+Reading Challenge+ Back to the Classics 2014!

Posted Sunday, 5 January, 2014 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , 10 Comments

Hosted by Books & Chocolate karensbooksandchocolate blogspot.inOn the same vein of itching to join The Classics Club, I have been an appreciator from afar of “Back to the Classics” reading challenge, which this year, has a new hostess: Books and Chocolate! Whilst I know most are going to have cross-relating books per each challenge they commit to completing, I wanted to take a different track and pick out books that would be insular to each individual challenge! Therefore, the books you will see as my selections here will not be cross-referenced nor cross-applied to my tCC list!

Rules Specific to this Challenge: {taken from the official blurb!}

  • All books must be read in 2014.  Books started prior to January 1, 2014 are not eligible.  Reviews must be linked by December 31, 2014.
  • E-books and audiobooks are eligible! Books can count for other challenges you may be working on. However, books may NOT crossover categories within this challenge.You may NOT count the same book twice for different categories in this challenge.
  • If you do not have a blog, you may link your review from Goodreads or other publicly accessible online format.
  • Please sign up for the challenge using the linky below BEFORE MARCH 1, 2014.  Please link to your sign-up announcement post (if possible/applicable).
  • You do not have to list your books prior to starting the challenge, but it is more fun that way. :) You can always change your list at any time. You can read the books in any order (including mixing in the optional categories at any time).
  • You can decide to attempt the optional categories at any point (you can also bow out of the optional categories at any point as well).
  • Please identify the categories you’ve read in your wrap-up post so that I can easily add up your entries for the prize drawing! Adding links within the post would also be greatly appreciated.
  • Main Stipulation: *ALL* stories read are only considered a ‘classic’ if published prior to 1964!


  1. A 20th Century Classic
  2. A 19th Century Classic
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author
  4. A Classic in TranslationIf English is not your primary language, then books originally published in English are acceptable.  You could also read the book in its original language if you are willing and able to do so.
  5. A Classic About War2014 will be the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I.  Any book relating to a war is fine — WWI, WWII, the French Revolution, the War of the Worlds — your choice.
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You This can be any author whose works you have not read before.  It doesn’t necessarily have to be an author you’ve never heard of.
Optional Categories:
  1. An American Classic
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller 
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic. This is any classic set at least 50 years before the time when it was written. For example, Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind 70 years after the end of the Civil War; therefore, it is considered a historical novel. A Tale of Two Cities and The Scarlet Letter are also historical novels. However, older classicsset during the period in which they were writtenare not considered historical; for example, the novels of Jane Austen.
  4. A Classic That’s Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series.  Any period, any genre!  This is practically a free choice category.  However, it’s a separate category than the required categories.
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4.  This should be some kind of posting reviewing the book read for the previous optional category above.  It can be any adaptation — does not have to be adapted before 1964.  For example, if you chose Pride and Prejudice as your the optional classic above,you could review any adaptation — 1940, 1980, 1995, 2005, etc. These two optional categories go together, but this must be a separate blog posting — no fair just mentioning it in the book review!

Shabby Blogs

And, Jorie’s choices are as follows:

Curious or no, there appears to be a slight bent towards reading classical crime fiction this year, as nearly every single book which leapt out at me to read falls under this particular category of fiction! I have wanted to focus on classical noir fiction as well as crime, but sometimes I suppose the day you set down to write down a list for reading challenge, you can surprise yourself by your responses to the ‘fill-in-the-blank’ spaces!! Alas, the Hitchcokian girl is showing her preference for suspense!


  1. A 20th Century Classic:
    The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley Cox {1929}

    {classic detective fiction}
  2. A 19th Century Classic: *The Way We Live Now* by Anthony Trollope (considering)
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author:
    The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson {1959}
  4. A Classic in Translation: {reading in January!}
    “Au Bonhear des Dames” | The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola {1883}*
  5. A Classic About War:
    The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers {1903}
    {influenced espionage & spy fiction}
  6. A Classic by an Author Who Is New To You:
    Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith {1950}

{*} By a sweet happy coincidence, I happened to have placed a purchase request for “The Ladies Paradise” prior to joining Back to the Classics! I hadn’t connected the dots to the book and author, until Karen kindly left me a note on this post! You see, I was wrapped up in the memory of seeing Episode 3 I believe it was on Masterpiece Theater!? I hadn’t realised a new BBC drama was already in-progress, and whilst recognising the quality, I immediately looked up the drama after the episode concluded! This led me to realise that we didn’t have a copy of this book in our card catalogue (hence the request!)!! Quite a fortuitous strike of luck, eh?

  1. An American Classic:
    The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain {1934}
  2. A Classic Mystery, Suspense or Thriller:
    The Ambassadors by Henry James {1903}
    {inspired: The Talented Mr. Ripley}
  3. A Historical Fiction Classic:
    The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder {1927}
    {takes place in 1714}
  4. A Classic That’s Been Adapted Into a Movie or TV Series: The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith {1955}
  5. Extra Fun Category:  Write a Review of the Movie or TV Series adapted from Optional Category #4: The Talented Mr. Ripley {starring Matt Damon, 1999}

{SOURCE: A selection of buttons, dividers, and blog decorative freebies were chosen from the Shabby Blogs blog OR from Shabby Blogs website; such as the button post divider. Jorie Loves A Story badge created by Ravven with edits by Jorie in PicMonkey.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2014.

