November Classics Club Meme #16

"Pick a classic someone else in the club has read from our big review list. Link to their review and offer a quote from their post describing their reaction to the book.  What about their post makes you excited to read that classic in particular?"

Feature Blogger: Mabel @ Journal of a Lit Student

OK, I did not find Mabel's review on The Classics Club's enormous list, but Mabel is participating in The Classics Club, and I happen to follow her blog.

So recently, I was reading her review of Persuasion by Jane Austen, and instantly I knew I must read that novel.  Mabel's expansive character study intrigued me; I wanted to know more about each character for myself.  She also asked captivating questions, such as: "Which is better?  To be autonomous as a woman, or to rely on group think?"  I thought: "I want to find out."  

Hence, I ordered a copy of Persuasion and read it.  Now (pause) I found that I did not enjoy it as much as I had expected and hoped for, but even Mabel said it was her least favorite Austen. However, her review of it was brilliant and convincing enough, and I was glad to have read the book after all.

Frankly, all of Mabel's reviews are of similar quality.  She shares her emotional insight and experience of every book she reads and dissects the plot and the characters with depth and sincerity.   

Therefore, it is no surprise that her thorough reviews about Gone with the Wind, more particularly this last post, have sold me on the epic novel. Well, she has only read it four times already!  Her emotional reaction to GWTW is what drew me in, especially her opening paragraph:

A reread! Dear book — words fail me. I can’t imagine ever loving a book as much as I love this one. I think this fourth read is my favorite read to date. I’ll be back, entering it again at a new stage in my life in a new place, to see it again and again in new ways, and remember always the current in comparison to the first read. It’s like my barometer.
It is the emotional experience of reading literature that attracts me to a book, and Mabel does a wonderful job of convincing me that GWTW is one novel I want to experience even at least once in my lifetime.  It is on my list to be read very soon.  


  1. I'm so honored you would write this, Ruth -- and I can't wait for you to read Gone With the Wind. I love (love!) that you were inspired to read Persuasion recently, even if you didn't end up loving it. It makes me smile to know that you did try it and are glad that you tried it.

    Part of why Gone With the Wind means so much to me is it's the book that exists in my memory long before I can recall its introduction. I think everyone has one of those. :-) My mother encouraged me to read Gone With the Wind when I was very young. We're Georgians through and through -- my great+ grandpa(s) and many cousins fought in the Battle of Atlanta and throughout the Atlanta Campaign. I was actually raised up North, so I can see both "sides" of the American Civil War. Mitchell's book tells the Confederate angle, but it can be interpreted (I believe) as a challenge to Confederate principles as much as it could be said to support them. Mitchell writes sardonically, like her Rhett, I think. (Though I think it's true too that she loved Atlanta.)

    Anyway, my mother introduced me to the book, and everything about it is linked in my memory with my mother. We would bond over the movie when I was a kid, discuss the book, chat about Scarlett, watch again when I was home sick -- etc. I can't imagine the story without thinking of my mom within it. :-)

    Thanks again for this post, Ruth! It made me smile. And just to say: your blog has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. x

    1. You are very welcome.

      I enjoy your blog because your writing is extremely personal and your reviews about the books you read are obviously an experience. That truly comes through. So it is not a surprise that you would say GWTW has a personal connection.

      I have seen GWTW a few times - and loved it, too, but I have been intimidated by the size of the book; however, a friend of mine was selling a copy at her book sale earlier this year, and I bought it. It wasn't until I read your post last month that I set my mind to it. I just know it will take me a long time given my home life.

      I finally watched War and Peace (w/ Audrey Hepburn), and I told myself that next summer I am going to read War and Peace. I don't care how long it takes. So I think this next year I am going to read two epic titles: first, Gone With the Wind and then, War and Peace. It will be like my epic year in reading.

      Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. It's lovely reading about all these connections being forged due to the CC. I have a sweet little heart glow at the moment reading this :-)