Thursday, January 2, 2020

Back to the Classics Challenge 2020




It's back! After much deliberation, I've decided to continue to the Back to the Classics Challenge for the seventh 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 1970. 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 Woman 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 by a Person of Color. Any classic work by a non-white author. 

6. A Genre Classic. Any classic novel that falls into a genre category -- fantasy, science fiction, Western, romance, crime, horror, etc. 

7. Classic with a Person's Name in the Title. First name, last name or both. Examples include Ethan Frome; Emma; Madam Bovary; Anna Karenina; Daniel Deronda; David Copperfield, etc. 

8. Classic with a Place in the Title. Any classic with the proper name of a place (real or fictional) - a country, region, city, town, village, street, building, etc. Examples include Notre Dame de Paris; Mansfield Park; East of Eden; The Canterbury Tales; Death on the Nile; etc.

9. Classic with Nature in the Title. A classic with any element of nature in the title (not including animals). Examples include The Magic Mountain; The Grapes of Wrath; The Jungle; A High Wind in Jamaica; Gone With the Wind; Under the Volcano; etc.

10. Classic About a Family. This classic should have multiple members of the same family as principal characters, either from the same generation or multiple different generations.  Updated: Family members in the title are also acceptable.Examples include Sense and Sensibility; Wives and Daughters; The Brothers Karamazov; Fathers and Sons; The Good Earth; Howards End; and The Makioka Sisters.

11. Abandoned Classic. Choose a classic that you started and just never got around to finishing, whether you didn't like it at or just didn't get around to it. Now is the time to give it another try.

12. Classic Adaptation. Any classic that's been adapted as a movie or TV series. If you like, you can watch the adaptation and include your thoughts in your book review. It's not required but it's always fun to compare.

THE RULES: 
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago to qualify; therefore, books must have been published no later than 1970 for this challenge. The only exceptions to this rule are books which published posthumously but written before 1970. Recent translations of classic novels are acceptable. 
  • All books must be read during read from January 1 through December 31, 2020. Books started before January 1 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 2021. I will post links the first week of January for each category, 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). 
  • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 31, 2020. After that, I'll close the link and you'll have to wait until 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   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. 
  • 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. 
  • 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 challengeIf 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!
  • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2021. 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
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: 

Can I read e-books and audiobooks for the challenge! 
Absolutely! E-books and audiobooks are acceptable! 

Can I count this book toward another challenge? 
Yes, definitely! As long as it's another blog, that's fine. You just can't count one book for two categories in this challenge. 

Can I read more than one book by the same author! 
Of course -- as many as you like by the same author, but again, only one category per book. (You could actually read nine different novels by Trollope for this challenge.)

Can I read more than one book for each category? 
Well, yes and no. Many books can fit more than one category, so for example if you wanted to read only books by women authors, or books in translation, that would work, as long as they fit the criteria for that category, i.e., 20th century or genre classic But if you want three entries in the final drawing, you have to have one book for each category, not just repeat categories. Of course, you are NOT required to completed all 12 to qualify -- you just get less entries. 

Are children's books okay? 
Children's classics are acceptable, but no more than three total for the challenge! And please, no picture books.

What about short stories and poetry? 
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.

Can I change the books from my original list on my sign-up post? What if a book counts for two different categories -- can I change it later? Yes! And 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, as long as you indicate it on your final wrap-up post. 

Do I need to read the books in order? 
Not at all! Books may be read in any order. 

What if I don't have a blog? 
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, or within each review. Do not simply link to your Goodreads account.

So what are you waiting for? Sign up in the Linky below! I'll be posting my tentative list of reads for the 2020 challenge in the next few days. I can't wait to see what everyone else will be reading! 


76 comments:

  1. YAY! I AM SO HAPPY! Thank you Karen! And Happy New Year!

    I'll get started on my 2020 list RIGHT AWAY!!!

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  2. And I say Yay, too. And it's an interesting bunch of new categories. Thanks again for doing it (again) !

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  3. Huzzah! Thank you so much, Karen!! This challenge is a lot of fun for me and I'm sure it's a lot of work for you. Thank you for hosting again. Off to pick my books!

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  4. I can't believe you're going to make me try to read Mysteries of Udolpho again.

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    1. Oh, come on, you've got to find out what's behind the horrible black veil! hee hee

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  5. HOORAY! I was really hoping you'd decide to do it again. Wow, I thought the 'place you've lived' one was hard! How am I going to find a name, one I gave up on, a place, and a family?? I figure 'adaptation' will be easy, given the BBC's track record....

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    1. Let me know if you need suggestions! There are some great lists on Goodreads also. It might be easier to look at classics you want to read and see if any of them fit the categories.

