Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Announcing the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015



It's back!!  Once again, I'm hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge.  I'm hoping to encourage bloggers to read more classics.  By reading and posting about a minimum of six classic books, one lucky winner will receive a $30 gift from Amazon.com or The Book Depository!

This year I've made two changes to the format.  First of all, there are no required categories.  That's right!!  If there is a category you don't like (or more than one), you can just skip it, and still qualify for the drawing!

Secondly, I've increased the categories from eleven to twelve.  I had so much fun choosing categories, I couldn't decide, and so this year I've decided to make it an even dozen.  This results in a slight change to the way I'll calculate entries into the drawing.  Here's how it's going to work:
  • Complete six categories and you get one entry.
  • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries.
  • Complete all twelve categories, and your name is entered into the drawing three times!
So without further ado, here are the categories for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2015:

1.  A 19th Century Classic -- any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic -- any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)

3.  A Classic by a Woman Author.

4.  A Classic in Translation. As in last year's category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.  

5.  A Very Long Classic Novel -- a single work of 500 pages or longer, regular-sized print.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections.  Updated:  The 500 pages MUST be the actual text of the novel, not including endnotes, appendices, etc.  When in doubt, check more than one edition, and use an average page count.


6.  A Classic Novella -- any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World's Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.

7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn't matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote -- something like that. It's amazing how many books are named after people!

8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it's funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post. 

9.  A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 ratings.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics, Persephone, and NYRB Classics often fall into this category.  


10.  A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that's considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You'd be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing -- I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves. 

11.  A Classic Children's Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children's classic that you never got around to reading.  

12.  A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.  Plays are only eligible for this specific category.

And now for the rest of the rules:  

  • All books must be read in 2015.  Books started prior to January 1, 2015, are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2015. 
  • All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; therefore, 1965 is the cutoff date.  The only exception is books published posthumously, but written before 1965. 
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible!  Books may also count for other challenges you may be working on.  
  • Books may NOT cross over categories within this challenge.  You may NOT count the same book twice for different categories in this challenge.  One book per category -- otherwise, they won't count.  
  • 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 31, 2015.  If possible, please link to your sign-up announcement post, if possible or applicable.
  • You do NOT have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it's more fun if you do!  You can always change your list at any time.  Books may be read in any order.
  • 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 be greatly appreciated. 
  • The prize will be awarded the first week of January, 2016.  All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, based on the categories completed.  One winner will be randomly drawn from qualifying entries.  The winner will receive a $30 (US) gift card from Amazon.com or The Book Depository, as long as they live in a country that can receive shipment.  See here for list of countries.  
So, that's the challenge!  Please sign up with the linky below.  I'll be posting a list of my own possible reads for the challenge in the next few days.  Happy reading!

Updated:  Sign-ups for this challenge are officially closed.  Please check back at the end of the year for the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge!

132 comments:

  1. I LOVE the change! Will be examining my shelves and writing my sign-up post soon :)

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    1. Thanks! I think it will encourage more people to participate. I look forward to your sign-up post.

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    2. I hope it will encourage more people as well -- I'm all signed up now :)

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  2. Yeah! I love the change too. I am going to prepare my post for the challenge today.
    Thanks. I'm in for 2015!

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  3. Oh boy! Can't wait! I love the array of choices. I'm into 'forgotten' classics these days, so yay! And this time I'll actually remember the 50-year rule...

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    1. I love forgotten classics! I'm a big fan of Persephones and Viragos. And I hope there will be something for everyone this year.

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  4. I've been waiting for this :)

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  5. Yay, love the new categries! Will work on my master post very soon. I'm so excited!

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  6. Yes! My favourite challenge! And the new categories are fantastic! I can't wait to start.

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  7. I'm in - going around my shelves, will be back shortly with my entries!

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  8. I'm in! Right now I'm working on my book choices, but I have a question. John Williams' Stoner is written in 1965 and I would use it as a forgotten classic. Is it eligible?

