November 4, 2011

Back to the Classics Challenge--2012

I was inspired by fellow book-blogging friend, Jillian, over at A Room of One's Own to participate in a year-long reading challenge during 2012.  The challenge is the brainchild of Sarah at Sarah Reads Too Much, and is entitled "Back to the Classics Challenge--2012" and involves nine categories of reading to be accomplished between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012.  I actually think the discipline required of me to participate in this challenge will cause me to finish reading a couple of novels that I have been putting off for aeons.  Also, I have some other great works of literature that I want to read, and planned to read in 2012, so they just really mesh well with this challenge.  If you're interested in participating in Sarah's challenge, I urge you to have a look at this posting.

Here are the nine categories--
  1. Read any 19th Century classic work;
  2. Read any 20th century classic work;
  3. Reread a classic work of your choice;
  4. Read a classic play;
  5. Read a classic work of fiction that is a mystery/horror/crime;
  6. Read a classic romance
  7. Read a classic that has been translated from its original language into your language;
  8. Read a classic work that is an award winner; and
  9. Read a classic that is set in a country that, in all likelihood,  you will not visit during your lifetime.
And here are my choices--
  1. Moby Dick, or, The Whale, by Herman Melville (1851);
  2. The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer (1948);
  3. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo (1862), Translated by Julie Rose (2008);
  4. A Midsummer Night's Dream, by William Shakespeare (late-1590s);
  5. Jamaica Inn, by Daphne du Maurier (1936);
  6. The Reef, by Edith Wharton (1912);
  7. The Inferno, by Dante Alighieri (circa 14th century), Translated by Stanley Lombardo (2009);
  8. The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco, Translated by William Weaver (1980), PEN Translation Award Winner; and
  9. Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1880), Translated by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky (2002), PEN Translation Award Winner.
I'm actually quite excited to get started on this list!  I'm also glad that I am using this challenge to finally compel myself to read (actually,  finish would be the operative term here) Moby Dick and The Brothers Karamazov.  I am really looking forward to taking on Dante's Inferno, as I already had planned to tackle it in 2012.  The coming year is also going to be the year in which I discover, or rediscover, many of Shakespeare's plays.  Anyway, lots of good stuff to look forward to here!  Have a great weekend, and Happy Reading!



  1. You have some great and ambitious choices on here! I was thinking of reading a Midsummer for my Classics play as well.

  2. Thanks for joining in - that is one incredible list you've got there! I'm happy to do my part in pushing others to read (or finish) the great classics that have been stuck on the back burners far too long.

  3. I loved Inferno! Hoping to read Purgatorio this month (it's actually sitting right next to me), although I'm pretty busy with NaNoWriMo, and my reading is suffering greatly (which is making me miserable).

  4. I'm so happy you were inspired!! I'm reading Moby-Dick right now and quite like it so far. I love that you're using the challenge to flex your reading muscles, tackling some of the titles you've been putting off. Can't wait to read your thoughts on each. :-D

  5. Great list-three of them I have not yet read-The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer-seen the movie-I like Wharton and will be interested in reading your review of The Reef-I also need to read The Inferno one of these days

  6. I was not successful with this challenge in 2011 but I am going to try again 2012. I'm in a classics book group at the library and I think I can use some of the works we read for this challenge (we will be reading Moby Dick in May -- yes we are ambitious!)
    Good luck with the challenge!

  7. I just wanted all of you to know that I very much appreciate all of the positive comments and your visit! I am really excited to undertake this challenge, I think it'll be good for me in the long run. Cheers!

  8. Some great choices on your list there. I am almost tempted by this one and I very rarely enter challenges!

  9. Oh no! The challenges are starting! Deciding which ones to do always puts me into a frenzy. But a happy frenzy.

    This looks like a great challenge. Thanks for introducing it to me. You choices look very good and are giving me ideas.

    I don't know how you feel about audiobooks, but I finally made it all the way through Moby Dick with the audio version. The reader did such a tremendous job that the whole thing was thoroughly entertaining -- even the science parts, even the passage on "white."