Welcome to the Classics Challenge 2011


Welcome to the Classics Challenge 2011 hosted by Stiletto Storytime

Choosing my reading challenges for the year is always one of my favorite things to do. This year I really wanted to incorporate a challenge into my classical reading tastes. I love classic literature. I love discovering those classics that have gotten away from me or re-reading my favorites. It’s been a love of mine for almost as long as I have been reading. In college I chose to study English Literature and then moved on to get my Master’s in Library Science so that I could share my love of classics with others. So in that spirit I have decided to host my very first challenge:

The Classics Challenge 2011

The challenge is simple: Read classic literature. It can be from any period or genre you choose. The only rule is that it must in some way be considered a classic. What is a classic you ask? A classic to me is a book that has in some way become bigger than itself. It’s become part of culture, society or the bigger picture. It’s the book you know about even if you have not read it. It’s the book you feel like you should have read.

There are four great levels in this challenge designed to suit any reading level and the main goal is to share classics you may or may not have known about otherwise. I encourage you to sign up below and add the challenge button to your blog. The Classics Challenge Page will also allow you to add your reviews as time goes by. Every few months I will post a wrap-up along with my own periodic reviews of the classics I am enjoying. And of course I will also be giving away prizes as the year progresses to those who participate. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. You can join at anytime. If you have a blog fantastic! If not then we still want you to read along with us. You can post reviews from any platform or just follow along and participate in comments.


Student: Read any 5 Classic Books

Bachelor’s Degree: Read any 10 Classic Books

Master’s Degree: Read any 20 Classic Books

P.H.D.: Read any 40 Classic Books

1. Courtney @ Stiletto Storytime 16. Rae Reads (Mesmeric Revelation) 31. Maria at To Read, Perchance to Dream
2. Katy @ A Few More Pages 17. Jessica @ Jessica’s Musings 32. Kris @Imaginary Reads
3. Laurel Ann (Austenprose) 18. Cristina @ Rochester Reader 33. Charla Wilson
4. Lee @ Butterfly Blessings 19. Okie 34. Linda
5. Julia – pagesofjulia 20. Michelle @ The True Book Addict 35. Kelly Lock @ Tea in a Teacup
6. Heather 21. Jaycie Smith 36. Tikabelle
7. Makenzie 22. Georgiane 37. K @ Baffled Books
8. Ricki @Reading Challenged 23. Tressa 38. Samantha @ Caught in the Pages
9. Aurora’s Creative Corner 24. Dara (Tales from the Writing Front) 39. Raychelle @ Steele Reviews
10. Melissa @ Jayne’s Books 25. Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Robert Louis Stevenson) – pagesofjulia 40. Ruby a year of reading my books blog
11. Katya 26. Main Street (Sinclair Lewis) – pagesofjulia 41. K @ Baffled Books
12. Vidya 27. Darlene 42. Tressa
13. Cheryl @ Tales of the Marvelous 28. Frances 43. Rae @ Silence in the Library
14. Sarah 29. Maria 44. faith hope & cherrytea
15. Jaime Anastasiow 30. Mariah @ Living, Loving, Laughing, Reading 45. You’re next!



Filed under Book Blogs, Challenges, Classic Literature, Reading Challenge

100 responses to “Welcome to the Classics Challenge 2011

  1. stilettostorytime

    Welcome to the Classics Reading Challenge 2011! What are you planning to read this year?

  2. I’m always up for more classics! I want to read a book by Dickens this year, as well as give Elizabeth Gaskell a try.

    • stilettostorytime

      Katy- Dickens and Gaskell are two of my favorites…I am sure I will be doing a few Gaskell books for this challenge! North and South is one of my absolute favorites.

  3. How lovely, what a great idea. I’m in. Thanks SST

  4. I haven’t counted how many classics I’ve read in a year before. I usually read a handful – so this will be a good way for me to concentrate on that as well. I also don’t usually write reviews on them on my blog because my followers are mostly newer romance readers. I usually rate and sometimes review them on Goodreads. Will that work or do I need to put the reviews on my blog as well?

