Welcome to the 2016 Classics Challenge!

2016 Classics Challenge

I’ve really enjoyed reading classics over the past four years. I have read 45 books for the challenge: Roald Dahl and Judy Blume alongside Emily Brontë and Daphne du Maurier. I’ve read non-fiction alongside children’s classics. See the books I read in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

I am continuing with the challenge in 2016 – and I’d love for you to join me! Your task is to read one classic per month and blog, vlog, instagram or tweet about your experience. Don’t forget to tag your posts with #2016ClassicsChallenge (or #2016 Classics Challenge). If you’d like to blog/vlog during the challenge, you might like to answer the below questions each month – but this isn’t compulsory. (And you’re welcome to use the above banner and button!).

If you didn’t join the challenge in January, don’t worry, you can start any time!

WHEN I Discovered This Classic
WHY I Chose to Read It
WHAT Makes It A Classic
WHAT I Thought of This Classic
WILL It Stay A Classic
WHO I’d Recommend It To

It’s up to you to define ‘classic’ and choose your books. I personally categorise books under pre-1945 (older classics), post-1945 (modern classics) and children’s classics, but that’s just me! I’ve recommended 24 classics here.

Sign up to the Challenge

Click here to sign up to the challenge. Add your name and blog (or twitter, instagram, YouTube channel) to the list and see who else is participating!

Welcome to the 2016 Classics Challenge!

Sign up to the Newsletter

Click here to sign up to the challenge newsletter. You’ll be the first to hear about all the exciting things you can get involved with.


#ChatClassics on Twitter

I’ll be hosting #ChatClassics all year on Twitter. Join in with live chats – from tweeting classics recommendations to discussing the definition of ‘classic’ – every 3 months. Join us on each chat date, follow the hashtag, and chat classics! We’ll be talking about older classics on Monday 25th July at 8pm BST – see what time this is in your timezone here.

View highlights from the previous chats here and find me at @theprettybooks.

One Last Thought

Remember, this is a no pressure, non-judgmental and guilt-free challenge! If you’re not enjoying a classic, put it down and pick up another. Read the classics you want to read rather than the ones you feel you ought to read. It’s also fine to take a break.

Classics I’ve Read in 2016

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson
★★★★ • Goodreads

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome
★★★★ • Goodreads

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
★★★ • Goodreads

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
★★★ • Goodreads

George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
★★★★ • Goodreads

Which classics will you be reading this year? Let me know in the comments!

222 thoughts on “Welcome to the 2016 Classics Challenge!

  1. The Secret Garden is my first classic of the year. Very excited for 2016 Classics Challenge! Thanks!

  2. Just signed up and look forward to the opportunity to tick some classics off the list and maybe reread a few old favourites!

  3. Got my January read ready from Christmas – looking forward to reading my way through the classics (even the really really really long ones!)

    Annalise x

  4. I only read 6 classics this year (failing hard), but I have yet to choose January’s read yet. I think I’ll visit my library next Saturday and see what catches my eye. I really plan on doing much better next year!

  5. Signed up! ✊I’m hoping to read Frankenstein in January.

  6. Definitely time to reread Jane Eyre now I have my new edition!

  7. Wow, what a great idea! No idea where to start though….!

  8. This is great! I love that you have a hashtag for this challenge. 🙂 My first classic in 2016 will either be Behind the Scenes by Elizabeth Keckley, or one of the Little House books. Happy 2016 to you! 🙂

  9. I actually can’t choose which I’m going to read! It’s between Wuthering Heights, Pride and Prejudice and The Scarlet Letter! Although I suppose I’m leaning towards Wuthering Heights because of how grim the weather is today :’)

  10. Sounds like an awesome challenge! I really should read more classics. I have some on my shelves, but I’ve never gotten to reading them…

  11. I think I’m going to start off with A Room of One’s Own for this challenge. I’m trying to read as many Feminist texts as I can for an essay I’m submitting for a competition in March, and seeing as it’s one of the most iconic feminist texts, I might as well!

  12. A great challenge! I think I’ll start with Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca”. I’ve had this book for over two years and never got around to read it.

