Sunday, December 31, 2017

Back to the Classics Challenge 2018

This has become one of my favorite challenges, and I'm so happy Karen K. of Books and Chocolate is hosting it again for 2018! You can get all the details and sign up yourself here. If you signed up, please share your list with me, I'd love to see it.

Without further ado, here is my list for 2018.

1.  A 19th century classic - any book published between 1800 and 1899. Hernani - Victor Hugo (1830). This is actually a play, and I'm interested to see how it differs from the first Hugo novel I read, The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

2.  A 20th century classic - any book published between 1900 and 1968. 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, such as posthumous publications. The Road to Wigan Pier - George Orwell (1937). I love Orwell's writing, so I'm looking forward to this.

3.  A classic by a woman author.  An Interrupted Life and Letters from Westerbork - Etty Hillesum (written between 1941-1943, published posthumously in 1981). For obvious reasons, this wasn't published in the author's lifetime. Should be difficult yet rewarding.

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. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories). Modern translations are acceptable as long as the original work fits the guidelines for publications as explained in the challenge rules. Night Flight - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1931)

5. A children's classic. Indulge your inner child and read that classic that you somehow missed years ago. Short stories are fine, but it must be a complete volume. Picture books don't count! Le petit Nicolas (Little Nicholas) - René Goscinny,  illustrated by Jean-Jacques Sempé (1959). Cannot wait to read this book, although it will be a little challenging as it's a classic French children's book and I have it in the original French. Should be a fun test of my skills :)

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction. This can be a true crime story, mystery, detective novel, spy novel, etc., as long as a crime is an integral part of the story and it was published at least 50 years ago. Examples include The 39 Steps, Strangers on a Train, In Cold Blood, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, etc.  The Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list is an excellent source for suggestions. The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My version is a hardbound gift book copy of a complete collection of the 37 original Holmes stories as they appeared in The Strand in 1891-1893 and and again in 1903 - 1905, as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles, which was published in The Strand in 1901 - 1902. All told it's more than 600 pages, so this will be a nice big book to sink my teeth into.

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. A journey should be a major plot point, i.e., The Hobbit, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Kon-Tiki, Travels with Charley, etc. Travels with Charley - John Steinbeck (1962)

8. A classic with a single-word title. No articles please! Proper names are fine -- Emma, Germinal, Middlemarch, Kidnapped, etc.). Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (1818). I can't believe I've never read this book, this seems like the perfect opportunity.

9. A classic with a color in the title. The Woman in White; Anne of Green Gables; The Red and the Black, and so on. The Case of the Gilded Fly - Edmund Crispin (1944)

10. A classic by an author that's new to you. Choose an author you've never read before. Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin (1967). I have a cool vintage hardback copy of this book on the TBR pile, and Levin is definitely new to me, so this is perfect.

11. A classic that scares you. Is there a classic you've been putting off forever? A really long book which intimidates you because of its sheer length? Now's the time to read it, and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised! La symphonie pastorale (The Pastoral Symphony) - André Gide (1925). I've been putting this book off for years because it intimidates me, as it's in the original French and I think it might strain my language skills quite a bit. Time to bite the bullet and read this book already!

12. Re-read a favorite classic. Like me, you probably have a lot of favorites -- choose one and read it again, then tell us why you love it so much.  McTeague - Frank Norris (1899). This is one of my favorite books full stop. I haven't reread it in years and years (since before 2011, when I started this blog) and I can't wait to read it again in 2018.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent choices...well that sounds as if I'm intimately familiar with these...most I am not, but they are certainly an impressive and somewhat lesser known selection. I'm very intrigued by Pastoral Symphony...I'm familiar with a piece of music by that name (without googling, I think it might be Brahms or Bach...but maybe Mozart). Anyway, I didn't know there was a book by the same title. I'll be watching for your review.