    I’m not sure what I’ll read this year. Do we have to pick in advance?

    • stilettostorytime

      Lee- Thanks for joining…my goal is to keep it as simple as possible and make it enjoyable for everyone. You can review if you would like but it’s not required. Any platform from GoodReads, LibraryThing…etc. is acceptable. If you would like to choose your books ahead of time you may or choose as you go! It’s completely up to the reader! Enjoy!

  5. Pingback: Classics Challenge 2011 | Pagesofjulia's Blog

  6. What a wonderful idea. Thanks for giving me the excuse! I’m all over it!

  7. A simple yet great idea. I need more classics in my life. Hopefully I can manage the challenge!

  8. Ricki

    I’m going to try, but classics are exactly my favs.

    • stilettostorytime

      Ricki- Thanks for joining. Since I am using the term “classics” in a pretty broad sense, I hope you’ll be able to find some you enjoy! Just let me know if you want any suggestions based on your favorite authors or genres. I am also gonna make an effort to read and review a little bit of everything myself to give others lots of ideas!

  9. Pingback: Aurora's Creative Corner» Blog Archive » 2011 Reading Challenge: Classics

  10. Pingback: Aurora's Creative Corner» Blog Archive » 2011 Reading Challenges

  11. Definitely going to participate in this challenge. I think I’m having problems with Mr. Linky though… http://aurora-lee.ca/Creative/?p=684 Looking forward to it!

  12. Melissa

    What the heck! I’m in. In fact, this dovetails nicely with my self imposed lifetime challenge of reading 1001 Books to read Before You Die. I’m starting with the ones I can download to my Kindle via Project Gutenberg. So, I’ll shoot for 20.

    I’m glad I discovered your blog. I shall bookmark/subscribe to it immediately.

    • stilettostorytime

      Woohoo! This challenge should be perfectly paired then…there are so many classics available on Project Gutenberg! Enjoy!

  13. Pingback: Woo-Hoo! Another Reading Challenge « Swamp of Boredom

  14. Count me in. have just borrwed (may need to buy) Richardson’s “Clarissa”

  15. I definitely need to do that. Not only because I challenged myself to read 100 books this year (yay, Goodreads!), but I really, really, really need to finish off those two books by George Sand and “Vanity Fair”. Is Edgar Allan Poe considered classic? How about Robert Browning? James Joyce? I have a huge backlog of American Lit and I need to work through them…

    I hope it’s ok, I signed up my lj community as my webside. It’s pretty easy to find me – so far, I’m the only one who reviewed.

  16. stilettostorytime

    Katya-Absolutely. I would consider all of those authors in the classic category. I myself am going to try and read some Twain and a re-read of “An American Tragedy”. Thanks for joining the challenge and happy reading in 2011!

  17. Pingback: Upcoming Reading & Writing Challenges, & Literary Blog Events in 2011 « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  18. I love classics. I’m currently reading Portrait of the artist as a young man and Dracula. I’ll also be reading Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre and perhaps a few others.

  19. I’m in over my head but I’d like to give the Bachelor’s Degree a try! I’ve got Gaskell, Austen (Northanger Abbey), Defoe, Fielding, Sterne etc. down!

    Blog address to refer to: http://niclikesausten.wordpress.com

  20. Love this challenge.. I am planning to accomplish my goal of working towards my 1001 Books to Read list and read classics from that list.

  21. I’m in. I LOVE the classics and plan to read a bunch this year so I might as well join this challenge. 😛 But since I’m already doing three other reading challenges, I will sign up for this one as a student and do five books.

    Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
    The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
    Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackery
    Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne

    I look forward to doing this! 🙂

    Link to my lit blog where I will be writing my reviews:

  22. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges | Tales of the Marvelous

  23. I already had a goal to read more classic authors, so this is perfect! I want to read more classic British authors I feel like I should have read–Bronte, Austen–and more classic Sci Fi novels–Asimov, Bradbury. That may be an odd combination! 🙂

    • stilettostorytime

      Cheryl- Oddly enough I am a huge favorite of classics especially British ones such as Austen and the Brontes but then I also adore H.G. Wells…”The Time Machine” is one of my favorite books as is “Jane Eyre”. So you’re not alone!

