Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

I’m totally up for another year in Karen’s Back to the Classics Challenge… Because books. I can’t promise that I’ll be reading exactly these titles, but hey, they’re all good ideas. Some of these were on my list last year, actually, since they were scheduled discussion books on the AO forum–maybe we’ll actually get to them this year! Heh. And I have a busy year ahead, so I’m going to slot those in as much as possible.

1. A 19th century classic — There are a couple forum discussion books I could use, including Silas Marner by George Eliot or Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

2. A 20th century classic —  I’m looking forward to a forum discussion of The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis.

3. A classic by a woman author — I’ve been reading through all of Jane Austen’s novels, and Mansfield Park is next!

4. A classic in translation — We’re reading A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn on the forum next year. I am reading the translation by H.T. Willetts, but that’s hard to find a copy of. I hear Ralph Parker’s translation is also acceptable.

5. A children’s classic — I haven’t read Pinocchio or Peter Pan yet, so those are definite possibilities.

6. A classic crime story — I’ve been slowly reading through Isaac Asimov’s classic science fiction, and The Caves of Steel (one of the robot novels) is up next. The husband tells me it’s a murder mystery and the main character is a detective, so it counts!

7. A classic travel or journey narrative — I haven’t read much Homer since high school. I read excerpts from The Odyssey back then, but I’d like to read the whole thing. Heck, maybe I’ll read The Iliad, too.

8. A classic with a single-word title — This is another forum discussion selection: Manalive by G. K. Chesterton.

9. A classic with a color in the title —  I have no idea, but here are some musings… Island of the Blue Dolphins, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Silver Chair, The Scarlet Pimpernel

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you — I have not yet read any Sir Walter Scott. Rob Roy is a forum discussion book, so I’ll slot this one here.

11. A classic that scares you — Yet another forum book fits here… Moby Dick by Herman Melville. Although that’s not quite as scary as my first thought for this one: The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon… That one comes in six big volumes, and I’m moving this year. Unfortunately… I simply don’t think I could get through it in a single, busy year.

12. Re-read a favorite classic — Okay, so I don’t tend to have strong feelings about books. I’m drawing a big ol’ blank trying to think of any “favorites” I might have. But hey, I remember really liking The Trumpet of the Swan by E. B. White, so I’ll pick that one. Wait, oh no! That was published in 1970, so it’s not quite old enough. Doom. Okay… I liked The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett. That could work.

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6 thoughts on “Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

  1. Thanks for signing up! And if you want to read Gibbon, one volume would be fine! I think it was originally published in six different volumes, so I think reading only one volume would fit the challenge. To me it’s the same as if someone wants to read one volume of the Lord of the Rings. Six volumes is a lot!

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  2. Moby Dick wasn’t as scary as I had made it in my mind to be. The chapters are quite short, so I managed to get through it a chapter a day. Good luck with the challenge

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  3. The Iliad is the book I have planned for the reread category (I’m looking forward to it, but I want to wait until I have read The Aeneid, which will be my book for the “journey” category.) I’ll be doing a group read of City of God starting in January (“a classic that scares you”). We are working off a list of histories that also has Gibbon on it, so we will get to him eventually. I’m not sure when.

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