Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Back to the Classics 2022

Huzzah! Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting Back to the Classics challenge for the 9th year, and I couldn't be more pleased. While I have stacks of unread books, this is the one challenge that makes me dig deep and challenge myself.

Here is my tentative list--as always subject to personal whims as the year progresses.

 1. 19th Century Classic: Barnaby Rudge, by Charles Dickens - one of two novels by Dickens that I haven't yet read.

2. 20th Century Classic: The Cruel Sea, by Nicholas Monsarrat - a novel about the Battle of the Atlantic during WWII.

3. Woman Author: Elizabeth and Her German Garden, by Elizabeth von Arnim - my first classic of the new year, and a tonic in the bleak midwinter.

4. Translation:  Family Lexicon, by Natalia Ginzburg 

5. BIPOC: The Big Sea, by Langston Hughes - fabulous memoir about the life of a poet as a young man.

6. Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic: Madam, Will You Talk, by Mary Stewart - I love Mary Stewart and this was recommended to me last year and it definitely fits the category.

7. Classic Short Story Collection: Best Short Stories, by W. Somerset Maugham - I loved the Painted Veil when I read it last year and vowed to read more Maugham.

8. Pre-1800 Classic: Camilla, by Frances Burney - part of my project to read what Austen read. 

9. Nonfiction: Garden of the Gods, by Gerald Durrell - third in the trilogy by the author about his life growing up in Corfu between the wars.

10. Longest on your TBR:  Shirley, by Charlotte Bronte - I looked at my GoodReads list and this is the classic that has been languishing the longest on my tbr list.

11. Set in a Place You'd Like to Visit: The Marble Faun, by Nathaniel Hawthorne - set in Rome, need I say more?

12. Wild Card: Phineas Redux, by Anthony Trollope - I treat myself to a Trollope a year, and this is next up in the Palliser series.

Looking forward to diving in. Happy Classics Reading!


  1. I have The Betrothed and Barnaby Rudge on my personal TBR as well.The Betrothed is certainly an important Italian classic, along with Pinocchio. I have started it, and it is like Romeo and Juliet, but in a novelistic long form with digressions. Hope you enjoy! Fantastic list, ambitious as always for you!

    1. Glad to hear you have started The Betrothed. I am looking forward to chatting with you about it!

  2. I'm very excited Karen's hosting this challenge again. I haven't quite figured out my 12 classics for it yet because I have a lot to choose from, but my sign-up post should publish tomorrow. I thought The Marble Faun was good.

  3. This looks like a great line-up, especially the Trollope! I decided against joining any challenges this year, but do plan to keep reading classics. Happy 2022!

  4. So many great books on your list! I really liked Barnaby Rudge, it's not a very popular Dickens but I enjoyed it. Also loved Phineas Redux (even better than Phineas Finn) and Somerset Maugham is one of my favorites. I'm very curios about The Betrothed and Shirley. Thanks again for signing up!

  5. I'm signing up for this challenge, too, although I haven't quite decided on which book I'm reading for which category. The Marble Faun is a good choice for a place you'd like to visit; I kind of liked that Hawthorne. And Maugham is always a good idea. :)

  6. When in a reading funk, Mary Stewart is an author I go back to. Never disappointing!

  7. I am hoping to read Shirley as well. I believe it may be the last Bronte novel before I can declare I have read all of their books! The book on my list that I am probably the most excited to tackle is The Wreath, the first of the Kristin Lavandsatter trilogy.

  8. Lot's of interesting choices, many that I've not heard before. Trollope's been on my radar for the past year now, including the Bronte sisters. And I would like to read more Dickens! I've only read A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist so far and absolutely loved them! Have a great year of classics!