Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I’ve decided to put this neglected blog to good use for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015 hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate (link here http://karensbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/2014/12/announcing-back-to-classics-challenge.html ). I participated in the Back to the Classics Challenge 2014 by linking to my goodreads pages, which worked ok, but the reason I wanted a blog was to be able to take part in/keep track of these types of on-line challenges.
The categories and the books I plan on reading are as follows:
1.      A 19th Century Classic -- any book published between 1800 and 1899. – This should be pretty easy, considering all the unread Dickens, Collins and Trollop books that I want to read. I think I will choose Framely Parsonage, the fourth book in the Barchester Chronicles.
2.      A 20th Century Classic -- any book published between 1900 and 1965. Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic. -  Here, I have to take advantage of my quest to read all the books on the Modern Library’s “100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century” which I have been working on since 1999 or so and choose one from that list.  Only 34 more titles to go!  I think I will read either Appointment inSamarra by John O'Hara or Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
3.      A Classic by a Woman Author --  This was a tough one to choose because there simply is so much to choose from, but based on Simon at Savidge Reads’ glowing review (http://savidgereads.wordpress.com/2009/12/06/east-lynne-ellen-wood/) I think I will give East Lynne by Ellen Wood a try.
4.      A Classic in Translation -- This was also difficult, but I finally decided on Siddhartha by Herman Hesse because (a) I have a copy in English already, (b) it is very short and (c) I think I might try to also read it in the original.
5.      A Very Long Classic Novel – I have the doorstop of TheMysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe awaiting me in this category.
6.      A Classic Novella -- Here I opted for One Fine Day by Molly Panter-Downes which has been championed by a variety of bloggers, but most important to me, by Simon at Stuck in A Book (http://www.stuck-in-a-book.blogspot.com/2012/03/one-fine-day-mollie-panter-downes.html).  
7.      A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title -- Since I chose the Radcliffe novel for the chunkster category, I thought I would read either Armandale by Wilkie Collins or Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens for this category.
8.      A Humorous or Satirical Classic -- The easiest by far! I will read Lucia’s Progress by E.F. Benson, which is the fourth book published in the Mapp & Lucia series.
9.      A Forgotten Classic --  Karen pointed out that Virago or Persephone titles would probably be a good fit here, so I have chosen to read Someone at a Distance by Dorothy Whipple.
10.   A Nonfiction Classic --  I think I will try American Notes by Charles Dickens.
11.   A Classic Children's Book – I am pretty sure I never read A Little Princess by  Frances Hodgson Burnett and The Secret Garden is a childhood favorite, so that will probably be the book I read for this category.
12.    A Classic Play – Yikes! The hardest category of all! I have some Shakespeare plays on my shelves, but hopefully Lady Lady Windermere's Fan will be more amusing than King Lear, if I can get my hands on a copy.