Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Back to the Classics - 2019

Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting Back to the Classics again in 2019, and I cannot resist signing up. I have most of the categories filled in, with a couple of open slots for mood-strikers.

1. 19th Century Classic: Can You Forgive Her?, by Anthony Trollope
I meant to read this in 2018, but never got to it--the first in the Palliser series. Cannot wait!

2. 20th Century Classic: The Buccaneers, by Edith Wharton
Unfinished, so I hope that won't bother me too much. I watched the mini-series years ago and always meant to read the novel.

3. Classic by a Woman Author: Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte
Ended up quite disappointed with this one, but I still gave it three stars for the nature writing at the end. No much plot, no interesting characters, just a lot of whining.

4. Classic in Translation: War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy
At last, this is the year of W&P - at 15 books and two epilogues, I haven't quite worked out a good reading schedule for this, but I intend to take most of the year to read it, savor it, and live in it.

5. Classic Comic Novel: TBD
Waiting for the right book to strike my fancy--will be depending on reading reviews from others in this category.

6. Classic Tragic Novel: Mayor of Casterbridge, by Thomas Hardy
You can always count on Hardy for a good tragedy!

7. Very Long Classic: Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot
Since I decided to skip Felix Holt after trying it and being bored beyond belief, this is the last of Eliot's novels I have yet to read for the first time. I've heard it's great!

8. Classic Novella: TBD
Another category in which I'm waiting for inspiration.

9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean): Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck

10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania: Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsay
I have wanted to read this for years and it just qualifies for the 50-year mark, being published in 1967. A really terrific little book with a great sense of place, spooky atmosphere, and unsettling ambiguity.

11. Classic From a Place You've Lived: Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather
This was a Colorado Book of the Month book in November, and much as I wanted to read along, I just didn't get to it. Sounds wonderful. The only place other than Colorado that I've lived is Birmingham, England, and since I was a baby at the time and I can't think of any classics set in Birmingham, I went with Colorado.

12. Classic Play: St. Joan, George Bernard Shaw
I have only read Pygmalion and since I visited Rouen last August and ate dinner across the plaza from where Joan was burned, I figured this would be a good play to read. I like to watch plays while I read them, so I wonder if there is a faithful film of this one.


  1. You have chosen a very interesting bunch of books. I highly recommend Can You Forgive Her? It is one of my favorite Trollope books. The only problem is that it is the first of the Palliser books and there are five more after that. You might be tempted to continue :)

  2. I've read two from your list and was quite pleased. I'll be following this meme as I am sure the recommendations will all be good.

  3. What a great year! I love the British flavour of many of your choices :) And like you, I daresay I'll be savouring W&P for most of the year, with the others wedged between. I'm reading Cold Comfort Farm as my comedy, but might have chosen Miss Buncle's Book by D.E. Stevenson, except I knocked it off in December before I knew the categories. Picnic at Hanging Rock is atmospheric and great. I'll look forward to your reviews.

  4. I'm so pleased to see Trollope on your list! Can You Forgive Her? is wonderful and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Agnes Grey is a good read, though I much prefer The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. One of these years I'll get to War and Peace... Good luck with the challenge.

  5. Yes, on #6! I read all of my Hardy's, so I could not add one for the Tragedy category, unless I wanted to reread, which I do not...YET. I do not own Mayor of Casterbridge, which is the one I need to get!

  6. That's a great list of books! I'm signing up for this challenge, too, and Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope is one I'm hoping to read, but I think I'll use it for my Very Long Classic. :)

  7. I'm trying not to join challenges but I do hope 2019 is a year for at least 4 classics - we shall see. Happy New Year Jane and good luck with the challenge.

  8. That's a great list. And War and Peace is a huge commitment. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I also found Agnes Grey quite enjoyable. I think Anne Bronte is the best of the Bronte sisters. Many would argue that point.

  9. I always enjoy this challenge though I haven't done too well on my classics reading in the last few years. In 2019 I want to read Trollope as well as Brideshead Revisited and Les Miserables. I'm impressed that you've figured out all the categories in advance. Enjoy!

  10. Great list! I ran into the same problem in coming up with a classic comic novel. Karen K mentioned the Mr Jeeves series and I remember sampling a few pages of Jeeves in the Morning years ago and boy is that series funny but otherwise I am drawing a bit of a blank regarding comic classics.

  11. I might do this challenge simply because it will help me cross off books on my Classics Club list. Still trying to decide on challenges. I always fail so miserably so I will probably try to limit myself to five maximum (not including challenges I host). You have some great selections. I really want to read Picnic at Hanging Rock.

  12. Nice choices. Enjoy W&P. I found it more accessible than I expected.

  13. Great List! I too am a little wary of unfinished books so I will be interested in your review of The Buccaneers.