Monday, December 16, 2013

Announcing the Back to the Classics Challenge 2014 Sign Up



Okay, you've convinced me -- I had a lot of encouraging responses when I suggested that I might take over Sarah's Back to the Classics Challenge next year -- how could I refuse?  It's official!!!  Here's the post where you sign up.


The challenge will be very similar to the way Sarah created it.  Like last year, there will be six required categories that all participants must complete.  Everyone who reads and reviews six eligible books and writes a wrap-up post will automatically be entered into the drawing for an Amazon gift card for $30 (U.S) or a choice of book(s) from The Book Depository.


There will also be five optional categories for additional entries.  Participants who complete three of those (with corresponding posts) will also get an additional entry into the prize drawing;  those completing posts in all five categories will get another entry, for a total of three.  To receive the maximum of three entries, you would need to post eleven times.  


I am making one slight change, other than varying the book categories.  I'm a little stricter than Sarah regarding the definition of a classic.  In my opinion, a classic is a book that has endured for some reason ; therefore, I am defining a classic as a book that was written at least 50 years ago.  Therefore, any book written after 1964 is ineligible. [I've amended this from published to written so that posthumously published books are now acceptable. ]


Here are the rest of the guidelines:

  • All books must be read in 2014.  Books started prior to January 1, 2014 are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2014.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible!  Books can count for other challenges you may be working on.  However, books may NOT crossover categories within this challenge.  You may NOT count the same book twice for different categories in this challenge.  
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format.  
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE MARCH 1, 2014.  Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable).
  • You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way :).  You can always change your list at any time.  You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time).
  • You can decide to attempt the optional categories at any point (you can also bow out of the optional categories at any point as well).
  • Please identify the categories you've read in your wrap-up post so that I can easily add up your entries for the prize drawing! Adding links within the post would also be greatly appreciated. 
And finally. . . . The 2014 categories: 

Required:

  1. A 20th Century Classic
  2. A 19th Century Classic
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author
  4. A Classic in Translation  If English is not your primary language, then books originally published in English are acceptable.  You could also read the book in its original language if you are willing and able to do so.
  5. A Classic About War  2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  Any book relating to a war is fine -- WWI, WWII, the French Revolution, the War of the Worlds -- your choice.
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You This can be any author whose works you have not read before.  It doesn't necessarily have to be an author you've never heard of.  
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller 
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic.  This is any classic set at least 50 years before the time when it was written.  For example, Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind 70 years after the end of the Civil War; therefore, it is considered a historical novel.  A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter are also historical novels.  However, older classics set during the period in which they were written are not considered historical; for example, the novels of Jane Austen.
  4. A Classic That's Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series.  Any period, any genre!  This is practically a free choice category.  However, it's a separate category than the required categories.
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4.  This should be some kind of posting reviewing the book read for the previous optional category above.  It can be any adaptation -- does not have to be adapted before 1964.  For example, if you chose Pride and Prejudice as your the optional classic above, you could review any adaptation -- 1940, 1980, 1995, 2005, etc. These two optional categories go together, but this must be a separate blog posting -- no fair just mentioning it in the book review!
And to clarify, you have to read different books for each category -- you can repeat authors or genres, but no fair using the same book multiple times within this challenge! The only book that you can repeat is in the movie/TV adaptation review.  

So that's the challenge!  I'll be posting my list of possible choices later this week. If you're interested in participating, please sign up in the linky below!

UPDATED: Sign-ups for this challenge are now officially closed.  But please check back -- maybe I'll be hosting it again in 2015!!  

130 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so excited about this! Thanks so much, Karen, for taking over this challenge. And I really like your new definition of a classic. I can't wait to start!

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  2. This challenge seems really fun, and it will help me clear the TBR pile while enriching my mind! Thanks for hosting!

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    1. Great!! I'm trying to make progress on my TBR pile too! I'm so glad you'll be joining!

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  3. I'm a Classic!!!! :) As soon as I figure out how to get the Linky to work for me, I'll be signed up. In the meantime, Linky or no Linky, I am adjusting my 2014 reading list accordingly and I'm in!

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    1. I have to figure out what's wrong with it. You can still sign up by clicking the link that says "Click HERE to display the links for this post." Sorry about that!

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    2. I think it's fixed now! Sorry for any inconvenience.

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    3. No problem, Karen. :) Thanks so much! Y'all should see my lineup!