  24. I’m in for a Bachelor’s Degree.

  25. Great challenge. I’ll shoot for whatever level I can get. 😉 Would love to hit Bachelor’s so that’s my secondary goal. At the very least, I should hit the student level.

    I’ve got a few classics on my docket as well as some that are “debatable” classics.

    The first “definite” classic I plan to read is Man in the Iron Mask. I also want to read another of my unread Dickens (thinking either Oliver Twist or David Copperfield).

    I’m currently reading a modern “classic”, at least one that made an international splash…The Name of the Rose. Not sure if that counts or not.

    And while it’s not the most well known, I’m reading The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie…my first Hercule Poirot novel.

    Other potential classics for the year include:
    Catch 221984 and/or Animal Farm (re-reads)Dr. FaustusPilars of the Earth and/or Atlas Shrugged and/or The Fountainhead (modern classics?)Don QuixoteThe Count of Monte Cristo

    Again. No idea yet which one’s I’ll get to. But I’m hoping to earn at least the STUDENT rank. 🙂

    Thanks for the challenge.

  26. Pingback: Moorland Cottage Group Read @ Gaskell Blog starts today! « Austenprose – A Jane Austen Blog

  27. Pingback: Challenge Update: Classics « Pagesofjulia's Blog

  28. I am so behind in reading my subscriptions that I just discovered this challenge. although I won’t be able to participate myself, I posted about it at A Novel Challenge: http://novelchallenges.blogspot.com/

  29. Jenifer A

    I don’t think classics should ever be considered a “challenge”. It has this connotation like you’ll be suffering through something, or that classics are inherently hard. The opposite is true. I have a hard time believing reading about a hellish hidden wife in the attic for something like “Jane Eyre” is the equivalent of Kant. Even the word “classics” is loaded. These are just books that have endured because they are awesome.

  30. stilettostorytime

    I agree Jenifer! For me classics have never been a challenge because they are my preferred genre to be honest….especially 18-19th century British works. However I do not that is not the case for everyone. But that is the fun of this challenge because it’s classics of all types or as you say books that are simply “awesome”!

  31. bjdoureaux

    I joined the challenge! I’ll shoot for a Bachelor’s Degree and try to read 12 (1 per month, though I’ll have to do two in one month to make up for January).

  32. Pingback: Classics Challenge 2011 « Jessica's Musings

  33. Hi! What a great idea. I’ve been meaning to read classic literature again for a while now but never get around to it. This challenge is ideal for me. First up is ‘Pickwick Papers’ and a little more Dickens throughout the year, perhaps some Austen, Mary Shelley, Gaskell, Henry James and maybe Edith Wharton. We shall see!

  34. Planning to get at least one more Jane Austen under my belt…among others. Great challenge!

  35. I am now participating! I’ve already read two classics this year, The Hobbit and The Count of Monte Cristo. I can’t wait to see how many classics are read at the end of the year!

  36. Pingback: Your Jane Austen Reading Challenges! « Jane Austen in Vermont

  37. A little late in finding out about this, but I’ll be participating nonetheless. A very good idea and something that will set me to reading some books I have on the shelves and have been wanting to read. I am already participating in the Gaskell challenge so I can add my two books to my list. Now… for the rest!!!

  38. stilettostorytime

    Welcome to all out latest participants! Happy Reading!

  39. I’m rather late in finding out about this, but I’ve always loved classics (my preferred genre…though I am biased), so I’d love to join.

  40. Here’s my intro post for the challenge with a list of some of the books I plan to read. In addition to those, I just found Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs at the library and decided to add that – I’ve never read it. I think that qualifies as a classic. I’m hoping for the Master’s degree, but we’ll see!

