Sunday, December 20, 2015

Back to the Classics Challenge 2016

Karen K. of Books and Chocolate is hosting this amazing challenge again in 2016 - I can't wait! I always clear off a good portion of my TBR pile and discover some wonderful books as a result of participating in this challenge. Read the rules and sign up here!

This year's categories are a lot of fun:

1.  A 19th Century classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain (1889)

2.  A 20th Century classic - any book published between 1900 and 1966. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe (1958)

3.  A classic by a woman author. The Story of the Amulet - E. Nesbit (1906)

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. The Adventures of Pinocchio - Carlo Collodi (originally published in Italian as a serial in 1881 and 1882; published in Italian in the form of a book in 1883; first translated into English in 1892).

5.  A classic by a non-white author. Can be African-American, Asian, Latino, Native American, etc. The Blacker the Berry... - Wallace Thurman

6. An adventure classic - can be fiction or non-fiction. Around the World in 80 Days - Jules Verne (1873)

7.  A fantasy, science fiction, or dystopian classic. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells (1898)

8.  A classic detective novel. It must include a detective, amateur or professional. A Man Lay Dead - Ngaio Marsh (1932)

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. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith (1943)

10. A classic which has been banned or censored. If possible, please mention why this book was banned or censored in your review. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck (1937). This book is #12 on the ALA's list of frequently banned and challenged classics. This page has reasons, and I discuss some of them in my review, linked above

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? The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne (1850). (Spoiler alert, I still like it! :) )

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 only. Complete Tales and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe (1830s - 1849)

So there you have it - I am really looking forward to this challenge. It was hard to choose books because there are so many I want to read, but I tried to stick with my TBR pile so that helped me narrow it down. Many books could fit in multiple categories so it's fun to figure out exactly what will go where. I can't wait for January 1 so I can get started. Which books are you planning to read for this challenge in 2016?


  1. Nice choices. I love of Mice and Men. I just read The Scarlet Letter in 2015, loved that as well.

  2. Hi Joseph, I read Of Mice and Men in March and it was fantastic! How's your reading for this challenge going?

  3. Not very far on this challenge yet, but I knew that would be the case, as I have a couple very sizeable tomes in the early going. I'm not certain I'll complete all 12...but we'll see. The important things is they've been very good so far.

  4. It's definitely more important to read for quality than quantity!