Thursday, June 19, 2014

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014: Mid-Year Check In (and Giveaway!!!)


Well, it's almost halfway through 2014, so I thought I'd check in and see how everyone's doing with the Back to the Classics Challenge!!  I'm really proud to say that I've actually finished seven of the eleven categories -- and I can count my current read, Moby-Dick, for number eight!  I'm quite proud because I've deliberately chosen not to count books from my other big challenge, the TBR Pile Challenge, towards this challenge, thinking this would inspire me to read even more books off my own shelves.  I've also decided not to repeat any authors, to try and vary my selections.

Here's what I've read (and watched) so far:

20th Century Classic:  The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
Classic by a Woman Author:  The Glimpses of the Moon by Edith Wharton
Classic about War: The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
Classic by an Author That's New To Me: The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig
Historical Fiction Classic: Sapphira and the Slave Girl by Willa Cather
Classic Adapted into a Movie or TV Series: He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
TV Series Adaptation: He Knew He Was Right BBC Miniseries

I really liked all of them but if I had to choose, my two favorites so far would be The Post-Office Girl and The Glimpses of the Moon.  Now I only have four categories left: 19th Century Classic; Classic in Translation; American Classic; and Classic Mystery, Suspense, or Thriller.  Right now I'm reading Moby-Dick which I'll count for either my 19th Century or American Classic, I haven't decided which.

And how is everyone else doing?  I'm so pleased with all the links I've seen posted already!  And to thank everyone who's signed up, I'm offering a midpoint giveaway!!!  Yes, to further entice everyone to reading even more classics, one lucky winner will receive a beautiful Penguin Clothbound Classic of his or her choice (up to US $20).  



Here are the rules for the giveaway:

1.  To enter, you must already be signed up for the Challenge (sorry, the last day to sign up was back in March.)  If you are not already on this list, you are NOT ELIGIBLE.

2.  Challenge participants must have linked at least one review for the 2014 Back to the Classics Challenge.  If you're signed up and you haven't linked any reviews left, the cutoff date is July 1.

3.  Any new links must follow the guidelines originally set for the challenge.

4.  Challenge participants must leave a comment below telling which book they've most enjoyed reading for this challenge.  If you want, you can also tell me which Penguin Clothbound Classic (valued up to $20) you'd choose if you're the lucky winner.  Include an email or link to your blog so I can contact you if you've won!!  




5.  Contest winners will receive their choice of a Penguin Clothbound Classic with a value up to $20 from Amazon.com or The Book Depository.com.  Contest winner must live in a country where they can receive delivery from either Amazon or The Book Depository.  If you're not sure if The Book Depository ships to your home country, you can check here.

6.  Comments and links must be posted no later than July 1 at 11:59 p.m., U.S. Central Standard Time.  On July 2, I'll announce a winner.

7.  Winner must contact me with a good address no later than July 7, or I'll pick another winner.



So what are you waiting for?  Post your reviews, pick your favorite Clothbound Classic and tell me in the comments below!!  I can't wait to give a prize away!

42 comments:

  1. I have only finished two of the categories: 19th and 20th Century classics. I'm currently listening to the wartime classic, and of the three I enjoy this one the most. Ernest Hemingway is a poetic writer, and "For Whom the Bell Tolls" is no exception.

    If I should win I would like to receive Jane Eyre. My blogadress is http://serieavhengig.blogspot.com

    Have a nice day!

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    1. Three is a great start! And Jane Eyre is one of my favorite classics of all time. Great choice!

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  2. I've finished three categories: Classic by a Woman Author I read Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte; Classic in Translation I read Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak; Classic Adapted into a Movie I read Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim.

    You can find my administration post here: http://thedwsblog.com/back-to-the-classics-2014/

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    1. And, if I win, I'd like Great Expectations by Charles Dickens!

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    2. I loved Enchanted April!! And the movie adaptation is just charming. And I think Great Expectations is one of the prettiest of the clothbound classics. Great choice!

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  3. I've finished 6 categories so far (20th Century, 19th Century, War, American, Mystery, and Historical Fiction). Pretty sure my favorite so far has been Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" (Mystery)...she certainly deserves the title of "Queen of Crime"!

    Should I win, I would like to receive "Les Miserables". My blog is http://completeandunabridged.blogspot.com. Thank you so much for hosting this challenge!

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    1. Les Miserables is pretty! I have that one but I haven't read it yet. . . maybe next year, I'm still working on "Moby Dick."

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  4. Here is my mid-year check-in post: http://cleoclassical.blogspot.ca/2014/06/back-to-classics-2014-mid-year-check-in.html

    I only have one book left to go: a 20th century classic. Woo hoo!

    If I'm the lucky winner, I'd like the Tales from 1001 Nights; Aladdin, Ali Baba and Other Favourites.

    Thanks, Karen!

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    1. Wow, such great progress!! Well done! And the Tales from 1001 Nights is just beautiful. Great choice!

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  5. I've finished three books for this challenge so far: The Ambassadors by Henry James (20th Cent. Classic), Madame Bovary (Classic in Translation), and The Red Badge of Courage (Classic about War). I think my favorite so far has to be the book I'm reading right now - Huckleberry Finn (American Classic). It's a perfect summer read because it just has a fun, adventurous feel.

