Back to the Classics 2017 Wrap-Up

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This year I read eight books for the Back to the Classics 2017 challenge. I was aiming for at least nine, but that mid-year reading slump hit me pretty hard.

This challenge continues to be a favourite of mine, and not just because I won the prize last year! This is my fifth time participating, and I still really enjoy the little push to read more and the chance to see what others choose for the same category. Mainly I like checking things off on a list, though.

These are the categories I hit this year:

  1. A 19th Century Classic: The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope
  2. A 20th Century Classic: Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
  3. A classic by a woman author: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
  4. A classic in translation: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  5. A Gothic or horror classic: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  6. A classic with a number in the title: Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome
  7. A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title: Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
  8. A Russian Classic: The Double by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

If I had to choose a favourite of the bunch, which is difficult as I read a few great books as part of this, it would probably have to be The Haunting of Hill House. That book was just so much better than I was expecting. I’ve gone on to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle (review pending), and it wasn’t quite on the same level, but I still really enjoyed it. I plan to read more from her.

My least favourite was The Prisoner of Zenda. Anthony Hope somehow managed to write a adventure novel I couldn’t enjoy on any level, a first for me. It has sword fighting, political intrigue, sneaking about in the night, travel to unknown lands, and I just couldn’t bring myself to care.

I’ll be joining in this year too, I think. I’ll post my list in the next couple of days.

2 thoughts on “Back to the Classics 2017 Wrap-Up

  1. Silvia Cachia

    Congratulations on your 5th year!, wow. After what you say about the Shirley Jackson title, I must read it. I have read and liked her We Have Always Lived in the Castle, bit this year I read all her short stories, and they were fabulous. There’s an audio of them all, sorry, I listened to them, and listening to all gave each more coherence as well. She is amazing.

    1. Rob Post author

      Thanks! I haven’t gotten to her short stories yet (although I may have read The Lottery years ago, not sure), and I’m looking forward to them. I’ll have to check out the audio version.


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