Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Back to the Classics 2017: My Final Wrap-Up

Wally is not as impressed with my efforts as I am.

JUST UNDER THE WIRE.  Well, not really. There are still 5 days left in the year.   But I am currently reading furiously books from the 2018 Tournament of Books long list plus there is the usual end of year/holiday activity so I did actually cut it a little too close for my comfort this year!

Below are the 12 books I read for this challenge, with links to my reviews.

1. A Russian Classic: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
2. A Romance Classic Dragonwyck by Anya Seton 
3. A Classic in Translation : The Red and the Black by Stendhal  
4. A 19th Century Classic:  Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
5. A Gothic Classic: No Name by Wilkie Collins and The Monk by Matthew Lewis 
6. A Classic by a woman author: Less than Angels by Barbara Pym
7. An award winning Classic: The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings 
8. A 20th Century Classic: Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
9. A Classic About an Animal or With an Animal in the Title:  The Call of the Wild by Jack London
10. A Classic with a number in the title: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, Père 
11. A Classic set in a place you would like to visit: Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay 
12. A classic published prior TO 1800:  The Oresteia by Aeschylus  

My favorites were Nicholas Nickleby, No Name, Less than Angles and The Yearling.  My  least favorites were The Red and the Black and The Monk. I am glad to have read all of them however, and bonus points to me  for having read Go Tell it on the Mountain and The Call of the Wild which I can also now tick off my list of Modern Library 100 Best that I am making my way through.

Many thanks to Karen at Books and Chocolate for hosting and doing all the heavy lifting!


  1. Wow. Congrats on finishing this challenge! That's a pretty impressive list of books you read this year for it. Will you be doing this challenge again next year?

    1. Thanks for the comment Lark! Yes, thankfully Karen is hosting the challenge next year as well. I am already prepping my list for 2018 to be posted in January!

  2. Congratulations on completing the 2017 classics challenge! I have read James Baldwin and he is a remarkable writer. Was thinking about reading Red and Black but now I am thinking maybe I'll pass. I read Crime and Punishment years ago and never forgot it. One of the greatest novels ever written.

    1. Thanks for the comment Kathy! I really enjoyed the Baldwin and look forward to reading more from him in coming years. I want to read Giovanni's Room next.

      Yeah, Stendhal was a bust for me, but if you do try it, perhaps you will like it more that I did. Many other readers did enjoy it.

  3. Congrats--you read some awesome books this year. I really need to read Day in the Life--I remember actually liking it when I read it in 10th grade, and so I think I would appreciate it even more now. I really enjoyed the one Anya Seton book I've read, and have more from her on my TBR list. Nicholas Nickleby is also on the reread list, and No Name is on the TBR list.

    After taking a year off, I'm doing this challenge again in 2018. Can't wait to get started.

    Best wishes for a happy, healthy, book-filled 2018!

    1. Thanks for the comment Jane! A Day in the Life was very good (and short!). I highly encourage you to give it a re-read.

      I have already checked out your 2018 Back to the Classics post and may also end up reading the same Josephine Tey title. I am still working on my list and will post in January.

  4. I'm reading Go Tell it on the Mountain now, so I'll avoid your review until I'm finished (couple days at the most). I haven't read The Red and the Black, but I just finished The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal and that was pretty good. Hanging Rock - not a fan. Call of the Wild...now that, I had a very special reading experience with. See ya round in 2018.

    1. Thanks for the comment Joseph. Yes, you had better luck with The Charterhouse of Parma than I did with The Red and the Black.

      I can see where Hanging Rock would not be to everyone's taste. It is odd. But I quite liked it!

  5. Congratulations, great list with unique choices! I hadn't even heard of half of them, actually. Looking forward to seeing your next picks.

    1. Thanks for the comment Rob! I am having a great time considering what to choose for the 2018 challenge!