[Challenge] Back to The Classics Challenge 2018

Books and Chocolate has a great challenge for 2018 for people who want to read more classics – the Back to The Classics Reading Challenge. I already have a goal to read lots of classics this year, but I thought it would be fun to start with a challenge to get the ball rolling.

This was actually a lot harder than I had expected to pick out books for each category since the books had to be at least 50 years old or older to qualify – there were a few titles I had picked that were juuuuust over 1968 and so I had to pick something else.

Here’s what I picked out for each category:

A 19th century classic: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)
A 20th century classic: Good Morning, Midnight by Jean Rhys (1939)
A classic by a woman author: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905)
A classic in translation: Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabakov (1936)
A children’s classic: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie (1930)
A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction: On The Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
A classic with a single-word title: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818)
A classic with a colour in the title: The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1859)
A classic by an author that’s new to you: Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874)
A classic that scares you: Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (1936 – 1,448 pages)
Re-read a favourite classic: The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (1931)

This took me much longer to compile a list than I thought it would! According to the rules, you don’t have to make a list of what you’re going to read but I like having a guideline.

Have you read any of these classics? Are you participating in the Back To Classics Challenge? What classic novels are you most looking forward to reading this year?


43 thoughts on “[Challenge] Back to The Classics Challenge 2018”

  1. I spy several favorites here! I can’t say enough good things about North and South, The House of Mirth, and Far From the Madding Crowd. The Woman in White is a lot of fun, and Frankenstein is even better than I expected it to be. From what I can remember, Gone With the Wind was a fairly quick read in spite of its massive size. Good luck with the challenge!

    1. Oh man. lol. I find it depends on the classic. I just started Good Morning, Midnight and I’m flying through it, whereas a shorter one like Carmilla took me longer to really get into. I think it depends how they’re written. I hope you can finish Pride and Prejudice soon! I love that one!

  2. I spent so much time with the classics when I was studying and lecturing that I tend to avoid them these days. But then I would never think of a book that is only fifty years old as a classic so maybe I could find something from the early twentieth century that would be new to me.

    1. I think the ones that are closer to the 50 year mark are modern classics. I mean, I would still consider books published in the 70s and 80s classics depending on what they were.

  3. Glad you’re giving Back to Classics a go. Selecting your books is much harder than you think. It took me several days before I had it right. Oddly enough the book I’m looking forward to reading most is Ulysses. I have no doubt I’ll need to get a companion guide, but I’m excited to tackle it.

    1. I’m finding that I like to read through a classic and then when I finish I’m eager to reread it with notes or something to help. I have so many I want to reread now! Good luck with Ulysses!

  4. Ahhhh! Yaaaas! I love the classics, and wish that I devoted more time to them.

    I’ve read:
    The Hobbit
    Murder at the Vicarage
    and Wuthering Heights!

    They were all okay (Frankenstein) to great (The Hobbit) hehe.

    I own Far From the Maddening Crowd, and should probably read it. And I’ve seen the TV series version of North and South 3 times, so should probably read that one as well. I love that you’re doing this challenge, and I might have to join in as well!

    1. I forgot there was a show for North and South! I think I already have it in my Netflix queue. 😂 I’ve heard so many great things about The Hobbit. I really hope I like it!

  5. GONE WITH THE WIND! (My copy is only 900 something pages long. Your must have large print. I have the blue 75th edition.) Literally, you must. 😉

    Seriously, great list. I’m loving seeing you get back to the classics. 🙂 Also, The Hobbit and The House of Mirth are a couple of my favorites. I read the whole Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit for the first time in 2017. One of those completely transforming experiences that will stay with me, I reckon.

  6. I’m in the middle of Frankenstein and am loving it! And The Hobbit was so so good! We both have North and South on our list 🙂 It looks really good. Excited for this challenge! You have such good selections!

  7. Such a great challenge. I read Far from the Madding crowd in school and didn’t really enjoy it then but now I do. North and South, On the Road, and The Woman in White are fantastic. You’ve picked really good ones!

  8. North and South is one of my all time favorites, it’s amazing. I had a few that were just outside the 50 year limit too. Especially classic journey books were hard to find, I wish I hadn’t already read On the Road 😂 Good luck and happy reading!

  9. I am still considering going after this challenge – it IS a true challenge for me every year I’ve attempted (and only achieved once). I’ve read quite a few on your list – be sure to find my review after you read Far From the Madding Crowd. 🙂

    1. I find the hard thing about listing books for challenges is that I’m such a mood reader and eventually stop paying attention to my list. Hopefully I can knock most of these off early! I hope you join – we can cheer each other on!

  10. This was a really interesting list! I want to make my own now and there are so many classics here i haven’t heard of.

My home is where my books are. - Ellen Thompson

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