There’s nothing like pushing it to the last minute, but I did it! For the first time, I’ve managed to read books for all 12 categories in the Back to the Classics Challenge AND write about them (for 3 entries in the challenge).
I actually read more than 12 classics in 2020, but that ones listed below are the books I felt best fit Karen’s categories. Other than #5, I didn’t have to make a deliberate plan for any of these categories, in fact, for some of them I had finished the book before I realized that it was a perfect fit (such as The Wind in the Willows).
It feels like it’s been a long time since I read some of these: did I really read The Nibelungenlied this year?
As far as the books, I enjoyed most of them. (I don’t think “enjoyed” really applies to a book like Native Son, but I’m happy I read it.) I can’t believe it took me until this year to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Jane Austen is always a treat, and Cranford was a wonderful treat. But if I had to pick a top read, it would probably be the short story collection Ficciones. There’s no good reason it had been previously abandoned; sometimes I just do that.
My biggest disappointment with this list? Most of them aren’t on my Classics Club list – something to work on for next year!
- 19th Century Classic. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen (1811)
- 20th Century Classic. Appointment in Samarra – John O’Hara (1934)
- Classic by a Woman Author. The Mysteries of Udolpho – Ann Radcliffe (1794)
- Classic in Translation. The Decameron – Giovanni Boccaccio (Italian, 1350-53)
- Classic by a Person of Color. Native Son – Richard Wright (1940)
- A Genre Classic. The Secret Adversary – Agatha Christie (1922)
- Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain (1876)
- Classic with a Place in the Title. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell (1851-53)
- Classic with Nature in the Title. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (1908)
- Classic About a Family. The Nibelungenlied – Anonymous (c 1200)
- Abandoned Classic. Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges (1956)
- Classic Adaptation. Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (1874)
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