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    1. Hmmm. . . well, it is an NYRB Classic; however, I can't really say that it's a forgotten classic, since it's now really popular in Europe and has more than 20,000 reviews on Goodreads! But it would be a great choice for a 20th century classic! It would also be a great choice for Name in the Title.

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    2. I know, and because it's really popular in Europe I picked it up earlier this year. I'll figure something else out, thanks for the answer :-)

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  9. Do re-reads count? I'm signing up regardless but just wondering. :)

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    1. Well, the point of the challenge is to read more classics, so I'm really hoping that readers will try new classics instead of just rereading old favorites. I think one are two or fine, but preferably not all your books for this challenge! I'm already planning a re-read category for next year, though!

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    2. Thanks... I don't think I will be using any re-reads but it is a a possibility I may use one. :)

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  10. I'm in. I have seen this challenge over the years, and I've finally decided to implement it. I love all of the categories, but I need to see what will work best from my TBR list.

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  11. So glad you're doing this again. I love classics and this challenge is so motivating. I will try for all 12 categories--the translation one is hardest for me, but good to get me out of my groove. Germinal ended up being one of the best books I read in 2014 so I have to remind myself of that when I think about what to read in the translated category.

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  12. I'm going to participate. This will be my first challenge so I'm excited to get started.

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  13. Sounds great! I'm working on my plans...

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  14. I just signed up! This works perfectly with my classics club list :D

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  15. I like that this is less rigid and therefore more flexible for a person with less time to read. Am really looking forward to this. ^_^

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  16. Woo hoo, I love it! I'm working on my list now. The changes are perfect ideas too!

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  17. I really want to read classicals but I never seem to get around them! It's such a shame because the ones I read from my choice and not for school were amazing! Thanks for hosting this challenge. :)

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  18. Very cool. I will be signing up shortly. Quick question though, can plays be used for multiple categories? For example, could I use a play for the play category (obviously), a different play for the humerus category and a third for the forgotten category? Thanks!

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    1. Plays are only eligible for the one category. I've updated the rules so that it specifies books.

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  19. I'm really excited to start this challenge!

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  20. My only challenge in 2105 is Back to the Classics.
    List is completed
    Kickoff 01-01-2015!

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  21. I have so many classics I'd like to read. I just haven't done a challenge in forever.

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  22. Looking forward to participating.

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  23. This is my favorite challenge! Great new categories for 2015!

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  24. I've never participated in this reading challenge, but I love reading the classics and a lot of the books I want to read next year fit the categories...like it was meant to be. :)

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  25. All set to go! Although I have this question. Do re-reads count? I had read a number of classics in my high school and would love to re-visit them. So will they count?

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    1. A couple of re-reads are fine, but not the entire challenge. The point of the challenge is to read more classics. I'm definitely adding a re-read category to next year's challenge!

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  26. Joining again for next year, I better get to writing up some of my reviews for this year. I have five reviews to finish, not sure that I'm going to finish my war read in the next two weeks. I still want to watch my bonus movie and write a review of that as well.

    I see many blog friends on here, so looking forward to watching their list grow as well.

    Thanks for hosting once again.

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  27. Hi, I love this challenge *-*
    I have a doubt, though, about the children classic: I own this Andersen book of stories that I've never got around to reading, so the challenge looks like a good as any excuse to tackle it. Does it count even though it's a book made up of more than one story?

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    1. If you read short stories, it has to be an entire, specific volume, and it wouldn't count for the Very Long Classic category. Next year, I'm adding a specific category for short stories.

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  28. It's my first time taking part and I'm excited to get going!

    Thanks for hosting.

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  29. I'm glad you decided to host the challenge again. It's my first time signing up, and I hope to have all 12 categories completed at this time next year. :)

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  30. Just signed up. I think the play category will be the most challenging, for sure. I will probably leave it for last!

