Back to the Classics is hosted by Karen at Karen’s Books and Chocolate. I’m so glad it is back! I had planned to avoid all reading challenges this year, as I’m trying to be more patient and intentional with my reading. To that end, I also set the bar very low for my “Goodreads Challenge,” with 12 books to be read this year. I normally read between 60 and 80 books annually, so hitting a dozen is a given, but that’s kind of the point. I don’t want to feel like I’m forced to get through book after book after book this year, or to begin a new one as soon as I end another.
I want to savor my reading this year. I want to spend time with it. I want to enter it deeply, swim around in it, write about it, and get just as far as I end up getting, but no further. In other words: no challenges! Except this one. Because this challenge shouldn’t get in the way of my deep-reading goals. There’s no real rush to read, particularly if I’m planning to read the 12 books for this challenge anyway, and the categories plus titles that I’ve selected for each are diverse enough to keep me interested and to help me meet my perpetual goal of reading broadly.
I’ve put an abridged version of the rules and categories below. What do you think of my title selections!? Are you thinking of joining?

If you’re new to the challenge, here’s how it works:
  • Complete six categories, and you’ll get one entry in the drawing;
  • Complete nine categories, and you’ll get two entries in the drawing;
  • Complete all twelve categories, and you’ll get three entries in the drawing.

Basic rules: All books must be at least 50 years old (published 1970 or earlier). No crossovers to multiple categories. Wrap-up post with all links to reviews required to be posted at Karen’s blog before 12/31/2020. Must sign-up with your list before 03/31/2020. All reviews must be linked to corresponding category link on Karen’s blog.


1. 19th Century Classic. North and South (1854) by Elizabeth Gaskell
2. 20th Century Classic. Doveglion: Collected Poems (c. 1942-1958) by José García Villa
6. A Genre Classic. The Valley of Fear (1915) by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title. Swann’s Way (1913) by Marcel Proust
8. Classic with a Place in the Title. The Hanging on Union Square (1935) by H.T. Tsiang
9. Classic with Nature in the Title. Desert Solitaire (1968) by Edward Abbey
10. Classic About a Family. Sons and Lovers (1913) by D.H. Lawrence
11. Abandoned Classic. Middlemarch (1872) by George Eliot

Progress: 4 of 11 Complete

10 Comments on “Back2theClassics

  1. Impressive list. I’ll be reading Toni Morrison too for African-American Experience. I have a very good experience with Beloved, so I’m going to try Song of Solomon for this challenge.


  2. We’re both in the same challenge, and for a moment I wanted to change my picks. But no, I’ll just add more books on my TBR list (maybe for next year’s TBR challenge???)


  3. I’ve only read a couple of these: one I loved and one I didn’t like at all 🙂 But I’m not going to name them, so as not to taint your experience. Enjoy and good luck!


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