Classics Challenge 2017

This is the third year I've participated in the Back to the Classics Challenge. For a few seconds, right as I was struggling to pick my last book, I was thinking maybe I'd skip it this year. Take the easy way out. But then Karen posted the categories and I realized that of course I couldn't skip it. I love the Classics Challenge! It gets me out of my comfort zone and challenges me and I end up finding all these great books I never would have tried. You really should join in. It's a lot of fun!

I ended up switching a lot of my books around as the year went on but I still think its fun to try and pick stuff now. Here's what I'm thinking as of now.

1.  A 19th Century Classic - Oliver Twist

Another year, another Dickens.

2.  A 20th Century Classic - Freckles by Gene Stratton Porter

I read the sequel (not knowing it was a sequel) a few months ago and now I've got to go back and start at the beginning. 

3.  A classic by a woman author. 
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

I love Gaskell but because of the incomplete ending, I've avoided this. But I do want to give it a go. I think if I can live with my imagination's working on the ending of Villette, I can handle this too. 

4.  A classic in translation.

Still thinking. 

5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category also.

Fierce Wars and Faithful Loves - This is an updated version of Spenser's Fearie Queen #1 that I'm hoping to read with the Ambleside Online forum. I don't have my copy yet but it appears it is just updated spelling and helpful annotations so I think it fits the criteria for this. 

I've also wanted to try Dante's Inferno/The Divine Comedy. So that's another option. And I reserve the right to scrap both of these for something easier. Augustine's Confession is also on my long term tbr list but I'm not sure if that's going down on the easiness scale or just sideways.

An romance classic - 
Dr. Thorne by Anthony Trollope.

 Another Trollope to add to the two I read last year. Based on the vague reviews I've seen on goodreads (I don't want to be spoiled) I think this will work. If not, I'm sure I can find something that will. 

7.  A Gothic or horror classic - Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier

I'm really excited about this one. It might be my first classic of the year.

8.  A classic with a number in the title - 
Fahrenheit 451.

 After several failed attempts at 1984, I was so glad Elaine's review allowed me to let go of every reading it. Life's too short to read books I don't think I'll enjoy. But she did encourage me to give Fahrenheit 451 a try. So I think I will. 

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  

Call of the Wild. 

10. A classic set in a place you'd like to visit. It can be real or imaginary:


11. An award-winning classic - The Good Earth by Pearl Buck

I was originally going to use this as my location classic (China) but I might keep looking for that. There are a lot of places I would want to go but I don't tend to want to read award winners (I think it's a personality thing. I'm not sure what it says about me but there you go). But then again, maybe I'll shift it back there and keep looking for this one. 

12. A Russian Classic - Anna Karenina

I was so excited to see this category. I really wanted to read a Russian Classic this year anyway so this is extra motivation and I don't think I'm the only one who will pick this book and I love seeing other people's thoughts about a book I just finished.

Whew, I'm kinda tired just thinking about this list. But also excited! Let's get reading!


  1. The Good Earth is one of my favorite books.

    I've been meaning to read 100 Years of Solitude (a classic in translation, right?)

  2. Nice list!
    I have tons of ideas for a classic in translation, but I'll let you figure out what you want to read. (I can be a book bully, you know?)