It's back! Karen at Books and Chocolate is hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge for2018. Like most if not all of the participants, I think making up the list is half the fun of the challenge. So here are some I might choose to satisfy this year’s categories:
1. A 19TH CENTURY CLASSIC - any book published between 1800 and 1899. This is the easiest category for me to fill. I will for sure read both a Trollop (The Eustace Diamonds and/or The Way We Live Now) and a Dickens title (next on my list is The Old Curiosity Shop) in 2018.
2. A 20TH CENTURY CLASSIC - any book published between 1900 and 1968. As in previous years, I will try to pick a book here that fits with the Modern Library 100 Best of List; probably it will be Winesberg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson which was published in 1919.
3. A CLASSIC BY A WOMAN AUTHOR – I have a lot of unread Barbara Pym on my shelves. A few other options among the books I already own are Passing by Nella Larson, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston or Evelina by Frances Burney.
4. A CLASSIC IN TRANSLATION. Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. My native language is English. Now I could of course choose Les Miserables for this category and maybe I will, but I would also like to read a translation from the French of Guy de Maupassant’s Bel Ami.
5. A CHILDREN'S CLASSIC. I may try The Jungle Books again by Rudyard Kipling. They didn’t grab me the last time I tried them for this challenge but maybe the second time will be the charm?
6. A CLASSIC CRIME STORY, FICTION OR NON-FICTION. Another very easy read for me to fulfil; I can binge read Agatha Christie titles like nobody’s business and I love a good classic whodunit. I also have a handful of Josephine Tey titles on my shelf to read and may try The Man in the Queue since Jane also has this one lined up for 2018.
7. A CLASSIC TRAVEL OR JOURNEY NARRATIVE, FICTION OR NON-FICTION. I will try Orient Express by Graham Greene, first published in 1933.
8. A CLASSIC WITH A SINGLE-WORD TITLE. Both Passing by Nella Larson or Evelina by Frances Burney would work here as well.
9. A CLASSIC WITH A COLOR IN THE TITLE. I think I might read The Scarlet Letter by Nathanial Hawthorn or maybe The Red Badge of Courage by Stephan Crane.
10. A CLASSIC BY AN AUTHOR THAT'S NEW TO YOU. Any of my women authors noted above with the exception of Barbara Pym would fit this category.
11. A CLASSIC THAT SCARES YOU. Light in August by William Faulkner. Apparently this is one of his more accessible titles.
12. RE-READ A FAVORITE CLASSIC. Too many to list. I will say that if possible I will listen on audio rather than read with my eyes. I am a bit weird about audio books but for re-reads they work really well for me.
So that is my preliminary list. All of the specific titles listed above are BOOKS THAT I ALREADY OWN! It has been a goal of mine in recent years to acquire less and read more of what I already have at home. I am comfortable with unread books on my shelves, but at the moment I have "too be read" piles obscuring the spines of other books which does bug me. I want those piles to be wrangled into something more manageable over the next few years.