Monday, December 30, 2013

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014

I am so looking forward to this challenge, again!  I do love to read the classics, but I tend to get stuck in Victorian tomes, so this challenge requires me to broaden my reading within a genre I already love.

Karen at Books and Chocolate is the host this year, and she has some terrific categories as well as some new rules to make sure we all get the most out of challenging ourselves.  I struggled a bit with the rule that a classic must be published before 1964--that put The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969) and Crossing to Safety (1987) out of the running, but Crossing to Safety is already  on my TBR Pile Challenge so it will get read in 2014.

Here's what I'm thinking of reading this year...and the cool thing is that except for East of Eden, I already own all of these books.

  1. A 20th Century Classic - The Sybil, by Pär Lagerkvist
  2. A 19th Century Classic - Dr. Thorne, by Anthony Trollope 
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author - Jane of Lantern Hill, by L.M. Montgomery
  4. A Classic in Translation - Germinal, by Emile Zola
  5. A Classic About War  - The 39 Steps, by John Buchan
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You - The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath and Miss Marjoribanks, by Margaret Oliphant
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic - The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller - Mystery Mile, by Margery Allingham
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic - Waverly, by Sir Walter Scott
  4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series - East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4 - can't wait!!!


  1. I'm not going to join any challenges in 2014, but I do want to add a few classics to my reading list for 2014 - A Tale of Two Cities or Great Expectations and perhaps Jane Eyre or Pride and Prejudice.

    Happy New Year to you and yours Jane

    1. I still need to read Great Expectations myself. In a way my challenges work as reading lists for stuff I'm planning to read anyway.

  2. Ooh, this sounds like fun. I think I might have to try and do this as I really do want to read more classics next year! Thanks for the heads up--and Happy New Year. Hope you have lots of great reads in 2014!

  3. Looks to be a great list. I have only read House of Mirth and East of Eden. I highly recommend both. I really look forward to reading all your commentary but especially your posts on those books.

  4. PS - Have a Happy New Year!

  5. Thanks for signing up! I loved, loved, loved Dr. Thorne, so I hope you get a chance to read it. I also love House of Mirth and Germinal -- I'm looking forward to your posts.

  6. I know the idea is to challenge yourself but I've never been able to convince myself to sign up for any challenge that has specific categories - although if i could knock them all out with books I already own, that would be a different thing.

  7. Finally I won't be the only person I know who has read Waverly!

  8. Wow, I haven't read any of these. I should join one of these challenges as well.

    Good luck.

  9. I'm in this one too! I've been meaning to try Edith Wharton for a while now...hopefully I'll get to some of her books for the Classics Club :)