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    4. No problem, Karen. I'm pumped! Y'all should see my lineup!

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  4. I guess something is wrong with Mister Linky, so here's my link: http://irrelevant-scribble.blogspot.cz/2013/12/back-to-classics-challenge-2014.html

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    1. It's my first time with Mr. Linky, I'm not surprised that I did something wrong. I'm going to try and fix it ASAP, but you can still sign up by clicking in the post above where it says "Click HERE to display the links for this post." Sorry about that!

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  5. Can you merge required categories? For instance, there's a book I would like to read that is both a translation and written by a woman. Would it be considered cheating to choose one book that fits two or more categories?

    Also, I'm not clear what "new to you" means. Does that mean I've never heard of the author or that I've never read anything by the author or that I've never read the book before?

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    1. No, you have to read one book for each category -- that's the challenge. For example, if I read "A Tale of Two Cities" it can count for EITHER a 19th century novel, a wartime novel (French Revolution) OR a historical novel -- but not all three. The only one that can repeat is the movie/TV adaptation. First read the book, then watch the movie and review it. You still have to write separate posts for each one.

      "New to You" means an author you haven't read before. It shouldn't be a different book by an author you've already read, but it does NOT have to be an author that you'd never heard of. I've clarified that in the directions. Thanks for asking!

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  6. How fun! I'll try to get a post up soon, but I look forward to giving this challenge a try. :)

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    1. Great, I'm glad you're joining in! I look forward to reading your post.

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  7. I do understand the 50 year rule, but am a little disappointed that One Hundred Years of Solitude is disqualified by a measly 3 years :/ Can anyone recommend any other classics in translation? I'm feeling a bit stumped by that category.

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    1. Sorry, I had to make some kind of cutoff that I could quantify. If I do the challenge for the next three years, you could do it then! ;-) But there are TONS of great classics in translation. I highly, highly recommend the works of Emile Zola, a French naturalist writer from the late 1800s. He wrote a lot of books are extremely accessible -- just look for the more recent translations. I also really liked Candide by Voltaire, and The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Tolstoy (and both of those are pretty short, which is a bonus). Goodreads is another great source for book recommendations. And you're not locked into a book right now -- you can always change your mind if you find something later on.

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    2. That's OK, I do understand. Thanks so much for the recommendations -- I will definitely check them out in addition to GoodReads and see if any other participants have posted tentative selections on their sign-up posts. This clearly will be a great challenge for widening my horizons!

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    3. Recommendations in translation:

      Books:
      Beowulf
      Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
      Botchan (by Soseki Natsume - A Japanese classic & easy read)
      All Quiet on the Western Front


      Authors:
      Leo Tolstoy
      Fyodor Dostoyevsky
      Alexandre Dumas
      Victor Hugo
      Any of the Greek playwrights: Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, etc.
      Jules Verne
      Hans Christian Anderson
      Brothers Grimm

      As Karen mentioned, Zola is just wonderful.

      There are many more but at least those should get you started!

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    4. Thanks so much for pointing me in the right direction cleopatra -- so many of these I should have known! Should have plenty to choose from :)

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    5. You're so welcome, Christine! It often happens that we have the information in our heads, we just need a little help pulling it out sometimes!

      Happy reading!

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  8. Of course I'm in! Back to the Classics has been one of my favorite challenges (along with Adam's TBR Pile). Actually, besides my own History challenge, I'll only participate in 2 other challenges next year, TBR Pile AND your challenge... ;) Thanks for bringing it back next year!

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    1. Hooray!! And dare I ask, will there be any Zola on your list? I might read both Nana AND The Debacle next year! And there's a new translation of L'Argent scheduled for publication!

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    1. Great! I look forward to reading your posts. Thanks for joining.

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  10. Make sure to add this post on A Novel Challenge.. so more can sign up!! http://novelchallenges.blogspot.com/

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  11. I'm all signed up and ready to go! I linked my announcement post, but I'll be keeping track through the year on a separate page on my blog. I can't say how glad I am that you've taken over this challenge! Thank you - I'm looking forward to participate!

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    1. Thanks!! I'm really excited about it! It's my first time hosting a challenge. Now I just need to make up my own list!

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  12. Just added my link! Love the category choices!

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    1. Great, I'll have to read it right away! Thanks for signing up.

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  13. I'd love to participate in this challenge, but I had a question:

    Should these books only be written in / translated into English or can we read classics written in / translated into languages other than English?


