Here are the categories:
1. Any 19th century classic
2. Any 20th century classic
3. Any classic from the 18th century, or earlier
4. Any classic related to the African-American experience
5. Any adventure classic
6. Any classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title
Anyone who completes all six of these is entered into a drawing at the end of the year. Plus, there are five optional categories:
1. A reread of a classic work
2. A Russian classic
3. A non-fiction classic
4. A children's or young adult classic
5. Classic short stories -- three or more works by the same author, or by connected by the same genre or time period.
So, here's my tentative list of reads for the challenge:
2. 20th century classic -- A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. A big fat book, and one from the Modern Library's Top 100 Novels. Another series I'm hoping to finish someday.
3. 18th century (or older) classic -- probably Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, because I'm looking for an excuse to buy another of the beautiful Penguin clothbound classics! Or maybe Moll Flanders, because it's fairly short.
4. African-American classic -- Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin. Been on my to-read list forever.
5. Adventure classic -- Kim by Rudyard Kipling, which has been on the TBR shelf for awhile. Or maybe A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs -- last year I saw the movie adaptation, John Carter, which was much better than I expected. (Sadly, it was an incredible box office flop, so no chance of a sequel).
6. Classic book about an animal -- 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne. I'd like to read more books in translation, and classic sci-fi. I also own Journey to the Center of the Earth, so that's also a possibility. (Could switch these to the adventure category as well, if I find another book about an animal). Or maybe Deerbrook by Harriet Martineau, if I'm in the mood for a long Victorian.
And some optional books, if I can get to them:
Classic reread -- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. One of my all-time favorites. I'm definitely rereading this one in January because I chose it for my library's book group.
Non-fiction classic -- I have a couple of choices here. Probably The Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston, but I also have some classic travel books -- Letters from Hawaii by Mark Twain; In Morocco by Edith Wharton; and Pictures from Italy by Charles Dickens. Or maybe The Flame Trees of Thika, since I'm fascinated by Africa.
Classic short stories -- I have stacks of these as well. I have unread volumes by Edith Wharton, Evelyn Waugh, and W. Somerset Maugham on the TBR shelves, so I'll probably choose one of these authors.
I'm not even going to try and choose a Russian to read -- all the Russians on my to-read list are incredibly long, such as Crime and Punishment. I'll have to finish all the other books for this challenge first!
Any suggestions regarding the list -- any real clunkers? Which are must-reads? And who else signed up for this challenge? What books are you hoping to read?