books

I Am Participating in Classics-A-Thon!

One of my reading goals for 2019 is to make sure that I participate in at least one readathon each month.  So far, I’m actually finding that my favorite readathons are longer, allowing me to pursue the challenges and goals at my own pace.  This way, if I want to take a break from reading and play The Witcher 3 or whatever other titles I’m playing at a given moment, I can do that without feeling guilty about it.  For the month of May, I felt like challenging myself to read in a genre that I don’t pick up nearly enough, which led me to participate in Classics-A-Thon.

Classics-A-Thon runs for the entire month of May and is hosted by Steph, Carly, and Emily.  The premise is simple:  For one month, read as many classic books as possible.  I know that, as someone with a degree in English, I always say that I enjoy reading classics.  At the end of the day, however, if someone hands me the latest novel that everyone is gushing about and a nineteenth-century classic, it’s not difficult to figure out which one I’m going to read first.  Prioritizing classics is a difficult task because they just aren’t as traditionally fun to read as their modern counterparts, so I am completely on board with the premise of Classics-A-Thon.

I’m not going to be making a formal TBR for this readathon because I’m far too much of a mood reader to be successful with this.  Last month, I participated in the magical OWLs readathon and actually completed one book from my planned TBR and the other eleven were impulse picks.  That experience definitely taught me a lesson going forward.  Instead, I’m just going to discuss a few categories of titles that I may attempt to get around to throughout the month.

First of all, I am a huge fan of children’s literature and seeing how it evolves over the years.  I plan on writing a separate post about this later, but it’s a long-term goal of mine to read everything that has ever been nominated for or won a Newberry medal.  Therefore, I intend to cross a few more books off the list this month that are a little older.  Additionally, I’ve been simultaneously working on reading everything on the 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up list, so that’s another place to find some inspiration.  While I won’t set anything in stone, I own copies of both The Phantom Tollbooth and A Wrinkle in Time, so those seem like likely candidates to pick up this month.

Of course, if I’m reading through the children’s edition of the 1001 Books list, it seems only fair to also look at the adult version, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.  Unlike the children’s list, I’m not as wedded to the possibility of finishing all of the books here, mostly because there are a few I couldn’t be paid to pick up, but it is fun to watch my percentage read go up and up as I get older.  I don’t know if I will pick anything from this list, but let it be known that I consider anything on lists like these to be fair game for picking classics, even if some of them are on the more modern side of things.

Emma

There are a few authors that I would love to get to at some point this month.  The one book that I can formally commit to is Emma by Jane Austen because it’s a group read for Classics-A-Thon (Technically, the group is also reading The Bell Jar, but I don’t have a copy on hand, so I probably won’t get to it).  I read Persuasion in college a few times and absolutely adore it, so it seems fair to give her another shot at some point in my life.  Emma is actually a five-star prediction for me, so it will be fun to see how I actually feel about it upon completion.

Another author that I would love to get to is John Steinbeck.  I read The Pearl from him a few years ago and loved it, but actually heard after the fact that it is considered to be one of his worst works.  If I enjoyed one of his most disliked books, then I should adore everything else from him, right?  He has all kinds of books to choose from, so I should be able to find something to pick up and enjoy.  If anyone has any suggestions for where to start with Steinbeck, I would be happy to hear them!

Overall, I’m really excited about Classics-A-Thon and hope I find some new favorite classics!  On my YouTube channel, I have some videos planned throughout the month of May that will be celebrating classic literature, and I hope to write a few posts on my blog, as well.  I’m even considering how I can bring video games into the spirit of classics by having some discussions about nostalgia, the most influential titles, and even playing a few older experiences throughout the month.  I’m going to be creating some awesome content this month and I hope you all enjoy what I have planned!

What are your favorite classic reads?  Let me know in the comments below!  Additionally, if you enjoy the content on my blog, check out my Amazon associate link.  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.  When you buy anything using my link, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you.  Go to Amazon.

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Categories: books, readathon, reading

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11 replies »

  1. I love this sort of challenge. I always had an interest in classics but would rarely, if ever, pick one up, until I started my blog seven years ago and participated in a few of these. Now they’re part of my regular reading schedule!

    If you’re looking for shorter classics for the read-a-thon, one of my favourite novels is Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog). It’s basically a book made up entirely of funny side-tangents, so it could be hit or miss if you don’t connect with the humour.

    For Steinbeck, I loved The Grapes of Wrath, although it is a bit of a commitment. Cannery Row is a shorter work that really showcases his humour, beautiful language, and skill with characterization. His non-fiction (although some think maybe slightly fictional) account of driving around America, Travels with Charley, is also a great read.

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  2. Best of luck with your classics reading! Although they can be harder to read than modern books, they can also be rewarding 🙂
    Some of my faves are Emma, Villette (by Charlotte Bronte), Little Women and Great Expectations. I haven’t actually read any Steinbeck, sorry I can’t recommend one to you.

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    • I can’t wait to add to my overall classics repertoire after this month! I’m also just generally hoping that this will get me back into the habit of reading one or two a month.

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  3. I’m currently reading Middlemarch, which I’ve never read before, so it’s one of my literary sins. It is FANTASTIC. I love it so much. So far, George Eliot and Henry James have not let me down with a single thing they’ve written. I recommend anything by them.

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    • I read Romola by George Eliot and didn’t care much for it, but I suspect it was a bad first book (i.e. not her most popular work) and I was also 18 and not yet far into my Victorian-era studies. I’d like to give her another try now that I have a better context of the era. Do you have a specific book you’d recommend from her?

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  4. I’m listening to One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, on Audible – among other books that I’m reading, none other classics. I read a lot of Classics when I was at college, including most of Jane Austen’s novels, and a few by Dickens and Conrad. I read Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca recently. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings is my favourite book and a classic + Orwell’s 1984. As for reading Challenges, I’m sticking to the Goodreads 2019 one plus a Cloak & Dagger Challenge that includes thrillers and crime & mysteries.

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    • Rebecca is definitely one I’m interested in picking up eventually. I’ve read The Hobbit several times for college and Fellowship on my own, but I’ve never continued with Tolkien’s works. I should probably get on that given how much I love fantasy!

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