Miss Fairchild’s Book Club

Unlike most people I know, I didn’t go to University, I went straight from High School to having babies. I found a man I adored and we both just couldn’t wait to get started so we did. While I don’t regret it for a second (babies are awesome) I have felt in the last few years a niggling to learn more. My passion for learning unexpectedly reared its head when we started homeschooling our daughters. Watching them excited to learn and constantly yearning to know EVERYTHING left me excited too. I suddenly realised I didn’t need formal education (though I still dream of attending Uni) to learn. So I started where my daughters did, with reading.

I have been an avid reader since I was just four years old. As a child I devoured books. My fondest early memories with my husband were curled up on our lounge reading together. We read to the girls from when they were tiny babies and were soothed by the sound of our voices, rather than the stories themselves. We always had books available to them and we were constantly surprised with how gentle they were with them. Our girls, now, can happily read for six of seven hours a day if they get the chance. While our own home library is rapidly expanding (at last count we have over 700 books that overflow from our bookshelves onto any available space) we also visit the Library a few times a week. Each time maxing our card out with our limit of 60 books (yes sixty). Within a few days they have all been read and we go back and repeat the whole process. One of the proudest parental moments I had was when my daughters all decided they would rather live in a library than a toy store.

Then one day I picked up a copy of a classic “Persuasion” and took it home for myself. I usually grabbed fluff books as I was convinced with my lack of education I would struggle with the classics. But I didn’t. In fact I loved it. I read it cover to cover several times, before buying my own copy. Unlike Emma or Pride & Prejudice I hadn’t watched any adaptations of “Persuasion” so I had no idea what to expect. Like all the books I adore, I identified with her character. As I had knowledge of the other two Austen books I moved straight on to them. Then I read “The Collector” (totally creepy), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (very different from the movies), “In Cold Blood (recommended by my Nana of all people), “Lolita” (extremely unsettling), “Lady Chatterly’s Lover” (raunchy!) and “The Great Gatsby” (LOVE). I was coping fine with my list of classics, but I still thought I would struggle with the Bronte Sisters. Both “Jane Eyre” & “Wuthering Heights” sat on my bookshelf for months taunting me before I finally picked up “Jane Eyre”.

I read through it all in just a few days…and they were busy days. I felt so cranky every time I had to put it down to do something else. I understood it. I loved it. And when I finished it, I felt like I had accomplished something. It probably sounds so silly, but when you have doubted your own ability to do something for so long, then you discover you can do it…well, it feels pretty good.

“Wuthering Heights” left me yelling at my book a lot. Further proof for my family that I am, indeed, insane. I then went back to reading biographies for awhile (I love interesting biographies and memoirs) before last night, while suppose to be sleeping, I decided I should include my attempt to read the classics on this blog. It certainly fits with the theme of self improvement. Then I thought there might be others who want to read along too.

First book I attempt will be the Australian classic “Picnic at Hanging Rock” by Joan Lindsay published in 1967.

“The plot focuses on a group of girls at an Australian women’s college in the year 1900 who vanish during a Valentine’s Day picnic at the site of an enormous rock formation. The novel is often discussed and debated due to its ambiguous ending.”

Miss Fairchild’s book club will motivate me to read a new classic each month and maybe even have some new friends to talk to about the book afterwards. I will give you all a full month to read it, before posting my thoughts. Then I will announce the next book (suggestions more than welcome) and hopefully some of you can add your thoughts in the comments.

As Christmas is just around the corner I am going to give this one six weeks. So be sure to pop in on Wednesday the 9th of January for our first “Book Club”. (a very special day, as it also happens to be my birthday!). Hoping you will join me then.

Miss Fairchild

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14 Responses to Miss Fairchild’s Book Club

  1. Jennifer says:

    Jane Eyre is probably my all-time favourite novel. She is such a kick-ass woman; I love her. I will have to give this first month a miss because of my travels but will hopefully be able to pick up the second book and join you! x

    • I loved Jane Eyre. I think it has quickly become my favourite book ever. The fact that she sticks to her guns, rather than giving up all her morals for a man. *love*. Enjoy your holiday and see you for book two!

  2. natalie1day says:

    I adore reading, one classic I am trying to read at the moment is 1984 by George Orwell. I have never read Jane Eyre, and I too, have that niggling thing inside me of wanting to read that classics… I think I may join you after Christmas! x

  3. This is awesome! I have always been an obsessive reader – just like your girls. My mom had to ask me to go outside and play. I LOVE The Great Gatsby. I haven’t read several of your picks though, I will have to look into them. One book I’d really recommend is Rebecca – it’s a bit of a “vintage” book that I read in high school and really loved. I also really liked East of Eden. In case you need more titles! 🙂

    • Is that Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier? (just looked up on Amazon) I am always looking for new books to read especially at the moment as I have chronic insomnia and have only slept a few hours this week. When I am like this I power through books and movies/tv shows. I will have to see if my library has it. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

  4. Kristian says:

    Persuasion is a favorite book of mine and own I feel resonates more the older you become, somehow, though I like all of Austen’s works. Sadly, I had a hard time with both Bronte sisters, possibly because I’ve never really liked the Romanticism movement…. excess emotions and all that!

    So fun that you have found books you enjoy reading.

    http://www.withoutastyle.com

    • I really loved Jane Eyre as a really strong female character, but Wuthering Heights had me yelling at the book. I don’t see the appeal at all in a character that will make your life miserable because he loves you. Also why I stay clear of things like Twilight and 50 Shades. But Persuasion…it just was so close to home. My family still think I am the person who will deal with everything, with no thought about my feelings at all. Which might have something to do with moving 1400kms away and starting my own magnificent family.

  5. I’ve never read Picnic at Hanging Rock…I’ll give it a go and report back. xx Shauna

  6. alylala says:

    Reading has always been my number 1 pastime, books are truly ‘home’ no matter where you are.

    I love many of the books you’ve mentioned, especially Gatsby. I first read Picnic at Hanging Rock when I was 9 (probably shouldn’t have!) and have revisited it many times since, love it – enjoy!!

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