Back to the Classics Challenge 2012

Posted November 3, 2011 by in Reading Challenges / 20 Comments

Back to the Classics Challenge 2012Click to sign up for the challenge on Sarah’s blog

Starting January 1st, Sarah of Sarah Reads Too Much is hosting the Back to the Classics Challenge of 2012. Here are the details from Sarah’s blog:

  1. Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2012. Books started before January 1st do not count, and all links/reviews/comments for each category must be posted in the correct place by December 31st. Feel free to join in at any time, but the end date is December 31.
  2. Please feel free to use books in this Challenge toward any other Challenge you may be participating in. However, you must read a different book for each category of this challenge. Audio and e-books are allowed.
  3. Please sign up for the Challenge using the linky list (or comment section if you do not have a blog/website). If you would be so kind, please spread the word about this challenge by creating a post on your blog/website and link back to this sign up page.
  4. Once the Challenge has begun, you will see a new bar on the left hand side of this blog. This will list the places for you to link/comment your reviews of the book you have read for each category as well as a “wrap up” page. I will not be doing monthly check-in posts this year. I will probably do a “Half Way” post in June. These will be important because….
  5. THERE IS A PRIZE THIS YEAR! People who complete the challenge (and I will check that all categories are completed!) will be entered into a random drawing for $30 worth of books (Book Depository will be used for an International Winner). I may have other prizes as well. Make sure you are following me via GFC, Email, Twitter, or Facebook/Networked Blogs so you are in the know!

I was really excited to find out about this challenge because I grabbed quite a few classics at the library book sale last week. This gives me the perfect opportunity to read them and be a part of the challenge and the book blogging community.

My challenge book pileNot pictured: Melmoth the Wanderer, The Trial

There are nine categories for the challenge, and these are the books I have chosen to read:

  • Any 19th-century classic:  Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
  • Any 20th-century classic:  Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  • Classic reread:  Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  • Classic play:  The Crucible, by Arthur Miller
  • Classic mystery/horror/crime fiction:  Melmoth the Wanderer, by Charles Robert Maturin
  • Classic romance:  Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert
  • Classic that has been translated from its original language:  The Trial, by Franz Kafka
  • Classic award winner:  The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton
  • Classic set in a country that I will not visit during my lifetime:  Dead Souls, by Nikolai Vasilevich Gogol

Anyone is welcome to participate, so if you’re interested you can click on the challenge button at the top of this post to be taken directly to the sign-up on Sarah’s blog. I have also put a button in my sidebar that links directly to Sarah’s website in case you decide later that you’d like to participate.

I’m looking forward to this… happy reading!


  • Yay I’m joining this too! My post goes up tomorrow. I’m also reading The Age of Innocence. I’m halfway through Vanity Fair right now. It’s VERY good. 🙂

    • Nice! I can’t wait to see what other books you choose.

  • I love Vanity Fair! And Becky Sharp is such a brilliant character, I couldn’t help but like her!

    • I’m happy to hear that so many people love it. I’m looking forward to reading it!

  • Yay! Thank you for signing up! I’m jealous you’ve picked your books already. I guess it is time for me to start thinking about that! I read “Age of Innocence” for the challenge this year – looking forward to your thoughts!

  • Oh wow, the 2012 challenge seems more interesting than the 2011 one. I feel bad because I have yet to complete the 2011 Back to Classics Reading Challenge, but I really want to do the 2012 one! Thanks for sharing! Do mind if I blog about this as well?

    • Sarah would love for you to blog about it, I’m sure! Just link back to her page somewhere in your post. 🙂

  • I love how you’re already picking out what challenges to participate in next year. Good luck!

    • I normally wouldn’t plan so far ahead, but since this one spans over an entire year I can be pretty confident about signing up.

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  • Hi Heather,
    My first time visiting and this sounds like fun! I love the variety of categories and your book choices, especially the Wharton and Madame Bovary. Its going to be hard for me to narrow down my choices, but I’m going to make an effort to choose things I haven’t read yet, or else haven’t read in a very long time.
    Thanks for spreading the word about a very enriching project of the mind and heart. I’m going to be sharing a link to Sarah’s challenge on my blog as well.

    • Great! Thank you for reading and joining in. The more, the merrier!

  • Vanity Fair is on my to-read pile, but it just intimidates me for some reason.
    Good luck with the challenge; I’m signing up as well.

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  • I’m doing this too and way toying with the idea of Dead Souls. Really like the look of your list, Madame Bovary is one of my favourite books 🙂

    • I’m glad that many of the books I’ve chosen are being praised by others. It sounds like I have some enjoyable reading ahead of me.

  • You’ve got some great choices on your list! I was thinking of doing Dead Souls and The Crucible as well. I read The Age of Innocence for the classic challenge this year and enjoyed it very much.

  • Great choices! I read Dead Souls in college and loved it.

  • I’m seriously thinking about signing up for this one. I really love the categories. I’m also doing the Chunkster challenge again this year. I actually completed it last year!

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