    It I won the contest, I would totally pick Far From the Madding Crowd, because I just love Thomas Hardy and the bee design one cover is pretty.

    Thanks for hosting this challenge! I'm having a lot of fun with it.

    My blog: http://kristinayarn.blogspot.com/

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    1. I loved Madame Bovary -- and in case you didn't know, Penguin is going to re-release the Clothbound Classic edition (the purple one pictured above) -- it was originally only released in England and was a limited edition. For a couple of years you couldn't find a copy ANYWHERE (I once saw one going for $80 on Ebay but it was snapped up immediately!). I was so happy that it's going to be reprinted, I've already pre-ordered my copy! Glad you're enjoying the challenge!

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  6. I've read six out of eleven: http://howlingfrog.blogspot.com/2014/06/back-to-classics-checkin.html

    My favorite? That's a toughie, because there have been some fantastic books on my list. I loved Mill on the Floss, If on a winter's night, and Slaughterhouse-Five especially, but I think I'll revert to habit and pick Mill on the Floss for my favorite. I do love George Eliot.

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    1. Oh, also. jkleek at gmail dot com

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    2. Six is excellent!! I haven't read Mill on the Floss in years -- I read it in high school, and I wasn't old enough to appreciate it. I loved Middlemarch, so I should really give it another try. I'm glad you liked it though!

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  7. What a great giveaway! I've read 3 books so far and linked up 1 review (still working on the other two...) So far I've enjoyed Oedipus Rex the most.

    I'm #44 on the sign-up linky & my linked review is #3 in the 19th Century linky (Christine @Buckling Bookshelves)

    bucklingbookshelves (at) gmail (dot) com

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    1. Oedipus Rex, wow! I don't think I've read any ancient Greeks, other than D'Aulaires book of Greek Mythology, a childhood favorite. Thanks for linking up!

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    2. I'll have to link up my review after I finally write it! Since it is a play originally meant to be performed rather than read, it was a really excellent choice to listen to as an audiobook -- I highly recommend it :)

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  8. I've filled in 6 categories so far, so feel like I'm doing well! Only 'A classic in translation' to go in the compulsory categories! It's really hard to pick which one I enjoyed the most though. I really enjoyed Daddy Long Legs (20th Century), Jane Eyre (women author) and Life at Blandings (new to me author). I can't pick between them!

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    1. I loved Daddy Long Legs! It was actually the book that inspired me to start blogging, back in 2009 -- I'd never heard of it and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with someone. I also love Jane Eyre and pretty much anything by P.G. Wodehouse, though I haven't read the Blandings books yet. Great choices!

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  9. I have actually made it halfway. I do need to write a few reviews still, but I did link up the written ones in the appropriate categories. My Mid-Year Check In post can be found here. I have read 5 category books, I do need to watch Oz to pair with my movie adaption book.

    So far it is a toss up for favorite between Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola and Hunger by Knut Hamsun. I think Zola may have a slight edge here.

    What a treat you are offering to a lucky winner! I think I would go with The Bhagavad Gita as my winning choice.

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    1. Five books, that's great! And I'm so glad you enjoyed Zola, he's one of my favorites. Germinal and La Bete Humaine were just great, but I've enjoyed nearly all of the Rougon-Macquart series so far. Thanks for posting your links, and good luck!

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  10. Hi, I don't want to enter the giveaway but I'd like to know how you got on with the Willa Cather. I adore her writing but I've not yet read that title.

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    1. I really liked it, and I want to read more of her works this year. I also read A Lost Lady which I also enjoyed. Sorry, I meant to include links to all my reviews above. I'll go back and fix that.

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  11. I have read 4 of 8 books (halfway through!), and my favorite so far is The Last of the Mohicans. Although it's a bit overwritten, I loved Fenimore's storycraft and have enjoyed the whole story. Here's my progress: http://klasikfanda.blogspot.com/2013/12/back-to-classics-challenge-2014.html

    If I won, I think the only choice from the list left for me is Steinbeck's The Pearl, as it is the only one which is up to $20 in TBD. If you send it from Amazon, I think they will charge you shipping fee to Indonesia. But I love all the clouthbound classics, they are all beautiful! :)

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    1. Wow, you must have a lot of Clothbound Classics! They're so pretty, I can hardly resist them. The Pearl is really pretty, good choice!

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  12. I'm happy to say I have completed all of the required categories and all but three of the optional ones. I put a mid-year update here: http://barbarah.wordpress.com/2014/06/18/reading-challenge-updates/

    My favorites have been The Woman in White by new-to-me author Wilkie Collins and A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, my mystery/suspense choice. I'm planning on reading more of these authors: in fact, I'm currently listening to a second Sherlock Holmes novel via audiobook.

    barbarah06 (at) gmail (dot) com.

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    1. Great progress! I still haven't read my mystery/suspense choice. I might read No Name or Armadale by Wilkie Collins but I suspect I'll read The Mystery of Edwin Drood because I only have two works by Dickens unread. And it's also available on audiobook from my library, so that's a plus.

