Sunday, December 29, 2013

Back to the Classics Challenge Completed!

I've completed Sarah's Back to the Classics 2013 challenge!!  It took me almost the entire year, but I've done it, and it was great fun.  Here's what I read:

1.  19th century classic  -- The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow by Margaret Oliphant  2/27/13
2.  20th century classic -- The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki  4/25/13
3.  Classic from the 18th century, or earlier -- Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe  10/31/13
4.  Classic related to the African-American experience -- Go Tell it On the Mountain by James Baldwin  2/6/13
5.  Adventure classic -- The 39 Steps by John Buchan  6/13/13
6.  Classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title -- My Dog Tulip by J. R. Ackerley  6/7/13

The five optional categories:

1.  Reread of a classic work -- Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton 1/4/13
2.  Russian classic -- Epic fail!!  I knew this was going to be the hardest one, and I just didn't get to it.  I actually did attempt to read Crime & Punishment a couple of weeks ago -- not an ideal holiday read, by a long shot (especially after just finishing The Earth by Emile Zola.)  Oh well.  
3.  Non-fiction classic -- All The Dogs of My Life by Elizabeth von Arnim  11/8/13
4.  Children's or young adult classic -- The Children Who Lived in a Barn by Eleanor Graham  5/28/13
5.  Classic short stories -- three or more stories by the same author, or by connected by the same genre or time period -- The New York Stories of Edith Wharton  8/2/13

This was a really fun challenge.  Of the eleven books, seven were from my own shelves.  It pushed me to try books I wouldn't have read, or not for a long time.  My favorite read would have to be a tie between the children's classic, The Children Who Lived in a Barn, and The Makioka Sisters.  Of course I love Wharton and Ethan Frome is one of my all-time favorites.  I think I've read it three or four times now and I still love it.

Least favorite -- My Dog Tulip.  Blech.  I was expecting a loving memoir about a man and his dog; instead, I got Too Much Information about the sex lives of German Shepherds -- a huge disappointment.  (At least it was short, and it was one more book from my own shelves I could cross off my to-read list). The other pet memoir, All the Dogs of My Life, was far superior.

Thank you again, Sarah, for creating this challenge!  And next year, I'm adopting this challenge (at least temporarily) and hosting it myself!  Details can be found here, so if you're interested, please sign up!


  1. Good job--I didn't even attempt the Russian classic, though there are many good ones out there still unread by me! Our lists didn't overlap at all in 2013, although I reread Ethan Frome the year before and liked it so much better the second time around. I think I would like Go Tell it On the Mountain--must try to acquire that one.

    Happy New Year--looking forward to reading your reviews in 2014.

  2. Congratulations on finishing (almost) the challenge & good luck with hosting it next year. Happy New Year!


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