  41. I’m not familiar with challenges (and whether or not you link back) but seeing that others have linked to their posts here, I’ll follow suit. Posts on “Paradise Lost”, “The Sound and the Fury” and “North and South”: http://frigatetoutopia.blogspot.com/2011/03/great-classics-milton-and-faulkner.html

  42. Tressa

    I’ve been meaning to join for a while, but the Jane Eyre giveaway reminded me to do it. 🙂 I have a couple Dickens novels I own that I haven’t read yet (Dickens is one of my favorite classic authors). I also have the complete works of Jane Austen, but haven’t read all of them, so I’ll be reading those. I would like to read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (have the movie and loved it). I then have two other books by Charlotte Bronte besides Jane Eyre that I need to read and then I have some others as well that I need to re-read. I should have no problem reaching the Bachelor’s level, but I’ll probably make the Master’s or PhD level. 🙂 I tried to add to your linky, but don’t know if it worked. I used my goodreads page as the link. I’m going to add a list there of the books I plan to read so far.

  43. What a great idea for a challenge. I’m in!

  44. Just signed up. I will try the Bachelor’s Degree level (10 classics). 🙂 Will post about this on my blog today or tomorrow!

  45. Julie Ann Witt

    I would like to join! I love the classics and I have been wanting to read more of them for a while now, but there never seems to be time. By signing up for this challenge, I am resolving to make it a priority, to make myself take the time to enjoy the classics instead of just reading current literature. I am going to start with Romeo and Juliet, then re-read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility (and probably Emma), then move on to Dickens and re-read A Christmas Carol. I’m only going to sign on as a student for now (I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself or it will feel like a burden, like trying to read as fast as I can to get through it for a school project lol), but hopefully I will be able to graduate from student to one of the higher levels as the year goes on. Since I already missed the beginning of 2011, I’d better get started!!! Thanks for the great idea and also for the great give-a-way! What a way to encourage people to read the great classics!

  46. Sonia Delgado

    I WILL join for sure,as i am a bookworm and adore the classics 🙂

  47. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges « Tales from the Writing Front

  48. Pingback: What is a Classic? « Pagesofjulia's Blog

  49. Thank God this book challenge exists! I haven’t been captivated by a classic for the last 2 years since attending college! I intend on reading “Wuthering Heights” (whenever borrowing it, I’ve always overlooked it but this time, I want to get to read it!), The Stranger (Albert Camus), The Trial (Kafka) and then I’ll see!

  50. stilettostorytime

    Welcome Stephanie! We are happy to have you along and can’t wait to see all your “classic” choices!!!

  51. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges – Update | Tales of the Marvelous

  52. Wednesday

    So excited for this challenge! I’m reading 3 books simultaneously as it is AND starting college this fall, so I’m just going to go for the student level. I already read Persuasion a couple of weeks ago, so my other four will probably be some combination of War of the Worlds, Utopia, the Aeneid, Slaughterhouse-Five, Dracula, and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.

  53. Stephanie

    Hey everyone! I started the challenge in March with Wuthering Heights but I didn’t manage to get into the novel as much as I wanted to. I’m definitely team Jane Eyre! Anyway, I started reading Miles Franklin’s “My brilliant career”, an inspiring coming-of-age story about a rebellious teenage girl in early 20th century Australia. I’m really enjoying it! I think next I’ll read Camus’ “The Stranger”! Good luck to everyone!

  54. Thanks for hosting this challenge! I have wanted to read some classic literature for a long time, so this is great motivation!

    • stilettostorytime

      Thanks for joining us Darlene! Can’t wait to see what you read!

      • Thank you!

        Can you please tell me if audio books count for the challenge? The details of the challenge did not specify what type of books, so I hope this is ok?

  55. stilettostorytime

    Absolutely! I would love to hear what classic audiobooks you enjoy later…classic lit can be tricky to get just right audio wise I think because we have so many pre-set expectations…etc. Can’t wait to see what you “read”.

    • Are contemporary classics considered acceptable, such as Angela’s Ashes?

      • stilettostorytime

        Darlene…to be honest I completely consider “Angela’s Ashes” a classic. So I would say yes. As to other contemporary classics I will leave it up to the reader. Like I’ve said there are some books that some consider classics while others may have never been exposed to them. I like the keep it open to let people be true to their tastes and reading habits to a degree…if that makes sense. =)

  56. Thanks, Courtney! I just uploaded my review 🙂

  57. I’m in for the Master’s Degree level! 20 books sounds like a lot, but I read classics so often anyway, it should be do-able and fun.

