Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Welcome all Literary Book Blog Hoppers-week one 2011

To me the Literary Book Blog Hop is a great event. I read and post on mostly classics, short stories, Asian Fiction and what I see as literary novels.     

"Happy New Year"-Charles-coeditor of The Reading Life
I will follow back all who follow me and return all visits.

 Every week the Literary Book Blog asks that participants answer a question-here is the very interesting  question for this week.

How did you find your way to reading literary fiction and nonfiction?

I began reading literary quality fiction somewhere around ten years old.   .    I do remember my first classics were abridged versions of the works of Dumas read at age 8 or so.   At age 13 I somehow got my own copy of Clifton Fadiman's A Lifetime Reading Plan.    I knew at once that I wanted to one day be able to read all the books he talked about.    I am happy to say I read six of the books on his list for the first time last year!  I am still working on Fadiman's list  and I have made some very big diversions over the years.    I also read about the same time Van Loon's Lives by Henrick Wilhelm van Loon (1942).    I found it among my father's books.  It is about a series of imaginary dinner parties with the great figures of world history, including many writers.   As I read it at age 13 or so I remember thinking  "how can one person know so much"?   



Hannah said...

I've been so pleased to find other people who were deeply influenced by Fadiman. The van Loon sounds fascinating. I have Story of Mankind to read with my son. I think I will have to search this one out!

Robyn Ryle said...

Wow! At 13 you had a reading plan! I feel a bit behind.

Melody said...

I love that it was a book about books that really pulled you in. I'll have to keep that in mind for my kiddos--my 11 year-old son loves the more classic literature, and this might be just the thing for him.

Mel u said...

LifetimeReader-Yes if you can check on the Van Loons-sometimes it can be found very cheaply on Amazon.

Robyn-thanks-for your comment and visit

Melody-yes he might like the book-I would just give it to him and see what happens-there are several newer editions than the one I acquired in 1960

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a wonderful journey through books. And by mentioning abridged versions you have reminded me of one I loved and read over and over again from the school library in my last year at junior school - Lorna Doone. I didn't care for the book as an adult, but the memory is lovely. Thank you for bringing it back to the surface for me!

Suko said...

I am impressed by your early interest in reading literary works from Fadiman's list. How extraordinary! Today, your reading for challenges and projects goes way beyond the ordinary.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I'm always amazed at someone who takes on a challenge without encouragement from someone else. Good for you!

I thought I already was a follower, but apparently not...but I am a follower now!

Here is my post for the Blog Hop.

Olivia said...

I'm embarassed to say I've never heard of Fadiman. I'm going to look him up right now! I'm very impressed you were that disciplined at 13.

@parridhlantern said...

It seems that someone who is a reader ( homo literatus) shows the signs that define this particular species ( head constantly in a book or appendages ending in books etc.) Early in their lifecycle, normally preteens & often by the age of 5. Enjoyed your answer.

Ms. C said...


I just found you through the Hop... Great blog, I couldn't resist becoming one of your newest followers. I still have troubles digesting Dumas, never mind when I was eight years old haha.

Take care,
Ms. C

Anonymous said...

I've come across this Fadiman's Life Reading Plan twice blogs, i.e. It should be interesting to know what works he has listed. Is it anything like the 1001 books one must read before they die?...

Anonymous said...

I've heard other people mention Fadiman's A Lifetime Reading Plan ... I want to get a hold of a copy of it now. Van Loon's Lives sounds really interesting, what a great find among your parent's books. I still think to this day "how can one person know so much" :)

... found you through the literary blog hop.

mpartyka said...

I'm visiting from the hop. How impressive - that you starting reading literary fiction so young.

I'm still working my way through the classics (my parents didn't expose me to them as a child... would you believe me if I told you I didn't know who Jane Austin was until I was in my 20's?).

Have a great weekend!