  13. Just signed up and I am so excited! I’ve been looking for a Classics Challenge for a couple of weeks so I LOVE that I happened upon yours!

    I’m hoping to read The Catcher in the Rye in January (although that might change)

  14. I’ve been on a bit of a pirate kick lately so I’m going with Treasure Island!

  15. Just signed up! Think I will read Frankenstein. I also have Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s sequel sitting on my shelf, so might be cheeky and class that as a modern classic.

  16. I plan on reading Madam Bovary first! 🙂

  17. Just signed up! and I just got 9 classics so I’ll have to decide what to read for January!

  18. Very excited for this! Great idea, Stacey. I’ll be kicking off January with Dracula, since I just bought a shiny new copy.

  19. I have yet to choose a classic for January, but I do want to read We Have Always Lived in the Castle. I just have to buy it.

  20. This is an absolutely wonderful challenge! I would love to join in but I must still take some time to think it over (after all there are a few days left of 2015 for me to make a decision!)

  21. Ah, this challenge is perfect! I’ve been pushing myself to read more classics but I guess I should push myself more this new year. I have The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Oedipus on my stack and Thomas Ligotti’s short story collections.

    • I found that the challenge is a great motivation! And if it’s too much, you could always read a few classics in a month and then have a little break! (I used to end up reading 3-4 over the winter break, but I’ve got a bit better at keeping on track!).

  22. I’m hoping to read many more classics this year. Little Women, Peter Pan, and a couple of Austen’s works. This is really nice of you, so thank you!

  23. My first classic will be Watership Down or Far From the Madding Crowd. So excited for both of these! I’ve heard wonderful things about We Have Always Lived in the Castle!

  24. Ah, I was doing so well on this year’s challenge – and then flunked out around September! Determined to follow through this year – I think my first book will be the sequel to Anne of Green Gables!

  25. deadpoetsmusings

    I’m so happy that you’re continuing the Classics Challenge in 2016! I participated in 2015 and it was a lot of fun and I read some of my favourite books (A Room with A View, A Room of One’s Own, Pride and Prejudice, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights) so I’m participating again in 2016. Thanks for organizing it! I’ll start with something short so its either Animal Farm by George Orwell or The Pearl by John Steinbeck as my first 2016 classic.

    • That’s really wonderful to hear – thank you for joining again! It’s always worth it when a classic you never would have normally picked up becomes a favourite.

  26. Just signed up! should be fun, I’ve got lots of classics lined up to read 😉

    on tumblr, should I track “2016 classics challenge” or “2016classicschallenge”?

  27. I’m sad to say I have read so few classics. Maybe five? And about three were for school assignments. I hope to read Persuasion by Jane Austen come January.

  28. I’ve only read a couple for class readings, so I’m excited about diving deeper into them. I own quite a few classics but have read none of them so far! I’m going to start out the challenge with reading Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll because I got a very beautiful edition for my birthday. ^-^

  29. I’m going to start the reading challenge with “The Great Gastby” and I think my next will be “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. I love classics and can not read to many.

  30. Fantastic challenge!

    I read crazy fast (like, devour-a-novel-in-four-hours fast) so I’m going to *challenge* myself to read a classic per week, really slow down and absorb each of them. I think I’ll buy a journal and take notes, savor the process.

    I’ll start with my favorite, P&P. I know it so well but I do think the notes-taking will make it more interesting! Maybe something will stand out that I’ve glossed over so many times!

  31. Started Catch-22 last week. Hope to be done by the end of January!

  32. Since I signed up yesterday, I’ve been thinking about what books to include. I’ve come up with a shortlist of 16 but not sure if they all count as classics – I’d value opinions on my list:

    * Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allen Poe
    * Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
    * A Scandal in Bohemia and other Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
    * My Antonia by Willa Cather
    * The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
    * Being Dead by Jim Crace
    * The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble
    * Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
    * Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie
    * The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
    * Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
    * Atonement by Ian McEwan
    * Emma by Jane Austen
    * Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
    * Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
    * The Awakening by Kate Chopin

  33. Going to use the challenge as an excuse to crack my Jane Austen collection and start 2016 with her novels!

  34. I just signed up today! So glad I found this before the new year! I’ve been looking for a good reason to drag out my Classics TBR pile and dig in. Now I’ve found it!

