Friday, January 1, 2021

2021 Reading Challenges

The standard challenge I do every year – Back to the Classics 2021, hosted by Books and Chocolate


1. A 19th century classic:

Wives and Daughters (1866)

by Elizabeth Gaskell



2. A 20th century classic:

Herzog (1964)

by Saul Bellow



3. A classic by a woman author:

The Country of the Pointed Firs

by Sarah Orne Jewett



4. A classic in translation:

Voyage au bout de la nuit (French)

Journey to the End of the Night

by Louis-Ferdinand Céline



5. A classic by BIPOC author:

Journey to the West

by Wu Cheng’en (China)



6. A classic by a new-to-me author:

Sybil, or The Two Nations

by Benjamin Disraeli



7. New-to-me classic by a favorite author:

Hard Times

by Charles Dickens



8. A classic about an animal, or with an animal in the title:

Ratman’s Notebooks

by Stephen Gilbert



9. A children's classic:

The Wonderful Adventures of Nils

by Selma Lagerlöf



10. A humorous or satirical classic:

The Loved One

by Evelyn Waugh



11. A travel or adventure classic (fiction or non-fiction):

Murder on the Orient Express

by Agatha Christie



12. A classic play:

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

by Tennessee Williams



A new challenge for me - What’s in a Name? 2021, hosted by Carolina Book Nook, though I first saw it at Care’s Books and Pie


The titles must contain the key word, type of word, or reference



The Loved One

by Evelyn Waugh



Repeated word

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

by Roddy Doyle



Reference to outer space

Northern Lights

by Philip Pullman



Possessive noun

Ratman’s Notebooks

by Stephen Gilbert



Botanical word

The Country of the Pointed Firs

by Sarah Orne Jewett



An article of clothing

Devil in a Blue Dress

by Walter Mosley

I’m still working on The Classics Club Round III, certain NOT to finish this year.



And, a bit later in the year, I’ll probably participate in Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P) in October, and A Literary Christmas in December.



  1. Welcome to What's in a Name! I love those choices!

  2. I've hardly heard of any of your B2C picks, including authors, which obviously says something about me. What's in a Name looks looks like a unique challenge. Good luck!

  3. Fun lists--I've read hardly any of your B2C picks & I had to look up Stephen Gilbert, but then I saw it was the basis for Willard.

    Lagerlöf is a good choice for Children's. I've been puzzling over that category myself.

    I need to make my own list. Happy reading!

    1. I'm pretty excited about Ratman's Notebook...I have very vague memories of the film, but it inspired a hit song...Only Michael Jackson could make a hit song about a rat. I'll be watching for your list.

  4. I will be curious to know, as a fellow Dickens lover, what you make of Barnaby Rudge!

    1. I'm curious myself. I know it was not one of his most popular.

  5. I can't wait to hear what you think of The Country of the Pointed Firs. So many people love it and I'd like to read it too. Also I've been wanted to read something by Disraeli for ages but haven't been brave enough to attempt it. Great lists and I hope you knock both challenges out of the park!

  6. Me, too. That's one Dickens I haven't read and have never really felt drawn to it. I came across a copy of Martin Chuzzlewit last year & read it. I'd never seen it reviewed but really enjoyed it. Look forward to reading your review on BR.

    1. I've yet to read Dickens I didn't it will be interesting. Cheers!

  7. The best of luck with your challenges this year. I'll look forward to seeing what you think of Wives & Daughters, which was a highlight for me a few years ago. It encompasses the Victorian era so well, and is still my favourite Gaskell.

  8. I have enjoyed making lists (in pencil) of what I might read for each challenge I've selected.

    1. Yeah...I make a couple tweaks to mine each year.

  9. It is my favorite challenge. Gets me to really look at what is on my shelves that need to be read and it is so easily managed. Thanks for the shoutout! Sorry it took me so long to find it.


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