Reading Challenge 2013

classics2013As anyone who knows me will tell you, I love reading. There are few genres, few authors that I wouldn’t at least consider (except the current craze for soft-core “Mommy Porn”), and my personal bookshelves are testament to this. But I haven’t for a very long time read what is considered a “classic” in the, um, classical sense. So when this challenge popped up in my email this evening, I was handed an ideal opportunity to do something about this.

The blog, Sarah Reads Too Much, offers readers a challenge. Nothing too dangerous, nothing too fancy, but a challenge nonetheless. Participants have a full calendar year to read a minimum of six classic novels, with an option of a further five. There is a prize on offer for those who go most if not all the way. Click on the link for more details.

I haven’t decided yet what books I will read, but these are the categories on offer:

The Required Categories:
  1. A 19th Century Classic
  2. A 20th Century Classic
  3. A Pre-18th or 18th Century Classic
  4. A Classic that relates to the African-American Experience – This can be an African-American author, or a book relating to slavery, civil rights, or African-American culture.
  5. A Classic Adventure
  6. A Classic that prominently features an Animal – This can feature animal characters or animals in the title (real or imagined)
Optional Categories:
   A.  Re-read a Classic
   B.  A Russian Classic
   C.  A Classic Non-Fiction title
   D.  A Classic Children’s/Young Adult title
   E.  Classic Short Stories – collection must include at least 3 short stories by the same author
The only comment I will make at this juncture is that I’m a little bit scared of reading anything Russian. Does anyone know of a short Russian novel?
Who else is in with me?
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5 responses to “Reading Challenge 2013

  1. Glad to have you on board! As for a short Russian novel, may I suggest ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’ by Solzhenitsyn? I haven’t read it (yet – trying to fit it in this year) but my copy is a mere 139 pages 🙂

    • Ivan Denisovich is my choice, all right. Adding ‘Watership Down’ and ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ to the ‘animal’ and ‘non-fiction’ categories respectively. I’m looking forward to this, Sarah.

  2. Who defines what consititutes a classic? For example A classic that prominently features an animal – Wind in the Willows(covers the classic childresn as well or is that cheating)? 🙂 or Lord of the Rings
    What defines a Russian Classic – is it by a russian author (asimov :-)) or is it about Russia/russians – Leon Uris or Tolstoy or Nabokov or does Animal Farm count?

    • Doubling- or indeed tripling-up would be cheating, my friend.
      According to Sarah’s website, a classic is whatever you define it to be, providing you offer an explanation if you go off the beaten track.
      Damn Russians!

  3. I was going to suggest A Day in the Life of Ivan Denosovich as well. I read it a long time ago. It is a worthy read. I enjoyed Anne Frank. Young adult classic, ooh read or reread Brave New World. I didn’t like Watership Down (for what that’s worth) Hmmm…Animal Farm? Read that a long time ago as well, not sure i liked that either.

    Oh, how about all of Sherlock Holmes for the short stories?

    Okay, I’ll stop. I actually just wanted to say the A Day in the Life … Thing that I already sais up at the top..

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