    I think I’ll go with Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 for January. I have a few others laying about on my shelves that will likely make the list and re-read a few of my favourites (A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre for sure to re-read)

  35. Love this Challenge!! This is destiny, cause I was just thinking that I need/want to read more classics, and magically your post appeared on Goodreads. I’m so happy about it, and I will obviously participate this year 🙂

  36. Such a brilliant idea! I picked up 12 classics to read during 2016 before knowing about this challenge so let’s hope I can do this!

  37. It seems only fair to join in too! I’ll post some vlogs through the year on our classics; some old and some new to the list. Hopefully see some of you in the comments there!

  38. Very excited to be taking part in my first ever Classics Challenge! It’s such a fab idea – I’ve been meaning to read more Classics!

  39. Yes! Count me in! Thanks for hosting this 🙂

  40. I think my first book I’ll read will be Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I’m super excited to challange myself this year, so this is the perfect opportunity!

  41. I just singed up for this challenge.
    I accidentally found you on Goodreads and then I saw the challenge, so I had to join, it looks interesting. Thank you for putting so much effort into this.
    Now, I ‘just’ have to decide which classic is going to be the first read this year. 😀

  42. I am stoked for this!!!! I’m already looking through the list to choose my first book!

  43. My first one will be “The Picture Of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde. I have been wanting to read this for a very long time so why not now :).

  44. I love the idea of a classics Challenge! I’ll start with “the scarlet letter”, Hawthorne 🙂

  45. Oooh I am totally in on this one! I’ve been neglecting classics for a while, time to get in gear!

  46. Such a wonderful challenge! I’m working through a list of classics at the moment and this is exactly the motivation that I need. I’m going to be reading Dispatches by Michael Herr as my first modern classic of the year.

  47. Just joined this challenge, I’m really looking forward to reviewing all 12 of the classics I read. Noticed you’ve read some Shirley Jackson this year already, I love her work and I’m sure she’ll be appearing as some of my choices this year!

  48. Saw this on twitter and I just had to sign up, thanks for starting this!
    I’ve been reading a few classics over the last couple of months, but this is just the thing to encourage me to keep going and try something new!
    Looking forward to discovering new favourites, now the only problem is deciding what to read first!
    Thanks again, good luck to all challengers 🙂

  49. I read 160 odd books last year and must have read hundreds of classics over the years (definitely did so at uni) so this’ll be a nice chance to encourage myself to read some old friends.

  50. Finished my first classic yesterday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Loved it. You can find my review on shelfari or via twitter @cassandra2020

  51. Hi there! I’ve recently started a book blog and decided to take up your classics challenge alongside it. Many classics I’ve read await reviewing, and many more still await reading! Hopefully this challenge will motivate me. :))

  52. A great challenge, I’ve signed up. I’m going to start with Virginia Woolf as I’ve still never managed to finish one of her books yet…

  53. I just joined this challenge and I’m pretty excited about it! My original goals was to read about 8 classics, but why not try to read 12?

  54. Definitely going to attempt this! Don’t know how far I’ll get but hey ho, no harm in trying!

  55. Its been ages since I read a classic, any recommendations? (preferably something fool-proof)

  56. I just found out about this challenge but as it happens I’m reading Brave New World, total coincidence, and sharing my thoughts on Pendora as I read along. Should be fun!

  57. Just started listening to the Diary of a Young Girl buy Anne Frank and have developed my list of other classics I’d like to read this year.

  58. As I Lay Dying by Faulkner will be my first classic!! Then I’ll be reading Anthem by Ayn Rand. Always love my classics 🙂

  59. I just read Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories as my classic for January.

    Now it’s onto Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses.

    Loving the challenge so far!



  60. I just found out about this challenge, I don’t know that I’ll be able to read one before the end of the month, is it still cool to sign up and just start in February?

  61. Made a last minute decision to sign up for the Classics Challenge, as it’s in line with one of my personal resolutions for the year! I’m hoping to try to read at least 15 books, but we shall see how that goes 😉

  62. Hi saw this just today and have signed up. Good because I am about to finish my first read of the year: Victor Hugo’s Ninety Three. Thanks for hosting the challenge.