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  31. Looking forward to lots of great reads for 2015! I love the classics. :)

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  32. Oh and by the way I accidentally entered myself twice due to an error. :/ I tried to take off the first one (#35) but couldn't figure out how to...

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    1. Oh no problem, I'll delete the second entry.

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  33. Hi Karen, just added my link.

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  34. I'm also participating - nothing more exciting than a challenge that gets me back into the reading mode!

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  35. HI karen so excited to do this challenge :)

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  36. Try to look beside the fact that it writes To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf beside my sign up, just a wee bit of hick up I'm not a morning person (it's around 10 AM here). :-P

    And I'll write a sign up post later on.

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  37. I have now changed the forgotten classic from Williams to Gogols "Dead Souls". My link is up!

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    1. I listed that on my "forgotten classic" category as a possibility too. I'm intrigued, particularly since I read Jhumpa Lahiri's The Namesake last year, which is where I learned of Gogol.

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  38. I posted my list and signed up on Linky. Thank you Karen for hosting this it looks great. Stop by and check things out. http://myshorelines.blogspot.com/

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  39. Getting my post ready! Super excited. I love these categories!

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  40. I've never participated in a reading challenge before, but I'm super excited! Thanks for hosting!

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  41. I just barely read about this challenge but it sounds like fun. I will be a first time participant. I love reading and I love this challenge! Thanks.

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  42. I just signed up. I'm terrible at challenges, but this looks so fun. Thanks for hosting, Karen! :-)

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  43. I decided to participate and I wrote my blog post awhile ago but I see that I forgot to sign up here! I enjoyed participating this year and am looking forward to another year. Thanks for hosting again.

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  44. I have been wanting to read more classics and this challenge will definitely help me achieve that. Thanks for hosting.

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  45. I've got lots of classics on my TBR shelf and this challenge looks exciting. This is also my first tie participating and I'm going for six classics :)

    Looking forward to this next year!

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  46. Hi. I don't know if my first comment made it through. I kept on refreshing but it didn't appear even after entering a captcha and all. *drunk*

    Anyway, just wanted to say I'm excited for this challenge as I've got quite a few classics on my shelf. Looking forward to the start of this challenge! :)

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    1. Sorry, I had my blog set to approve comments for posts after certain time period -- I was getting a lot of spam comments for awhile. I've updated it to make it easier.

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    2. I'm sorry - that was my bad. I didn't see the message telling me my comment would appear after approval. *drunk* I only saw it when I posted my second comment. Haha. :)

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  47. So excited to get started on my list! So many of the books for this challenge have been trying to get my attention but I just kept putting them away to the side. I might go for either 9 or 12 classics, I'm not sure yet...

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  48. I would enter, if an Amazon **Canada** gift certificate is the alternative. Please let me know at my blog so I see the reply. Our currencies are nearly the same. There is nothing to it except sending $30.00 from ".ca" instead. :) https://cmriedel.wordpress.com/riedel-challenges-2015/

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    1. If you don't live in the US the prize is available via The Book Depository, which does deliver to Canada.

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  49. Goodness me, this challenge is exactly my cup of tea, and I'm so glad I found it! Am definitely signing up--thanks so much for hosting!

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  50. This sounds fun! Now I have something to keep me accountable! ;) I tried reading more classics last year and I only got through a few.

    Can I copy and paste the "Back to the Classics Challenge" picture for my blog?

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  51. I'm really looking forward to this challenge!!

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  52. This sounds really fun and has inspired me to sign up and participate for the first time this year! I've linked up above and have posted a list - I'm gunning for one in each category from books I already own. Looking forward to joining in and sharing with you guys this year.

    Suzanne @ thebookmagpie.wordpress.com

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  53. I'm looking forward to this challenge, it sounds really fun!

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  54. I missed finishing last year's challenge by 1 book, but still happy that I read 5! I love the changes you've made for this year and hope to do better. Thank you so much for keeping this challenge alive!

