Yay! Karen so graciously has launched this amazing challenge once more! It’s the 7th year of the challenge, it’ll be my 6th.
I said before that I didn’t want to do any challenge this year. Ahem. I meant I don’t want to force myself into any challenge. I don’t want to take it as any obligation. And I know well that none of the generous people that offer these challenges intends for us to stress over them.
I’m a social reader. I can’t help but loving what others insights bring to the books I read. Specially classics. And I’m noticing a pattern, I’m simply drawn to long books and to re-reads. This time of the year, I get very hyped up with all your lists, read alongs, and possibilities. I’m determined to enjoy the ride and not to stress myself unnecessarily.
I plan to announce some titles, and then let time and life take me to whatever of those books I end up reading and the conversations at the blogs.
I also know that I’ll read several books I can fit in the categories. Whether it’s 1 or 12, classics will be read. That’s what matters the most to me.
So I prepared the list. Somehow. True to myself, the books and categories will be reshuffled through the year. Even if I don’t assign a book per category, I’m still listing candidates, -no fun without the titles, right?
1. 19th Century Classic.
2. 20th Century Classic.
3. Classic by a Woman Author.
4. Classic in Translation. The Iliad. 8th century BC?
5. Classic by a Person of Color.
6. A Genre Classic.
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title. The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, 1002
8. Classic with a Place in the Title.
9. Classic with Nature in the Title. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann started writing it in 1912, and it was first published in 1924.
10. Classic About a Family. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez, 1967
11. Abandoned Classic.
12. Classic Adaptation.
One Hundred Years of Solitude better gets read, 🙂 I’m co-hosting a read along with Ruth in March-April. Stay tuned. Click on the image to know more about it.
About The Magic Mountain. I don’t know if I’ll go for it this year. These two books came with me from Madrid. I bought them and read them many years ago. They are so ugly, -I never like covers with the movie or TV actors in them-, that they are almost beautiful.
Many of you will be reading it, and I would love to join you. Even if I don’t read it again, I’m looking forward to your thoughts on it.
I’ve not seen the TV adaptation, but I may try to find it and watch it if I get to read the book again.
As for all the empty categories, these are possible candidates that could fit several.
- The End of the Affair, Graham Greene, 1951. It has a movie adaptation. It fits in XX century, and adaptation.
- Rashomon and Other Stories, 1915. It’ll fit in XX century, adaptation, and name in the title, person of color.
- A Moveable Feast, Hemingway, 1964. XX century, and genre classic, I believe. It’s a memoir.
- The Man in the Queue, Josephine Tey, 1929. XX century, woman author, genre classic.
- Stories by Katherine Mansfield, published in 1937, stories from 1908-1923. She died in 1924 at the age of 34. XX century, woman author.
- The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers, 1941. XX century, woman author. This will be a re-read for me. It’s very not easily classifiable, and highly inspiring.
- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, written by herself, 1861. XIX century, woman author, person of color, -possibly ‘name in the title’.
Several are abandoned classics. I don’t have any with a place in the title, not many with a nature word other than the uncertain The Magic Mountain.
From this bunch, please convince me of the greatness of the titles. Apart from The Mind of the Maker, I’m always putting the rest off thinking I won’t love them. (I don’t want to just like them, LOL. I’m demanding, I know). But last year, Cry, the Beloved Country, I got in my head that it would be a dreaded title, and it was one of the best books of 2019! I know many of you love this particular Heminway, and that my friend Katie O. loves Graham Greene, and my friend Sherry loves Harriet Jacobs’s Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Still I’d love to hear some encouragement, -if you have it-, or your thoughts.
The good thing is that none in this pile are extremely long. Maybe just Mansfield, and I’m having second thoughts. It’s a fact that, gulp, I just don’t like Virginia Woolf. I know, Kaggsby, it pains me to admit it, but it’s the truth. And if Mansfield is grouped with her, as some other authors I see you also like, my chances diminish.
I don’t know what it is, but books that talk about life and people from a bleak and difficult angle, leave me feeling too sad. Probably this is why I find solace in the classics, and some books that strengthen my faith, -and I don’t mean my reads have to necessarily agree with my beliefs, because they mostly don’t, or not hundred percent-. It’s just that my mind needs a good balance between nourishment, challenge, and diversion, 🙂
Lastly, I know that as the months progress, I’ll see or come in contact with a mystery, or a classic that I will just read then and there and that will possibly fit in these nice categories that Karen so graciously has sorted out for us.