Saturday, December 9, 2017

Back to the Classics 2018

It's been a few years since I participated in the Back to the Classics Challenge.  But I think I've got enough classics on tap for 2018 that I'll be able to complete it again. At the most basic level, challengers must complete six categories (which will equal one entry into a year-end drawing). Nine categories will equal two entries and all twelve categories will equal three entries. I'm not sure about a few of the categories, so I'm going to officially enter for six categories. I'll probably finish nine and just might manage all twelve, but once I have six I may claim the challenge as complete no matter what. If you'd like to see the full details and/or join in, please click the link above.
Here are the categories for the 2018 Back to the Classics Challenge (and my tentative list):

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

The Wrong Box by Robert Louis Stevenson & Lloyd Osbourne [1889]  (4/3/18)

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

Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner [1942] (3/30/18)

3.  A classic by a woman author.

Enter a Murderer by Ngaio Marsh [Golden Age Mystery; 1935] (2/7/18)

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). Modern translations are acceptable as long as the original work fits the guidelines for publications as explained in the challenge rules.
The Love Songs of Sappho by Sappho; Trans by Paul Roche [circa 7th century BCE] (5/23/18)

5. A children's classic. Indulge your inner child and read that classic that you somehow missed years ago. Short stories are fine, but it must be a complete volume. Picture books don't count!
The Adventures of Paddy the Beaver by Thornton W. Burgess [1917] (2/8/18)

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction. This can be a true crime story, mystery, detective novel, spy novel, etc., as long as a crime is an integral part of the story and it was published at least 50 years ago. Examples include The 39 Steps, Strangers on a Train, In Cold Blood, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, etc.  The Haycraft-Queen Cornerstones list is an excellent source for suggestions. 
Death in Ecstasy by Ngaio Marsh (1936)
7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. A journey should be a major plot point, i.e., The Hobbit, Unbeaten Tracks in Japan, Kon-Tiki, Travels with Charley, etc.
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain (1883) [3/10/18]

8. A classic with a single-word title. No articles please! Proper names are fine -- Emma, Germinal, Middlemarch, Kidnapped, etc.).
She by H. Rider Haggard (1886) [7/17/18]

9. A classic with a color in the title. The Woman in White; Anne of Green Gables; The Red and the Black, and so on.
The Yellow Fairy Book by Andrew Lang (1894) [7/25/18]

10. A classic by an author that's new to you. Choose an author you've never read before.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith (1948) [8/5/18]

11. A classic that scares you. Is there a classic you've been putting off forever? A really long book which intimidates you because of its sheer length? Now's the time to read it, and hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised!
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin (1820) [7/22/18]

12. Re-read a favorite classic. Like me, you probably have a lot of favorites -- choose one and read it again, then tell us why you love it so much. 
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) [9/18/18]


Karen K. said...

Great list! However, I'm not sure if I Capture the Castle is really a children's novel. Dodie Smith did write books for children, but I think that one is generally considered an adult novel. But you could certainly count it in another category, such as a 20th Century Classic or a Classic by a Woman Author, or New-to-You Author. Thanks for signing up!

Barbara H. said...

Nice list! Somehow my education was lacking in classics, so I have been reading them as an adult, and the Back to the Classics challenge has been a fun way to do that the last few years. I haven't started my list for next year yet, though one immediately comes to mind for the one I'm intimidated by. I read Middlemarch last year - should have saved that for this year!

Bev Hankins said...

Karen: You seem doubtful about my counting I Capture the Castle as a children's novel. Amazon has an edition specifically advertised as a "Vintage Children's Classic" (" And this is the description of the Vintage Children's Classsics series from Book Depository which also features this edition: "Vintage Children’s Classics is a twenty-first century classics list aimed at 8-12 year olds and the adults in their lives. Discover timeless favourites from Peter Pan and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to modern classics such as The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night"

The Guardian has also reviewed it as a Children's Classic (

But I have replaced it with a classic animal story by Thornton W.Burgess. I hope that one is acceptable.

Tarissa said...

I'm joining the Back to the Classics challenge too. I don't have my full list put together, but we seem to have similar ideas on a couple of the categories. I think my one-word title will be Emma. And you mentioned using Anne of Green Gables on the title with a color, and I might be using a similar novel by the same author, Pat of Silver Bush.

Happy reading in 2018!