My hunger for the classics was piqued with Booklogged's Winter Classics Challenge, and so when Kathrin announced that she was going to host her own Classics Reading Challenge, I could not resist joining in. There are quite a few classics sitting among my TBR collection, and so there was no shortage of books to chose from. Kathrin tasked her participants with reading three to five classic novels over the course of five months, from July 1st to November 30th. I selected only three books for this challenge because I wanted to avoid being overwhelmed with this and all my other reading commitments.
My Classics Selections:
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
What was my favorite Classics novel book of the three I read?
You would think it might be Arthur Conan Doyle's novel considering how much I like mysteries, but in truth my favorite by far is Persuasion by Jane Austen. It was an entertaining and uplifting story. I enjoyed spending time with the characters and losing myself in Jane Austen's world.
What book could I have done without?
I can honestly say that there was not one book I regret reading. Although I have mixed feelings about Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, I am still glad I read it.
Did you try out a new author for this challenge? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again?
Both Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle were authors whose work I had not read before. Being a mystery lover, I felt it was about time I read a novel featuring the famous Sherlock Holmes and his sidekick Dr. Watson. I will most likely read more by Mr. Doyle in the future should one of his novels come my way. As for the other, I had long been fascinated with the character of Dorian Gray and thought this would be the perfect time to read the book in which he was born. The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel, but he has written poetry, short stories and plays. I may someday try reading some of his short story work since it's been recommended, however, I will not be rushing out to do so. And I would never pass up the opportunity to see one of his plays again if circumstances make it possible.
Persuasion was the third Jane Austen novel I have read, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope to eventually read all of the author's novels.
What was the best part of the Classics Reading Challenge?
For the most part, I enjoyed many of the classic novels I have read over the years, even as required reading in school. My enjoyment of reading spans a broad spectrum of subject matter and time periods. There's still a hesitancy in selecting a classic novel to read over, say, a more contemporary piece of work, however. Somehow reading a classic carries the stigma of being work or something that requires more effort than perhaps I want to put into it. Sometimes that is true, but many times, I have found, it is not--at least not on a personal level. The classics are not so different than any other book I read, not really. They may hold a more honored place in literary history because they are older and have stood the test of time, but my expectations when I read them are the same I have for any other lesser known book. I read for a variety of reasons, but nearly always for pleasure. Reading is something I do as a hobby. Whether I am seeking knowledge, escape, comfort, inspiration, some deeper meaning, to feel, or simply to go on an adventure, I want to have fun doing it. I have found all of that in the classics as well as the non-classics.
All this to say that Kathrin's Classics Reading Challenge inspired me to renew my interest in the classics, reminding me yet again how much I do enjoy reading them. Most of the time, anyway.
Thank you, Kathrin, for hosting this wonderful challenge.