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Reading Challenges

Back to the Classics

classics2014It’s been a while since I updated here; I’ve been on a whirlwind tour of Istanbul and Athens (more on that later) so I’ve got plenty to tell, but first I thought I’d share the titles for the other challenge I’m attempting this year. The Back to the Classics challenge looks a little less daunting than Classics Club, so I’ve chosen seven categories to tackle, most of which are also on my Classics Club list. So, without further ado…

Back to the Classics Challenge

  1. A 20th Century ClassicBrideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh Completed; review here.
  2. A 19th Century ClassicChilde Harold’s Pilgrimage, by Lord Byron Completed; review here.
  3. A Classic by a Woman AuthorCastle Rackrent, by Maria Edgeworth Completed; review here.
  4. A Classic in TranslationLysistrata, by Aristophanes Completed; review here.
  5. A Classic About WarA Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens Swapped for All Quiet on the Western Front, by Erich Maria Remarque. Completed; review here.
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To YouA Sentimental Journey, by Laurence Sterne Completed; review here.

Optional Categories:

  1.  A Classic That’s Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series – Mary Poppins, by P.L. Travers Completed; review here.
  2. Extra Fun Category: Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category [Above] – Disney’s Mary Poppins.

I’m ashamed to say I’ve never seen Mary Poppins, so I thought I’d pick that title for the optional category so that I have an excuse to (finally) watch the movie. Strictly speaking, too, A Tale of Two Cities is not about war; but as the rules say that events like the French Revolution are acceptable for this category, I went ahead and selected Dickens. I’ve already started on two titles on this list, so stay tuned for reviews!

EDIT 10/12/2014: I’ve decided to swap my ‘Classic About War’. Instead of Dickens, I’ll be reading Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front, which is a little more appropriate, I think, for the anniversary of World War I.

Categories
Classics Club Challenge

New Year’s Resolution

A new year has dawned. The time has come for writing resolutions, starting diets, and vowing to drink less. Since this coming year promises to be more than a little challenging on the university front (among other things I have to write an 18 000 word dissertation on a yet-to-be-decided (and has-to-be-chosen-by-the-end-of-February) topic) I’ve decided I won’t be writing resolutions for 2014. Instead of promising to lose weight, take up yoga, or learn a new language (all things at which I do not excel) I’m going to start one teeny, tiny little reading challenge. I’m taking up the Classics Club challenge, where members elect to read at least fifty classics over the course of no more than five years (see, I told you it was tiny). Since you’re invited to set your own goal, I’ve decided to aim to read one hundred classics by the beginning of 2019. This means that even if I fall behind this year I’ll still have time to make it up in the years to come.

I’m hoping that doing this will mean that come the end of January I won’t find myself in a bookshop, offensively colourful new yoga mat in one hand and celery stick in the other, wearily trying to decide between Do-it-Yourself-Italian and Learn-by-Sound-Spanish, either of which will inevitably end up, one month later, covered in dust and shoved under my bed so it doesn’t clutter up the bookshelf. Instead, I will be reading books that have been on my shelves for years, that I have downloaded for free off the internet, or that I have borrowed from the library (which is a wonderful way of saving shelf-space, though if I’m entirely honest there’s been more than one library book that’s ended up in the dark space under my bed – but only by accident, never by design, I swear).

I can’t promise the results will be pretty, but if you want to follow along with the challenge, here are some links:

The full list | All Classics Club Challenge posts | The list at Goodreads