Sunday, February 21, 2010

Classics Challenge 2010: Sign Ups

Welcome to the Classics Challenge
April 1 - October 31, 2010

Classics: We love them, we hate them, now we are going to challenge ourselves to read more of them.

**Choose Your Level (Keep reading for Bonus)
1. Classics Snack - Read FOUR classics
2. Classics Entree - Read FIVE classics
3. Classics Feast - Read SIX classics

1. Cross-posting with other challenges is allowed (and encouraged!)
2. Audiobooks are fine
3. Re-reads are acceptable, BUT books must be finished after April 1st to count for the challenge
4. Lists don't have to be set in stone; you can change your selections at any time
5. Have Fun!!
6. You do NOT need a blog to participate.

**Bonus!! (Optional)
In the past two challenges we compiled a list of books that we think might be considered classics one day. I've wiped out that old list so we can start fresh, but to get an idea of what others suggested in the past, see HERE and HERE. To start off the list, I'm going to suggest Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

Leave your suggestion (one please) in the comments below. If you want to participate in the bonus round, choose a book from the list and read that in addition to the classics you have picked (e.g., if you are doing the classics snack, you will read five books total and so on).

I realize this means you may have to wait to make your list or leave the bonus book as "tentative" if you choose to participate in the bonus round, but I'm hoping this is a modern twist on the old classics challenge.

What is a Classic?
Am I going to define what a classic is? Nope! There are lots of definitions offered on the Internet, but we all have different opinions so don't stress too much. In the comments below, I'd love if you would give a (one please) recommendation for a classic you would suggest to beginners or apprehensive readers--maybe something lighter or something engaging. I'll compile a list. I'm going to suggest Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton.

Trish, you write a lot! Just tell me what I need to do!
1. Sign up below using Mr. Linky. Preferably link to your list for the challenge, but I'm not going to make you. :P If you don't have a blog, just enter your name.
2. Give a (one) suggestion for a "future" classic in the comments below
3. Recommended a (one) classic for "beginners" in the comments below
4. Let me know if you have any questions
5. Get reading those dang classics!!

Also - I'd love to know how you heard about the challenge.

Thank you Veens for the lovely buttons!!


Jenny said...

My suggestion for a future classic is Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn.

My beginning classic reader recommendation is Pride and Prejudice. =)

kristi said...

I'm going to join at the classics feast level. I don't have a blog so I just used the URL for this site since it wouldn't let me leave it blank.

I would suggest the Life of Pi by Yann Martel, and I second The Poisonwood Bible. I loved that book.

I don't know which classic I would recommend for a beginner besides Pride and Prejudice which was already mentioned.

TheBlackSheep said...

Classic Feast please. I've een saving them up for this challenge!

And bugger. I just read Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which I would suggest as one for the future classics. Other Atwood books maybe?

I'll put my list up asap. Thanks for hosting again!!!

wisteria said...

Ok...Ok!! I will join this challenge. I wanted to read some classics anyway. Sounds like fun. I will be at the snack level though. LOL

Becky said...

For my "future" classic I choose Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta.

For my beginner-recommendation, I choose Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck.

J.T. Oldfield said...

My favoritest ever classic is Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy. Here's my review of it from a while back:

I'm thinking of joining you in the challenge. I'll let you know!

Brittanie said...

I think a future classic will be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. My recommendation for beginners is The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (even though it is tec. a children's book.)

cj said...

Okay, okay... I know I've done poorly on challenges lately but once again I'm hoping this will give me a push...

As for a beginners classic - To Kill A Mockingbird (was there a doubt what I would suggest?)

And a one day classic? How about The Road by Cormac McCarthy?


Anonymous said...

Taking the whole concept of "future classic" literally, I'd recommend Orson Scott Card's "Ender's Game."

As for a classic to begin with, I'm going to recommend one of my favorites, "To Kill A Mockingbird."

Trish said...

*Jenny - P&P is such a loved classic, huh? :) Glad you're joining!

*Kristi - Using this url works just fine--it used to just let you enter your name without url. Hmmm. Thanks for joining!

*Blacksheep - I put down Handmaid's Tale--no worries that it was suggested before. Guess that says something about the book! :)

*Wisteria - LOL--snack level is still great. Don't forget that you have an extra month for the challenge, too, since it's 7 months long.

