Back to the Classics Challenge 2021

It’s time to sign up for another year of the Back to the Classics challenge, hosted by Karen of Books and Chocolate. Here are the categories Karen has chosen this year, and the books I think I might read to fill them (not that I ever actually stick to them):

1. A 19th century classic: Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
2. A 20th century classic: The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
3. A classic by a woman author: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
4. A classic in translation (or another language than your primary language): Terre des Hommes by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
5. A classic by a BIPOC author: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
6. A classic by a new-to-you author: To be determined
7. New-to-you classic by a favorite author: The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck
8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title: The Golden Ass by Apuleius
9. A children’s classic: The Country Child by Alison Uttley
10. A humorous or satirical classic: My Life and Hard Times by James Thurber
11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction): Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
12. A classic play: Faust by Goethe

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16 thoughts on “Back to the Classics Challenge 2021

  1. Oh I loved A Country Child … Alison Uttley seems to have been a ghastly woman to be around but I love her writing so much! This is a really interesting list – I needed some inspiration my Classic challenge which has been gathering dust for a really long time, thank you!

  2. I hadn’t realised Jack Lindsay had translated the Apuleius, but he was a prolific novelist, wasn’t he, as well as translator and scholar; I read his studies Helen of Troy and Arthur and his Times many decades ago. My version of The Golden Ass (as with you it’s on my list for this challenge) is courtesy of Robert Graves.

    Good luck with your titles, and I hope you’ll particularly enjoy the Uttley, the Woolf and the Conrad–I certainly did! And good for you going for a title in French, I suppose I should have made the effort…

    1. I tried to read Terre des Hommes when I first moved to Switzerland and my French wasn’t up to it. I’m hoping I’ll find I’ve made some improvement. I really would love to read it in the original language, but I’m sure the translation (Wind, Sand, and Stars) is also beautiful.

  3. Oh, I loved Robinson Crusoe and I’m looking forward to your thoughts on The Golden Ass. I read the Malcolm X biography and definitely had mixed feelings about it. In any case, all the best with the challenge! I know you’ll do well!

    1. Thanks, I always enjoy it so much. I got interested in Malcolm X after reading what Maya Angelou wrote about him in her autobiographies.

  4. Things Fall Apart is a great book, I keep thinking I should read that one again.

  5. I read A Room of One’s Own for Karen’s challenge last year. It’s pretty great.

    The Golden Ass is weird but fun, I thought. I’ve read the Jack Lindsay version–it’s pretty good. Hope you enjoy it!

    Good luck!

  6. I’ve been thinking about going back to this classics challenge. My classics reading has been pretty weak lately! Though I’m also trying not to overdo this year. I don’t know a lot of these, I hope you enjoy them. Happy new year!

    1. I figure it’s fun to make a list with the categories, and however many I get to during the year is okay. If it’s at least six, then I can enter Karen’s giveaway, but if not that’s fine too. I don’t need more books anyway. Happy new year to you, thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  7. Excellent list! I love that in this challenge, one isn’t obligated to stick to the initial list. I’ve never heard of Alison Uttley, so I really look forward to hearing more about that book.

    Are you going to try to tack Faust in German? I’ve heard that Goethe’s not too hard to understand for a modern German speaker, though I’ve not read any Goethe at all, in English or German. I always thought I would start with The Sorrows of Young Werther some day.

    1. Yes, I only do challenges where I don’t have to stick to a list, because I know that will never happen.

      Alison Uttley also wrote A Traveller in Time, which is a lovely historical time travel book about Mary Queen of Scots. And she’s famous for some cute picture books about bunnies and small animals, but I’ve never read there. Apparently she was not a very nice person, one of those ironic twists of literature vs. life.

      Faust in German would be cool. I have both German and English copies, at least of Part I, so I might do a dual-language read. I read it in high school (in translation) but it’s certainly time to revisit.

  8. Nice list! I hope you can read Faust in German, or at least in a bilingual edition. Goethe is awesome.
    Hmm, I had never heard of The Moon Is Down…

    1. It’s a novel about wartime resistance, seemed quite relevant for the times. As for Faust in German — I’ll give it a try! Some bilingual comparison will be interesting at least.

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