Back to the Classics 2019: Wrap-up Post

This year I\’m stopping at 10 books for this challenge which was hosted by Karen @ books & chocolate. I skipped the \’Comic Classic\’ and \’Classic Play.\’ I did read All Things Bright & Beautiful by James Herriot book aloud to my daughter which was a great laugh in places but it didn\’t qualify for this challenge as it was written in the 1970\’s.

These were my original ideas and the books below are what I ended up reading:

19th century Classic:
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

20th Century Classic: In This House of Brede by Rumer Godden

Classic by a Woman: Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell

Classic in Translation: On the Incarnation by Athanasius

Classic Tragic Novel: Requiem for a Wren by Nevil Shute

Very Long Classic: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Classic Novella: Chocky by John Wyndham

Classic From the Americas or Caribbean: The Homemaker by Dorothy Canfield Fisher

Classic From Asia, Africa, or Oceania: The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki

Classic From a Place You\’ve Lived: Colour Scheme by Ngaio Marsh

I\’d be hard put to try and choose a favourite but a few I\’d highly recommend are The Homemaker, Requiem for a Wren, & Ruth. Followed closely by The Makioka Sisters & In This House of Brede.

The most difficult were On the Incarnation, not because of the author\’s style, which was lucid and inviting, but the subject matter; and Daniel Deronda, because George Eliot was a very intellectual & articulate woman and you almost need an art and history degree to get all her references.

Three books that had me in tears: The Homemaker, Requiem for a Wren, and Ruth.

New authors for me: Athanasius, Junichiro Tanizaki.

18 thoughts on “Back to the Classics 2019: Wrap-up Post

  1. i like Nevil Shute quite a bit; he's one of those writers that hasn't ever written a great book but hasn't ever written a bad one, either… i've read a lot of his and never failed to be engrossed…


  2. I too agree with Brian on Eliot. When I read Middlemarch, most of those references went over my head, I'm sure! I still liked it. I'm glad to see you liked Makioka Sisters. I also appreciate The Homemaker. I probably should read other titles by Nevil Shute, I've only read his famous A Town Named -or called- Alice?


  3. Good for you for getting 10 classics read this year for this challenge. I think I'm going to end up with only 8. I still need to read Ruth, but I'm just not in the mood for it right now. Maybe next year. 🙂


  4. Hi Lark, I've been a bit moody with my reading this year – one of the reasons I didn't get to the Classic Play. I read & listened to a Shakespeare play earlier in the year but I didn't get to review it & I just don't feel like doing it now!


  5. Ruth is on my wishlist (haven't found it in used books, yet). It was through a Charlotte Mason connection that wrote up a beautiful review of it that interested me. So I'm looking forward to finding a copy.


  6. Hi Ruth, I've read/re-read a few of Gaskell's books this year. Charlotte Mason wrote about the book in Book 2 of Ourselves, which you probably already know. It has a slow start but picks up in the second half of the book.


  7. Congratulations on finishing the challenge! I am super intrigued to read The Homemaker based on your review of it. One of these days I will treat myself to a few Persephone titles and that will for sure be on the list. I’ve only read Middlemarch by Eliot and I suspect her references flew right over my head! I will someday read more from her but I think I might start next with The Mill on the Floss.


  8. Thanks, Ruthiella, I’ve read four Persephone books & they’ve all been very good.i bought two more while we were in the UK the other month so I’m keen to read them too.I read Mill on the Floss this year. Its a good one but has a sad ending.


  9. Congratulations on 10 out of 12–we both read Daniel Deronda, and I just read your review which I found interesting and englightening—as well as quite a few authors/books that are new to me. I am a big Gaskell fan myself, and it’s been a number of years since I read Ruth and Mary Barton, so they may be due for a reread. Happy New Year and best wishes for good reading in 2020.


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