It’s been ages since I participated in any kind of reading challenge. It’s also been ages since I was reading classics regularly. This latter fact, I want to rectify, and it seems like Karen’s Back to the Classics challenge would be a good way to help me along.
There are a couple works that I know I want to read for the challenge. Earth by Emil Zola is one. It has been sitting on my shelves for too long, and I love both the author and the translator! Another is Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen. I love Ibsen, and this particular play came to my attention when it prefaced each chapter in Lethal White. I also have a few classics that I haven’t read in ages that I’d like to revisit. I’m not sure if rereads count for the challenge, but possibilities include:
- Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy (last read in 2010)
- White Fang – Jack London (last read when I was around 12 years old, and an abridged copy at that)
- Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux (last read in 2008)
- Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier (last read in 2009)
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (last read sometime in the 90s and I don’t remember it at all)
- A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole (read in college but don’t remember it at all)
Other possibilities: perhaps I’ll read something by Anthony Trollope finally, or one of Hardy’s novels that I haven’t yet read, or In Cold Blood by Capote, or something by Baldwin finally, or more by Zora Neale Hurston. I’m not sure. Karen has all sorts of possible categories on the sign-up page for the classics challenge (link above). I’m sure I’ll find something. One of the reasons I’ve stayed away from classics for so long is that for more than a decade they were just about the only thing I read, and I read hundreds of them, exhausting my TBR classics list! I have to hunt out new ones to read, find some less-famous works. So we’ll see. I’m excited to see what comes of all this.
Books read, by category:
- 19th century classic: Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
- Classic play: Rosmersholm by Henrik Ibsen
- Classic novella: The Christmas Hirelings by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
I’m so excited that you’ve signed up! If you’re interested in Trollope let me know, I could suggest something — I know domestic novels aren’t your thing; also, some of them are quite long (my first Trollope was The Way We Live Now which is about 800 pages, but I sped right through it).
I was also intrigued by Romersholm after reading Lethal White, that was was the first thing I thought of when I saw it on your post. And I’m fine with re-reads. Thanks for signing up for the challenge!
Awesome! I’m looking forward to this. Audible just gave members a free gift of a Christmas novella by Mary Elizabeth Bradden that I’m excited about too!
Trollope is one of my favourite authors. I really need to finish his Barsetshire Chronicles series this coming year! Is Confederacy of Dunces good? I keep eyeing it to read but haven’t picked it up yet. Have fun with the challenge!
I have no idea what Dunces is like! I didn’t connect with it in college so I don’t really remember anything from it. My sister thinks it’s hilarious though.
Wow, don’t remember To Kill a Mockingbird? What a fantastic book I read it like 10 times back in the day. lol, It’s certainly worth another read you will love it!
They gave us that book WAY too early. I was like in sixth grade and had very little concept of history. I’d also grown up in South Carolina in an area that was majority black so I’d never really seen discrimination up close. I was 100% naive! The book went entirely over my head. I’ve been meaning to go back and reread it for years. It’s definitely one of my priorities in 2019.
I didn’t know that about you so I’m hoping you write about it after you read it again because it would be cool to hear your prospective on it now all this year’s later. Actually it would be cool if you did that with all the old books on your list!
Basically the short version goes like this (in case I forget later): I was a kid in Columbia SC and in a school that was about 75-80% black. That was my baseline “normal” as a kid and I didn’t really see racism, though I’m sure it was there particularly in the adult world. The first time I heard someone refer to herself as black, though, I thought she meant her hair. Lol! I was eight. When I was ten, we moved to San Antonio, and I lived in an area that was 95% hispanic. The first time I was ever in an environment that was majority white was when we moved up to rural Wisconsin in 2001. Let me tell you THAT was a weird experience for me! I currently live in an area of San Antonio that is more like 50-55% hispanic (which is about what the city is as a whole), and the boys go to a school that I’m happy to say is only about 25% white, with about 10% black, 60% hispanic, and the rest a mix of smaller percentages. I wish we could have even more diversity than that, but I’m glad they’re growing up around all different sorts of people. I always makes my heart so happy when I see things like when my youngest was five and his best friend was black and they used to tell me and his mom that they were twins!
This will be my first challenge in years, too. Return of the Native is on my list and so is Trollope. Happy reading!
Have you read Return of the Native before? I just love the audiobook so much and I’m really looking forward to revisiting it.
No, I’ve never read Return of the Native. Just checked on audible and there are so many audio versions! Which one did you listen to?
I highly recommend the one Alan Rickman reads!!