Back to the Classics, 2018


The Back to the Classics Challenge for 2018 is already up. I plan to participate. This would be my 4th year doing it. It’s a challenge that fits my love for the classics. It’s a nice way of seeing what classics others read, and I have much fun picking titles for each of the 12 categories, -even though I have tweaked titles every single year.

I’m using this post to start brainstorming about my possible selections.

1. A 19th century classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899.

I started to listen to Persuasion, but life happened and I quit. I intend to start all over. I also want to read some titles by Galdós, who wrote in this category century, that’s another possibility.

2. A 20th century classic – any book published between 1900 and 1968.

This is another easy category. I have many authors and titles that could fit, like Steinbeck’s East of Eden, or Canary Row, just to throw a couple for now.

3. A classic by a woman author.

Either an Edith Warton book, or Virginia Woolf.

4. A classic in translation.

I read a lot of books in translation, maybe a Russian book, Joyce or Proust, (yes, I’m going to try to read those authors Ulysses, and Swan’s Way respectively.) If I get to re-read Sihué el egipcio, that was originally in Finnish, written by Mika Waltari.

5. A children’s classic.

Most likely, Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, or The Silver Chair.

6. A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction. Probably a Dorothy Sayers title, or a Christie’s title.

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction.

Maybe a Halliburton book, (I’ve been wanting to read another book by him, his The Glorious Adventure, for example.) I also would like to re-read Guzmán de Alfarache, and that’s a journey narrative from his time as a young boy, when he leaves his home, until his mature age. It’s two volumes, over 1,000 pages in total, yet I do love it.

8. A classic with a single-word title. Silence by Endo, Alfanhui, by Sánchez Ferlosio (this one is a journey narrative too), or Summer by Warton.

9. A classic with a color in the title.

The Scarlet Letter, or A Study in Scarlet, or The Scarlet Pimpernel.

10. A classic by an author that’s new to you.

Another easy category, since I have not read, and want to read, something by Henry James, Emile Zola, Virginia Wolf, Grahame Greene, Proust, Joyce…

11. A classic that scares you.

War and Peace, Gone with the Wind, The Master and Margarita. 

12. Re-read a favorite classic.

I intend to re-read a lot this coming year, I have all these titles, and they are all 50 years or older, and considered classics,

  • Re-read Don Quijote
  • Re-read Meditations on Don Quijote, by Ortega y Gasset
  • Re-read Rayuela (Hopscotch), by Cortázar
  • Re-read Guzman de Alfarache, Mateo Aleman
  • Re-read La montaña mágica, The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
  • Re-read The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer
  • Re-read Dandelion Wine, Bradbury
  • Re-read La colmena, Cela
  • Re-read Sinuhé el egipcio, Mika Waltari
  • Re-read Alice in Wonderland
  • Re-read Tractatus Logicus Philosophicus, by Wittgenstein



17 thoughts on “Back to the Classics, 2018

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    1. You did? I was a bit put off by how hard the topic. I remember it has some dialect, and that’s always hard for me to understand. It’s well written, that is unquestionable.


      1. Sometimes when a book is dialect-heavy, I like to listen to the audio version. I find I can hear how it’s really meant to be read that way, and I feel like I develop a bit of an internal ear that helps me read that accent later on too.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, Rob, I forgot about that, I too love to start off with an audio and develop that inner ear, or do audio all the way.


  1. Nice list! I love Wharton so I’m always excited to see her on someone’s list. I also love Steinbeck, both of those are excellent — Cannery Row has some very funny moments. And Persuasion is one of my all-time favorites, so it might end up as my classic re-read. Thanks for signing up again!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Steinbeck is on my classics to-be-read list. I’ve not read anything by Wharton or Woolf. I have read The Scarlet Letter. War and Peace is on my classics list but it scares/intimidates me too! So does Les Miserables which is what I’m going to try to get read this coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve jsut finished my last book for the 2017 Challenge. I thought I’d have a break from challenges next year but I don’t thibk that’s going to happen. It does stretch my reading & I think that’s a good thing. I just have trouble deciding – War & Peace, Anna K, Lord of the Rings are some epics I’d like to read & I like the categories Karen has chosen for 2018.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, the challenges are so good. I find that I always read within the parameters of the classics, so for me, the challenge is fun. I see you do other challenges that I like, but I belong to a book club, and I read with Kim, so I cannot do more.


  4. I’m a bit behind on my blogs right now, but it looks like you’ll have a great list this year. I should probably read an Agatha Christie book at some point actually, so maybe I switch her in.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I read my first Edith Wharton last year and loved it. I can’t wait to read more of her books! Same thing with Agatha Christie – I read two of her books last year and can’t believe I hadn’t read them sooner. Good luck with the challenge! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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