My Classics Challenge


CURRENT STATUS: 12/50 (52 if including complete LOTR Trilogy)

Picking My Classics
When I first decided to do this challenge, I was faced with the huge decision on how to pick the books that I was going to read and making sure that I had a good range of authors, years published and genres. So I decided that I was going to go with a more thematic approach to picking my books and after reviewing the list of books, chose my first theme – Utopia/Dystopia Classics – with the rise of YA Dystopic fiction this seems to be a good place to start.

Utopia/Dystopia Classics
Aldous Huxley – Brave New World (1932)
Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
George Orwell – 1984 (1948) – Review Pending (finished Jan 2015)
John Wyndham – The Chrysalids (1955)
Richard Bachman – The Running Man (1982)
Jack London – The Iron Heel (1907)
William Gibson – Neuromancer (1984)
Margaret Atwood – The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
Edward Bellamy – Looking Backward (1988)
Ayn Rand – Anthem (1938) – Review

The second theme that I chose to go with was Coming of Age. This also seems to be a popular theme in current YA books nowadays with authors like Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti and Meg Cabot addresses issues faced by teens.

Coming of Age
J.D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye (1953)
Robert Cormier – The Chocolate War (1974) – Review
Mark Twain – The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884)
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women (1868)
James Joyce – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
Betty Smith – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) – Review
Charles Dickens – Great Expectations (1860)
Stephen Crane – The Red Badge of Courage (1895)
Carson McCullers – The Member of the Wedding (1946)
Ray Bradbury – Dandelion Wine (1957)

Social Commentary is general is a theme is most classics that I found on the list, so it seems only right that that be one of the themes that I chose. However, deciding which books to read made this a harder theme than I expected to fill, so I toyed with a wide variety of choices, but think that I like the ones I ended up with.

Social Commentary
Upton Sinclair – The Jungle (1906)
Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five (1968)
Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter (1850)
Victor Hugo – Les Misérables (1862)
F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (1925) – Review Pending
Ayn Rand – The Fountainhead (1943)
Ralph Ellison – Invisible Man (1947)
Elizabeth Gaskell – North and South (1855)
Jane Austen – Mansfield Park (1814) – Review
Charles Dickens – Little Dorrit (1874)

Books that have been turned into movies are a guilty pleasure of mine, so it only made sense to have that as a category and looking specifically at classics. So Classic Books Turned Into Movies was my fourth choice for theme/category.

Classic Books Turned Into Movies
J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan (1911) – Review Pending
Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White (1859)
Alexandre Dumas – Queen Margot, or, Marguerite de Valois (1845)
George Eliot – Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life (1872) – Review Pending
Walter Scott – Ivanhoe (1819)
A.E.W. Mason – The Four Feathers (1902)
Thomas Hardy – Jude the Obscure (1895)
E.M. Forster – A Room with a View (1908)
Jane Austen – Emma (1815) – Review Pending
Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897) – Review Pending

For my final category/theme, I decided that I wanted to do something a bit different and look at classics in genre fiction – since for the most part, that is what the majority of people read (romance, mystery etc). However, when I started looking, I found a vast amount of books that were considered to be classics in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre, but romance/mystery/horror seemed to be a bit harder. So I opted to go for Classics in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy (with lots of help from some friends who read a lot in those genres).

Classics in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Douglas Adams – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) – Review Pending
Isaac Asimov – Foundation (1951)
H.G. Wells – The War of the Worlds (1898)
Robert A. Heinlein – The Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1966)
Arthur C. Clarke – Childhood’s End (1953) – Review Pending
Frank Herbert – Dune (1965)
A.E. van Vogt – Slan (1940)
Pat Frank – Alas, Babylon (1959)
Andre Norton – Witch World (1963)
J.R.R. Tolkien – The Lord of the Rings (1954) – Book 1 of Trilogy completed


16 responses to “My Classics Challenge

  1. Christine

    September 6, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    I love your lists! I am also so excited that you’ll be participating in this very long term challenge. I love reading a book that makes me feel smarter (as opposed to making me feel dumber – which also happens sometimes)!

    • Dee

      September 6, 2012 at 9:21 pm

      I hope I feel smarter after reading them…lol! 😉

      Can’t wait to start on Les Mis

  2. Tien

    September 6, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    I love how you’re doing ‘categories’ for your classic list 🙂
    The Handmaid’s Tale was really freaky! I saw the movie trailer on youtube (after I read the book) and I’m not sure if it’s something I could watch right after I finished reading the book, I may get to it one day…

    I loved loved loved North & South! Have you seen the BBC adaptation with Richard Armitage? If you haven’t, you Absolutely HAVE to – He’s just… Yum!

    • Dee

      September 6, 2012 at 11:10 pm

      Thanks – i didn’t want to just list a bunch of books and hope for the best…I figured categories would be the better way to approach/more success at finishing them (fingers crossed)

  3. The Classics Club

    September 9, 2012 at 1:37 am

    I love that you grouped them by categories too. You’ve got some great books on your list(s)! Enjoy and welcome to the Classics Club!

    • Dee

      September 9, 2012 at 10:49 pm

      Thanks! i wanted to do something more manageable for me than just putting up a huge list

  4. Risa

    September 21, 2012 at 11:46 am

    What a nice way to come up with a list! I doubt I’d be able to stick to one like this, but you’re covering quite a bit this way. Also, I see a few names/books I haven’t heard of till now. All the best with your challenge! 🙂

    • Dee

      September 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      Thanks Rissa!! If there are any on my list you might be interested in reading let me know! I am always up for buddy reads 🙂

      • Risa

        September 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Oh, that’s good! 😀

        I’m currently reading Little Women with three others. We finished our first discussion post yesterday, and we have two more to go until October 5. You’re welcome to jump in if you’d like. 🙂 As for the rest I see we have Mansfield Park and A Room with a View in common. I would love to read them with you some time. Though the rest of 2012 would be out considering I’m expecting my second baby next month. 🙂

      • Dee

        September 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        lol! well, I have 5 years so let me know!

        good luck with the baby!

      • Risa

        September 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

        Hehehe…will do. And thank you! 😀

  5. Her Royal Orangeness

    September 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Dividing the list into categories is so creative! I also have some fantasy classics on my list, so I definitely look forward to reading your reviews of the titles you’ve chosen for that category. Welcome to TCC and good luck!

    • Dee

      September 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm

      Thanks! Look forward to seeing what you read!

  6. Mabel

    May 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    Really cool way to set up your list. 🙂

    • Dee

      May 2, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      thanks! it was fun to do something different


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