I did so much better with reading the classics this year than I did last year. I completed all 12 categories that Karen gave us. Yay! I’m really happy with the books I read, too. I read my first Gaskell and know it won’t be my last. The Cruel Sea was one of the most suspenseful books I read all year. Ann Petry’s The Street blew me away and deserves to be read much more widely than it is. La Vagabonde was thought-provoking, and Fanny Hill was blush-inducing. The Blue Castle was wonderful, and A Sicilian Romance was so silly it was fun. I continued my rediscovery of Agatha Christie with 4:50 to Paddington, and smiled all the way through Chicken Every Sunday. Black Wings Has My Angel awakened my interest in noir crime, and I’m rather proud of completing Anna Karenina. I did read One of Ours by Willa Cather, which won her the Pulitzer in 1923, but I never reviewed it. I just didn’t know how to put all my feelings into words. It is so beautiful and melancholic that Willa Cather has been battling with Edith Wharton for top spot on my list of favorite authors ever since reading the book.
Here are the books again, paired with the categories Karen gave us a year ago:
- 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: La Vagabonde, Colette
- A classic published before 1800: Fanny Hill, John Cleland
- A romance classic: The Blue Castle, L. M. Montgomery
- A Gothic or horror classic: A Sicilian Romance, Ann Radcliffe
- 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: Black Wings Has My Angel, Elliott Chaze (set mostly in the Colorado Rockies)
- An award-winning classic: One of Ours, Willa Cather
- A Russian Classic: Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
I’m excited that Karen is bringing the challenge back next year. I’m already looking forward to finding books to fill all the spots.
- A 19th century classic: Too many to choose from…
- A 20th century classic: I should give Edith Wharton a fighting chance against Willa Cather and read The Custom of the Country.
- A classic by a woman author: There are still plenty of women writers on my Classics Club list. Mary Austen? Vera Brittain? Maria Edgeworth? Selma Lagerlöff?
- A classic in translation: Also too many to choose from…
- A children’s classic: I fear this category will make me visit the Children’s Collection on the NYRB website.
- A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction: I just found my copy of In Cold Blood.
- A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction. I also found my copy of Travels With Charley.
- A classic with a single-word title: Ramona, Helen Hunt Jackson
- A classic with a color in the title: I’ll have fun finding a title for this one.
- A classic by an author that’s new to you: So many…
- A classic that scares you: Will I have to tackle Moby-Dick or Ulysses? We’ll see.
- Re-read a favorite classic: Too many to decide right now.
Do you have any suggestions for me?