Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

2012: A Classics Challenge

Every year, I tell myself that I will be a “better” reader and that I’ll read more classics.  Every year, I do manage to read a couple and, on the whole, really enjoy them.  So why don’t I read more?  Who knows?  This year will be different! 

There are a few classics challenges around but this one over at November’s Autumn is part challenge and part blog hop, which is a combination I love the sound of!  In Katherine’s own words, the challenge will go something like this:  

Read seven works of Classic Literature in 2012

Only three of the seven may be re-reads

How Does it Work?

I’ve organized this challenge to work a little like a blog hop. I hope this will make it more interactive and enjoyable for everyone.

Instead of writing a review as you finish each book (of course, you can do that too), visit November’s Autumn on the 4th of each month from January 2012 – December 2012.

You will find a prompt, it will be general enough that no matter which Classic you’re reading or how far into it, you will be able to answer. There will be a form for everyone to link to their post. I encourage everyone to read what other participants have posted.

Although I might change my mind as I go, my initial seven choices are these:  

1.  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

I’ve read many a review of this one and all of them have been glowing.  An adventure novel set across France, Italy and the Mediterranean sounds perfect for reading in the summer.

2.  Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

While studying for my degree, I did a lot of legal theory modules and loved them.  Call me crazy but I find the philosophy and theory behind law and how/if systems reflect social norms and morality.  I guess this means that I should read this sooner or later…

3.  Tess of the D’Urbevilles by Thomas Hardy

I got a really lovely book about Thomas Hardy from a UK publisher that I’m looking forward to getting into.  Before I do, though, I think I should read something written by him…this is my random choice because it’s the one I’ve heard of the most!

4.  Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Does this count?  I hope so!  I know that generally it’s lauded as a great book and it’s about 50 years old so that’ll do for me.  Plus, it’s sci-fi and I like sci-fi.

5.  1984 by George Orwell

My dad has been bugging me to read this for years.  It would be nice if I could actually read it and make him happy.  Plus, it’s another of those books that I know I should read.  

6.  Turn of the Screw by Henry James

I had planned on getting to this when I did a readathon in October.  I’m still kind of in the mood for ghost stories because it’s gloomy and blustery and they seem appropriate for that kind of weather.  I have this on my eReader and quite fancy it (despite some less than glowing reviews that I’ve seen recently…).  

7.  The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

I went to see a film at the cinema a few years ago (that I think was called ‘Easy A‘) that referenced this book throughout.  It was an amusing enough film and made me want to read this.  Then I never got round to it.  Described as a “romantic work of fiction in a historical setting” – sounds nice!  Apparently it also explores legalism, sin and guilt.  I think I’m looking forward to reading this the most!  

So those are my choices (for the time being)!  If you fancy joining in this challenge too, the sign-up post is here