“A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say” (Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature).
That’s why I enjoy reading classics: they still speak to us after decades, even hundreds and thousands of years.
I’m thankful that the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Karen at Books and Chocolate has expanded my horizons. Without it, I might have never have branched out beyond Dickens, Austen, and Alcott to discover Wilkie Collins, Anthony Trollope, and so many others.
Karen chooses different categories for the challenge each year. The categories this year are (titles are linked to my review of the books):
A 19th century classic. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
A 20th century classic. The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
A classic by a woman author. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
A classic in translation. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin.
A classic by BIPOC author. To Sir, With Love by E. R. Braithwaite
Mystery/Detective/Crime Classic. Dracula by Bram Stoker. Though this is a Gothic novel, the nature and identity of the Count are also a mystery.
A Classic Short Story Collection. Hospital Sketches by Louisa May Alcott
Pre-1800 Classic. The Confessions of St. Augustine.
A Nonfiction Classic. The Four Loves by C. S. Lewis
Classic That’s Been on Your TBR List the Longest. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne. I’m including all four Pooh books as one entry since they are so short.
Classic Set in a Place You’d Like to Visit. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
Wild Card Classic. The Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
We’re allowed three children’s classics for this challenge. I just had two: Dr. Dolitte and Pooh.
For completing all twelve categories, my name is entered three times into Karen’s drawing of a $30 prize towards books.
Next week I’ll wrap up my other reading challenges as well as share the books read this year and my top ten or so favorites.
I love your opening quote! I too love the classics and almost every time I read a modern book, I’m reminded of this. I enjoyed your list of the ones you read this year. Several are new to me, and hopefully I can read at least one this coming year.
We LOVE the classics a round here: Les Miserables, The Screwtape Letters, Chronicles of Narnia, The Great Gatsby, any Jane Austen of course, any Louisa May Alcott, most of Bronte, my kids LOVED Dr Doolittle, Peter Pan, The Jungle Book. One of my very fave (and important pieces of literature as we know) is The Scarlet Letter. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird (a more modern classic); Bruchko (a Christian missionary classic); A Tale of Two Cities; Romeo and Juliet. Oh my there are so many…..and from your list I haven’t read many at all! Happy Reading!
What a great classics list, Barbara! I really need to read Dracula and Doctor Dolittle myself.
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