Hey Classics Challengers: New year, new challenge. Join us!

Hey readers, it’s time to launch a new challenge for the new year. It’s similar to the first year and last year, but a bit shorter, which will allow me to read more modern works, because that’s what those of you who read this blog seem to respond to more. (I’d thought of reading only things on the best-seller list as a challenge this year, but I anticipated a lot of  garbage penned by politicos to hit those lists this year prior to the election that I decided I’d stick to what I know.)

Still, there is a core of readers who appreciate the Classics Challenge, so I will throw it out again this year.

In homage to the woman who started my wife and I on this quest, we’ve decided to use her 2016 challenge as a template. (I hesitate to link to her blog because it’s nicer looking and she offers a prize for those who participate in her challenge. In addition, she has lots of comments on her blog, the comments on mine are few and far between. See below about that.)

So, without further ado, here are the 10 categories for the Classics Challenge 2016:

  1. A classic you were forced to read in high school.
  2. A 19th-Century classic.
  3. A classic in translation.
  4. A classic by an author who is not white.
  5. A classic adventure story.
  6. A classic detective story.
  7. A classic with the name of a place in the title.
  8. A classic that was banned.
  9. A classic that is pure trash.
  10. A classic with the word “death” or “dead” or “murder” or some other synonym for “death” in the title.

Again, this year, the loose definition of “classic” is anything over 50 years old. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a large, daunting novel you’ve been putting off for years. It could be a play or a memoir. It could be a biography. Just don’t do what I did the first year and force myself to read things I thought I should be reading. It made for a long, unfulfilling year of reading.

Join us. The goal is to expand our reading horizons, and 10 books isn’t too much work.

I also ask that you try to post comments on the blog, and not on my Facebook posts. I’m happy to see comments both places, but would love to turn this blog into a place where we can have a friendly, ongoing conversation about books. Write thoughts about the books you read or let me know you disagree with my comments. Failing that, I’d even appreciate a “like” if, indeed, you do.

Speaking of this blog:

Every year, WordPress gives me a year-end report of activity on the site. 2015 was my first full year with the blog (I started it in October, 2014) and while I wish there were more discussion on the pieces, I’m pretty happy with the numbers.

I wrote 49 posts last year. My posts were read more than 1,800 times by people in 16 different countries. Still, I only have a few followers (you can become one by clicking on the Follow button) and most of the readers are being referred by my Facebook page. I’d love more followers and I’d love you to share the posts you like with your friends.

So, that’s all I have to say, except: Let’s get reading!


7 thoughts on “Hey Classics Challengers: New year, new challenge. Join us!

  1. Pingback: In ‘Lucy Barton,” a woman tries to figure herself out – Shelf Improvement

  2. Pingback: A new novel offers a stranger ‘Stranger’ – Shelf Improvement

  3. Pingback: Classics Challengers: The first category is a re-read | Shelf Improvement

  4. Jenni Clark

    I’m in once again Ron. It’s been quite enjoyable thus far to embark on reads I might otherwise not even open … Have one last book to complete for the 2015 gig so let me know when it’s time to begin!


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