One of the first things I did when I began this book blogging thing was check out reading challenges. It seemed like such a fun, novel (WORDPLAY!) activity, and like one I’d be good at. (I still cherish my elementary school participation in Book It! Where’s my Personal Pan Pizza, yo?) As is my wont, I jumped right in, joining one-two-three-SEVEN challenges right off the bat. One of the first I found was the Classics Challenge 2009, hosted by Trish.
Being enthusiastic, and a fairly avid reader, I signed up for the Classics Feast, meaning I would read six classics between my April join date and 31 October. No problem, right? Well, it wasn’t so easy. I kind of forgot about and neglected my challenges (save 100 Books, because well, it requires no thought or effort) for a few months. There were a number of unread classics that I wanted to read for this challenge, but for various reasons, I just didn’t get to them. Perhaps I was too ambitious. Perhaps I didn’t take into account the time I’d need for other activities (hello, school!). It wasn’t until I was involved in Carl’s RIP IV–a very short, focused challenge–that I began actively participating in and updating the rest of my challenges. So now I have learned that getting started is easier with that sort of quick challenge–though the knowledge probably won’t apply anymore, at least not at the stacks my destination.
1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
2. White Fang by Jack London
3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
4. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
5. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
6. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
(Find my challenge page here.)
I didn’t have a set list to begin with, really, other than some ambitious projects I wanted to get to like The Red and the Black and Tom Jones. I ended up just erasing my list entirely and winging it. There are several re-reads on my list, from the early period in which I had trouble being motivated (1-4). The Turn of the Screw and Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural were cross-posted for RIP IV, which again, was a big help. Brideshead Revisited is probably my favorite (though the re-reads were all old favorites, save perhaps for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm) on the list; I just read this it past week, and it was profoundly moving and lovely.
I look forward to trying the Classics Challenge again next year, and actually having all my ducks in a row. Thanks, Trish, and also to all the other participants.