Friday, December 12, 2014

Back to the Classics Challenge Wrap Up

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosted the Back to the Classics Challenge this year (and she's hosting again in 2015!) and as usual it was my favorite challenge of the year.  I'm a big fan of classics and had a great year completing the required categories and challenging myself with the optional categories.  I read in all the required categories, and three out of the five optional ones.

  • A 20th Century Classic - The Sybil, by Pär Lagerkvist - this was a reread for me, and I remember liking it better as a college student than I did on the reread but still a very interesting book.
  • A 19th Century Classic - Dr. Thorne, by Anthony Trollope - book three in Trollope's Barset novels and my favorite so far.  The more I read Trollope, the more I like him.
  • A Classic by a Woman Author - Jane of Lantern Hill, by L.M. Montgomery - a sweet, interesting story that charmed me and made me wish I had read it as young teen.
  • A Classic in Translation - Germinal, by Emile Zola - one of the best books of 2014 for me; amazing in so many ways.
  • A Classic About War  - The 39 Stepsby John Buchan - a bit of a sleeper but I ended up enjoying it and wanting to read more by Buchan.
  • A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You - Miss Marjoribanks, by Margaret Oliphant - what a fun book.  Miss Majoribanks is unlike every other Victorian heroine you might have met.
  • Optional Categories:
    1. An American Classic - The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton - I loved this sad, beautifully written story.
    2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller - Mystery Mile, by Margery Allingham - finally read this classic mystery; wonderful country home setting, definitely Golden Era style.
    3. A Historical Fiction Classic - Waverly, by Sir Walter Scott - my nemesis; I can't seem to get my act together to get this one read.  Another year where it sat on the shelf.
    4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series - East of EdenJohn Steinbeck - I liked it so much I read it twice this year--once in the summer and once in the fall.  
    5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4 - still haven't watched either the James Dean version or the Jane Seymour version but hope to soon.
    Other classics read in 2014 include the following:
    The Bell Jarby Sylvia Plath 
    South Riding, by Winifred Holt
    Howards End, by E.M. Forster
    Highland River, by Neil M. Gunn
    The Watsons, by Jane Austen
    Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
    A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare
    The Merry Wives of Windsor, by William Shakespeare
    The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens

    And, I'm almost done with A Passage to India, by E.M. Forster.

    I'm looking forward to signing up for Back to the Classics Challenge for 2015...just need to work on my list!


    1. Great list! I'm so glad you signed up for the challenge. I look forward to seeing your choices for the 2015 challenge!

    2. You've done really well! I think I'll have a look at doing this myself next year.

    3. This is a great list of books to have read. I have only read a few of them myself but I want to read them all.

      I am looking forward to reading about the classics that you will read in 2015!

    4. It took me a long time to get into SWS's "Waverly" too, but I finally did read and enjoy it. So much so that I read the next of "the Waverly Novels", Guy Mannering which I liked even more. :-) I then got stuck on his "The Antiquary." SWS is slow going, for sure, but I think in the end is rewarding reading.

      1. Thanks for the encouragement! Much appreciated, and good to know that the ending makes it worthwhile.

    5. You always introduce me to so many new-to-me classics!