Friday, December 20, 2013

Back to the Classics Challenge 2014: My List

So, this year, I'm taking over for Sarah, and I'm hosting the Back to the Classics 2014 Challenge!!  (Click here for details, and to sign up.)  Of course I had to sign up for my own challenge!!  Of course I won't enter myself into the drawing -- my reward will be finishing ten classics, hopefully all from my own TBR shelves, and watching a movie! I'm trying not to repeat books from other challenges, so I can make more progress.  This list isn't strictly fixed, but here's what I want to read this year:

19th Century Classic:  Something by Anthony Trollope (I have twenty of his books unread on my shelves!).  There's an online Trollope reading group and they have some upcoming group reads, so I'll try to participate in one of them.  Maybe He Knew He Was Right.

20th Century Classic:  Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.  Or maybe some P. G. Wodehouse, I have several unread on my shelves.

Classic in Translation:  Zola!  I still have three of his books unread:  Nana, The Dream, and The Debacle.  It will probably be one of those.  Or maybe Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata -- a Japanese classic that I've owned for several years.

Classic By Woman Author:   Lots of these on the TBR shelves!  I'll probably choose something by Edith Wharton -- either Twilight Sleep or The Glimpses of the Moon.  Or maybe Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell.

Classic by an Author Who's New To Me:   The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West.  I've never read anything by her, and I bought this when I was in Downton Abbey withdrawal.

Wartime Novel: The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West.  Or maybe The Debacle by Emile Zola.

Optional Categories:

Classic American Novel:   I haven't read any Steinbeck in a long time, so maybe The Short Reign of Pippin IV (from the TBR shelves) or The Moon is Down, unless I use that one for my wartime novel.

Historical Novel: Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather.  Or maybe I'll be brave and read The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.

Classic Mystery/Suspense Novel:  No Name or Armadale by Wilkie Collins.  Or maybe The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens -- it's one of the last books on my Dickens list.

Classic Book That's Been Adapted as a Movie or TV Series:  The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason, or if I want more Trollope, He Knew He Was Right;  And there's always I, Claudius, which is supposed to be one of the best series from PBS of all time.

So that's my list!  How do you like my choices?  I'm really excited about this challenge!


  1. You have TWENTY Trollope novels? Lucky....

    Nice list, I look forward to hearing about them. :)

    1. Yes, it's a little embarrassing. They've been accumulating for a few years, and this summer I found a whole stack at Half Price Books, and I couldn't resist. I now own OUP copies of some of the less-famous titles, including "The Kellys and the O'Kellys;" "The Belton Estate;" "The MacDermots of Ballycloran;" and "Kept in the Dark."

      I finished five books by Trollope in 2013 and I'd like to read that many more this year. I haven't read any of the Pallisers yet.

  2. I have plans to read both Trollope's Barsetshire Chronicles and his Palliser series. I'm embarrassed to admit that I've read nothing of his yet. :-Z But I have good intentions! :-)

    I enjoyed reading your list, Karen. You've brought a few new title/authors to mind that I'd like to explore!

    1. Trollope is GREAT -- he's often compared to Dickens, but I find them quite different, though I love them both. So far I've read the entire Barchester series and some of the stand-alone novels. My favorite so far was The Way We Live Now -- it's long, but wonderful, and a surprisingly fast read. I

      I'm so glad you signed up for the challenge, I think this is going to be really fun.

  3. Wonderful list, Karen! Lots of favourites there - Trollope, Collins, Return of the Soldier is wonderful, Wodehouse, Wharton. Good luck with the challenge.

  4. Thanks!! I have so many unread books, I really want to make progress on the TBR shelves next year.

  5. I need to finalize my list and I am so excited about this challenge, I need to get to Trollope!

    1. I know, I have SO MANY unread Trollopes. I could choose books by Trollope, Wharton, and Zola, and be nearly finished with the entire challenge, except for the historical and new to me categories. But I'm going to try and spread it around a little more. I'm looking forward to seeing your list and your posts!


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