Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

One challenge I participate in every year is the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate.  I’m under the mistaken impression that because I read mainly classics, that this challenge will be easy to complete.  Ha!  My 2016 challenge is still lacking three books and one extra review.  I’ll have to go back through my reads and do some fill-ins.  Whether I achieve successful completion is anyone’s guess.

The 2017 challenge has familiar categorizes and those which have been changed up. Here are the guidelines and rules:

The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read 12 books to participate in this.

  • 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

And here are the categories for the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge:

1.  A 19th Century Classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

2.  A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1967. Just like last year, all books MUST have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify. The only exception is books written at least 50 years ago, but published later, such as posthumous publications.

3.  A classic by a woman author

4.  A classic in translation.  Any book originally written published in a language other than your native language. Feel free to read the book in your language or the original language. (You can also read books in translation for any of the other categories).

5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category also.

An romance classic. I’m pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot.

7.  A Gothic or horror classic. For a good definition of what makes a book Gothic, and an excellent list of possible reads, please see this list on Goodreads

8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two CitiesThree Men in a Boat, Slaughterhouse Five, Fahrenheit 451, etc.

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  It an actual animal or a metaphor, or just the name. Examples include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc. 

10. A classic set in a place you’d like to visit. It can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz, Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the Nile, etc.

11. An award-winning classic. It could be the Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award, just mention in your blog post what award your choice received.

12. A Russian Classic2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author. 

And now, the rest of the rules:

  • All books must be read in 2017. Books started before January 1, 2017 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by December 31, 2017. I’ll post links each category the first week of January which will be featured on a sidebar on this blog for the entire year. 
  • You must also post a wrap-up review and link it to the challenge no later than December 31, 2017. Please include links within your final wrap-up to that I can easily confirm all your categories. 
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago; therefore, books must have been written by 1967 to qualify for this challenge. The ONLY exceptions are books published posthumously.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! You may also count books that you read for other challenges.
  • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge. You must read a different book for EACH category, or it doesn’t count.
  • Children’s classics are acceptable, but please, no more than 3 total for the challenge.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link to reviews on Goodreads or any other publicly accessible online format. 
  • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2017. After that, I will close the link and you’ll have to wait until the next year! Please include a link to your original sign-up post, not your blog URL. 
  • You do NOT have to list all the books you’re going to read for the challenge in your sign-up post, but it’s more fun if you do! Of course, you can change your list any time. Books may also be read in any order. 
  • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2018. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending on the number of categories completed. One winner will be selected at random for all qualifying entries. The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US currency) from either OR $30 worth of books from The Book Depository. The winner MUST live in a country that will receive shipments from one or the other. For a list of countries that receive shipments from The Book Depository, click here

Possible choices could be:

  • The Histories
  • City of God
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Travels with a Donkey in Cevennes
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • The Twelve Caesars
  • Shirley
  • The Mill on the Floss
  • O Pioneers!
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • A Small House at Allington
  • The Last Chronicle of Barset
  • 1984
  • Dr. Zhivago
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
  • We
  • Crime and Punishment
  • Dead Souls

With a dearth of challenges that have been catching my eye for 2017, this one should get some particular focus.  Wish me luck and if you’d like to participate, pop over to Karen’s blog and join the fun!

0 thoughts on “Back to the Classics Challenge 2017

  1. This sounds excellent. I also look forward to which books you end up picking for this. Does your planning usually work out? I tend to switch books out a lot when I try planning my reads.

  2. I haven't done so well with the Classics this year, but I'm determined to do better in 2017. I'm considering reading Dr. Zhivago as well.

  3. My planning hardly ever works out and I seem to be getting worse. I see books that others are reading and get hooked in. Not a bad thing, especially when reading with someone else but brutal on my well-laid plans. So, knowing myself, I make plans expecting NOT to stick to them.

  4. Quite a few people seem to be planning to read Dr. Zhivago. I didn't do well with classics either, in terms of finishing some challenges. Life and other books get in the way, don't they. All the best for your classics reading in 2017! 🙂

  5. Oh, great list of possibilities! Just recently I added We to my to-read list…I want to read that and 1984 close together. Good luck with this challenge!

  6. Lol! Yes, structure and I don't often blend well together, as evidenced by my (probably) failed Back to the Classics Challenge of 2016, but nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? 😉

  7. I like how you made a list of possibilities without putting them into categories – I often find my choices shifting as I go. For my Russian classic I'm pretty sure I want to read The Brothers Karamazov, which I read in high school and was totally baffled by (as with most of my classics reading at that time). Hoping it will be more comprehensible now.

  8. It really helped reading the Dostoyevsky biography by Joseph Frank. It had chapters devoted to the BK and was so illuminating. I kept saying, of course, why didn't I see that?!

    All the best for your re-read!

  9. I like that you chose a list of books without automatically assigning them to categories — it's flexible! I haven't once finished this challenge with the books from my original post. Thanks for signing up again!

  10. More Challenges? I like how you are tagging your reading list as "Possible". I will naturally join for some including 12 Ceaser. Merchant of Venice and once I finish the Brother's Karamazov, then C&P

  11. This was my first committed challenge, but don't let me fool you ….. there are more to come. I will tag you as a reading buddy for those you mentioned …. so fun to read together!

  12. I'm still trying to decide whether to do any challenges in 2017–if I do any, this is the one I'll do, as I am a committed Classics reader. I'll for sure be reading Last Chronicle of Barset as it's the last in the series for me, and I have enjoyed all the other books in the series. Good luck!

  13. This is a great classics challenge and Roof Beam Reader also has another classics challenge that you might want to look into. I'm actually on the second to last Barset chronicle and I can't believe it. It only took me 2 years to read #4. Shameful! 🙂

  14. I didn't do as well with the 2016 version as I'd hoped (I think I read 6 books–too many of my classics didn't fit the categories!–and haven't yet written posts for all of them…), but I plan on joining in again for 2017. It's fun to try to fit books to the categories, and helps remind me to actually read from my Classics Club list!

    I haven't really seen any other challenges that are tempting me this year, either–which actually, is kind of a relief! Good luck with your selections. I read Taming of the Shrew this year (still need a post…) and really enjoyed it and many others on your list are tempting.

  15. You seemed to be very busy this year, which makes it hard not only to read, but to review. Even though I didn't think I found appealing challenges, somehow I've managed to overload myself, at least for the beginning of the year. Sigh! But I'm sure that I'll enjoy myself! 🙂

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!