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    1. If English is your primary language, it should be a book that was originally written in a different language. I assume most people will read their selection translated into their own language, but if you're multi-lingual, go for it! You can read it in the original language or whichever language you choose -- the point is for people to branch out and read classic authors from around the world.

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    2. I'll add a clarification in the instructions post. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  14. Congrats on hosting your first event!
    We should all have fun together.

    Good luck :-)

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    1. Thanks for signing up! I hope it will be fun. I've signed up too, though of course I won't be eligible for the drawing.

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  15. Thanks for hosting this year! I'm looking forward to making progress on my "Read Someday..." list!

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    1. I love your list, you have some great choices. Thanks for signing up and good luck!

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  16. Hi Karen, I just found this challenge, and even though I said I'm not signing up for any more for next year, I'm tempted.... I'm just wondering, do all the books have to be novels? Could I include a memoir, for instance? Also, do we have to complete the "Required" books first, before going on to the "Optional"? Thanks, and good luck with the challenge!

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    1. Well, I don't know if you could count short stories (unless it's a collection) but you could definitely use nonfiction for some of the categories, as long as they fit the category and were written by 1964. I think the only categories that wouldn't work would be historical and mystery/suspense.

      You can absolutely complete the books in any order. However, to count towards the prize drawing, the minimum of the six required categories must be completed by December 31, 2014. Hope this helps!

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  17. Very excited about this challenge! I will finally read some classics - I'v been meaning to do that for like FOREVER! :) Thanks for hosting!!!

    Evie @Bookish

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    1. Thanks! I've been reading classics for about eight years now and I'm really enjoying them, there are some real treasures. I think I have some fun categories so readers can try new authors and genres.

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  18. Yay! Glad to see you've taken it on. I'll be signing up ASAP.

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    1. It was one of my favorite challenges this year, I couldn't resist since Sarah just doesn't have time. I look forward to reading your posts!

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  19. This challenge is just what I have been looking for, I'll post my list ASAP hopefully tonight :)

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  20. romanoir.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/2014-back-to-the-classics-challenge/

    completed list :)

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  21. Thank you for hosting this year, Karen! I have faith in you:-D

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  22. Thanks! Sarah did such a great job, I hope I can keep up the tradition.

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  23. Thanks so much for hosting this challenge and keeping it going! I'm on board for the first time and look forward to reading more classics in 2014.

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    1. Thanks! I hope you find some great classics that you enjoy.

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  24. Found you through the Bookish blog. Signed up for three reasons:

    1. I love classic books.
    2. I love chocolate.
    3. I love books that are older than I am! :O)

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    1. I'm glad you found the challenge! And what is not to love about books and chocolate? (Especially when the books are older than we are).

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  25. I'm in! I enjoyed drawing up my proposed list, and looking forward to starting them next week.

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    1. Thanks! I can't wait to start reading all the reviews.

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  26. Thank you for hosting this Challenge. I'm behind on reading my Classics. And, I'm glad you offered a definition of what you consider a classic, because we needed to read that.

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    1. Thanks! I hope I'm not being to strict. ;-)

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  27. I'm excited to take part in your challenge this year. I will get all links up in the next couple of days. Thanks for hosting!!!
    ~2

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    1. Thanks for joining! I'm so excited to see so many people interested in reading classics.

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  28. Ready to read these great classics! Thanks

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  29. Here is my opening post for the Back to the Classics challenge. Not filled in yet with book ideas for each category.

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  30. I'm looking forward to Year Three undertaking the Classics Challenge.

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  31. Hallo! :)

    This will be my first year participating in this lovely Classics Challenge, as I am also joining "The Classics Club" as well! :) I saved your badge, will feature it in my sidebar, as well as the posts for the challenge! I'm still in the process of finishing my "lists!" :) :) Stay tuned! Eek. Happy is I! :)

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  32. This sounds like a really fun challenge, and I'm looking forward to it a lot :)

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  33. This sounds like a really fun challenge, and I'm looking forward to it a lot.

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  34. Looking forward to trying the Back to the Classics Challenge this year!

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  35. I am absolutely going to sign up, I can't wait! I do need to compile my list, but I'll post it soon! Thank you so much for taking this own and hosting!

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  36. Thanks for hosting, I'm all linked up!

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  37. Thanks for hosting! I've been wanted to read more classics but can never seem to get to them outside of a classroom. Hopefully this will push me to finally read some.

