Monday, December 31, 2012

Back to the Classics Challenge 2013

I enjoyed The Classics Challenge, hosted by November's Autumn, so much this year that I went looking for another similar challenge for 2013.  I decided to go with Back to the Classics, hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much, and have jotted down what I intend to tackle in this genre in 2013.

The Required Categories:

19th Century Classic - this is homebase for me so I have a healthly line up
  • Felix Holt, by George Eliot (part of program to read all of Eliot, in order)
  • A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (Read in Feb 2013)
  • Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson (read in August 2013)
  • Dr. Thorne, by Anthony Trollope (reading the Barset novels in order)
  • Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley (I'm a Mary Shelley fan-girl and have never read this)
  • Waverley, by Sir Walter Scott (have wanted to read something by one of Austen's fans for years!)
20th Century Classic - Across the River and Into the Trees, by Ernest Hemingway (part of my reading about Venice)
  • The Virginian, by Owen Wister - set in the 1880s in Wyoming, this just barely makes the cut into 20th century, being published in 1902.
Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic - I was thinking that Waverley was written in the 18th century, but just realized that it was written in 1817, so I will be reading Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield instead.

Classic that relates to the African-American ExperienceBeloved, by Toni Morrison (got it as part of my quest to read all the books profiled in Lucy Pollard Gott's The Fictional 100).

Classic Adventure -on my shelf I have Captains Courageous, by Rudyard Kipling, Treasure Island (due for a reread anyway) and Kidnapped (ditto) by Stevenson, but I might see what others read and steal some ideas from them.

Classic that prominently features an Animal (in title or story): Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (also a reread, but I couldn't think of another title that I wanted to read for this category and I really love this book and haven't read it in at least 20 years!)

Optional Categories:
  Re-read a Classic - two are in the lineup
  • Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (annotated) - I'm in the double-digits when it comes to rereading this one, but I haven't yet read an annotated version; besides it's P&P's 200th anniversary in 2013!
  • Middlemarch, by George Eliot - I think this will be my 5th reread
A Russian Classic - I want to read War and Peace, but fear I won't have the time for this big a book.

Classic Non-Fiction - I have always wanted to read Machiavelli's The Prince.

Classic Children's/Young Adult - I've been wanting to read L.M. Montgomery's non-Anne stories, but I also wanted to reread Chronicles of Avonlea.  Although I reserve the right to be inspired by others' selections.

I ended up reading L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle.  

Classic Short Stories - duMaurier is a distinct possibility; there are also a few Gaskell short stories I haven't read yet, and her ghost stories bear rereading. Again, leaving the door open for inspiration to strike.

Let the reading begin!


  1. Thanks for joining in the challenge! Looks like you've got some great contenders... though I like to be flexible and wait for inspiration as well!

  2. Jane, this looks really interesting, and I like your list. If I don't sign up myself, I'll be following your posts! Happy New Year - I hope it brings you many wonderful books.

  3. You have a great list of books picked!

    I particularly think that Frankenstein is a super read. However, at least for me I found it surprisingly disturbing for something written in that period as well as for a story that is so familiar.

    I cannot wait for your commentary!

  4. If you want to cheat a little and read a Russian classic that is also a short story, try "The Death of Ivan Ilych" by Leo Tolstoy. It is a tremendous tale of how one self-centered man is given the opportunity to be redeemed through suffering.

  5. Doctor Thorne is wonderful, one of my favorite reads from last year. I'm nearly finished with the Barchester series and I'll be a little sad when I'm finished -- but I have another 40 Trollope novels, so I shouldn't cry too hard.

    The hardest book for me in this challenge is the one about an animal. I'm not even planning on a Russian, I have too many other big fat books on my list!

  6. Felix Holt is one of my favourite GEs - after Middlemarch and porbably after Daniel Deronda. Think I might join this too!