Modern Classics Challenge 2018

My friend Amy is hosting a nice counterpart challenge to Karen’s Back to the Classics Challenge. Instead of reading only books published over 50 years ago, this challenge is for books published within the last 50 years—it’s the Modern Classics Challenge 2018.

So anyway, this year she’s made more categories, which I wasn’t expecting. I’ll list ideas for all the categories, but since this year looks to be EXTREMELY busy, I may only get to four.

I’m going to try to fill this in with only books I already own… (What.) Okay, exceptions will be made for books that I’ve been planning to buy immediately upon release and have been looking forward to since I knew they were in the works. (Close enough to already on my bedside table in the TBR pile, I say.)

1. A book from the 1970s—On my shelf sits The Sword of Shannara  by Terry Brooks (1977). Maybe I should read it?

2. A book from the 1980s—Also on my shelf is Seventh Son by Orson Scott Card (1987). I like Orson Scott Card. So… I should read it?

3. A book from the 1990s—I finally found a book on my sci-fi/ fantasy shelf that isn’t a continuation of a series AND that I haven’t already read: Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (1999). Phew. That makes two books on this list by Mr. Card, though. I’m not sure I’m okay with that, because I’m a weirdie and add all sorts of unnecessary rules to my book challenges.

4. A book from the 21st century—I went to a signing party for a freaking gigantic book about a month ago: Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson (2017). And have I picked it up yet? Well… no? Whoops.

5. A nonfiction book—Well, obviously I have to read Karen Glass’ Know and Tell: The Art of Narration when it comes out in early 2018. Not only is it written by Karen Glass, but (and this blows my mind) it contains cartoons drawn by yours truly, specially for this book.

6. A biography or historical account—Theeeeoretically… the LDS church is publishing new church history novels, starting with the first volume of Saints in 2018. They say it’ll be similar to David McCullough’s style, so I am optimistic they’ll be living books I can have my kids use for school. (Materials published by the Church tend to be a little dry, possibly because top priority is given to translating them into all the languages of the world. Dry prose is a lot easier to translate than living prose.) Also, I have connections that get to read this first volume before publication, and they have given a favorable report. Here’s to hoping it really is published in 2018 and that I get to read in it time for this challenge.

7. A fiction bookThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss (2007) is sitting on my TBR pile. I even got it signed by Brandon Sanderson. (It’s kind of a running gag between the two authors, apparently.) It needs to get read, desperately.

8. A children’s book—Hmmm. I don’t read a ton of these yet. My kids are still a little young, and although they’ll listen when I read, I can tell even chapter books are a bit over their heads. (Doom.) So… Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr (1977) is on the shelf. I’ll read that one.

9. A banned book—I was planning to read The Gulag Archipelago (published 1973) anyway with some friends on the AO forum. This was banned in the USSR for obvious reasons. I’m only planning to read the first volume of three; all three volumes total 2100 pages.

10. An award-winning bookThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin won both the Hugo and the Nebula Awards in 1970. After Dune, it’s apparently one of the best science fiction novels ever. And, bonus, it’s sitting on my shelf already.

11. A book in translationZlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipović (1994)… Zlata has been called “the Anne Frank of Sarajevo”. Obviously, since Zlata is a little Bosnian girl, she originally wrote her diary in Bosnian, and it was originally published as such. I need to read more about the recent wars in the Balkans, and this is a good book to start me out, I think.

12. A book made into a movie—Ooh, ooh! I’d never watch the movie because of all the gore (it’s rated R… yuck), but Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith (2009) is also sitting on my shelf waggling its eyebrows at me.


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