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  38. Thanks for hosting! Just wondering, does Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank count for a classic about war?
    It seems like we have a lot in common as regards book interests. My favorite author is Jane Austen. :)

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    1. Anne Frank would definitely fit the challenge! It would qualify for several categories -- you could use it for Woman Author, Classic in Translation, 20th Century Classic, or Wartime Classic -- you choose.

      And I always love to meet another Janeite! Which novel is your favorite?

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  39. This will be a good reason to read some more classics this year.

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  40. I signed up. :) Thanks for hosting!

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  41. I'm in! I think this will dovetail nicely with my 101 Things in 1001 Days challenge. Thanks for turning me on to it!

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  42. I am so excited to participate in your challenge. Thanks for hosting:)

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  43. I'm in! This is the first time I'm participating and haven't read that many classics yet! There are so many classics to choose from, but almost got my list ready. Thank you for hosting.

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  44. What a fun challenge! Looking foreward to participating.

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  45. I hope to read the classic books I've been meaning to read for the longest time! Thanks!

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  46. I'm looking forward to participating!

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  47. I don't mean to pressure you or anything, but I can't find where to post the books I have read - well I've only read one so far, "To The Lighthouse" by Virginia Woolf, for my 20th Century classic. Here's the link to my review: http://bookendcrossing.blogspot.com/2014/01/book-review-to-lighthouse-by-virginia.html.
    Thanks for hosting!

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    1. The links are up!! Sorry for not posting them before. You're the first! Whenever you have time, you can link your review. There's a separate blog post for each category with a corresponding widget, and a link in the sidebar at the top. Thanks for your patience!

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    1. Thanks for signing up! I'm overwhelmed by the response -- so exciting!

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  49. Hallo, Hallo Karen! :)

    Thanks for hosting, I've linked up my page!! I put out a tweet to members of tCC to ask if anyone had suggestions for two of the categories I'm having trouble sorting out which book to read! I was going to link my tweet to you, but I couldn't find you on Twitter!? I did give a ref to the Challenge & to your blog! :)

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    1. Thanks for signing up! Sorry, I'm not on Twitter, but I left a comment on your sign-up post with a couple of suggestions. And thanks for the referrals, I'm so pleased with the response I've gotten for this challenge.

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  50. Thank you so much for hosting, Karen! I'm looking forward to discovering some classics!

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    1. Thanks for signing up!! I hope you find some classics you enjoy.

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  51. Hello! I'm thinking about it... Question since I just found out that Suite Francoise was actually written in the 30s but not published until recently. Would it count???? :D
    No biggie if not, just trying to pull from my shelves (and shocked that I didn't realize the author was sent to the concentration camps - how did I miss this?)

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    1. Hmm, that's a tough one -- I was considering this one myself, but I wasn't sure -- one could argue that it WAS written during the 1930s. Plus, Nemirovsky DID publish before the war, though not in English translations. . . I'm going to say it's up to you -- she's a classic author that DID publish before 1964, just not this book. So I say yes. I may read one of her books for the challenge myself. I read Dimanche and Other Stories a few months ago and loved them, one of my best reads of 2013.

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    2. Thanks. I actually have more choices that will fit. I am looking forward to this!

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  52. I just linked to my Goodreads page and set up a shelf with my 6 choices. I have already started my classic by a woman author, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Thanks for hosting, this will be fun!

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    1. Great choices! I was trying to guess which books were meant for the different categories, so it will be fun to see if I was right. I loved North and South, and The Priory was one of my first Persephone reads and I just loved it. I'm looking forward to your reviews.

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  53. Since I favor reading tte classics, I was pretty sure I could meet the 6 categories from my TBR shelves. I can, and most fit into more than one category. I feel free to modify, but here is where I start:

    19th century classic - Nikolai Gogol, Dead Souls (1842)

    20th century classic - Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924)

    Woman author - Doris Lessing, The Grass Is Singing (1950)

    In translation - Irene Nemirovsky, Suite Francaise (1942)

    War novel - John Dos Passos, Three Soldiers (1932)

    New author - Ford Madox Ford, The Good Soldier (1927)

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  54. I think Nemirovsky qualifies because she died in 1942. Whenever her books were published, they were written more than 50 years ago.

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    1. I think so too. I want to read this one also, or I might choose one of her earlier books and use it as my Classic in Translation. I read her short story collection last year and it was one of my favorites on 2013. You have some great choices on the list, and some books that I really want to read.

