Back to the Classics in 2017


I only read 6 books for this year’s Back to the Classics challenge. It’s a pity, really, because I wanted to fill all the slots with female authors. I just never got around to them all. Here’s what I did read:

Karen has decided to bring back the challenge for next year. Here are her categories, along with some of books I consider reading.

  • A 19th-century Classic: Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell
  • A 20th-century Classic: The Cruel Sea, Nicholas Monsarrat
  • A classic by a woman author: The Street, Ann Petry
  • A classic in translation: I found a copy of Colette’s Gigi in one of my book boxes the other day…
  • A classic published before 1800: Fanny Hill, John Cleland
  • A romance classic: This will be Rebecca, I’m pretty sure.
  • A Gothic or horror classic: I STILL haven’t read Frankenstein. Maybe 2017 will be the year…
  • A classic with a number in the title: 4:50 to Paddington, Agatha Christie
  • A classic about an animal or which includes the name of an animal in the title: Chicken Every Sunday, Rosemary Taylor
  • A classic set in a place you’d like to visit: I looked at my Classics Club list and have found some interesting, though rather vague, places. I like the beach (The Woman in the Dunes); I like to be outside (The Secret Garden); and anything north of where I live is fine, too (To the North). But we might be headed to Europe next summer, so I could go with Mann’s Death in Venice. If 2017 is as depressing as parts of 2016 have been, I might just hide (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). If it’s REALLY bad, then I might visit The Island of Doctor Moreau.
  • An award-winning classic: I think this will be either Willa Cather’s One of Ours or Edna Ferber’s So Big, both of which have won a Pulitzer. Both are sitting unread on my Classics shelf.
  • A Russian Classic: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Are you participating in this challenge?




  1. I’m going to try and read all women authors next year also, and the Russian is going to be the hardest. I also have Testament of Youth on my list! I loved One of Ours and Middlemarch, and most anything by Gaskell — North & South and Wives & Daughters are my favorites. Thanks for signing up for the challenge again, and congratulations on finishing six categories this year!

  2. Nice choices for 2016 and 2017. I completed nine for 2016…hoping maybe to finish all 12 in 2017. Still contemplating my choices.

  3. I’m not doing this challenge but I hope to mix in reading more classics in 2017. Maybe more Willa Cather for sure, and I wouldn’t mind Anna Karenina too. Nice to see you’re able to type again. Happy Holidays!

  4. Great sounding list for next year, and you did well this year too. It’s the quality and enjoyment that counts in the end, though I do find the challenges help to keep me focused – plus it’s so much fun making lists. In fact, I may have to make a list for this one… Rebecca, The Island of Dr Moreau and Frankenstein are all already on my Classics Club list, so it’ll be fun if we both end up reading them this year. 🙂

  5. You’ve got me all excited reading all the possibilities for this challenge! Just like last year. Let’s hope, though, that you won’t have to visit the island of Dr. Moreau, or even hide in the wardrobe. 🙂

  6. You’ve got some great books of your list of possibilities for next year. It’s hard to go wrong with Daphne du Maurier, and anything by Agatha Christie is bound to be a winner too.

    Teffi is worth considering if you’re looking to fill the Russian classic slot with a woman.(She was a literary luminary back in the day.) It might be stretching the definition of a classic a little, but her Subtly Worded collection of stories is absolutely marvellous.

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