Sunday, December 9, 2018

Back to the Classics 2019

Books still life, unknown artist. Spanish, 1620-1640.
Old National Gallery, Berlin

It's back! After much deliberation, I've decided to continue to the Back to the Classics Challenge for the sixth year! I hope to encourage readers and bloggers to tackle all the classic books we've never gotten around to reading. And at the end, one lucky winner will receive a $30 (US) gift of books from Amazon.com or The Book Depository! The rules and the prize are the same as last year, but I think I've come up with some fun new categories. 

If you're new to the challenge, here's how it works:
  • Complete six categories, and you'll get one entry in the drawing; 
  • Complete nine categories, and you'll get two entries in the drawing; 
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you'll get three entries in the drawing
THE CATEGORIES: 

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.

2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1969. All books in this category must have been published at least 50 years ago. The only exceptions are books that were published posthumously but were written at least 50 years ago. 

3. Classic by a Female Author.

4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a novel other than your native language. You may read the book in your native language, or its original language (or a third language for all you polyglots!) Modern translations are acceptable, as long as the book was originally published at least 50 years ago. Books in translation are acceptable in all other categories as well.

5. Classic Comedy. Any comedy or humorous work. Humor is very subjective, so if you think Crime and Punishment is hilarious, go ahead and use it, but if it's a work that's traditionally not considered humorous, please tell us why in your post. 

6. Classic Tragedy. Tragedies traditionally have a sad ending, but just like the comedies, this is up for the reader to interpret. 

7. Very Long Classic. Any classic single work 500 pages or longer, not including introductions or end notes. Omnibus editions of multiple works do not count. Since page counts can vary depending on the edition, average the page count of various editions to determine the length.

8. Classic Novella. Any work of narrative fiction shorter than 250 pages. 

9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). Includes classic set in either continent or the Caribbean, or by an author originally from one of those countries. Examples include Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (United States); Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica); or One Hundred Years of Solitude (Columbia/South America). 

10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Any classic set in one of those contents or islands, or by an author from these countries. Examples include Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt); The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Japan); On the Beach by Nevile Shute (Australia); Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria). 

11. Classic From a Place You've Lived. Read locally! Any classic set in a city, county, state or country in which you've lived. Choices for me include Giant by Edna Ferber (Texas); Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (Chicago); and Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Germany). 

12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.

THE RULES: 
  • All books must be read during read from January 1 through December 31, 2019. Books started before January 1 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2019. I will post links the first week of January which will be featured on a sidebar of this blog for convenience through the entire year. (The link for the final wrap-up will be posted towards the end of the year, to avoid confusion). 
  • Participants must post a wrap-up and link it to the challenge, and it must include links to all the books they've read for this challenge, specifying which books for each challenge. If I cannot confirm which books you've read for each challenge, I will not enter your name into the drawing. It is fine to rearrange books for the challenge, since many books can fit multiple categories -- just let me know in the final wrap-up! 
  • The wrap-up post MUST include contact information so that I can contact the winner privately before announcing the winner on this blog. If your blog doesn't have a link, or if you have a Goodreads account, let me know in the comments of wrap-up post. If I cannot contact you, I cannot award you the prize! 
  • If you do NOT have a blog and wish to enter, you need to link to individual reviews on a publicly accessible site like Goodreads. You can specify which categories in the comments section of the link to the Final Wrap-Up Post. Do not simply link to your Goodreads account.
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago to qualify; therefore, books must have been published no later than 1969 for this challenge. The only exceptions to this rule are books which published posthumously but written before 1969. Recent translations of classic novels are acceptable. 
  • E-books and audiobooks are acceptable! You may also count books for this challenge that you've read for other challenges. 
  • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge -- that is, you may not count the same book multiple times within this challenge. You MUST read a different book for each category in this challenge, or it doesn't count. 
  • Multiple books by the same author are acceptable. 
  • Children's classics are acceptable, but no more than three total for the challenge! And please, no picture books.
  • Single short stories and short poetry collections do not count, but you may use full-length narrative poems (like The Odyssey) and short story collections such as The Canterbury Tales, as long as you read the entire book.
  • You do NOT have to list all the books you intend to read in your sign-up post, but it's more fun if you do! You may certainly rearrange or change the books for this challenge, and books may be read in any order. 
  • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2019. After that, I'll close the link and you'll have to wait until 2020 for the next year's challenge. Please include a link to your actual sign-up post, not your blog URL/home page. Make sure you sign up in the Linky below, not the comments section. If I do not see your name in the sign-ups, you are not eligible. If you've made a mistake with your link, just add a new one and let me know in the comments. It's no trouble for me to delete an incorrect link. 
  • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2020. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending upon the number of categories they complete as stated above. One winner will be randomly selected from all qualifying entries. I will contact the winner privately and award the prize before posting on the blog. 
  • The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US) from Amazon.com (US) OR $30 in books from The Book Depository. Winners must live in a country that receives shipment from one of these online retailers. To check if your country receives deliveries from The Book Depository, click here

So what are you waiting for? Sign up in the Linky below! I'll be posting my tentative list of reads for the 2019 challenge in the next few days. I can't wait to see what everyone else will be reading! 


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Back to the Classics 2019: Yea or Nay?

Edward Hopper, Compartment C, Car 293 1938

As you may have noticed, I've really been slacking off from the blogging the last few months. I don't know if it was just a temporary lull, or it's time to wind up this blog. It's been more than nine years, and sometimes I feel like I'm just moving in a different direction. I love reading, but sometimes writing blog posts feels like homework. Also, I've been traveling a lot this past year (I keep meaning to post about my trips but I never seem to get round to it.) We have less than a year left here in Germany before we move back to the U.S., and it's going really fast -- I have so much more I want to do before I go!

So, I've really been considering taking a break from book blogging, or moving this blog in another direction. But the Back to the Classics Challenge probably been one of my favorite things about it; I've been hosting this challenge since 2014, when I took over from Sarah Reads Too Much and I've been so pleased by the response! More than 180 people signed up last year, which is amazing.

What I'm asking is this: should I continue the Back to the Classics Challenge in 2019? How many people are still interested in participating? I realize that my readership may have dropped off because I've been blogging so infrequently, but if readers are still interested, I'll consider continuing. 

Please let me know in the comments if you're interested in participating. Thanks!