Reading Challenges

The main thing I look for in a Reading Challenge is something that will is, encourage me to read those books I've been meaning to read, but for some reason or another have been putting off for an interminable amount of time.  For 2015 I searched and searched, but so many of the reading challenges I found were of genres I don't have any interest in reading.  Now,I think people should read outside of their comfort zone and try genres they're not interested in once in awhile.  However, I wasn't going to sign up for an entire year of reading Westerns or YA Romance when I knew I wouldn't want to read more than one book.  So I went back to the classics with Back to the Classics 2015, hosted by

Of course as soon as I committed to a reading challenge, I began to read anything BUT the reading challenge's main criteria!  Thus I ended this year having read a vast amount of books, but still just barely finishing this particular challenge.  I have yet to write up a wrap-up post, so with the holidays coming up we'll see if I submit it in time

Below are the categories, with highlights on the ones I've still to read as well as the book I have read recorded underneath:

1.  A 19th Century Classic -- any book published between 1800 and 1899.
              A Tramp Abroad  by Mark Twain

2.  A 20th Century Classic -- any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)
             The Mystery of the Blue Train by Agatha Christie

3.  A Classic by a Woman Author.
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

4.  A Classic in Translation. As in last year's category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.  
The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

5.  A Very Long Classic Novel -- a single work of 500 pages or longer.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections. 
         Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

6.  A Classic Novella -- any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World's Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.
           The Clicking of Cuthbert by P.G. Wodehouse

7.  A Classic with a Person's Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn't matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote -- something like that. It's amazing how many books are named after people!
           Doctor Therne by H. Rider Haggard

8.  A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it's funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post. 
           Our Hearts Were Young and Gay by Cornelia Otis Skinner and Emily Kimbrough
9.  A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 ratings.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics, Persephone, and NYRB Classics often fall into this category.  
             God in the Dock by C.S. Lewis

10.  A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that's considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You'd be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing -- I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves. 
                 Notes from a Native Son by James Baldwin.

11.  A Classic Children's Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children's classic that you never got around to reading.
Grimm's Fairy Tales

12.  A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.  Plays are only eligible for this specific category.
                  Richard III by William Shakespeare

Reading Challenges Completed in 2014:
1) To read 100 books in a year.  
2) To finish reading the books on my history bookshelf. 

Reading Challenges Completed in 2013:
Rose City Reader's European Reading Challenge (Level 5)
Back to the Classics by Sarah Reads Too Much (Entry Total: 3)

Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge by My Reader's Block (11 books out of 37 categories) 
Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge by A Bookish Girl (Level: Lieutenant, at 19 books)


  1. Welcome to the challenge! Thanks for joining in the fun! I like your list of books. And I like how you include your thoughts/review right here in the same post. Cool idea.

    Rose City Reader

  2. Thank you for having me, Gilion! This is my first reading challenge and so far I'm really enjoying it.