Back to the Classics Reading Challenge

I’m joining in the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate for the first time this year! Honestly, I’m a little scared for this one. Which I think is good. I’ve never been a huge fan of classic literature but most of that is because I hated reading it in school. Now that I’m older, I wonder why I haven’t read more of it. So this is my year! I’ve filled out all of the categories for the challenge but I’m really hoping to just get at least six finished before the end of the year. Considering most of these are about 1000% times more difficult and much longer than books I usually read, I feel like finishing six would be a big accomplishment for me. I’ve chosen books that I want to read but also might change them over the course of the year.

And now for the rules (from Books and Chocolate):

  • All books must be read in 2018.
  • The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read all 12 books to participate in this challenge!
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago; therefore, books must have been written by 1968 to qualify for this challenge. The ONLY exceptions are books published posthumously. Recent translations of classics are acceptable.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! You may also count books that you read for other challenges.
  • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge. You must read a different book for EACH category, or it doesn’t count.
  • Multiple books by the same author are also acceptable.
  • Children’s classics are acceptable, but please, no more than 3 total for the challenge; and please, no picture books.
  • Single short stories and short poems do not count, but you may use full-length narrative poems like The Odyssey and short story collections like The Canterbury Tales, as long as it is the entire book.
  • You do NOT have to list all the books you’re going to read for the challenge in your sign-up post, but it’s more fun if you do! Of course, you can change your list any time. Books may also be read in any order.


And here are the categories for the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge:

1.  A 19th century classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2.  A 20th century classic – any book published between 1900 and 1968. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.  The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

3.  A classic by a woman authorLittle Women by Lousia May Alcott

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories). Modern translations are acceptable as long as the original work fits the guidelines for publications as explained in the challenge rules.  War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy perhaps? Who knows.

5. A children’s classic. Indulge your inner child and read that classic that you somehow missed years ago. Short stories are fine, but it must be a complete volume. Young adult and picture books don’t count!  Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction. This can be a true crime story, mystery, detective novel, spy novel, etc., as long as a crime is an integral part of the story and it was published at least 50 years ago. Examples include The 39 Steps, Strangers on a Train, In Cold Blood, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, etc.  The Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list is an excellent source for suggestions.  Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. The journey itself must be the major plot point — not just the destination. Good examples include The Hobbit, Around the World in 80 Days, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Kon-Tiki, Travels with Charley, etc. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

8. A classic with a single-word title. No articles please! Proper names are fine — Emma, Germinal, Middlemarch, Kidnapped, etc.  Demelza by Winston Graham

9. A classic with a color in the title. The Woman in White; Anne of Green Gables; The Red and the Black, and so on. (Silver, gold, etc. are acceptable. Basically, if it’s a color in a Crayola box of crayons, it’s fine!)  The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you. Choose an author you’ve never read before.  Dracula by Bram Stoker

11. A classic that scares you. Is there a classic you’ve been putting off forever? A really long book which intimidates you because of its sheer length? Now’s the time to read it, and hopefully you’ll be pleasantly surprised!   A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

12. Re-read a favorite classic. Like me, you probably have a lot of favorites — choose one and read it again, then tell us why you love it so much.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens


Wish me luck!!