2017 Back to the Classics Challenge


It has been awhile since I joined any challenges, but I saw this one pop up and instantly I knew I had to participate.

Had you asked me a year ago, I would have told you that I had no interest in reading classics anymore. The seem so cumbersome and heavy. There are so many books being released now that are so awesome that I figured classics were a thing of the past.

And then I discovered Serial Reader.

When I first heard about Serial Reader on Litsy (another obsession of mine), I thought ok, great. Just not for me. Because, once again, I had no intentions of reading another classic. But then I had a sudden change of heart. That was in July and since then, I have finished four classics that I doubt I would have read ever otherwise: Anna Karenina, The Jungle, A Christmas Carol, and The Abbot’s Ghost.

I think the Back to the Classics Challenge 2017, hosted by Karen over at Books and Chocolate, is the perfect way to plan out my reading year as far as Serial Reader is concerned.

(Copied directly from her blog, I have added my title choices in red)

Here’s how it works:

The challenge will be exactly the same as last year, 12 classic books, but with slightly different categories. You do not have to read 12 books to participate in this s

  • Complete six categories, and you get one entry in the drawing
  • Complete nine categories, and you get two entries in the drawing
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you get three entries in the drawing

And here are the categories for the 2016 Back to the Classics Challenge:

1.  A 19th Century Classic – any book published between 1800 and 1899. North and South, by Elizabeth Gaskell.

2.  A 20th Century Classic – any book published between 1900 and 1967. 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. Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser.

3.  A classic by a woman authorAgnes Grey, Ann Bronte.

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). Something by Chekhov.

5.  A classic published before 1800. Plays and epic poems are acceptable in this category also. The Castle of Ontranto, Horace Walpole.

6.  An romance classic. I’m pretty flexible here about the definition of romance. It can have a happy ending or a sad ending, as long as there is a strong romantic element to the plot. Mathilda, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

7.  A Gothic or horror classic. For a good definition of what makes a book Gothic, and an excellent list of possible reads, please see this list on Goodreads Zofloya, Charlotte Dacre.

8.  A classic with a number in the title. Examples include A Tale of Two Cities, Three Men in a Boat, The Nine Tailors, Henry V, Fahrenheit 451, etc. Twelve Years a Salve, Solomon Northrup.

9.  A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title.  It an actual animal or a metaphor, or just the name. Examples include To Kill a Mockingbird, Of Mice and Men, The Metamorphosis, White Fang, etc. The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle.

10. A classic set in a place you’d like to visit. It can be real or imaginary: The Wizard of Oz, Down and Out in Paris and London, Death on the Nile, etc. The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Because who doesn’t want to be part of the glitz and glamour of NYC’s upper crust in the 1920s!

11. An award-winning classic. It could be the Newbery award, the Prix Goncourt, the Pulitzer Prize, the James Tait Award, etc. Any award, just mention in your blog post what award your choice received. This one has me stumped so I plan on seeing what everyone else chooses. Lol.

12. A Russian Classic. 2017 will be the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution, so read a classic by any Russian author. The Gambler, Fyodor Dostoyevsky.

And now, the rest of the rules:

  • All books must be read in 2017. Books started before January 1, 2017 do not qualify. All reviews must be linked to this challenge by December 31, 2017. I’ll post links each category the first week of January which will be featured on a sidebar on this blog for the entire year. 
  • You must also post a wrap-up review and link it to the challenge no later than December 31, 2017. Please include links within your final wrap-up to that I can easily confirm all your categories. 
  • All books must have been written at least 50 years ago; therefore, books must have been written by 1967 to qualify for this challenge. The ONLY exceptions are books published posthumously.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! You may also count books that you read for other challenges.
  • Books may NOT cross over within this challenge. You must read a different book for EACH category, or it doesn’t count.
  • Children’s classics are acceptable, but please, no more than 3 total for the challenge.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link to reviews on Goodreads or any other publicly accessible online format. 
  • The deadline to sign up for the challenge is March 1, 2017. After that, I will close the link and you’ll have to wait until the next year! Please include a link to your original sign-up post, not your blog URL. 
  • You do NOT have to list all the books you’re going to read for the challenge in your sign-up post, but it’s more fun if you do! Of course, you can change your list any time. Books may also be read in any order. 
  • The winner will be announced on this blog the first week of January, 2018. All qualifying participants will receive one or more entries, depending on the number of categories completed. One winner will be selected at random for all qualifying entries. The winner will receive a gift certificate in the amount of $30 (US currency) from either Amazon.com OR $30 worth of books from The Book Depository. The winner MUST live in a country that will receive shipments from one or the other. For a list of countries that receive shipments from The Book Depository, click here.


Obviously I reserve the right to change my mind and substitute other titles for those listed above, blah blah blah. I would love to hear some of the titles other people are planning to read for this challenge!


3 Responses

  1. Ok I am loving this… I’m in! I don’t understand how you sign up though…is this my original sign up
    Post?? Me confused….

  2. You have some impressive choices, as in lesser known works by well known authors. Nice choices.

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