Back to the Classics Challenge 2015 · Books

Reading Goals 2015: Wrap Up

I wasn’t too sure I’d actually complete this challenge and am so pleased with myself that I did.

Below are the books I read in each category.

1. A 19th Century Classic: Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope

2. A 20th Century Classic: O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

3. A Classic by a Woman Author: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

4. A Classic in Translation: The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola

5. A Very Long Classic Novel: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

6. A Classic Novella: The Pearl by John Steinbeck 

7. A Classic With a Person’s Name in the Title: Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

8. A Humorous or Satirical Classic: Barbara Buncle’s Book by D. E. Stevenson

9. A Forgotten Classic: Doña Perfecta by Benito Perez Galdos

10. A Nonfiction Classic: An Autobiography by Anthony Trollope

11. A Classic Children’s Book: Roverandom by J. R. R. Tolkien

12. A Classic Play: The School for Scandal by Richard Sheridan

I wrote detailed reviews of each of the twelve books I read so I won’t repeat myself here, but I do want to say a few words about some of the books that stood out to me.

I discovered some wonderful books this year and I enjoyed almost all of them. I say “almost” because there was one that left me feeling blah when I finished it.

There were several authors that I met for the first time this year, and two especially that I hope to include in my 2016 reading; Anthony Trollope and Benito Perez Galdos.

If I had to choose my favorite book read it wouldn’t even be one of the “official” twelve. Doctor Thorne by Anthony Trollope is probably the book I enjoyed most of all and had the most difficulty putting down. Even though I was pretty sure how it would end it didn’t diminish the book’s appeal. Definitely a book to put on your “to be read” pile.

At the other end of the spectrum, the book that ends up at the bottom of my list is Madam Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. That story was just plain depressing to me. I almost felt as if I’d wasted my time reading it. No offense to those out there who count this as a favorite. Different strokes for different folks as they say.

O Pioneers! by Willa Cather was almost poetic to me. She has such a beautiful way with words! I look forward to reading more of her books in the near future.

Of my original list of books to be read in the 2015 Reading Challenge I had only listed books for ten of the twelve categories. Two of the categories I was unsure about. But of those ten I only read three of my original choices! The other nine books I chose along the way.

 I do plan to participate in the 2016 Reading Challenge and will be posting my potential choices in the next week or so. It will be interesting to see how closely I follow that list!

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6 thoughts on “Reading Goals 2015: Wrap Up

  1. LOL, I also departed from my original list, but I love that which I ended up reading.

    This year my challenge is to make a formal review of each of the books (which I did not do like you, but some I reviewed independently, others in the wrap up post).

    I can't wait to see your first list, and then to see every departure.

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  2. You can be sure there will be departures, but the reading will still be rich and enjoyable! One book for sure on my list will be Fortunata and Jacinta (Classic in Translation) by Galdos thanks to your recommendation!

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  3. Congratulations on finishing the reading challenge! That's awesome! I didn't complete the challenge…but I did read quite a few books. 🙂 I think I'm going to try a different reading challenge I came across recently at Modern Mrs. Darcy blog. (www.modernmrsdarcy.com) I think the categories are probably more flexible and might work better for me with me reading more children's literature right now. 🙂 But I do have some other books on my list that aren't children's lit. Now, just to narrow them down and make a tentative book list for the challenge. Of course, my initial list will most likely change as the year goes along, just like it did for you this past year. 🙂

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  4. The most important thing is to keep on reading. Any reading challenge is good. I'm hoping to add some nonfiction reading along with the classics challenge. And you can be sure my finished list won't be exactly the same as the list I come up with initially!

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  5. Well done! I pretty much stuck to those books that I said I would read for the 2015 Back to the Classics Challenge. But I do enjoy the freedom of being able to mix it up, if need be!

    I predict that there will be more Trollope listed on your 2016 reading goals, right? 🙂

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  6. Well yes there will be! One for sure and possibly two. I'm still working on the list. The categories for 2016 are more challenging for me to pick titles for, and I have an idea I'll be posting my list with more blanks than the 2015 list!

    Thanks for stopping by!

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