hasn’t updated her blog in forever…

  1. Jennifer says:

    I have always been intimidated by Moby Dick, but after reading your blog, may give it a try.

  2. Annp99 says:

    Does To Kill a Mockingbird count as classic enough? Being from the south myself…I think so!

  3. NHBALL says:

    I’ve never read Moby Dick, but the passages that I’ve seen quoted have always been incredible. It may have to wait until my youngest is in college (only 14 years)!

  4. leigh says:

    I have to go with “To Kill a Mockingbird” also.

    I am adding Moby Dick to my TBR list! And I think it’s time I get myself to sea!

  5. gina says:

    I’m going with My Antonia because I can depend on it when I’m in need of a melancholy story where the girl grows up to be exactly who she was expected to be but you really wished it weren’t the case.

  6. Caroline says:

    Best classic ever has got to be “Crime and Punishment” since it’s the one that, whilst still an ignant teen, opened my eyes to the fact that classics are indeed extra special marvelous books. Since then I’ve been lost in a wonderful sea of Proust and Zola, Tolstoy and Bulgakov. Nothing better.

  7. Kulot says:

    Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, hands down. It such a favorite of mine that I try to read all other literary fiction spin-offs or mash-ups about it (Android Karenina by Quirk Books is a favorite).

    As for Moby Dick, I read it when I was in first grade (I think, or was it second?) – my mother has a knack for raising overachievers, hehe. Which reminds, I think I just might re-read that one now.

  8. My favorite classic is The Sound and the Fury by Faulkner. I read it in high school because my parents had an old copy lying around and I was too busy to get to the library.

  9. Natalie says:

    My favorite classic is Thomas Hardy’s Jude the Obscure, mainly because it was surprising to find out how things like marriage, abortion, and workers’ rights were huge issues even in the 1800s.

  10. chris hanson says:

    A Separate Piece by Herman Hesse

  11. nicole says:

    I can already tell this is going to be one of the best books I will ever, ever read.

    Isn’t it the awesomest when you find a book that creates such a reaction? I mean, it only happens a couple times ever, by definition. But sometimes you just know.

    (I felt that way too!)

  12. meaghan says:

    i think i’ve read little women a million times. i don’t read too many “classics” but that is one i return to over and over.

  13. readandbreathe says:

    Congratulations to Gina: You’ve won a copy of THE WRONG BLOOD! E-mail me your snail mail address and I’ll send it out to you. My e-mail is mfilgate at gmail dot com.

    I really enjoyed all the comments. What books being written today do you think will be considered “classics” 100 years from now?

  14. Hi, new follower.

    I’ve read Moby Dick many years ago as a young boy (10 maybe). It’s one of these novels where you have to read slowly and savor the words. I remember my first trip to the New England area where the novel takes place, it was almost magical.

  15. Robert Penn Warren’s All the Kings Men for it’s use of narrative voice and/or Lolita for its linguistic artistry and thematic handling.

    Cormac McCarthy’s Border Trilogy (specifically, All the Pretty Horses) and Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead would be my best bets as classics 100 years from now.

  16. allanbard says:

    Hi! I’m really glad I came across your blog! And I couldn’t refrain from posting this as there were 13 replies and this brings bad luck…;). I’m not supersticious usually, unless in the cases I have to be…
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Mobi Dick! I’haven’t read the book yet, I’ve seen only the movie (the one with Patrick Stewart as captain Ahav) and was really impressed! Yet, usually any book is much better than the movie it’s based on, so I just have to read it! What more a reader would want from a book that combines mythology, wisdom, good, breath-taking adventures and good writing skills? It seems Mobi Dick is 100 % such a book according to your post!
    I strive to combine all these things in my books too, hope successfully… Usually few readers realize what a great power and influence a book could have on people’s minds and even way of life, it could change our visions, help us realize what to do for a better future, or avoid bad habits like smoking, drinking too much strong drinks, etc… Keep the good work going! Let the wonderful noise of the sea always sounds in your ears! (a greeting of the water dragons’ hunters – my Tale Of The Rock Pieces).

  17. e6n1 says:

    Love ‘Moby Dick’ too, its a classic tale of man versus nature.

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