A Classics Challenge

This week I have been announcing what reading challenges I intend to join during 2012.  Today is no different.  I will also be participating in a Classics Literature Challenge hosted by November’s Autumn.  I heard of this challenge from Shelley at Book Clutter.  When I mentioned that I was joining the Tea & Books challenge I said that I planned on reading ten novels by Dickens.  Four of the novels will count towards the Tea & Books challenge and six of the Dickens novels will count towards the Classics Challenge.  I’m adding one Jane Austen novel to reach the goal of seven classics.   Please note that only three of the seven classics can be re-reads.

This challenge is a little different since the goal is to read seven classics over the year.  On the fourth of each month, the host will ask a question that can be answered no matter what novel you are reading at the time.  And if you aren’t reading a classic that month, no need to worry.  You can participate during the months you are reading.   Also the host requests that you try to participate in at least three prompts over the year.   That doesn’t seem too hard!

Here’s my list:

Oliver Twist by  Charles Dickens

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (this is a re-read)

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Hard Times by Charles Dickens

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

Emma by Jane Austen  (this is a re-read)

Once again, if you have suggestions for other reading challenges, please let me know.  Thanks!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast (lesbianswhowrite.com) with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (iheartlesfic.com), a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
This entry was posted in Books and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to A Classics Challenge

  1. Caroline says:

    You are insatiable. 🙂 Danielle did join this as well and of course I was tempted too…

    • TBM says:

      After this year, I may never want to read Dickens again. But who knows how long I will be in London and it seems fitting to read his works while living here. Are you still tempted?

      • Caroline says:

        A bit but I will do my readalong and join War Through the Generations for the WWI challenege and Carl and… in January that Bolaño read and Stu’s Henry Green week….
        And I’m concocting a new idea (that of course, will end up being stolen 🙂 )

      • TBM says:

        Sounds like you have full load. I will also be participating in Carl’s challenges. War through the Generations sounds interesting. Dare I even look at it? I’m loading myself up…

        I’m looking forward to your new idea! And no one better steal it!

  2. IsobelandCat says:

    Who decides what constitutes a classic?
    Years ago, I embarked on a marathon Dickens read. I had quite a long journey to work and would get stuck into the book. I found it affected my language quite a bit!

    • TBM says:

      Here is her classification for a classic: What is considered a Classic? A work that transcends time. Usually it’s well recognized but there are many lesser-known gems too. So I think there is some wiggle room.

      Did you have a favorite Dickens? I’ll have to see if I start to talk like the characters. I’m hoping to get through all of them. We’ll see.

      • IsobelandCat says:

        All of them?! Oh I see, you mean the ones on your list. I was thinking you’d need therapy.
        Great Expectation is my favourite by several miles. I also like Nicholas Nickleby and david Copperfield. I got very fed up with the eponymous heroine in Little Dorrit, but overall enjoyed that too. Dickens sometimes lays on sentimentality with a trowel and I find it hard to take. Oliver Twist is excellent.
        But in your search for London novels, don’t ignore modern writers like Sarah Waters. Dickens doesn’t have the monopoly. Nightwatch is one of the best books I’ve ever read set in the Second World War; Fingersmith is more Wilkie Collins than Wilkie Collins; and Affinity has stayed with me ever since I read it. Possession by A S Byatt is a must for London, as is Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Peter Ackroyd is absolutely a London writer, but I find him hard going.
        The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Murile Spark, and I think her The Girls of slender Means was set near where you are now. I can’t remember what happens in A Far Cry From Kensington, but that may be interesting for you because of the geography. I feel a post of my own about novels in London coming on!

      • TBM says:

        Isobel thanks for all the suggestions! I’m writing them all down. For me, reading novels about the places I plan on traveling to or where I live make me appreciate the experiences more. I started reading Mrs. Dalloway today, I’ve only read ten or so pages, but I’m loving being able to visualize the places she is walking by. And I get a sense of the history from the novels.

        I hope you do write a post on London novels. No pressure though.

  3. I hated Dickens when I was at school, then when I was about 25 (many moons ago!) a colleague persuaded me to give him another go…I was hooked. Don´t think I could say which my favourite is, it just depends on my mood, how I am feeling. I am, like many women, a complete Jane Austen fan!

    • TBM says:

      That is encouraging news! Hopefully I will get hooked as well. I’ve heard that as he got older his books got a little darker. I’m wondering which ones I will prefer. And yes, I also love Austen! There is something about her writing and the way I get wrapped up in her stories and with the characters.

  4. niasunset says:

    all these re-reading books, has been such a long time that you read, dear TBM? I read Charles Dickens and Jane Austen but I was very young… With your sharings you made me to read them again. Probably it would be different to read them now, in our ages… This seems to me so exciting, going back and to read classsical books… Thank you dear TBM, my only upset is about the language… But I want to share with you too when I read some of them again. Happy readings and enjoyable times, with my love, nia

    • TBM says:

      Hi Nia. Only two of the books will be re-reads and I can’t remember how long ago I read those two. I’m pretty excited to delve into these classics. I’m still hoping that you will be able to find some of the books in your language so we can discuss them in the future. Have a great day!

  5. Jillian ♣ says:

    I’m doing this too! And I’m also reading A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations and Emma next year! 🙂

    • TBM says:

      That’s great! It will be fun to compare notes on these works. I’ll have to check your blog for the list of books you are reading for this challenge.

  6. IsobelandCat says:

    I think I’ll enjoy it. 🙂 That should be Muriel Spark btw.
    And I have answered your Nine Lessons question over on my page.

    • TBM says:

      I saw your response. I’m considering. Just checking my plans for this weekend. Thanks for all the tips! It is much appreciated and very helpful.

  7. Kristina says:

    That is a list!!! 😀 Very challenging! I have to say you will be well educated in English literature after reading all those books hehe 😀 I am going to get Jane Austen books, but in Lithuanian, since I am going home for Christmas I might as well pop into a book store ;D I love reading in English, but sometimes it’s nice to read in my own language: D

    • TBM says:

      I’m hoping to soak up as much English literature while I’m here. I can’t wait to hear what Austen books you find. I love Austen. Enjoy Christmas at home! It is one of the best times of year to head home and to be with friends and family.

  8. Hi! I don’t know if you’re interested but if you sign up for bbc radio4 newsletter you will see that they are giving you the chance to download Dickens stuff e.g. Tale of two cities audio, newsletter dated 23.12.11 – 6.1.12!

Thanks for commenting, I would love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s