Wednesday, January 6, 2016

2016 Challenge: Back to the Classics Challenge

The Back to the Classics Challenge is hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. I'm signing up for 2016, even though I didn't do so well when I tried this one in 2012.

This time I am only shooting for six books, with a stretch goal of nine. My problem isn't with reading "classics" because I read a lot of books published before 1966 that would qualify. Where I come up short is fitting the books I read to the categories. I read a lot of books by women and a lot of classic detective novels. But I don't read many translations or short story collections and I rarely re-read a book. I'll try.


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

2. A 20th Century Classic - any book published between 1900 and 1966. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later.

3. A classic by a woman author.

4. A classic in translation. Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language.

5. A classic by a non-white author. Can be African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc.

6. An adventure classic - can be fiction or non-fiction. Children's classics like Treasure Island are acceptable in this category.

7. A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic. Dystopian could include classics like 1984, and children's classics like The Hobbit are acceptable in this category also.

8. A classic detective novel. It must include a detective, amateur or professional. This list of books from the Golden Age of Detective Fiction is a great starting point if you're looking for ideas.

9. A classic which includes the name of a place in the title. It can be the name of a house, a town, a street, etc. Examples include Bleak House, Main Street, The Belly of Paris, or The Vicar of Wakefield.

10. A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review.

11. Re-read a classic you read in school (high school or college). If it's a book you loved, does it stand the test of time? If it's a book you disliked, is it any better a second time around?

12. A volume of classic short stories. This must be one complete volume, at least 8 short stories. It can be an anthology of stories by different authors, or all the stories can be by a single author. Children's stories are acceptable in this category also.


Out of Africa by Isak Dineson (FINISHED; woman author)

Ape and Essence by Aldous Huxley (FINISHED; science fiction)

Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols (FINISHED; place name)

Orlando by Virginia Woolf (FINISHED; adventure - well, egghead adventure)

Death and the Joyful Woman by Ellis Peters (FINISHED; detective)

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (FINISHED; translation)

The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope (FINISHED; 19th Century)

Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark (FINISHED; 20th Century)

The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy (FINISHED; short stories)

NOTE: Updated November 23, 2016.

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