  63. Hi here’s my review of Ninety Three by Victor Hugo. Sorry but I can’t see the review linky anywhere so leaving a link in comments:


  64. I’ve just signed up, hopefully it’s not too late! I read Northanger Abbey in January so I need to pick which classic to read in February

  65. That’s number 2 finished. The Awakening by Kate Chopin. I’m afraid shelfari is closing down, so I’ve decamped to Goodreads. You can find my review of this (and all my other reading) there. Link for this one:

  66. I know I’m a little late, but I signed up for the 2016 Classics Challenge!

    I had originally signed up on my Tumblr (theresalikesbooks) when you first announced the classics challenge, but forgot completely about it, and I very recently just created this WordPress blog, and decided to sign up, and didn’t realize I had already registered with my Tumblr until I registered again with this blog. So, I do apologize for registering twice! I look forward to participating and reading many classics this year, though. 🙂

  67. I’m a little late, but I’m looking forward to starting this! Classic books always manage to relax me, which a valuable thing when I get stressed over school. There’s quite a few I’ve been meaning to read too.

  68. Just now got to know about this Challenge !! I missed reading a classic in January !! Is it okay !? I am reading a classic now. Gulliver’s travel by Jonathan Swift !!

  69. Joining in! I happened to read Allen Ginsberg in January, and I’m planning to read Flannery O’Connor next. I don’t know if I’ll get to it before the end of February, but I’m going to read Everything That Rises Must Converge.

    Great challenge! I’ve been wanting to do something like this.

  70. […] was the first month that I participated in The Pretty Books’ 2016 Classics Challenge, which is where each month you read at least one classic book of your […]

  71. […] year, I am participating in this reading challenge hosted by The Pretty Books. The main goal is to try to read a Classic per month. In order to be better organized and avoid […]

  72. […] also completed Persuasion for the Pretty Books Classics Challenge. I hadn’t visited an Austen work since high school, and had never read that particular one […]

  73. […] poet Sappho, born on Lesbos, and was said to have died around 570 BCE. This was my third for the 2016 Classics Challenge, held by […]

  74. […] is my first instalment in the 2016 Classics Challenge; here’s more about the Classics Challenge as a whole and also my personal […]

  75. […] This book is my March read for the 2016 Classics Challenge. […]

  76. Just signed up! I love classics but I don’t often have the chance to read them, I hope this challenge will help me with that! Thanks for this opportunity 😀

  77. […] My classic of the month, as part of the 2016 Classics Challenge was: […]

  78. […] the graphic novels I really, really underestimated what I was capable of. Let’s see, for the Pretty Books Challenge I read Persuasion, and added Blankets to my list of locations for Read About Where. My time […]

  79. […] been taking part in the 2016 Classics Challenge, hosted by the lovely Stacey of The Pretty Books. So far this year I’ve read Dracula and The Devil’s Elixirs, and for March I […]

  80. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  81. Read Down and Out in Paris and London at the beginning of the month > https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1596350144

  82. […] :  I really need to increase my Goodreads goal of 52. I read The Catcher in the Rye for the Pretty Books Challenge. I added a few places (including the Ocean, wooo!) for Read About Where. When are You […]

  83. […] My classic of the month, as part of the 2016 Classics Challenge was: […]

  84. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  85. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  86. […] A new reading year is here. You made your New Year’s resolutions, probably broke a couple of them already, betted on Goodreads about the amount of books you’ll read this year. It’s time for the 2016 Classics Challenge. […]

  87. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  88. […] Status : The Goodreads goal of 52 is about to be shattered, so huzzah for that. For the Pretty Books Challenge I breezed through The Turn of the Screw. I didn’t really add anything new to Read About […]

  89. […] been taking part in the 2016 Classics Challenge, hosted by the lovely Stacey of The Pretty Books. Earlier this year I read Dracula, The Devil’s Elixirs and Uncle Silas. For April and […]

  90. Finally got round to writing up my May reading… This month it was Being Dead by Jim Crace, review here: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1628130736?book_show_action=false

  91. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  92. […] been taking part in the 2016 Classics Challenge, hosted by Stacey of The Pretty Books. So far this year I’ve read Dracula, The Devil’s Elixirs, Uncle Silas and (part […]

