Back to the Classics 2018

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Another year, another Back to the Classics challenge. Last year I only read eight of the twelve categories, so I’d like to do a bit better in 2018. The rules are pretty simple – any book that fits the category and is at least fifty years old qualifies. At the end of the year, participants are entered into a draw for a Book Depository gift certificate.

  • Complete six categories, and you get one entry in the drawing
  • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries in the drawing
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you get three entries in the drawing

Here are the categories and my tentative choices:

  1. A 19th century classic: The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. A 20th century classic: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham
  3. A classic by a woman author: The Girls Of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
  4. A classic in translation: Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  5. A children’s classic: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  6. A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
  7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction: Jesting Pilate by Aldous Huxley
  8. A classic with a single-word title: Emma by Jane Austen
  9. A classic with a color in the title: A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
  10. A classic by an author that’s new to you: The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher
  11. A classic that scares you: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  12. Re-read a favorite classic: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

10 thoughts on “Back to the Classics 2018

    1. Rob Post author

      Thanks! They’re pretty much part of my regular reading schedule now, but it was definitely challenges like this that made that happen.

  1. Ruthiella

    Nice list!

    The Master and Margarita terrifies me too. I haven’t posted my 2018 list but I think I am going for Faulkner in this category.

    Aw, the Hobbit! One of the few books I have read twice. I would never tackle The Lord of the Rings again, but love revisiting Bilbo et al.

    1. Rob Post author

      The only Faulkner I’ve read is As I Lay Dying. Which I found confounding for the first half and really enjoyed for the second half. Haven’t tried another of his books yet.

      I’ve re-read The Hobbit multiple times now, but I love going back to it. I’ve tried to re-read the Lord of the Rings a couple of times but haven’t made it beyond the second book.

  2. Silvia

    From your selection I have only read Robin Hood by Pyle, and the Hobbit. I like both, specially RH.
    I am also interested and intimidated by The Master… I chose War and Peace, but who knows, I may change. I probably read The Study in Scarlet too. The gastronomy book and the Muriel Sparks book sound very interesting to me.
    I enjoy reading your list.

    1. Rob Post author

      Thanks! Glad to hear you enjoyed Robin Hood. I’ve been curious about it for some time now.

      The intimidation category was one of my easiest, hah. Basically any loooong classic will fit there for me.

  3. J.E. Fountain

    Nice choices. I’ll be watching especially for your review of Jesting Pilate. I don’t remember when or where but sometime that popped up on my “hmmmm sounds intriguing” radar, and I’ll be interested in your thoughts. I’ll be joining this challenge again this year….haven’t quite got my list ready yet.

    1. Rob Post author

      Thanks, I’m looking forward to reading (most) of these. I ran into a copy of it at a used bookshop last year and was immediately interested. Didn’t know he wrote a travelogue.

  4. Geoff W

    I always feel like I should re-join this challenge as my Classics Club list has fallen to the wayside. I’ll be interested to see your response to Emma as it’s my least favorite Austen. But it and Tolkien are the only two I’ve read from your list. And you’re right to fear the Russians! 😀 I’m still recovering from my massive Russian push a few years ago.

    1. Rob Post author

      The only Russian I’ve read is Dostoyevsky’s The Double, which was good, but also nice and short heh.

      I’m still not sure if Emma is going to end up as my pick for that category, but we’ll see. I’ve definitely heard very mixed reviews on that one.

      You should join it, if nothing else you get to make a fun list. 🙂


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