Friday, December 28, 2018

Back to the Classics Challenge 2019

I am joining the Back to the Classics Challenge 2019. A new challenge for me, and I am hoping it will help keep me moving along on my Classics Club List. The challenge is hosted by Books and Chocolate and is in its 6th year.


There are lots of rules and information at the signup post.

THE CATEGORIES (and my choices, which may be subject to change):

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.
Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)
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.
Virginia Woolf – Flush (1933)
3. Classic by a Woman Author.
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre (1847)
4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a language other than your native language.
Vicki Baum – Grand Hotel (1929)
5. Classic Comic Novel. Any comedy, satire, or humorous work.
Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm (1932)
6. Classic Tragic Novel.
Theodore Dreiser –  An American Tragedy (1925)
7. Very Long Classic. Any classic single work 500 pages or longer, not including introductions or end notes.
Charles Dickens – Bleak House (1853)
8. Classic Novella. Any work of narrative fiction shorter than 250 pages.
Truman Capote – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958)
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.
Betty Smith – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943)
10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Any classic set in one of those continents or islands, or by an author from these countries.
Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart  (Nigeria, 1958). 
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, or by a local author.
Raymond Chandler – The Little Sister (California, 1949) 
12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.
William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing (1598)

Participants may read 6, 9 or 12 books from this list, so I may not read all of these.

26 comments:

  1. I'm just finishing reading Christmas at Cold Comfort Farm which is really just a compilation of short stories and only one about the Farm. Jane Eyre is one of my favourites! I love it! And Much Ado is a favourite comedy of Shakespeare's. Have a great time with this challenge!

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    1. Thanks, Cleo. Jane Eyre is one of those classics I may have read when I was much younger, but if so, I don't remember the story that well, so will enjoy it very much, I am sure. Reading Shakespeare will be a challenge for me and I look forward to that too.

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  2. The real challenge would be to see how many categories you could cover with one book: Machado des Assis' Epitaph of a Small Winner, for example, scores in the 19th Century, translation, comic, novella and American categories.

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    1. That would be a fun exercise, Roger. Doesn't work for the challenge, but still interesting. I did notice that several of my choices would fit several of the categories.

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  3. This sounds like such a fun challenge! I'd be tempted if I weren't already doing four next year. LOL!

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    1. I am excited by this one, Cath, because it will help with the Classics list. I keep being tempted by many challenges but am trying not to overdo it.

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  4. This is a real challenge. I doubt i could read anything else if I undertook this.

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    1. Yes, these will be more challenging reads and probably take me longer to take in, Patti. And some are long books.

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  5. Oh, these are great choices, Tracy. I really enjoyed A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Things Fall Apart (they're very different sorts of books, of course). Bleak House is a great book, too. I look forward to your comments on these as you go through them.

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    1. I never knew much about A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Margot, but recently I read more about it and wanted to try it. Bleak House is a favorite book of my husband and I hope as like it also.

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  6. I did this challenge last year and it did help get me through some classics club titles. I plan to sign up again this year. You have some excellent books in your plan for 2019!

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    1. Thanks, Mary. I find some of these books intimidating (Bleak House, An American Tragedy) but others I have been wanting to read for years so I am looking forward to trying them all.

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  7. I'm glad you're reading those, or intending to, so I don't have to. Though I have read four of them (Shakespeare, Chandler, Capote, Dressler). I look forward to your progress reports!

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    1. I think reporting on these books is harder than reading them, Rick. I hope that I read all of them and can pull my thoughts about each of them into a coherent post.

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  8. I'll also be reading Grand Hotel for my classic in translation... hopefully toward the beginning of the year. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a favorite and I enjoyed AN American Tragedy much more than expected when I read it a couple of years ago. Good luck with the challenge!

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    1. I am looking forward to Grand Hotel, JoAnn. I am glad to get encouragement for An American Tragedy. My husband suggested it and liked it, so I hope reading it will be a good experience.

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  9. Good luck Tracy - not really my cup of tea I'm afraid.

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    1. Thanks, Col. Some of these may be a real challenge for me, but I think I am going to enjoy them in general.

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  10. Tracy, you've chosen some fine Classics including Dickens' BLEAK HOUSE which I have been meaning to read for a long time. It's a big book — I find it rather intimidating. Good luck with your Classics Challenge 2019!

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    1. Prashant, it was my husband who suggested Bleak House. I am intimidated by the length also.

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  11. Oh goodness...I'd forgotten how tragic An American Tragedy is. All good choices. Enjoy!

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    1. Picking a tragedy was hard, Joseph, but I am sure I will enjoy the experience once I get going.

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  12. If you're looking for some other westerns atop those of Elmer Kelton (and those of such brilliant FFB contributors as Ed Gorman, Bill Crider and James Reasoner), here are some more pointers:

    FFB: Notable achievements in western fiction (and a notable bit of eastern): Joe R. Lansdale, Lee Hoffman, Marcia Muller, Bill Pronzini, Theodore Sturgeon, Don Ward, Manly Wade Wellman et al.: A redux assembly

    which includes reviews of the following anthologies, novels and collections:
    The Best of the West edited by Joe R. Lansdale
    Razored Saddles edited by Joe R. Lansdale and Pat LoBrutto
    Wild Riders and Trouble Valley by Lee Hoffman
    Sturgeon's West by Theodore Sturgeon and, in part, Don Ward
    Time of the Wolves by Marcia Muller
    Sixgun in Cheek and The Western Hall of Fame by or edited by Bill Pronzini (and edited by Dale L. Walker) among others
    and the token eastern:
    Who Fears the Devil? by Manly Wade Wellman

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    1. Thanks, Todd, for commenting on this. I will look into these resources. Right now I only have westerns by Walker Tompkins, Harry Whittington (suggested by Bill Crider), and Elmer Leonard. But haven't tried any of these yet.

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  13. That's a great list, a nice selection of books for anyone. I love A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and am intending to read Grand Hotel myself this year. I read another book by her in 2018, so decided to read GH. Do you have any idea when you will be reading it?

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    1. I do remember now that you read one of Baum's books that I had not heard of, Moira. I don't have any plans for when I will read Grand Hotel, although I have a lovely copy that I purchased nearly a year ago. Glen has had some health problems lately which we will be dealing with for at least another month, and we both have full time jobs we are trying to keep up with, so not planning ahead much of anything for a while.

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