2018 Classics Challenge Wrap Up

So ends my second year enjoying Karen’s Back to the Classics Challenge!  Here are my final thoughts on the books:

  1. A 19th century classic

The Swiss Family Robinson–  by Johann Rudolf Wyss

Maybe not the most engaging book, but I still hold that it should be on every home-schoolers worktable. The shipwrecked family was always eager to learn and create, and personally I found the little information tidbits interesting.

   2.  A 20th century classic

A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis

This is a bit of a different book from Lewis’ other works.  As a book on grief it is raw and dark- yet it still holds the quality and brilliance we expect from Lewis.

3.  A classic by a woman author

Hans Brinker or The Silver Skates– by Mary Mapes Dodge

I enjoyed this book!  Perhaps it didn’t have the strongest story thread, but I was too busy exploring Holland to care about all that.  Overall a sweet and cozy story. 

4.  A classic in translation

Journals of Kiergaard – Soren Kiergaard, edited and translated by Alexander Dru

 I’ll admit this may not be the easiest book to read, but it’s still engaging.  Kiergaard loved to challenge, and seemed to prefer a sacrificial and active faith over a cozy cultural faith.   I appreciate that.

5. A children’s classic

At the Back of the North Wind– by George MacDonald

 While wandering and a little odd in certain places, this story still had scenes of fantastical symbolism I had anticipated.

6.  A classic crime story, fiction or non-fiction

Unnatural Death– by Dorothy L. Sayers

 An excellent story from the casebook of my favourite fictional sleuth!  I have since fixed that muddle of reading the series in order, by the by, and more rave reviews of Wimsey are sure to come in the future.

7. A classic travel or journey narrative, fiction or non-fiction

Gulliver’s Travels– by Jonathan Swift

More an exploration of Man’s depravity than an exploration of strange worlds, and therefore a bit of a bitter story.  But still a worthy book, Swift is clever and creative. 

   8. A classic with a single word title

Phantases– by George MacDonald

 I’m afraid I might have overread MacDonald this year, and grew a little tired of him by the time I picked up Phantases.  Even with that, I appreciated a poetic wander through faerie land.

   9.  A classic with a colour in the title

The Scarlet Letter– by Nathaniel Hawthorne

My verdict is similar to what I thought of The Portrait of Dorian Gray.  A good book, well written, excellent for literature class…but not so much for leisure.

   10.  a classic by an author that’s new to you

War in Heaven– by Charles Williams

I wouldn’t mind reading another Williams.  His writing may be a bit intimidating, but it has that Inkling touch– vivid, God-seeking, British.

   11.  a classic that scares you

Chronicles of the Crusades- Joinville and Villehardouin, translated by Margaret R. B. Shaw

 I never finished (or even started) this classic that scares me.  I feel a bit of a coward.  

   12.  Re-read a favourite classic

The Hiding Place– by Corrie ten Boom, with John and Elizabeth Sherrill

Anne of Green Gables– By L.M. Montgomery

Had a change of plans there, but I don’t mind.  Both books rank very high on  my favourites list, although very different from each other.   

Looking back at this list I think that my two top favourites would be Hans Brinker and Unnatural Death (I don’t include the books from challenge 12, since they ought to be a given).   All books were borrowed from family, except for Hans Brinker and Gulliver’s Travels— which I consider good purchases!

Thanks to Karen @ Books and Chocolate for a great reading challenge!


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