*Becky - Hmmm--I haven't heard of Jellico Road! Thanks for joining again, Becky.

*J.T. Oldfield - I hope you do join us! I've added your suggestion as well.

*Brittanie - Oooh, great suggestion! I hope to read that one soon for book club. And children's classics are certainly allowed!

*CJ - Oh my dear--thanks for joining. And if you don't make it at least you'll have read some good books anyway. :) The Road is a great "future" pick.

*Nashvillebookworm - Thanks for joining the challenge! Great suggestion with Ender's Game.

A Year in Books said...

I'm in!

For a future classic, I'd suggest Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky. Or A Walk with a White Bushman by Laurens Van Der Post.

For a beginner classic I'd have to go with Go Ask Alice by Anonymous! I read that book a dozen times back in high school, still love it.

Whitney said...

My recommendation for a beginners classic would have to be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It's my favorite!

As for a future classic, I could see Frank McCourt's Angel's Ashes becoming one someday; I couldn't tell you how many times I've read it and still think its fantastic.

Heather said...

My recommendation for a beginner's classic: 1984 by George Orwell

Future Classic: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society

How I learned of the challenge: Through the Novel Challenge blog

Molly said...

I'm waiting to find out what my classes will be this summer before I officially sign up. My first choice course will require lots of classics, so that challenge will be offered at a great time :)

For a beginning classic, I would suggest Fahrenheit 451: a short novella with a powerful message.

For a future classic I would recommend The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. It is highly emotional novel told from an unlikely point of view.

mel u said...

My suggestion for a future classic is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

Caz said...

I'll take the feast please! My suggestion for a future classic is 'Shantaram' by Gregory David Roberts. A long, but compelling and beautiful book...

JoV said...

I love Classics, please count me in for Feast with "Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Socity" as bonus!

So many beginner classics that I could think of notably 3: Animal Farm by George Orwell, Catcher of the Rye by Salinger and Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald.

Donna Tartt's The Secret History or Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach should be the next future classics.

I have loads of classics on my TBR! and I heard about the challenge from Mel U.

TheBlackSheep said...

Finally got my reading list up:

I'd also like to nominate Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett as a future classic. It's a brilliant book in many ways.

My name means Wisdom said...

Very excited to get started on a challenge, and the Classics are my favorites!

For a future classic I am going to say, Girl With a Pearl Earring.

For a first read, Don Quijote, it may be a big novel, but it is essential.

Wendy said...

I'm going with the snack - and I MIGHT do the bonus :)

My future classics pick is: The World According to Garp by John Irving

My classics for beginners is: The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck

Anonymous said...

I'm back again, Trish, and thank you for hosting:)
Once again I'm going for all Australian classics, and for a Classic Snack I have chosen
*The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead (1940)
*To the Islands by Randolph Stow (1958)
*Merry Go Round in the Sea by Randolph Stow (1965)
*Trap by Peter Mathers (1966)
Lisa Hill, ANZ LitLovers

Mome Rath said...

I love reading classics, so since I'm already going to be reading some this year, I'll definitely join in.
My choice for a beginner's classic has already been mentioned by many others (Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird), so instead I will offer up Alan Paton's Cry, The Beloved Country.
For a future classic, I'll recommend Pramoedya Ananta Toer's This Earth of Mankind.
As for my reading list -- I'll go with Zusak's The Book Thief; Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath; Sinclair's The Jungle; Munro's Dance of the Happy Shades; Huxley's Brave New World; and Bronte's Jane Eyre. For the bonus round, I'll go with Coetzee's Disgrace. Now I just have to remember to start these books AFTER 1 April!

Suey said...

I've finally declared my list of four classics I'd like to read! We'll see how it goes.

As for a "new" classic, I'll suggest The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski.

And a classic a beginner should read: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Divya said...

I totally enjoyed taking part in this challenge last year. Thanks Trish for hosting this.

future classic suggestion - book thief by markus zusak
classic for beginner - sense and sensibility by Jane austen

The Book Mole said...

I just started a brand new blog, and this will be my first official post (after a welcome) and first challenge - I am excited!

Future classic suggestion - The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende

Beginner's classic - Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell, Pride and Prejudice, or The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Cath said...

