Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Kathrin's Classics Reading Challenge Wrap Up

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.


  1. I often hesitate to pick up a classic too when, like you said, it often doesn't take much extra work to read. That's great that the challenge has renewed your interest in classics. So, what's next?

  2. Congrats on finishing two reading challenges! I participated in Booklogged's classics challenge early in the year and only read one book. Ugh. I hope the next time someone hosts a classics challenge I can participate and do much better.
    You know, as much as I love mystries I also haven't read any Doyle. Need to do something about that.

  3. I have yet to read a single Jane Austen novel. Shame on me, I know. Perhaps for the next Classics challenge.

  4. Good work on completing the challenge. I read 'Hounds' back in high school and didn't take much away from it, perhaps I should re-read it.

  5. Good job, and that reminds me, I need to write a wrap up for this challenge too.
    We read two of the same books - we apparently have the same sketchy classic background. I am like you though, and trying to make up some of the holes.

  6. I read "Hounds" for Booklogged's challenge and really liked it. And "Persuasion is on the list. I hope there is another classic challenge soon as I have found some titles that would be perfect.

  7. Tanabata - I'm afraid my classic reading has to make room for some of my other reading commitments the next few weeks. I have my eyes on a couple though that will probably be read before the end of the year.

    Iliana - Thank you! I like checking off my challenges as completed. :-) Maybe a little too much. Haha

    Nymeth - Well, get reading! LOL I know not everyone enjoys Austen's writing, but she's worth trying at least once if only just to get a taste.

    Kookie - Thanks! I know I've only read one Doyle book, but so far Agatha Christie is my favorite of the two. :-)

    Elizabeth - Thank you! There are quite a few classics I want to read that I havne't yet had the chance to. A person could devote a whole lifetime to reading just classics, couldn't they?

    Framed - Yes, I've got plenty more classics on my shelves to read! :-)

  8. I've been trying to read more classics, too. I loved Persuasion last year when I read it. I hope to read/reread all of Jane Austen's work soon.

  9. Danielle - I have such a long list of classics I still hope to read. I can see myself rereading Jane Austen's novels over and over again. I have read Pride and Prejudice a couple of times, which isn't too common for me. I'm not much of a rereader when it comes down to it, but I always intend to do more of it.

  10. Congratulations on finishing! I'm glad you don't regret reading The Picture of Dorian Gray. It's in my scary stacks, somewhere.

  11. Nancy - Thanks! I hope you will like The Picture of Dorian Gray more than I did. You probably well. :-)

  12. I really need to catch up on classics so maybe this can be the first challenge I'll join. Hmmm, going to check out details...

  13. Erin - You still have time if you want to join in the challenge. :-) I'm sure Kathrin won't mind at all.

  14. Congratulations on your classics challenge. Thought you might enjoy my list of classic novels.

  15. Thank you, Michael! You have quite a list there! It's a good selection. I've bookmarked the page so I can go back and visit again. Thanks for the link.


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