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  55. Not sure if I entered correctly. I don't have a book blog, so I used my Goodreads account. Thanks for hosting this!

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  56. Excited!! My husband and I are both doing it. I don't have a book blog; is there another way to sign up?

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  57. oh how exciting!!! reading challenges are my favourite. i think there might be a category or two i don't complete but i'm sure i'll still manage to get 12 classics in. i hope!

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  58. I had said that I was done with adding challenges for 2015 but just couldn't resist.

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  59. Very excited to participate in the 2015 challenge - my first year!

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  60. I loved this challenge. I'm very excited to participate :D

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  61. Here is the link to my first review. A little known classic
    http://myshorelines.blogspot.com/

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    1. Wow, that was fast! I'll be adding links this weekend for the different categories. However, I don't know that I'd consider that one a forgotten classic, it's very famous. But you could count it as a classic in translation or a 20th century classic.

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  62. Hi! (First of all I apologise for any grammar mistake I may have, I'm from Argentina and I'm not used to write in english).
    I love this challenge, so much that a friend and I are translating it and adjusting it for our blogs, so people who don't understand english can participate, we are mentioning you as the original. putting the link to this entry, so if they want to participate in here, they can.
    I'm also participating in yours, but the entries are going to be in spanish, I hope that's not a problem (I can explain the general idea if not).

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    1. Argentina, how exciting! I read a little Spanish so it will be fun to see how much I remember. I look forward to reading your posts.

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  63. I found it!!

    I speak spanish too (like Aleinad) so... I will write all reviews in spanish :O :D

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  64. Hi, I'm Debbie, and I'm basing my classics round 'all things gothic.'

    http://bookwormbitesback.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/back-to-classics-2015.html

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    1. Great theme! That's really clever. I'm already thinking about adding a gothic category for next year.

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  65. Looking forward to starting!

    http://countryroadsleadmehome.blogspot.com/2015/01/sure-is-dusty-round-here.html

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  66. This is my first `Challenge'. I have already read one classic I meant to read but never got round to. I am thrilled by the choices open to me and think the discipline of the challenge will make me a better and wider reader.

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  67. I'm really excited about this challenge! I still have yet to plan my list of titles for the year, but I'm going to have a lot of fun doing it! -Katie @ Bookish Illuminations

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  68. Have finally posted my list of books for the challenge and am looking forward to participating!

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  69. I'm excited about joining in for my second year! I love the flexibility this year.

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  70. I need to delete my original sign up. The URL is wrong!

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  71. I accidently entered twice! Sorry about that. Please delete one.

    I just posted my almost complete list of books to read.

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  72. I am a first year homeschooling mom of 2 girls and we have decided to use Ambleside Online. This curriculum uses classic books at the bases for education and I haven't read many of them. This challenge will give me the motivation to read more classics. I live in Baltimore where there is a great place called The Book Thing that offers free books every weekend.

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  73. A bit late to the party, but here is my sign-up post: https://fromjuliewithmixedfeelings.wordpress.com/2015/01/15/reading-challenge-back-to-the-classics/

    Will be posting my first review soon!

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  74. Just signed up for this brilliant challenge. This is my first year. I have even started a book blog for this challenge. Thank you, Karen for hosting this.

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  75. Haven't done a reading challenge before, but looking forward to getting stuck in! :)

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  76. Replies
    1. Grrrrr. Had two challenge windows open and posted the wrong linky. I am in---real sign-up coming. Please delete me at #133.

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    2. My REAL sign-up is at #134. Thanks!

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  77. Just signed up. Finding books for the categories was fun, though I did have trouble choosing a Very Long Classic Novel and settled for War and Peace.

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  78. Hi, I've decided to try this. I have already read two books that fit two of the categories.