  93. […] already participating in ThePrettyBook’s 2016 Classics Challenge, so I already try to read at least one classic a month.  However, I’d really like to try and […]

  94. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  95. […] Challenge Status : The Goodreads goal of 52 is complete! For the Pretty Books Challenge I’m using The Killing Joke because it’s considered a classic, ok? I didn’t […]

  96. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  97. […] been taking part in the 2016 Classics Challenge, hosted by Stacey of The Pretty Books. So far this year I’ve […]

  98. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  99. […] the Pretty Books 2016 Classic Challenge, I read Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  Check out my post about that […]

  100. […] because of this, I’m afraid that I can’t give a precise timing! #ChatClassics is linked to the 2016 Classics Challenge, which is also run by Stacey, and it provides a chance to discuss the classics that people have […]

  101. […] Pretty Books Challenge – I finished War and Peace. […]

  102. […] is my book for February’s Pretty Books, 2016 Classics […]

  103. […] is my January book and first for the Pretty Books 2016 Classics […]

  104. […] Castle of Otranto is my March book for the Pretty Books 2016 Classics […]

  105. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  106. Just signed up for the 2016 Classics Challenge! Can’t wait to get started 😊

  107. […] Pretty Books Challenge – The Three Musketeers is my monthly contribution for that one. I’m undecided on September’s classic… maybe 1984 finally? […]

  108. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog: https://theprettybooks.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/2016-classics-challenge/ and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  109. […] the Pretty Books 2016 Classic Challenge, I read The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde.  Be sure to look for my post about it, […]

  110. […] month.  I ended up only reading 1 classic a month, but hey, at least I stayed on track for the Classics Challenge!  Also, I truly fully enjoyed all three of the classics I read.  So, even though I didn’t […]

  111. […] a lover of classical literature or want to try reading more of it then you should check out The 2016 Classics Challenge hosted by […]

  112. I’m so behind schedule with reviewing my books… have only just started on August! Here is my review of My Antonia by Willa Cather: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1712454778

  113. Shame I only just found this- I have been working through a collection of modern books from around the world, and classic books through the ages, many of which would have counted. But stay tuned for more to come 🙂

  114. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog: https://theprettybooks.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/2016-classics-challenge/ and follow@theprettybooks on […]

  115. […] actually ended up not reading any classic for the Pretty Books 2016 Classic Challenge this month! […]

  116. […] Pretty Books Challenge – Picnic at Hanging Rock. […]

  117. […] been taking part in the 2016 Classics Challenge, hosted by Stacey of The Pretty Books. I was planning to read a book a month, and though that’s not quite worked out (too many […]

  118. […] more information on the 2016 Classics Challenge, head over to the Pretty Books blog: https://theprettybooks.wordpress.com/2015/12/27/2016-classics-challenge/ and follow @theprettybooks on […]

  119. […] struggle is  r e a l !  I ended up not reading a single classic in October or November for the Pretty Books 2016 Classic Challenge! […]

  120. […] this year I am partaking in the 2016 Classics Challenge run by Stacey at PrettyBooks, I thought I’d answer the questions she sets […]

  121. […] strong in 2016, but I haven’t picked up a classic since August!  Last year I participated in The Pretty Books’ Classic Challenge, and while she is not continuing to host the challenge next year, I still plan on continuing the […]

  122. While I didn’t manage the 12 classics I was hoping to achieve, I’ve certainly read many books that I wouldn’t have got to yet without the impetus of a ‘challenge’. So glad I took part and here is my last read: Bleak House https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1604436192

  123. […] ikke så mange udfordringer for 2016, men et var at læse flere klassikere, og jeg fandt bloggen Prettybooks, der kørte en Classics Reading Challenge. Jeg har dog kun læst én klassiker i forbindelse med […]

  124. […] I planned to make a proper go at this challenge, after I only managed three books in 2015. I had all the best intentions – I was going to post a video every month on my YouTube channel about the challenge. I would still really like to do videos about each of these books, but the research involved is quite time consuming so I’m going to shelve this project for a later date. This challenge was hosted by Stacey at Pretty Books. […]

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