Back to the Classics 2019


Books and Chocolate is hosting Back to the Classics 2019! I’m looking forward to joining in the fun this year, though I already have a lot of challenges going on.

1. 19th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1800 and 1899.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
2. 20th Century Classic. Any classic book originally published between 1900 and 1969. All books in this category must have been published at least 50 years ago. The only exceptions are books that were published posthumously but were written at least 50 years ago.
The Trial, by Franz Kafka
3. Classic by a Woman Author.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin
4. Classic in Translation. Any classic originally written in a novel other than your native language. You may read the book in your native language, or its original language (or a third language for all you polyglots!) Modern translations are acceptable, as long as the book was originally published at least 50 years ago. Books in translation are acceptable in all other categories as well.
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
5. Classic Comic Novel. Any comedy, satire, or humorous work. Humor is very subjective, so if you thinkCrime and Punishment is hilarious, go ahead and use it, but if it’s a work that’s traditionally not considered humorous, please tell us why in your post. Some classic comic novels: Cold Comfort Farm; Three Men in a Boat; Lucky Jim; and the works of P. G. Wodehouse.
Gulliver’s Travels
6. Classic Tragic Novel. Tragedies traditionally have a sad ending, but just like the comedies, this is up for the reader to interpret. Examples include The Grapes of Wrath, House of Mirth, and Madame Bovary.
Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James
7. Very Long Classic. Any classic single work 500 pages or longer, not including introductions or end notes. Omnibus editions of multiple works do not count. Since page counts can vary depending on the edition, average the page count of various editions to determine the length.
Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell
8. Classic Novella. Any work of narrative fiction shorter than 250 pages.
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
9. Classic From the Americas (includes the Caribbean). Includes classic set in either continent or the Caribbean, or by an author originally from one of those countries. Examples include Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (United States); Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (Jamaica); or One Hundred Years of Solitude (Columbia/South America).
The House of Mirth, by Edith Wharton
10. Classic From Africa, Asia, or Oceania (includes Australia). Any classic set in one of those contents or islands, or by an author from these countries. Examples include Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz (Egypt); The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki (Japan); On the Beach by Nevile Shute (Australia); Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria).
The Mahabharata (a bold choice, lol)
11. Classic From a Place You’ve Lived. Read locally! Any classic set in a city, county, state or country in which you’ve lived, or by a local author. Choices for me include Giant by Edna Ferber (Texas); Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser (Chicago); and Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann (Germany).
Main Street, by Sinclair Lewis (Minnesota)
12. Classic Play. Any play written or performed at least 50 years ago. Plays are eligible for this category only.
Twelfth Night, by William Shakespeare

14 thoughts on “Back to the Classics 2019

  1. So many great books on your list! I loved Main Street, Wives & Daughters, and House of Mirth. Crime & Punishment is on my list also. Thanks for signing up for the challenge!


  2. This is a very impressive list. I have read the William Buck Translation of the Mahabharata. I found it surprising readable and accessible. In some ways it was more accessible then Portrait of a Lady 🙂


  3. Wow, that is a lot of reading!! I really liked Heart of Darkness, and Shakespeare’s a classic, but I’ve not read any of the others… might have to sign up for the challenge myself!


  4. Great Choices. I’ve read most of these, so I’ll look forward to comparing. I participating in the challenge, but I won’t post my selections until 2019.


  5. The House of Mirth is absolutely fabulous and I really hope you enjoy it!!! Gulliver’s Travels is a very fun read and although I haven’t read Wives and Daughters yet, I’m really looking forward to it! I hope you have a wonderful challenge!


  6. Uncle Tom’s Cabin surprised me for being so good—my expectations were low, for some reason, but I really can see why it was such a powerful force in the American experience. As a Gaskell fan, W&D is one of my favorite novels. I also love Twelfth Night—I’ve seen it on stage and screen many times, and you should treat yourself to the movie, She’s the Man, which is a hilarious modern film version. Good luck with the challenge.


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