Thursday, December 11, 2014

Back to the Classics 2015 Sign-Up Post

The Back to the Classics Challenge is back for 2015! I joined way too many challenges in 2014, but this is one I've really been looking forward to trying again. I will be limiting myself to five or less challenges for 2015, so I am being very choosy and this one definitely makes the cut. I'd rather focus on a few special areas because updating and keeping track of 20 challenges was just downright ridiculous! And having a baby on the way, I'm trying to be realistic. I know life will be very different come the spring, but I do hope to not stop reading altogether.

There is one big change to the challenge this year I'm really excited about -- we get to pick which six (or nine, or twelve) categories we want to complete instead of there being specific required categories. So if I don't like a particular category (2014's A Classic About War, I'm looking at you!) I can skip it and still complete the challenge. Of course, this year I like all the categories, but I don't anticipate being able to finish all twelve, so having some leeway is much appreciated.

All works still need to be at least 50 years old to qualify, but otherwise there is a lot of flexibility. I would like to complete this challenge using books I already own, so I've looked over my shelves and am listing some possibilities for each category below.

1. A 19th Century Classic
Too many options to list! I have approximately 30 books that qualify, so whichever I feel like reading that I don't want to count elsewhere.

2. A 20th Century Classic
Same as #1! I have approximately 45 books that qualify to choose from.

3. A Classic by a Woman Author
A Jane Austen book
An Edith Wharton book
An Agatha Christie mystery
Gothic Tales, by Elizabeth Gaskell
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Nora Zeale Hurston
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith
The Poems of Emily Dickinson
I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith

4. A Classic in Translation
Bel Ami, by Guy DeMaupassant
Selected Short Stories, by Guy DeMaupassant
Dangerous Liasions, by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
Aesop's Fables

5. A Very Long Classic Novel
The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone, by Wilkie Collins
Women in Love, by D.H. Lawrence
Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

6. A Classic Novella
A Sherlock Holmes novella, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson
Summer, by Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton

7. A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title
Ethan Frome, by Edith Wharton
Lady Chatterley's Lover, by DH Lawrence
Emma, by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
Peter Pan, by J.M. Barrie
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Rebecca, by Daphne DuMaurier

8. A Humorous or Satirical Classic
The Devil's Dictionary, by Ambrose Bierce
Selected Stories, by O. Henry

9. A Forgotten Classic
The Rainbow, by DH Lawrence
Joy in the Morning, by Betty Smith

10. A Nonfiction Classic
Don't have any! Will need to check the library if I choose this category.

11. A Classic Children's Book
A Chronicles of Narnia book, by CS Lewis
A Nancy Drew Mystery, by Carolyn Keene
The Enchanted Castle, by E. Nesbit
Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L'Engle

12. A Classic Play
The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

Note: Even though I have a few books listed as possibilities for multiple categories, each book can only count for one category in the challenge. So if I choose Ethan Frome as my classic with person's name in the title, I would choose a different book for my classic novella. I just like knowing what my options are, especially for the more specific categories.


  1. Great challenge. And so many books to choose from! Good luck!

    1. Thanks! I'm really looking forward to this year :)

  2. LOL! I Signed up for way to many this year too. And I also told myself I was not going to do 13 reading challenges. Maybe half of that. But then I saw a few new ones that I am thinking about. ARGHH!!! That is why I had to laugh when I read your post.

    1. They are so tempting, right? I'm making myself stick with it though because I'd like to have a fighting chance of actually continuing to participate most of the year! It's fresh in my mind how annoying and time-consuming it is to link everything up for that many challenges though, especially when some blogs are so hard to navigate -- I LOVE that your challenge is so nicely organized! Good luck figuring your challenges out for 2015 Alysia:)

  3. I'm another blogger who is signing up for more challenges than planned! :-Z I love Edith Wharton and I laughed so hard when I read The Five Children and It.

    Best of luck with your challenge!

    1. Thanks! Challenges really are a lot of fun, so I can't really blame you! I'm just a bit burnt out on the moment which is helping me rein things in for next year. I had no idea The Five Children and It was funny -- maybe it might even work for the Humor category & now I want to read it even more. Thanks for stopping by :)

  4. Hmm, these categories seem interesting. Now I'm tempted :p I failed gloriously in most of my challenges for this year (except for TBR and chunkster), so will be very careful with the next year's but I'll keep this as an option. Good luck, you've got some great choices!

    1. I did better than I thought I would on my 2014 challenges, but keeping track of so many was a major pain! I think this is one of the best challenges out there though and I like the little nudge it gives me to not neglect my classics that clearly I love to collect, but don't read at quite the same pace! Good luck figuring out which ones you want to join for next year :)

  5. Some great books here. Ethan Frome is a powerful story - I saw you had it in two spots. I'm only at the choosing stage and I'm still dithering. All the best with your baby challenge!

    1. Thanks Carol! I think that one is top of the list and I will definitely choose it for one of the categories. It's very hard to choose at the beginning of the year though, so I don't blame you for dithering! I like to have options, clearly!

  6. P.S very apt title for a book blog...


I'd love to hear what you think :)