Did I finish last year’s challenge? Heck no!
Is that gonna’ stop me from signing up for this year’s? Also heck no!
I may not have finished a single effing Classics Challenge (hosted by the lovely Karen of Books and Chocolate), but each year I reap the benefits anyway.
I read wonderful new-to-me classics. I delve into authors I’ve been meaning to read for years and haven’t gotten around to. I read novellas, plays, children’s books, novels I know the names of but not the stories.
One of the more fun things about reading the classics is that I suddenly understand certain cultural references and see them everywhere.
To wit, last year I read Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence and noticed that one of my neighbor’s wifi networks was named NEWLAND ARCHER. Hah! I’m in on the reference. What a time.
Here are the categories for the 2021 Back to the Classics Challenge and my best laid plans for them. What could possibly go wrong?
1. A 19th century classic: any book first published from 1800 to 1899
2. A 20th century classic: any book first published from 1900 to 1971. All books must have been published at least 50 years ago; the only exceptions are books which were written by 1971 and posthumously published.
3. A classic by a woman author.
My default reading style is pretty much this categeory and I have too many ideas to even contemplate settling on something at this point…
4. A classic in translation, meaning any book first published in a language that is not your primary language. You may read it in translation or in its original language, if you prefer.
5. A classic by BIPOC author.
6. A classic by a new-to-you author, i.e., an author whose work you have never read.
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author–a new book by an author whose works you have already read.
Brimming with ideas here.
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title. The animal can be real or metaphorical. (i.e., To Kill a Mockingbird).
9. A children’s classic.
10. A humorous or satirical classic.
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction). It can be a travelogue or a classic in which the main character travels or has an adventure.
12. A classic play. Plays will only count in this category.
How about you? If you’re participating in this challenge or just plan to read some classics this year, please share!