2021 Classics Challenge

Classics Challenge, I STILL can’t quit you

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.

Me and my party animals about to get lit

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!