Back to the Classics 2019

I must confess that I am a mood reader, so it is usually useless for me to make reading plans or lists. Almost hopeless, I would say. And yet I have decided to take part in a literary challenge next year – the Back to the Classics 2019 hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate. The ultimate goal of this challenge is to read more classics, which goes hand in hand with my current reading goals. Besides, I can choose books from my current Classic Club list, so I get to work on that one as well. A win-win situation, isn’t it?

The rules rather straightforward. Karen proposes twelve categories and we, readers, pick a book to go with each category and then read them. But the fun doesn’t end up there. Apparently there’s a giveaway for the diligent readers who complete the challenge. Or even half of it. You can read all about it here.

Here’s my list:

  1. a 19th century classic: Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (and perhaps Alice Through the Looking Glass as well)
  2. a 20th century classic: Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
  3. a classic by a female author: Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen
  4. a classic in translation: Beowulf, anonymous (now, as my mother tongue is Spanish anything that was originally written in English – modern or old – counts towards this one for me)
  5. a classic comedy: Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift
  6. a classic tragedy: Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens
  7. a very long classic: Don Quixote, by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (I still have to check that it has over 500 pages, but I remember it as a very hefty book so I think it does. Otherwise I’ll list something else for this one)
  8. a classic novella: The Call of the Wild, by Jack London
  9. a classic from the Americas: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain (and perhaps The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn as well)
  10. a classic from Africa, Asia or Oceania: the Epic of Gilgamesh, anonymous
  11. a classic from a place where you’ve lived: Dubliners, by James Joyce (for Dublin, of course, where I lived for half a year almost five years ago)
  12. a classic play: The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster

What do you reckon? You might notice a few titles which aren’t on my Classic Club list. Well, I am also planning on starting reading through the lists of The Well-Educated Mind. I don’t know how I’ll tackle this whole project – whether I’ll read chronologically or read my way through each genre. But I think I have more or less an idea of what to read next year, but I’ll save that for another post. 

On a sidenote, I think I will up my book count to 30-36 for the Goodreads reading challenge. I know this is not much, only three books a month or less, but it is already fifty percent more than what I pledged to read this year. And yet I think it is still a doable number considering my current circumstances, i.e. two toddlers taking up most of my time and driving crazy round the clock.

Are you taking up any literary challenges in 2019? If so which? And are you planning your reading year in any way?

3 thoughts on “Back to the Classics 2019

  1. I don’t have a reading plan; I just pick whatever draws my eye from my TBR shelf at the time. This is a great list. I have read and loved several of these books. I actually just finished Oliver Twist! I love Dickens. I’m curious to see your opinion of Dubliners because it is one of the only books I couldn’t finish in recent time. It had so many references that I didn’t understand, but things may go differently for you since you lived in Dublin.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Don Quixote is definitely a long book. It’s actually two books, they were published 10 years apart — so I felt justified in counting reading the first half for my Classics Club list, at least to start with. I still want to read Part II, hopefully this year!

    You have some really great choices on your list. I finally encountered The Epic of Gilgamesh last year, via a beautiful picture book version by Bernarda Bryson, and was blown away by the archetypal images. I would like to go back to some more primary sources and learn more.

    Liked by 1 person

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