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  55. Thanks for keeping the participation open Karen. Having decided to read classics this year, I'm looking forward to this challenge! So far I've picked the following - Pride and Prejudice, The Great Gatsby, Portrait of a Lady, Vanity Fair. Would Don Quixote be applicable for A Classic in Translation and A Passage to India be applicable for A Classic about War since it was published in 1924?

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    1. Some great choices! Don Quixote would definitely qualify as a classic in translation, it was originally published in Spanish. I don't know if Passage to India is a classic about war, I've read it but it was years ago. It would definitely qualify as a 20th century classic though. Vanity Fair could count as a classic about War, since part of it is about the Napoleonic Wars (might also count as a historical novel). Portrait of a Lady could count as an American classic because Henry James was born in America, though he later became a British citizen. Thanks for signing up, I look forward to reading your posts!

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    2. Thanks Karen. Your comments helped in reshuffling my list a bit

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  56. Sounds like a fun challenge - I've signed up! I haven't chosen my books yet, but I will try to do that soon.

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    1. Thanks for signing up! I look forward to seeing your selections.

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  57. I've seen this around but this is my first year to participate. I'm excited!

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    1. Great! This is my second year participating but my first year hosting. I'm so impressed by the responses -- I can't believe how many people signed up already!

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  58. Looking forward to it! (though I'm to chicken to pick specific books yet). Thanks for hosting!!

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  59. my first time! will have to do some research before I post a list

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  60. I hope I can keep up my motivation for this!

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  61. My first reading challenge! Looking forward to it!

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  62. Thanks for running this! Looks to be a great motivation to read those 'wish I had' books!

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  63. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  64. I linked to my Goodreads, I am so excited for this challenge! Now I can stay accountable for the classics... much needed :)

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  65. I'm so excited to get started! I try to read classics each year, but this will keep me accountable :)

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  66. Thanks for hosting this! I decided to read some more classics this year and then found this challenge. Sounds like fun and it's nice to have some categories to fill :)

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  67. This may be the hardest reading challenge I'll attempt this year, but possibly the most profitable one. Looking forward to it!

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  68. oh wow, my link worked! this is great progress for me tbh. Thanks for hosting this challenge, i'm pretty excited to get started :D

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  69. I may have signed up twice...one minute my name was there, the next it was gone again !?!?

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  70. Thanks for running this challenge. I definitely want to make inroads into my classics TBR pile this year. Laura (OokSaidTheLibrarian)

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  71. Alright, I'll sign up for this! Seems interesting. A couple of questions, though, as a Goodreads-user. Does the length & quality of the review matter? How are you supposed to do a wrap-up post through Goodreads, a link to the bookshelf for this challenge or? Finally, where should you post your movie-review if you only use Goodreads?

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    1. Well, I'm not any judge of quality or length, but it should have some thoughts about why you did or didn't like it. I usually include some information about the plot, and sometimes a quote that I really like, but that's just me. You could create a Goodreads tag and link that way for your original list, or post in the comments. For your final wrap-up list and your movie review, you could included in the comments area instead of the link-up on the appropriate post on my blog.

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  72. Thanks for taking over the challenge this year!

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  73. I've finally finalised my list for this year. I can't wait to get started on it. Thanks so much for hosting this year! :)

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  74. I'm new to blogging (though definitely not to reading classics) so very excited about this!

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  75. I haven't read many classics since high school, but this reading challenge sounds like fun. Thanks for hosting and thank you to Cheryl Gebhart for pointing me to this site.

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  76. Já fiz a minha inscrição e estou louca para começar a ler os livros.Adoro este tipo de desafio.

    soniacarmo
    http://retalhosnomundo.blogspot.com.br/

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  77. Quite excited for this challenge, even though I am starting late :)

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  78. What a wonderful challenge....I can't wait to get started

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  79. This is my first ever reading challenge! Thank you so much for hosting, and I can't wait both to read my selections and to see what everyone else picks.

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  80. Welp, just in time! Really happy I found this before the deadline - it's made me so enthused to get reading a few of those books I maaaaay have had gathering dust for three years :/

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  81. Hi there! I'm really glad I made it before the deadline. I can't wait to get started with my readings. This is the first time I make a blog and do something like so you might notice that mine is relatively vacant from posts and people. I will try to catch up in the next few days. Happy reading everyone and thank you for this!

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