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  6. So excited you are doing this again. I missed the sign up deadline last year! I signed up as "Katie G" and I don't have a blog so I will link to Goodreads reviews in the wrap-up post.

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  7. Thank you Karen K for once again hosting the challenge. In the past two years I have read classic novels that I simply would not have read without the chBack to the Classics Challenge I would have missed some great books, so I am signing up once again!

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  8. Yay! Thanks for hosting another year.

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  9. Oh my goodness, I'm SOOO glad to see your post. I was getting worried for a moment. I'll start compiling my post right away! Thanks for hosting again, Karen!

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  10. Just compiled my list. Thank you for doing this again, Karen!

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  11. Wasn't going to sign up for another challenge, but I couldn't resist this one! Thanks for keeping it going.

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  12. "The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 31, 2019." LOL, too late for me then! :D :P

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    1. Hurry up an build a time machine :)

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    2. Ha ha, I'm not that savvy, but I figured some of you would build one, & I'd hitch a ride! :D

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    3. Oops, how embarrassing! I must have missed that when I copied and pasted from last year! I'll fix it right away.

      I'm tempted to ask for a ride in the time machine, but maybe a different year.

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    4. From one challenge host to another, it happens. :)

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  13. I am so happy that you are hosting this challenge again, Karen! Thank you :) I will be posting my TBR next week :)

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  14. I'm sooo excited this is happening again - thank you for hosting! I look forward to another year of classic reading! I have a goal of 20 books for 2020 - I posted my list.

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    1. Wow, 20! I always say I'm going to do that and I never do.

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  15. THANK YOU FOR HOSTING. I have NEVER completed this challenge. With much trepidation I'll try again. *faints*

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  16. Thanks for doing this once more. I was looking back, and I realized this would be my 6th year, -I only missed your first edition-. I didn't want to do challenges, because of my stupid way of stressing out when not completing it. 2019 was the first year I did not complete. I only missed two categories, and one was the play, the other a book in a place I've lived! Sigh. It gutted me. And then I thought I was being over dramatic, ha ha ha. I read 10 wonderful classics. I don't do your challenge to complete the entries. I was going to say that, if you didn't want to take all the pains to put the links, etc., I was ready to beg you to give us 12 categories, just that, ha ha ha.

    I realized how nice it's to have those categories, and to see how the books one intends to read fit in them. And how special to me it's to look at everybody's post with their choices. How could I not be here among all of you?

    I just need to keep doing what I'm doing, and embrace this new me who reads probably less in quantity, but who reads excellent books in the best company.

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    1. Thank you, that's lovely! I didn't finish this year either and it's my own challenge! I did read all the books, I just had a hard time blogging the past few months. I'm really hoping this will inspire me to keep blogging.

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    2. I'm glad to hear we all go through stages. I do hope this inspires you to keep blogging. Much has happened in your life, Karen, it's normal to get burnout (don't mean that's what's happening to you, I'm just guessing, or projecting), and not inspired to blog, write, even read! Living abroad, moving back to the States, it's emotionally rich and sometimes we need a time of dropping things to rearrange them again.

      But your challenge is more than a challenge. Now it's part of me, of my life. The people I've met, the books I've read and talked about, your blogs, the fun of looking at my shelves, at titles, the possibilities. It has a place in my heart. I'm forever grateful that you're leaving this meeting place open.

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  17. I am so happy to see this challenge back again! I had a lot of fun figuring out what books to read today. I'm looking forward to getting started.

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    1. Honestly I think that's the most fun part of the challenge! It's like mentally shopping for books.

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  18. Signed up. Not committing to any specific books regardless of what my list currently looks like!

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    1. No problem! I never stick to the original list anyway. I do love making lists and crossing things off, so it's fun for me to imagine.

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  19. Last year I read 5 1/2 books. I have been participating, but I never remember if I've signed up. :) My goal is to beat last year's results.

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  20. I'm so happy you're doing this again! I know it must be a lot of work, especially at the end of the year tallying entries. I appreciate it! I'll be planning my book challenges next week and will sign up officially then.

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  21. Woohoo! Love the categories and can't wait to get reading. Thanks for hosting an awesome challenge, Karen!

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  22. Thank you so much for doing this again! 2019 was a good one for me. I read everything on my list, but didn't write up any reviews. Planning this time to review at least six of them to get an entry in the Challenge.

    19th Century Classic: Ninety-Three by Victor Hugo
    20th Century Classic: The King Must Die by Mary Renault
    Classic by a Woman Author: Ethan Fromme by Edith Wharton
    Classic in Translation: The Gods Will Have Blood by Anatole France
    Classic by a Person of Color: The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
    A Genre Classic: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
    A Classic with a Person's Name in Title: Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
    A Classic with a Place in the Title: A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
    A Classic with Nature in the Title: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    A Classic About a Family: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
    Abandoned Classic: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
    Classic Adaptation: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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    1. Great list, some of my favorite books and authors are included!

