I have been slowly reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Essentially it’s a fantasy autobiography, and I’m not a fan of autobiographies (or biographies) so it’s taking me a while. I like it, it just feels like work some times.

What I’ve been really into for the past couple of days is planning for a couple of challenges that begin in 2012. I am a competitive person by nature, whether I’m competing with myself or others, and so I really dig reading challenges. Jillian, at A Room of One’s Own, keeps signing up for and posting about Classics reading challenges for 2012 and I can’t resist following her lead!

I am signing up for two Classics challenges: the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much and A Classics Challenge hosted by November’s Autumn.

The hard part is deciding what to read–I’m a big mood reader, so it depends upon how I feel at the time. So, I’ve created a list of eligible books that I can pick and choose from in 2012. All (except where noted in the task) are choices I have wanted to read but haven’t. Many are tested on the GRE for Literature, which I took in the past and hope to take again in the future. Here are the requirements and my reading choices for the two challenges:

Back to the Classics Challenge 

  • Any 19th Century Classic: Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman; Bleak House by Charles Dickens; Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Any 20th Century Classic: The Dubliners or Ulysses by James Joyce; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor; An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  • Reread a classic of your choice: Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett; The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  • A Classic Play: The Oresteia by Aeschylus; Electra by Sophocles; Medea by Euripedes; Richard II by William Shakespeare; Endgame by Samuel Beckett; Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw; A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
  • Classic Mystery/Horror/Crime Fiction: The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; Faust by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde; Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson; Poetry and Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Classic Romance: Evelina by Frances Burney; Clarissa or Pamela by Samuel Richardson; North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell; The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy; Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence; Collected Stories by Colette
  • Read a Classic that has been translated from its original language to your languange: Remembrance of Things Past (In Search of Lost Time) by Marcel Proust; The Stranger by Albert Camus; Seven Gothic Tales by Isak Dineson; The Misanthrope by Moliere; Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes; The Divine Comedy by Dante  Alighieri
  • Classic Award Winner All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren (Pullitzer, 1947); The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington (Pullitzer, 1919)
  • Read a Classic set in a Country that you (realistically speaking) will not visit during your lifetime: The Iliad by Homer (Ancient Greece); Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (Dystopian Future [ideally])

A Classics Challenge

Read seven works of Classic Literature in 2012.
Only three of the seven may be re-reads.

Instead of writing a review as you finish each book (of course, you can do that too), visit November’s Autumn on the 4th of each month from January 2012 – December 2012.

You will find a prompt, it will be general enough that no matter which Classic you’re reading or how far into it, you will be able to answer.

For this challenge, I will simply read the books chosen for the Back to the Classics challenge, and then discuss them on the 4th of each month for November’s Autumn. Easy enough!

So, I’m ready for 2012 to get here so I can start reading some of these classics! If you have any interest in reading the Canon, I would suggest that you sign up for one or both of these challenges!