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  79. Looking forward to this challenge. This is my first year participating in reading challenges and this is now the third one I've joined! Two questions: how/where do I link my reviews? (I'm posting them to Goodreads) and how/where do I post the wrap up post? Thx

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  80. You could link your reviews to your Goodreads page in the comments section if you can't link them through Mr. Linky.

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  81. Just signed up for this wonderful challenge...not sure if I will be able to complete it but will definitely have a great time reading!

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  82. Hello! This is an interesting challenge - I just signed up for it and will probably post lots of links since I alternate reviews of contemporary (first published after I was born) and classical (published between 1900 and 1970) literature on my blog. The review of the first book that I read this year has gone online yesterday, so I can get started as soon as I'll have made up my mind about the category ;-). I'm looking forward to following the other contributions!

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    1. My sign up post isn't online yet - don't have the time to write it right now.

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    2. I just published my sign up post... and signed up a second time which means that you can delete the first link at #141 (I saw that you did it for others). Thanks! This is really a great challenge!

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  83. I've added all the books I hope to read to my GoodReads page. My first comment hasn't appeared, maybe I did something wrong. Anyway, here is my new link to my updated list.
    https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/37186870-karen-white?page=1&shelf=to-read&utf8=%E2%9C%93

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  84. Brilliant; one of my (57) goals this year is to read classics as I didn't grow up reading very many. It will be fun to find books for the categories. I am trying for 6 categories, but hope I read 12. . . . I am currently reading Moby Dick. . . I will put up my linking post soon.

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  85. I want to join the challenge as well!

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  86. Fabulous! I'm excited about this.

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  87. I am not sure how to post my list. I think I have linked to my Classics Challenge list on Good Reads, but I am not sure how to post my list like the ones I see above.
    Thank you for prompting me to read the classics.

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    1. You can just copy and paste it here in the comments section if you don't have a blog.

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  88. Thank you. Here's my list so far:
    19th century: The Sorrows of Satan by Maria Corelli
    20th Century: Daddy's Gone a Hunting by Penelope Mortimer
    Woman author: O Pioneer's by Willa Cather
    Classic in Translation: L'Invitee aka She Came to Stay by Simone de Beauvoir
    Very Long Classic: Big Rock Candy Mountain by Wallace Stegner
    Classic Novella: The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
    Classic with a person's name in the title: Anne Veronica by H G Wells
    Humorous or Satirical: Clochemerle by Gabrielle Chevalier
    Forgotten Classic: Fidelity by Susan Glaspell
    Non-Fiction classic: Something by Isabella Bird probably
    Classic Children's book: Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
    Classic Play: Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen

    Phew! 2 down,10 to go.
    PatK


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  89. Hello! I'm just wondering, when I have finished reading one of my books and write a review, where do I link my blog with the review? Thank you. Sarah

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    1. There are two sidebars on my home page where you can link your reviews -- near the top, on the right-hand side.

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    2. Thank you so much, I can see them now.

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  90. Just found this challenge after deciding a #lifegoal was to finish Rory Gilmore's Reading Challenge. This will definitely get me a head start on those classic books on her list!

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  91. I'm getting more excited about this as I just finished my second classic work for the year!

    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Melissa

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  92. I'm a little late on the upstart, but I'm excited to read a lot of great books!

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  93. Right under the wire. So excited!!!

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  94. Ok, I have completed all 12 categories.

    http://jannghi.blogspot.com/2015/01/back-to-classics-challenge-2015.html

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    1. That's great! You're first! Please write a final wrap-up post and attach it to the link on the sidebar -- it can be short, but please include links to all your reviews so I can be sure and enter you in the prize drawing. Congratulations!

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  95. I missed it for this year - any way you could let me know if you are doing this again for 2016? I signed up for a similar classics challenge but would love to do this one too for more ideas for books to read!

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  96. I just realized that my linky above goes to my blog url, not the sign up post. Here is the link to the sign up post! http://ruthiellareads.blogspot.com/2014/12/back-to-classics-challenge-2015.html

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