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  23. Thanks so much for hosting this challenge again --I really love doing the challenge and reading others' reviews.

    Wonderful new (and challenging!) categories - good job!

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  24. Sent link new to this so hoping it works

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  25. Excited about this challenge as it fits in with goal of reading from my shelves

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  26. Thank you so much for continuing this challenge, Karen. I love participating every year and was really hoping you would continue the tradition. *smile* Blessings to you and happy reading this year!

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  27. So glad I stumbled on your blog and this challenge!

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  28. Many thanks for hosting this great challenge again!! It seems to be the only way I get books read off my shelves and stay out of the library.

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  29. Linked up! I'm having fun deciding what to read. Some on my list were motivated by books I bought on sale but haven't had chance to read yet. But I enjoy that the categories broaden my horizons to consider titles I might not have otherwise.

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  30. I've added the link to my sign-up post. Thanks for hosting again, Karen!

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  31. I'm all signed up! My tentative reading choices are listed in the sign-up post

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  32. I've finished the book I plan to count as my 'Classic by a Women Author.' When I click on the respective Link-Up Post, I get a blank webpage and the url reads 'about:blank#blocked.' Can others get to the link-up page or is it only my having this issue?

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    1. I just tried it again. So either something was weird last night or it was fixed!

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    2. Sorry about that! I was checking the links and it was dead, so I fixed it.

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  33. Finally decided to sign up after seeing all the posts about this. Maybe this year I'll actually blog about the books I read...

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  34. Thank you for hosting again!

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  35. Let's try this again...my comments keep disappearing when I hit publish!
    Anyway, I've already been enjoying the challenge this year! Thanks so much for hosting again!
    Kiel @ Tuning Hearts

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  36. Oops! My original list had three titles that were not more than 50 years old. I've updated my list, and am now in compliance :) Removed: If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, The Sea, the Sea, and Ragtime. Replaced with The Stranger (translated classic), Under the Net (classic by a woman author), and The Sign of the Four (adapted classic).

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    1. No worries, I always end up changing my original list! There are just too many books that fit each category. And I JUST bought a book that would be perfect but it's from 1971! I'll just have to hold onto it for another year. . .

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  37. I made a mistake with my first Linky above. Could you please remove that one? I've added one with the correct link now. Thank you! I look forward to participating in this challenge! :)

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  38. I'm so excited that you are hosting this challenge again! There are many I've been meaning to read and I have one for every category. Looking forward to knocking out more of my book collection.

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  40. I don’t think I linked correctly! I don’t have a good reads or a blog at the moment but I’d like to join in and get all that sorted later. I signed up as Erica G

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  41. Let me add to all the thanks that you're hosting the Challenge again! I entered the 2019 challenge and, while I didn't finish all my books, I still had a great time exploring works I wouldn't have otherwise read. Your prompts this year, BTW, were so much fun!

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  42. Thanks for hosting Karen! Can't wait to get started :)

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  43. Here I go again. This year's list:
    19th Century - Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood
    20th Century - I can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall
    Woman Author - My Brilliant career by Miles Franklin
    Translation - Flowers in the Mirror by Li-Ju-Den
    Author of Colour - Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    Genre Classic - Cimarron, Western fiction by Edna Ferber
    Persons' Name in the Title - Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac
    Place in the title - A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
    Nature in the Title - Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey
    About a Family - The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead
    Abandoned Classic - The Warden by Anthony Trollope - may be I will get hooked into Barsetshire this time!
    Adaptation - The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki

    Once again an Australian flavored list with some Japanese, French and American, definite pastures new and some challenging choices.

    Thank you for spurring me on to broaden my reading.

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    1. Great list! I didn't know there's an adaptation of The Makioka Sisters, I'll have to look for it. And I love Trollope so I hope you enjoy The Warden. It's not the best of the series but it sets up all the action for Barchester Towers, so it's worth reading.

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  44. Hi Karen, late comer here. I just signed up for my 6th year. 🙂

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  45. This such a perfect contest for a classic lit reader. With or without the fine enticement of the gift card I am in and already submerged in the categorical challenge!

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  46. I just signed up. Thank you for hosting this! I'm going to be focusing on books written about slavery and the American Civil War and its aftermath.

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    1. Great theme, I look forward to reading your posts!

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  47. I can't believe I almost forgot to officially sign up for this! I didn't finish last year--hoping this year goes better (and that I'm properly signed up now).

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  48. I suspect I will not get a full list this year but will do my best

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