My choice for a beginner's classic is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

For a future classic - A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.

Val said...

Please may I play?

Beginners about...
"Return of the Soldier" by Rebecca West
...or "Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir A Conan Doyle?
...or "Three Men in a boat" by Jerome K. Jerome ...?

Future Classic...?

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
(future classic it's a Childrens book)

Got here via Cath

Anonymous said...

Count me in for the "entree"-level challenge! A classic I'd recommend for beginners is Brave New World by Aldous Huxley -- it's easy to read and examines a lot of interesting philosophical questions. A future classic, in my opinion, is The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde; it's too clever not to become one!

J. Kinsey said...

Fantastic idea!
Future Classic: The Princess Bride.
Beginner's Classic: To Kill a Mocking Bird

Melanie said...

Hello! I'm back for this second year. Beginner Classic, but not for kids- Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin. Future Classic- how about The Gunslinger by Stephen King.

Trish said...

*Everyone! - Thank you thank you for your great suggestions. I've added them to the list--if I missed any, please let me know. I'm so glad you've all joined and I look forward to seeing what you're reading!

Katy Rose said...

I think I am going to try the Classics Snack with the bonus. I don't have school this summer so it would be great to get some classics I have been wanting to read off my lists.

One classic for beginners I would recommend would be Lord of the Flies- Golding

As for a future classic I think I would go with Atonement by Ian McEwan

I will pick out my books soon. I already know my bonus book and 1 or two for my regular list.

Cam said...

I'm excited for this challenge! And I'm going to push myself a little with giving Dickens another try (never been a big fan).

For a beginner I would suggest Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. I remember reading it in high school and not being able to put it down. =)

Helen said...

I'm looking forward to this challenge! I'm going to sign up at the Classics Feast level as I read such a lot of classics anyway.

My suggestion for a beginner's classic is The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins which I think completely dispels the myth that classics are dry and boring.

Kya said...

Thanks again for hosting the challenge. I haven't got my list ready yet but I'm starting with the Brothers Karamazov. For a modern classic, there's so many good suggestions but how about Raise the Red Lantern by Sue Tong.

Bibliobabe said...

I posted a page with ALL current reading challenges. Let me know if you want me to add any other information to your challenge. I hope it brings even more readers to your challenge!

Reading Challenges.

Rachelle (Bibliobabe)

Carol Fleserieu-Miller said...

I would like to join at the snack level, but might upgrade as we go along.

I have one suggestion for a future classic if it already hasn't earned that right: "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" by Betty Smith

Another and very different book that I think should become a classic is "The Road" by Cormac MacCarthy, the one that was just made into a movie last year with Viggo Mortensen.

Thanks for the great challenge!

pinuccia said...

Here I am representing Turkey :)

I'll take it easy and will take Classics Snack level.

I think "Of Mice and Men" is an easy classic as starters.

As a future classic, I really liked the Lemon Tree.

Sally said...

EMy apologies for deleting my prior post...I signed up (#40) with an old URL...and "tried" to fix it.

I'll try the Feast

Beginner Classic: Little Women or A Tale of Two Cities

Future Classic: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society.

Kelly said...

Future Classic - Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

Beginner Classic - Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (I remember thinking I would hate it when I had to read it in high school, but I ended up really enjoying it!)

Thanks for motivating me to read more of my classics!

lgh164 said...

I'd like to go with the feast plus the bonus. don't have a blog, so will post here.

for beginners classics, how about The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Gilman or The Victorian Chaise Lounge by Marghanita Laski

as for a future classic... hmmmm... I have to go with The Gargoyle by Davidson or Beijing Coma by Ma Jian

thanks, Cindy S

ps: got here via: savidgereads lead to Bookbath which lead to Trish's reading nook.

Leah said...

I will be representing our blog (, though I am willing to bet, my husband will want to join in too. I am going to go for the entree with a bonus. Looking forward to this.
I agree with most of the previous suggestions for starters and futures.
Mine would be:
starter: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, or Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier (sp.?)
future: The Road

Trish said...

*Thanks everyone for your great suggestions!!

And thanks for signing up for the challenge. :) Welcome welcome!!

Rufus said...

I'm blogging the canon on the League of Ordinary Gentlemen. I haven't gotten to anything on this list, but plan to before long.

