Sunday, November 13, 2011

Three 2012 Classics Challenges.

You know, I probably shouldn't be signing up for challenges when I am most likely only going to succeed at 1 out of the 3 I signed up for this year. But it is challenge season and I get all excited about making lists.

However, there are three that have been circulating around the blogs that I can't escape from. All are "classics" challenges. Usually, I stay away from them because I almost feel like I'm cheating.

BUT, I will be using them to read some titles I have been putting off. Plus, they seem like fun. How can I NOT join in?

For my own sake, and to give myself a bit of a challenge, I am going to try not to "double-dip" any of my selections for challenges. Meaning, if I can help it, all classics-themed challenges will have different titles.

Unless I lose my mind. And decide I need to do that. Then I will.

The Back to the Classics Challenge is hosted by Sarah at Sarah Reads Too Much. I linked directly to the sign-up if you are interested.

The goal of the challenge is to read 9 classics in 9 categories. Half the fun of this one is deciding what to read to fit each category!

Here are the categories:
  • Any 19th Century Classic
  • Any 20th Century Classic
  • Reread a classic of your choice
  • A Classic Play
  • Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction
  • Classic Romance
  • Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your language - To clarify, if your native language is NOT English, you may read any classic originally written in English that has been translated into your native language.
  • Classic Award Winner - To clarify, the book should be a classic which has won any established literary award.
  • Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime - To Clarify, this does not have to be a country that you hope to visit either. Countries that no longer exist or have never existed count.
Here are my choices-I tried to pick titles I want to get to, but seem to have been "forgotten" on my list.:
  • Any 19th Century Classic: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  • Any 20th Century Classic: The Sound and Fury by William Faulkner
  • Reread a classic of your choice: My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • A Classic Play: Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman
  • Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction: The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  • Classic Romance: Middlemarch by George Eliot
  • Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your language - Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  • Classic Award Winner - Beloved by Toni Morrison (Pulitzer 1988) OR The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime - Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The second challenge I am joining in on was created by Katherine over at November's Autumn (again, I linked directly to the sign-up post).

For this challenge, the goal is to read seven classics, of which only 3 can be rereads. What makes this challenge different, however, is the way that you participate. Here is the explanation:

"I've organized this challenge to work a little like a blog hop. I hope this will make it more interactive and enjoyable for everyone. Instead of writing a review as you finish each book (of course, you can do that too), visit November's Autumn on the 4th of each month from January 2012 - December 2012. You will find a prompt, it will be general enough that no matter which Classic you're reading or how far into it, you will be able to answer. There will be a form for everyone to link to their post. I encourage everyone to read what other participants have posted."

Sounds like a blast to me!

It is especially awesome that you don't have to pick the classics ahead of time. But you know me. I like lists, so here are the seven I am counting on reading for this challenge:
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya: I continually give this one the eye when I stare at my bookshelves (who doesn't stare at their shelves, anyone?), so I think it is time to give this one a read.
  • The Fall by Albert Camus: My first Camus was a complete failure (The Stranger), so I need to try again.
  • Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe: I really liked Robinson Crusoe, so we'll have to see how this one measures up!
  • The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald: I have mad love for Gatsby, which is probably why I have avoided all his other work. No more!
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: I know, this one is a reread and won't help me make any progress on my list, but who cares? :)
  • Enemy of the People by Henrick Ibsen: I don't know much about this one, except that it is a play, but it should be a good read!.
  • Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand: Another title I know nothing about, so I am looking forward to it!
The third challenge I am officially joining is the Greek Classics Challenge hosted by Howling Frog Books (Link will take you to the sign-up post).

This challenge has levels, going from 1-4 titles, all the way up to 11+!

While I am definitely behind on my Ancient texts for my project list, I think it might be best to stick with a lower number (hey, I'll be excited if I get one more read!).

The lowest level is Sophocles with 1-4 books being read.

Here are the titles I am considering:
  • Medea by Euripedes
  • Antigone by Sophocles
  • Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  • The Trial and Death of Socrates by Plato
There you have it, the first three challenges I am joining in for 2012. To be quite honest, the only other challenges I am going to consider is a Victorian Lit challenge (since that is the only one I am ROCKING this year) and a potential TBR Challenge. Unless something is really tempting, I need to limit myself.

Let me know if you are participating in any of these as well!


  1. It's great to have you aboard, Allie! Wow, you are very ambitious with some of your picks--I have not yet managed to get even halfway through Don Quixote or Anna Karenina.

  2. I'm excited to hear about the Greeks! Some good titles there. Good luck with 'the sound and the fury' - it was very difficult and will require a notebook for logging the subtle comments about the characters. I liked faulkner's 'as I lay dying' much better.

  3. Thanks for joining in my Classics Challenge and for highlighting the others as well. I like how November's Autumn is setting their challenge up - I hope it isn't cheating if I sign up for that as well!

  4. Yay! I signed up for all of these as well, and I'll also be rereading Little Women!! I didn't select titles for the November's Autumn Event, figuring I'd just discuss each month whatever I happen to be reading, since it's almost always a classic anyway. :-)

    I liked William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury a lot, by the way. It's not too tough if you just lie back and know from the start that it's very much a stream-of-conscious work. I found it VERY artistic. :-)

    Have fun!!

  5. I may go for the Ancients one, but the classic ones sound too daunting! Anna Karenina... Good luck. This has been one of my Goodreads "currently reading" for months now. So hard to read... :-)

  6. I'd be really interested to try the one over at November's Autumn. I think I need the interactive aspect to keep me chugging on a specific goal with classics. I've wanted to work more of them back into my reading "diet" as I haven't read many this year.

    Thanks for sharing these, Allie!

  7. Delighted to have you joining Allie, thank you! I love your list-- I haven't heard of many of them so I'm very intrigued. :)

  8. I've been loving seeing all these lists around, all these lovely classics to be tempted by! I'm thinking I might try to reread Little Women next year too. Maybe The Moonstone as well--it would be a perfect R.I.P. read next fall.

  9. Those sound like great ways to motivate myself to read! I'll definitely sign up for one or two of those. Thanks for the links!
    I've been intending to read Anna Karenina. Hopefully we'll both like it.

  10. I feel like "cheating" signing up for classics challenges too. But I never stick to a list so that's another reason I'm probably out. This year will be unpredictable, I suspect.

  11. Thanks for introducing me to these challenges. I'm looking forward to participating in all three. Here is a link to my lists:

  12. Just found this challenge...won't be participating, but you chose great books.

    The only one I didn't enjoy was Anna Karenina...too long and too detailed.



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