2014 Classics Challenge

Classics Challenge
I’ve really enjoyed reading more classics over the past two years. It’s meant that I have read 24 ‘classic’ books, which is more than I had read in my entire lifetime before I started the challenge. I do tend to stretch the meaning of ‘classic’ – I’ve read Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie alongside Charlotte Brontë and Oscar Wilde. I’ve read non-fiction like In Cold Blood alongside children’s classics like Mary-Mary. And I’ve enjoyed the majority of them; some of them have become favourites of mine.

If you’ve seen my 2014 bookish resolutions, you’ll know that I’m continuing with the ‘classics challenge’ this year, alongside the 50 Book Challenge. You can see the classics I read in 2012 here and in 2013 here. I’ll also link to each book review I write this year below. I now have a ‘classics’ shelf on Goodreads, which should help me decide what to pick up next! I am determined to read Great Expectations this year…

Classics Read in 2014

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

The BFG by Roald Dahl
★★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

The Witches by Roald Dahl
★★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

Merry Christmas: And Other Christmas Stories by Louisa May Alcott
★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
★★★ • Goodreads • Buy

Five Children and It by E. Nesbit
★★★★ • Goodreads • Buy


If you’d like to join in, add your link so we all can see who else is participating (or sign up over at the Book Blogging Challenge Directory). If you’re on Tumblr, make a list there and tag your posts #2014 classics challenge!).

31 thoughts on “2014 Classics Challenge

  1. I love that you read so many classics!

  2. Love Dickens. My favorite is a toss between Great Expectations and David Copperfield. Maybe Tale of Two Cities, but that was after hearing that another book I enjoyed mirrored that storyline.

    My suggestion for Dickens — for any of his lengthy works: read it alongside another book. Read three chapters of Dickens, and then put it down to read another book or several chapters from another book. His works were published serially and meant to be read across a long span of time. If you read it all at once, it becomes too dense, sometimes too predictable or repetitive. It’s like marathoning a TV show — when you watch it weekly, little nuances of the characters don’t bother you. But if you marathon it, they can sometimes be irksome. Take the same approach with Dickens!

  3. imaginativeminds

    I love classics!! I own a lot that I have yet to read, this is such a good idea! Can’t wait to join 🙂

    • That’s lovely! Which ones would you suggest for people just starting out?

      • imaginativeminds

        Good question! I find when people are just starting out with classics they get frustrated easily with the language.

        To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
        1984 by George Orwell
        The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
        One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
        Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
        I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
        Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen (actually anything Jane Austen!!)
        Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
        Lord of the Flies by William Golding

        Oops. So much for a couple! These are all just in my opinion. Also, I highly agree with Laura. I read Great Expectations all at once and did not enjoy it, I read it again while also reading another book and I found I could appreciate it more.

  4. I really enjoy classics, I haven’t read many of late but I hope that changes soon. I like Laura’s idea when it comes to reading Dickens, I have two of his books on my shelf that I’m keen to tackle soon.
    Good luck with challenge for 2014!

  5. I’m really tempted to join this, because I am rubbish at classics. However, I don’t really own that many and my goal this year is to get through some of the unread on my shelf. Maybe next year?

  6. A really lovely idea. I always try to read a classic alongside something more contemporary – currently reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover! And brilliant that the Kindle has so many for free – really accessible and makes it a lot easier to reach your goal!

    Nell at And Nell Writes

  7. I also enjoy classics. I lean more towards classical classics though. I am currently trying to read Aeneid. I started out with classics initially, but soon got lost in the glittery world of modern books. 🙂

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  9. Even though it’s already March, I’m going to join in your Classics Challenge. I’ve read several over the years, but I read many in high school that I want to re-read as an adult I think I will get more out of them. I think I may start with A Tale of Two Cities for this month. It’s been on my list for a good while.

    • Go for it! It’s totally okay to start a bit late as you just need to read one a month – it doesn’t matter when you start. I’ve never read A Tale of Two Cities but it’s on my list too. I hope you enjoyed it, if you’ve already finished 🙂

  10. I don’t know what I’m getting myself into, but I’ve just signed up… I agree with the comment above : I couldn’t “get hooked” on Zola as a teenager, too many descriptions, but more than a decade later, I immensely enjoyed reading “Au bonheur des dames”. 🙂

    • Excellent! I hope you enjoy the challenge 🙂 Have you chosen your first one?

      • Yep. “The Woman in White” by W. Collins (though I’ve just read “Wives and Daughters” by E. Gaskell, and I think I’ll count it as no.1 since I’m starting late ! 🙂

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