Kyra V. said...

Hi there. I'm not entirely sure how I found my way here, but I am glad I did!

I recommend The Great Gatsby as a beginner classic and The Mists of Avalon as a future classic.

carysreads said...

I'm going for feast I think.

Beginner classic I'm going to mention Evelyn Waugh- Brideshead Revisited and Kazuo Ishiguro- Never Let Me Go as a future classic.

gaijinmama said...

I'm in for the Entree Level, 5 books off my TBR shelves.

As for a beginner's classic I suggest The Dispossessed by Ursula LeGuin and Stranger in a Starnge Land by Robert Heinlein. Both essential reading in the science fiction genre and potentially life-changing. The Dispossessed blew my mind when I first read it at 19.

gaijinmama said...

OOps, sorry, my link is here.
I go by Hikaruthedragon on LJ.

Brittany Landgrebe said...

Erm... I'm not sure about classics either! I just knew I wasn't reading anything but super-current young adult, and wanted to expand my horizons.

Though I will say I think THE GIVER by Lois Lowry will be a classic. I love that book so much, I give one to each person that has touched my life in some way.

I'm in for the Classics Feast, 6 classics. Eep!


Sarah Mae said...

This sounds like fun! I would suggest The Woman in White to a beginning classic reader. It is long, but very good! I also think that The Jungle and The Odessy should be on your classic list.

For a future classic to add I would say "3 cups of Tea." It is inspiring and extremely relevant to our times. I think this book will be a culture-shaper for sure. Everyone should read it and the sequel "Stones into Schools"!

Teesta said...

Hi, suggestion would be Buddenbrooks..mainly because i never had the courage to start it on my own!

Teesta said...

What are the rules of the challenge? Do we read books as we go along or is there a list,to be prepared first, that we need to stick to?

Brittk said...

I am going for the feast. Maybe now I won't get side tracked by other books :)

A lot of people have already taken my suggestions but I say The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society for future classic.

1984 for beginners. It was one of my firsts. I also suggest A Room With A View and Pride and Prejudice.

SH said...

I love classics, but it takes a lot of effort to pick them up. Hopefully this challenge will help :)

I recently read The Devil in the Flesh by Raymond Radiguet, and I was quite impressed. I think it's a classic; it was written in 1929.

Missie said...

I am just going to go for the Classic Feast!
Beginner Classic - Of Mice and Men
Future Classic - I need to think about this one some more!

Karen said...

Hi everyone. I'm just joining in. I think Jane Eyre is a good beginning classic and I will go with Life of Pi as a future classic. I'm joining the feast!

Donna said...

Hi, Trish. I've joined this challenge as well. Looking forward to a lot of good reading.

Laura's Reviews said...

I am FINALLY signing up . . . my list is at

My suggestion for a "new classic" is The Help by Kathryn Stockett and my suggestion for a classic for a new reader would be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

I look forward to this challenge!

Lydia said...

My beginner classic would be To Kill A Mockingbird.

As for new book today that I would suggest to become a classic, I'd have to say...I'm going to have to go with a fun book - The Princess Bride by William Goldman.

Here is my challenge page:

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I know I am crazy late, but I think that I will join up anyway.

Future classic - We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates.

Starting classic - The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Nora said...

Classic Feast Please :)
I would suggest I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and a starter classic :)

Anonymous said...

Joining very late, but I had so much fun last year that I can't resist. My pick for a future classic is Redwall, by Brian Jacques. It's had to find one that hasn't been recommended already, but Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl is certainly readable and worthwhile.

Joy Renee said...

This is a late start but I think I can still manage the Feast level.

I don't find where a classic was defined as a novel for this contest but the titles in the sidebar are all novels. I am wondering if a Shakespeare play would count.

my future classic would The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

for a beginner I recommend Great Expectations by Charles Dickens (any Dickens actually)

Becky (Page Turners) said...

I realised that when I joined the challenge I left a comment but didn't do the Mr Linky, oops! Its done now. I have finished the challenge, will there be a section for wrap up posts?

The Brain Lair (KB) said...

I read about this over at A Novel Challenge.

I'm joining at Feast level and I suggest newcomers start with Betsy Tacy because they are fun and short.

I think The Book Thief will one day be a classic!