  58. This is a perfect challenge! I just decided to try to read as many of the 1001 books to read before you die and of course the majority of the books on the list are considered classics! Thanks for setting this up!

  59. I would like to join this challenge, but i am having problems with the link. I have tried several times to post it on my blog, but the link isn’t working. Has anyon else had a problem?

    • stilettostorytime

      Sorry about that Charla- I have had trouble with this linky so I have to go in and update manually every few days…you’re on now! Welcome to the challenge!

  60. I would like to join the challenge! I’ve almost finished reading one! Yay!

    • I am also having trouble with the picture link…. What should I do? 🙂

      • stilettostorytime

        Hi Tea in a Tea Cup! Thanks for your interest in the challenge. Go ahead and fill out the Linky…it will not show at first but when I go in and refresh it will so it will be up in a bit when I check in! By the way I love your site. Welcome to the challenge! ~Courtney

    • I am also having trouble with the challenge button. When I try and get it on my blog, it says the picture has been moved or deleted. I have tried several time, and I am not sure what I am doing wrong!!

      • stilettostorytime

        Thanks for letting me know! For some reason Photobucket has dumped it but no worries. Simply click on the button and it should give you a page where it is web hosted to link up the image! =)

  61. Thank you. I tried that yesterday but it didnt work. Today, however it DID work! Yay!

    I just finished my first classic on the weekend, so looking forward to posting it this week sometime!

  62. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges – Halfway Point | Tales of the Marvelous

  63. Raychelle

    Thanks for the challenge. I have been wanting to read some classics anyway and the challenge makes it better. =)

  64. Pingback: Classics Corner: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury | BaffledBooks

  65. Pingback: Classics Corner: Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury | Words That Fly

  66. I just realized that I have signed for this challenge twice…oops! So if you take off the second one that would be great. Thanks!

  67. Tressa

    I wanted to put my link directly to my classics challenge page instead of just my general goodreads page. I tried to add a linky for that, but I don’t know if it took. Anyway, I don’t know if you can change that or if you’re fine how it is. Thanks.

  68. i’ve joined in ”) added your button and challenge info on my 2011 reading challenges page, and carrying on reading! great reads avlbl online or for dnld here EnJoy!
    thanks for the challenge…

  69. Hi Courtney,

    I have a question for you about the Mr Linky widget you’re using. I was wondering how have you gotten your widget to work like that? I host a bunch of reading challenges, but over at Blogger and I wanted to move them over to my WordPress blog next year.

    The only way I’ve discovered is by exporting the list into HTML, but I don’t know if I like that idea so would really appreciate any sort of information in regards to Mr Linky on WP if that’s ok! I figure my best beat is asking those who are successfully using it 🙂


    • stilettostorytime

      Hi Bonnie…I wish I were successfully using it. Unfortunately for some reason there is a problem with it self-updating. Therefore I have to constantly go in and update things myself. I would not suggest Mr. Linky…I know I will not be using it again on WP but am kind of stuck with it during this challenge so I don’t lose any information. I would love to know if you do find anything that works better. =)

      • Thanks for getting back to me Courtney. That’s a shame! I’ve been looking around for different ones and believe I found one that might be good with WP (it stated it works with WP.com and not just .org so that’s promising), but do you think I can find where the link has gone? No! I’ll find it again and when I do let you know about it.

        I’m going to attempt to use the Mr Linky with exporting HTML. The method isn’t the most convenient, but the creator also does that, and I figure it’s better than nothing or manually updating the list yourself. That’s too much work!

  70. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges – Three-Quarters There! | Tales of the Marvelous

  71. Well, I just posted on two great American classics: East of Eden by John Steinbeck and To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. They are amazing books, featured on my post at http://www.educationdiva.com

  72. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenges Wrap-up | Tales of the Marvelous

  73. Pingback: 2011 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up | Stiletto Storytime

  74. Pingback: Final Update: Classics Challenge « Pagesofjulia's Blog

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