Saturday, December 28, 2019

Back to the Classics - 2019 Wrap Up Post

Karen at Books and Chocolate hosted Back to the Classics again in 2019, and I got 11 out of 12 of my books read. I never found time for the tragic category--maybe that was my subconscious protecting my mood!

So I have 2 entries in Karen's year-end drawing, and my email is janetgs05(at)gmail(dot)com.

1. 19th Century Classic: Can You Forgive Her?, by Anthony Trollope - really enjoyed this first in the Palliser series. Will read the next one in 2020...and so on.

2. 20th Century Classic: Brideshead Revisitedby Evelyn Waugh - one of the saddest books I've ever read...and reread. Beautifully written but heartbreaking.

3. Classic by a Woman Author: Agnes Grey, by Anne Bronte - meh! Anne is just not for me. Too whiny.

4. Classic in Translation: War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy - fabulous, although I could do without some of the philosophizing on the history of history. That said, I loved the story, characters, setting, and this was an excellent, readable translation.

5. Classic Comic Novel: My Family and Other Animals, by Gerald Durrell - loved, loved, loved this book, and gave it to two siblings for Xmas.

6. Classic Tragic Novel:

7. Very Long Classic: Daniel Deronda, by George Eliot - very good but Middlemarch reigns supreme. I'm looking forward to finally finishing the bio I started years ago on Eliot so I can read what motivated her to tell this story.

8. Classic Novella: Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey - love this kind of pyschological thriller.

9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean): Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck - excellent travelogue by one of my favorite authors.

10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania: Picnic at Hanging Rock, by Joan Lindsay - ambiguous, creepy, gets under your skin.

11. Classic From a Place You've Lived: Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather - lovely warm, interesting book about a young woman from the Colorado plains.

12. Classic Play: St. Joan, George Bernard Shaw - meh - really what was the point of this play? Maybe it works on the stage but very forgettable.

Thanks to Karen for hosting this challenge, which is really the only one I do anymore. 

Happy New Year!


  1. Well done. I also read Picnic at Hanging Rock...enjoyed it much more on this reread. I've got to get to Travels with Charley one of these days.

  2. Congrats on getting 11 read! I have Can You Forgive Her sitting on my shelf waiting for me to read it...maybe next year. :)

  3. You did extremely well to read 11 of those categories. Daniel Deronda is one of the books by George Eliot I really want to read but it's very long so need to choose the right moment.

  4. Eleven out of twelve is very impressive. Can You Forgive Her is one of my favorites. Have you considered reading more books in the Palister series?

    1. Absolutely, Brian, I have Phineas Finn lined up for early 2020.

  5. I totally understand about wanting to read all an author's work before digging into their biography. It really is helpful and enriches the experience.

    You have read a fantastic list of classics. I have War & Peace on my list...I have two translations I am hanging onto and will see which one works best for me when it comes time to read it.

  6. Well done, Jane! I failed miserably in the classics department this year, but will start 2020 with a Trollope.

  7. Congratulations on reading and reviewing such great novels for the Challenge and that one of the books was War and Peace is so impressive. I must try to read that book as well. Also since I very much enjoyed Daughter of Time I want to check out Brat Farrar.I look forward to the books you will choose in 2020.

  8. Congrats! I only got 8 classics read this year...I didn't manage the Tragic Classic category either...among others. :)