Related Articles:

1000 Books Everyone Must Read – (theguardian.com)

100 Best Novels – (modernlibrary.com)

About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie


Posted Sunday, 5 January, 2014 by jorielov in 19th Century, 20th Century, Back to the Classics, Classical Literature, Crime Fiction, Gothic Mystery, Hard-Boiled Mystery, Reading Challenges, Suspense

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10 responses to “+Reading Challenge+ Back to the Classics 2014!

    • Hallo Maggie!

      I’m actually quite happy about it really, as its giving me the chance to participate in all the lovely reading challenges and events I was sort of in the backseat to attend whilst I didn’t have my blog!! :) I’m trying my best to suit out new authors/books to include in my readings this year, as much as get to tackle reading authors/books that I’ve been itching to read for quite a long while!

      In this particular case, I am branching out into a heap of new territory! Are you curious about any of my selections? I noticed you are choosing quite a few I recognised myself! I’ll have to drop you a note when I get the chance! :)

      • I’m using my list as a means of reading a good chunk of my Classic’s Club novels :)

        I’m most interested in reading your posts on Strangers on a Train and The Ambassadors/The Talented Mr. Ripley (which I am all unfamiliar with), as well as The Bridge of San Luis Rey (which I read in high school and wasn’t too fond of).

        • I had a suspicion that is what you were aiming to do, as I noticed that you had several overlaps – but then, I felt that was a good way to encourage yourself to read the ones you might not get to throughout the year! :) I have so many books I want to read each year, I think spreading them out over a heap of challenges *encourages me!* in return! Laughs.

          I know of the story loosely about “Strangers on a Train” as my parents saw one of the motion picture versions. Likewise, I saw “The Talented Mr. Ripley” in film format, but never knew it was a novel previously, so I am quite eager to see how the novel leads-in to the story of the film! Then, I get the pleasure of re-watching Matt Damon pull of such a brilliant performance!

          I unearthed the trivia of “The Ambassadors” as I researched the titles this afternoon, actually! This was one of the first posts I was stitching together today!

          Hmmm,… wells the premise intrigued me for “The Bridge of San Luis Rey” but as you said, its hard to know for sure what you will sink into and what you will appreciate after you’ve read a book your taking a chance on!

          Look forward to our future discussions!!

          • Don’t be discouraged about my not liking The Bridge of San Luis Rey! It was well over a decade ago and I have forgotten the entire premise. First readings are not always the most appreciative, and that is the whole reason I wanted to reread Wuthering Heights, which I am loving right now! :)

          • Oh, Maggie, not to worry!

            I was sort of referencing a bit of my own hesitations in my choice of this book rather than your first impression of when you originally read it! I was trying to sort out what book I could read which would fit the category, and part of me wanted to take the chance on this as its quite radically different than most books I’d be inclined to read!

            Honestly,… I cannot wait to settle into my reading nook and chair, and just wilt the hours away absorbed into reading! Not only for “Wuthering Heights” but for a lot of lovely books I have awaiting my curious eyes! :) :)

            PS: Since your outside of Philly, was the storm better or worse than expected!? I’m quite worried about a heap of friends spread out all across the storm zones! :( I wasn’t sure if you were still stateside or not, but I just saw your blog post (wells, half of it — I didn’t read your review!),…

          • I was only in Philly for the afternoon! My cousin lives there. They got a good amount of snowfall earlier this week, but now it is mostly just slush and the major roads have been plowed.

            I am state-side for just a couple of more days…my 3 week trip flew by so quickly I can hardly believe it’s almost over!! :(

          • Oh, wow! Sounds like you’ve had quite the adventure, because you weren’t always in snow country! Laughs. I’m thankful to hear that the roads are clear at least and the snowloads are not as bad as predicted! If only the Mid-West were as fortunate!

            I am thrilled to bits to hear your trip was everything and more than what you hoped it could be! May you have very safe travels back home!

  1. Thanks for signing up! I like your list, though I had no idea that The Ambassadors inspired The Talented Mr. Ripley — I’ve hardly read any Henry James. If you’re looking for good books in translation, I highly recommend the works of Emile Zola. Anthony Trollope is a great Victorian writer if you’re looking for something in the 19th century, and of course Jane Austen, my favorite! I also have The Riddle of the Sands, though I might use it for my Mystery/Suspense/Thriller selection. Happy reading!

    • Your quite welcome, Karen! :)

      I’m simply over the moon delighted I could participate this year! I hadn’t either, but then again, whilst I was watching the film version of Ripley, I wasn’t clued into it being a book! Oh, my neither have I! I have been intrigued by Henry James for such a long while!! When I discovered the connection between The Ambassadors & Ripley I felt motivated to read both of them! To see where each of the writers took their characters and how the story-lines differed and aligned as well! I thought it might prove to be a good juxtaposition for the review posts! :) I am going to JUMP into search threads for the authors you’ve listed! Bless your recommendations! I keep *searching!*

      And, thank you for saying The Riddle of the Sands qualifies! I was a bit hesitative to include it, as I wasn’t sure if it would fly!

      Yes, wells, I had my own little ‘dance’ per se of shuffling the titles! Laughs with mirth!

      To you in return, many happy adventures whilst you read!


      I am a self-declared Sherlockian-Steampunker Janeite! Of which I will be composing a special post about during my participation in The Sci-Fi Experience! :) Love, love, LOVE Jane Austen!

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