Sunday, December 13, 2015

Joining the 12 Month Classics Challenge!

Just when I'd decided that I am nowhere near organized enough to do any challenges, I caught sight of the 12 Month Classics Challenge, and decided to give challenges one more try.  I read a lot of YA novels, both because I love them and because of my job as a middle school reading intervention teacher, but I'm starting to feel like my reading life could use a bit more oomph.  YA novels can and do wrestle with big themes, but they tend to be--duh--focused on the issues of young adulthood, and they tend to be written in fairly straightforward ways that allow me to race through them.  I'd like to read more works that force me to slow down and think a little.  I'm not ready to go full-classics-club (50+ classics over five years), but I can do a book a month for a year, especially with the monthly themes to help me get focused.

I used to read a lot of classics, especially children's books and Victorian novels.  I read a bunch of Russian novels in college, as well as a few African works.  Still, there are vast swaths of classic novels I haven't read.  I'll put up a tentative title for each month, plus maybe a plan B.

January- A classic you've always wanted to read.
I love me some Dickens, but I'm pretty sure I've never actually read David Copperfield.  

February- A classic you've always dreaded reading.
Either The Bell Jar or The Second Sex.   These both sound really earnest and intellectual to me. 

March- A classic you've been recommended
Ken Follet's Pillars of the Earth is not that old, but it's 25, so it's not new either.  My friend Victoria has been recommending it to me for years.  

April- A classic you've seen the movie/miniseries/TV show of
A collection of Sherlock Holmes stories.  My sister has always been a fan, but I've never been able to get into him.  Still, considering how much I love the BBC update, I'd like to give it a try.

May- An American classic
Black Like Me--John Howard Griffin

June- A British classic

I'll treat myself to a re-read of Hardy, either Tess of the Durbervilles or Far From the Madding Crowd.

July- A European classic (non-British)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

August- A modern classic- Up to your interpretation

Either Kite Runner or Satanic Verses, neither of which have I ever read.

September- A children's classic

Emily of New Moon Farm, because I loved Anne so.  

October- A classic by a female author

Cold Comfort Farm because the movie was so much fun, and there's not a lot of that on this list.  

November- A classic by a male author

A Moveable Feast--Hemingway

December- A classic written under a pseudonym

The holidays definitely call for a shorter re-read.  I'll either go with How the Grinch Stole Christmas or Silas Marner.    Come to think of it, they have similar themes. 


  1. This is a great bunch of choices.

    As for David Cooperfied, I read it for the first time this year. I was surprised at just how much I loved the book.

    I look forward to your upcoming commentary.

    1. Thank you! I'm kind of excited about getting started.

  2. I really want to read David Copperfield too! I have started it (about 150 pages in) and LOVE IT. But my attention span can only take so many long books, & I want to read The Count of Monte Cristo in 2016. I might read Copperfield the following year. :)

    The Bell Jar is exquisite. There's a really great biofilm on Plath called Sylvia, if you can find it. Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Daniel Craig.

    Best wishes with this!


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