Back to the Classics Challenge


With my focus on the Reading New England challenge this year, I didn’t manage to meet my goal of twelve books for the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Books and Chocolate — but I did complete six of the categories, and I’m pretty happy about that. Here’s what I read, with links to my reviews. Thanks to Karen for hosting, and I look forward to next year!

Karen has posted the categories for next year’s challenge. Here they are, along with what I think I MIGHT read for each one:

  • A 19th Century Classic – The Return of the Native
  • A 20th Century Classic – (1967 or earlier) Man’s Search for Meaning
  • A classic by a woman author – Excellent Women
  • A classic in translation –  The Magician of Lublin
  • A classic published before 1800 – Don Quixote
  • A romance classic – The Lark
  • A Gothic or horror classic – Heart of Darkness
  • A classic with a number in the title – A London Home in the 1890s
  • A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title – The Three Royal Monkeys – or Jennie/The Abandoned
  • A classic set in a place you’d like to visit – The Magic Mountain
  • An award-winning classic – Invisible Man (National Book Award)
  • A Russian Classic The Brothers Karamazov


And what I actually read:


20 thoughts on “Back to the Classics Challenge

  1. I never thought of “Heart of Darkness” being a Gothic/horror classic. Interesting twist! As for the animal there is always “White Fang” or “Moby Dick”, though I didn’t like either of those myself.


    1. Ha ha, I wondered if anyone would consider that a stretch! I want to reread that one from my high school days and that seemed somehow an appropriate category.

      White Fang did occur to me – I’ve never read Jack London.


  2. I love “A Room of One’s Own”! I hope that you enjoy it too.

    I hadn’t heard of “Spoonhandle” before, but it sounds very intriguing – I’m adding it to my TBR.


      1. Ann Marie, I know the feeling. The challenge has helped me to resist the lure of the new and interesting shelf somewhat, though, and I generally have loved everything I’ve read, so that’s very motivating.


  3. I’m about to sign up again for this challenge as well. Good luck! I sincerely hope that you’ll enjoy The Magic Mountain. I’m sorry to say that it is one of the few books I completely disliked. Despite my mom’s pleas, I have yet to give Mann another chance. (She was the one who recommended it to me….)


  4. Well done with your classics reading and I hope you enjoy more classic reading next year 🙂 I will have to keep this challenge in mind for when The Classics Club ends for me, which will be in March next year.


  5. Black Beauty is a beautiful classic animal book. It was one of the first steps in literature to start animal welfare awareness . I read it about every 5 or 10 years as it is so beautiful. Good luck with your challenge


    1. Black Beauty is an old favorite of mine, so I was looking for something I hadn’t read yet. But maybe it’s time for a reread. Thanks for the suggestion!


  6. Congrats on finishing six books for this challenge. I didn’t participate in it this year, and I kind of missed it. Her categories for next year look good. I’m just not sure I’m going to do any reading challenges in 2017. I’ll have to see. 🙂


  7. Lory, for a classic with an animal or an animal’s name in the title, albeit children’s classics – what about Paul Gallico’s Jennie or Thomasina (perfect for cat lovers) or Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, or Tarka the Otter (for otters) or Richard Adams Watership Down (rabbits) or The Plague Dogs (er, dogs) …..


    1. Ooh, Tarka the Otter would be a good one, I’ve never read that. I also have a copy of The Abandoned (another title for Jennie) and that sounds wonderful too. Thanks for these ideas!


  8. Congratulations on completing the 2016 challenge!
    Like Meaghan, I also would not have thought to place Heart of Darkness in the gothic/horror category, but I think it works! I like your list. As usual, you have a bunch of new to me titles. : )
    I think I am going to read The Yearling for the Classic about an Animal. But it also just occurred to me: The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa and there is a novella by D.H. Lawrence called The Fox… For me it was the numbered category that threw me for a loop.


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