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Friday, 14 December 2012

A Classics Challenge: December Wrap Up

Well, I technically failed this challenge, reading only six classics throughout the year when the target was a minimum of seven. I think we'll blame this on Charles Dickens since the challenge ended up being 'The Charles Dickens Classics Challenge With Two Other Books Thrown In'. So what books did I manage to read as part of the challenge?

  • I started off in January with Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (review here, prompt post here). 
  • In February I took a hiatus from all other books to indulge in Bleak House which is by far my favourite Dickens novel (review here, prompt post here).
  • I think Bleak House exhausted me. I came back to the challenge in July with another Dickens book - The Old Curiosity Shop (review here, prompt post here).
  • In August I stepped away from Dickens for the first time and read Jane Austen's Emma (review here, prompt post here).
  • In September I moved onto Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge (review here, prompt post here).
  • Finally, my December read - actually started with all good intentions back in October - was another Dickens novel, Little Dorrit (review here).

Four Dickens, one Austen and one Hardy. Not too shabby for the year, especially when you look at the lengths of Bleak House and Little Dorrit. Of course, there were some books I listed on my original challenge post that didn't get a look in: Mary Barton (Gaskell), The Mill on the Floss (Eliot), A Farewell to Arms (Hemingway) and The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman (Sterne). That's a shame for them but, honestly, this year deserved to be dedicated to Dickens. 

If I had to pick favourites I'd say it's a tie between Bleak House and Emma. I loved the depth of the former and the humour of the latter. Two very different texts but enjoyable for different reasons. That said, I didn't dislike any of these books. If I had to pick my least favourite it would probably be Oliver Twist but that's just because I enjoyed all of the others immensely. 

I'd like to thank November's Autumn for hosting this challenge and making me push myself a little. It's been great fun and I'd urge you to go read some of the other wrap-up posts listed over here to see what other people have been reading this year. 


JaneGS said...

You are definitely made of stronger stuff than I am! The last time I read 4 Dickens in one year I didn't read him again for 10, and the last of that lot was Old Curiosity Shop. That and Hard Times are my least favorite Dickens' novels. But, I love OT and want to reread it soon.

I am a big Emma fan--was it your first time reading this wonderful book? Every time I read it, I love Emma more :)

I still haven't read Mayor of Casterbridge, though it's one of my sister's all-time-favorites.

I would love to tread Tristram Shandy myself.

Thanks so much for visiting my blog--I think the Dorrits traipsing about Europe was actually my favorite part of the book :)

CharmedLassie said...

Yep, my first time reading Emma, though I'd already seen an adaptation. I expected to enjoy it but not nearly as much as I did!

What put me off about Tristram Shandy in the end was the length, especially after I'd already ploughed through Bleak House.