|graphic by Nina at Nina Reads|
Welcome back, boys and girls, young and old, readers and writers to another year of Armchair BEA! This is my second year participating in this online extravaganza since I am unable to make it to NYC for the real deal, but I still love the comments and conversations that come as a result of many of us taking over the blogosphere. So, without further ado, let's get to the Day 1 topics: intros and classics.
An Introduction (In which I answer 5 questions posted by Armchair BEA in no particular order)
1. Hi! My name is Monica and The Fuma Files is my baby, clocking in at about a year and a half old. I got into book blogging (and later book tubing on YouTube - my channel is monielynn5) because I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read and it seemed like a fun community.
2. I'm coming to you all from the Chicago suburbs where I was born and raised. In fact, I actually currently work at the high school I graduated from. This picture is me in the school library where I work holding a copy of Dear Cassie by Lisa Burstein, the novel in which my short story that won a contest is printed in the back. Someday one of my dreams is that I'll get one of my own books published and it will be on the shelves there, too.
3. I'm currently reading Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo, the second book in her Grisha Trilogy. So far, OMG!
4. If I could visit any literary location, it would be all of Europe. I've been to Great Britain and Italy, and I'd love to go back as well as explore plenty of other countries.
5. My favorite part of the book blogging community is when I get to see the people whose blogs/Twitters/Tumblrs/YouTube channels I follow in real life, putting a face and voice with a name and posts. I'm looking forward to networking and meeting even more people at ALA in Chicago this summer!
Today's Discussion: The Classics
Frankly, I love them. Or at least I love some of them. It goes like this: there is a reason that there are some books that can stand the test of time and why we are reading them and loving them and hating them centuries after they have been written. There are reasons why some books are 'instant classics' and their place in the literary canon goes without saying.
But those reasons are highly subjective. It's a question I grappled with first as AP Literature student in high school, then as an English major, then as a library school grad student, and still today as a librarian. What makes some books more worthy of being a part of the canon than others? To me the answer is just as complicated as the question: what does this story say about the human condition?
The classics I love are Jane Austen's novels, Shakespeare's plays, and Dickinson's poetry to name a few. To me, these writers and the stories or moments they capture defy time. Love, relationships, family, sacrifice, inner and outer demons - these are things people had to grapple with centuries ago and we will for the centuries to come. In that respect, it's hard for me to believe that Pride and Prejudice is already 200 years old because it takes on a part of humanity that will stay the same even as so much of the world changes.
So that probably doesn't answer the question very well, but I'd be happy to see the conversation continue down in comments. I just don't want this post to get too long. And that, dear readers, is my kickoff to Armchair BEA 2013! Comments are always welcome, and happy reading!