Classics Challenge Breakdown

Back in November I signed up for the Classics Challenge. It started January 1st and I've recently finished compiling the list of books I will read for it.

1. A banned book: Lady Chatterly's Lover (D.H. Lawrence) This book has always intrigued me because of the scandal behind it. First published in Italy in 1928, it wasn't allowed to be published in the UK until 1960. Apparently it's pretty racy.

2. A book with a wartime setting: Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut) I'm a huge fan of Vonnegut but believe it or not have never read this one.

3. A Pulitzer Prize (fiction) winner or runner up: The Old Man and the Sea (Earnest Hemingway) I have only read The Sun Also Rises. The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer and was the last major work Hemingway published.

4. A Children's/Young Adult Classic:
Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
I can't believe I never got around to reading this when I was younger. I guess I was too caught up in The Babysitter's Club series and everything Roald Dahl ever published. I'm really excited for this one.

5. 19th century classic:
The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
I read Ethan Frome a few months back and loved it.

6. 20th century classic: The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Thorton Wilder - reading now) I'm obsessed with trivial pursuit. It's my favorite game ever. The Bridge of San Luis Rey makes a few appearances in the arts and literature category, and that is the main reason I am reading this book.

7. A book you think should be considered a 21st century classic: Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides) I've heard fabulous things about this Pulitzer Prize winner and already own a copy.

8. Re-read a book from your high school/college classes: The Awakening (Kate Chopin) I loved this book in high school but don't remember much of it, which calls for a reread.

There it is. So exciting!


  1. I really want to read Middlesex too. I hope you enjoy Little Women - I loved that book as a teenager.

  2. That's a good list to have. I need to incorporate some more Edith Wharton into my reading diet. It's like fibers, but in the good sense of the idea.

  3. Sam, I think I'll like little women. Anything that reminds me of feeling like a little girl is always nice.

    Ben, I agree. Maybe there will be a Wharton readalong in the near future that you can participate in :)

  4. Great choice of books! I'm not doing a classics challenge this year, but I do hope to reread Jane Eyre, and maybe dig into Jane Austen's works a little. I shamefully haven't read a single one yet.

  5. Kate, I was thinking about doing Austen for a reread and then talked myself out of it. I read a few in college and didn't love them, but I think it's something I should revisit.

  6. Wow, that looks like a fabulous list! You have some good reading in store for you this year.

  7. Brenna-
    1-Can I have all the books pictured in the photo above?! Lovely.
    2- Everytime you post I'm convinced we should meet halfway and set up an Indie book store that sells nothing but the best literature! Period.
    3- I was thinking of Little Women, but am now considering The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. We'll see. This looks like an awesome list. I can't wait to read your reviews!

  8. Melody, Thanks I'm looking forward to it.

    1 - I wish I had them! They are so pretty.
    2 - I'm pretty sure that's the best idea I've heard, ever. I would love to own a bookstore someday. We would be rock star owners.
    3 - The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a solid choice. I didn't even think about that one.

  9. I just finished Little Women and it is outstanding...I don't know if you'll feel like a little girl but it's definitely worth reading at different times in your life through different lenses.
    If I had to pick my all time favorite book reading experience, it would be The Awakening...a lot of people think that's weird but I was in graduate school before I read it...I sometimes wonder if high schoolers have enough life experience to really get it?
    Also LOVE some Wharton :) House of Mirth and Ethan Fromme are favorites.

  10. I've always wanted to read both Middlesex and The Awakening. I'll definitely be looking forward to your reviews of those two!

  11. Now I want to have a copy of Lady Chatterly's Lover. I've read Little Women last year and it was exciting to read..

  12. I'm reading Little Women for this challenge as well!
    Your list is great -- good luck.

  13. I can't do challenges but I have really been in the mood for some classics. This usually happens to me in winter!

    Has anyone read Kristin Lavransdatter? It's a trilogy, actually, but you can get it in one volume. It's a medieval Norwegian saga written by Sigrid Undset, who won the Nobel Prize for it in 1928. I highly recommend it, but as a challenge in itself, because it's long, of course. Since reading it a few years ago, I always get the urge to read it every year in winter. Like Tolkien! :)

  14. PS. You've got a great list happening. I like how you've thoughtfully chosen the titles.

  15. I really liked Middlesex, though I'm sad to add that that is the only book from your list that I've actually read. Hoping to read Old Man and the Sea and Lady Chatterly's Lover this year, if I remember :-)

  16. Wonderful choices! I've read Slaughterhouse Five, The Old Man and the Sea, Little Women, The Age of Innocence, Middlesex and The Awakening and you're in for some great reads!

  17. Kerry, It's ok I haven't read any on the list!

    Avid Reader, That's great news!

  18. I'm working on a classics project of my own this year, and pretty much everything on your list is on mine. I'm using a date cutoff, so Middlesex isn't on my classics list, but it IS on my regular TBR list for 2011! I hope you enjoy the challenge!