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  13. I planned only to complete the 6 required categories and I have read five so far (although, I could probably easily squeeze in an optional category or two). My favorites have been Oliver Twist (19th century author), The Priory (female author) and Uncle Silas (new to me author) with a slight edge given to The Priory. I would have been happy to read 100 more pages, if they had been written, you know?

    Up next is From Here to Eternity and honestly, the first 50 pages did not thrill me and I put it aside a couple of months ago. But I will get back to it. Not only because of the Classics Challenge, but I am also trying to read all of the Modern Library’s 20ths century list and it is on it.

    If I were to win, I think I would pick Dracula. While I love Austen and Dickens, I already have most of their books in different editions on my shelves (Everyman’s Library hardcovers for Austen and Penguin or Modern Library paperbacks for Dickens). I am afraid if I had one Penguin clothbound version from either author, I would be tempted to buy all the rest so they matched!

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    1. I do have all the Clothbounds by Austen. . . I think I have six different copies of Pride and Prejudice!!! (but only two of the other Austen books). I still don't have all the Dickens books, but mostly because I hated Hard Times and I'm not a huge fan of A Christmas Carol.

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  14. I've completed 4 of the required and 2 of the optional. The one I've enjoyed the most is North and South by Gaskell. It's a winner!

    I would choose Middlemarch as a Penguin clothbound version, and my email is heidiup7 (at) gmail dot com.

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    1. I loved North and South! Have you seen the BBC adaptation? Wives and Daughters by Gaskell is also wonderful. And I loved Middlemarch, great choice!

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  15. I've only read in three books and the classics I'm currently reading are in the same categories as the ones already read. Although I do have concrete plans to get further along in the challenge by end of summer.

    Dr. Thorne, by Anthony Trollope, is my favorite classic so far this year using your nothing-after-1964 rule (it would have been Crossing to Safety otherwise!). I really liked the character of the doctor and thought the story interesting and not overly contrived but compelling.

    I would probably choose the Penguin collection of Poetry, though I might go for one of the Victor Hugos.

    You can reach me at janetgs05-at-gmail-dot-com

    Thanks for hosting this challenge--keeps me focused on reading the books that I value the most!

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    1. I loved Dr. Thorne, it's one of my favorite Trollopes so far. Crossing to Safety is also wonderful. I haven't seen the Penguin Collection of Poetry, I'll have to look for it. I do have the Clothbound Les Miserables, and I think I'm going to try and read it for the challenge next year -- if I can get through Moby-Dick, I think I can read most anything!

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  16. What a wonderful giveaway! I love the Penguin classic clothbound novels. The Painted Veil has been my favorite book I've read so far for the challenge. I think I would pick Frankenstein is the new penguin to add to my collection. You can reach me at avidreader25@gmail.com

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    1. I loved The Painted Veil, it's one of my favorites by Maugham (Of Human Bondage is also wonderful). I don't have the Penguin Frankenstein either, great choice!

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  17. I've read lots of great books for the challenge (thanks for the opportunity!) but my favourite has to be The Ladies' Paradise by Zola. Period Piece comes a close second.

    If I was lucky enough to win, I think I'd go for The Odyssey or Middlemarch.

    https://coffeespoonsandcupsoftea.wordpress.com/

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    1. I hadn't heard of Period Piece, but it sounds like just the sort of thing I'd like, I'll have to look for it.

      I think the The Odyssey is one of the most beautiful Clothbound Classics, though I've never read it (shameful!). I loved Middlemarch though, I really want to reread it sometime.

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  18. As I have only yet finished The Great Gatsby, that will be my favourite this far, but I'm strongly entering the reading zone when I get vacation.

    http://best-of-classics.blogspot.dk/

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    1. Thanks for linking your review! I know what you mean about vacations -- I'm taking a long weekend soon and the first thing I packed was my books for the trip. Obviously, they're the most important choice.

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  19. I've read three books so far, although I've yet to post my third review. I think my favourite would have to be the classic in translation; I read 'Lysistrata' and thought it was great. This challenge has been really fun so far, I've read a few books that I've had on my to-read shelf for years, and I'm really excited for the rest. :)

    There's a great selection of Penguins in the clothbound series, but I think I would have to choose 'Middlemarch' if I were lucky enough to win.

    My Back to the Classics start-up post is here:

    http://majoringinliterature.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/back-to-the-classics/

    Thanks so much for hosting this challenge and the awesome giveaway! :)

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying the challenge -- I've tried to choose mostly books from my own shelves so far -- the only one that was a library book was The Moon is Down by Steinbeck (novel about war). Thanks for linking your post.

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  20. I was on away from home an out of internet contact at the end of June / beginning of July, and am only catching up with my book blogging now. So I totally missed this post. I've only read two books for the challenge so far, one of which was the amazing "Gone With the Wind", which I really loved. But I see that some others are not too much further ahead of me as regards the number of books read, and that's encouraging. I'm definitely planning on continuing. Congratulations to the winner of the giveaway, which was a lovely prize! Cheers for now - I hope to be back posting another link this month. Or very definitely in August.

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