A month or so ago I mentioned participating in the 2011 Classics Challenge hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much. I wanted this challenge to really force me to read things that have been sitting on my shelves collecting dust. And while it's been difficult picking and choosing, I think I finally narrowed it down.
Classics Challenge list:
1. A banned book- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
I know! Can you believe I haven't read this one? I'm stealing it from J and getting through it. Must be done.
2. A book with a wartime setting- Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky
I started this novel earlier in the year, but set it aside for another title. This time I vow to finish it.
3. A Pulitzer Prize Winner- The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
I really enjoyed Ethan Frome and have had numerous conversations about the value of Wharton's work. This one was on the list without a doubt. And to prove that fact-- I'll admit that this is the only novel on the list that I actually have to purchase.
4. A Children's/Young Adult classic- The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
I remember reading these as a child. Somehow I don't remember too many details. I thought the first book in a seven book series might be just the break I need from all the massive commitments I'm making in the literary world. Plus, if I'm transported to the time when I did nothing but play in the woods surrounding my home with my three brothers, I have six more to really feel like a kid again!
5. 19th century classic- Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Ah, Gogol. As a lover of Russian literature, I am quite ashamed to admit I've never read any of his work. Dare I also admit to a literary life devoid of Pushkin, as well? Yes, a true sin. Bumping George Eliot's Middlemarch off the list, Gogol is a must this year.
6. 20th century classic- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Another book I started and never finished because of other reading commitments. I have always enjoyed Plath's poetry and knew that I couldn't respect myself until I finished this classic.
7. A book that should be considered a 21st century classic- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I've heard time and again that The Book Thief is a favorite by young and old. Projected to be a classic in years to come, I threw it on the list because I've heard great things, and because I thought it might be another to calm me down while juggling the book club meetings, the volunteer positions and the maintenance of a social life.
8. Re-read a book from your high school/ college classes- Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I will say, and perhaps you'll never forgive me, but I've never favored Marquez. I read this, as well as, One Hundred Years of Solitude, which I absolutely detested, in college. However, I thought I'd pick this novel up and try again.
I feel my list offers diversity, and will be nothing less than entertaining and informative.