Friday, December 28, 2018

Back to the Classics 2018: My Final Wrap-Up

I've finished! Once again, I nearly didn't complete my own challenge, but I finally finished all twelve categories for the Back to the Classics Challenge 2018. Here's what I read: 

1.  19th Century Classic: Nina Balatka and Linda Tressel by Anthony Trollope. Completed 5/3/18.

2.  20th Century Classic: The Jewel in the Crown by Paul Scott. Completed 5/2/18.

3.  Classic by a Woman:  Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell. Completed 7/21/18.

4.  Classic in Translation: A Love Episode by Emile Zola. Completed 4/26/18.

5.  Children's Classic: Anne of Avonlea by L. M. Montgomery. Completed 1/15/18.

6.  Classic Crime: Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers. Completed 12/25/18.

7.  Classic Travel or Journey: Orient Express by Graham Greene. Completed 2/20/18.

8.  Classic with a Single-Word Title: Peony by Pearl S. Buck. Completed 2/24/18.

9.  Classic with a Color in the Title: Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley. Completed 1/18/18.

10.  Classic by a New-To-You Author: Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane. Completed 3/7/18.

11.  Classic That Scares You: Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Completed 7/29/18.

12.  Favorite Classic Re-Read: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. Completed 3/18/18.

Of the twelve, ten were books from my own shelves, which is good, but eleven would have been better. I also read five by women and two in translation. I wish those numbers had been higher, but I'll work on that next year. 

Favorites: Pomfret Towers, Gaudy Night, and The Jewel in the Crown. And Wives and Daughters, naturally!

Least favorite: There were a surprising amount of mediocre reads this year -- maybe because I chose a lot of lesser-known works (could that be the reason they're not so popular?) Probably Effi Briest which was just disappointing. I was actually enjoying Jude the Obscure until something really terrible happened in the story, I don't know if that would qualify it for least favorite but I'm really angry at Thomas Hardy about that plot twist!

Anyway -- it's exciting to have finished, though I can't believe it took me so long! I'm really looking forward to starting my list in 2019. Have you finished the Back to the Classics Challenge this year? There are only a few days left to post your wrap-up!


  1. Did you read all four volumes of Jewel in the Crown? That was quite some feat. There is a brilliant television version that was made about thirty years ago, still available on DVD. If you haven’t seen it then I can really recommend it. I suspect I know what the plot twist is in Jude that you object to. For me it was the note that is found afterwords that did it. Too corny for words.

    1. No, just the first volume of the series, but I'd like to read the rest -- my library has the whole series on audio for digital download, I hope to get through at least one more this year. I haven't read the afterward in Jude so I may have to go back and read it though I suspect it may cause me to throw the book across the room.

  2. I'm in for 2019! Working on my list. (Though I wish I could steal some of these categories...(but that would be cheating, I'm sure.) Happy new year, Karen!

    1. Help yourself! Pretty sure none of these are original, and I repeat categories every few years. And Happy New Year to you as well!

  3. Sorry about Hardy...he does this frequently b/c his writing is so superb, but his plot sucks the life out of you.

    1. LOL!!! If I ever write a biography of Thomas Hardy...I am now going to title it...The Life Sucking Plots of Thomas Hardy. ( I'm going to owe you royalties)

  4. I rarely get through anyone's 12 choices without at least one I've read...but you pulled it off (most of them are on TBR), but I'll have to consider adding Pomfret Towers and Gaudy Night.


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