Wednesday, 22 December 2010

What have I let myself in for? Or 2011 Personal Classic Challenge

A few weeks ago I asked what challenges I should sign for in 2011. After searching round I decided to sign for three official challenges - Book Chick City's Mystery & Suspense, Floor to Ceiling Books Speculative Fiction and Book Vixen's YA of the 80s & 90s (if you are interested in any of these please check them out on my sidebar on the right!). One of my friends also suggested I throw in a few classics of a genre basis to mix it up. It sounded intriguing so I asked him to write me a few guidelines that I could post as a personal challenge to myself for next year. Boy, did he deliver...

I've known Kris for years and he certainly wasn't afraid to make sure it was a challenge! Below is his terms and conditions:

Below are my terms for reading a classic every three months:
  1. Firstly the classic must be a classic or at least 20 years old;
  2. it has to set a definition for the genre or change it in a way which ‘inspire’ later writers;
  3. available for free or a reduced price and
  4. semi easy to read.
So my task for Mel is to read:
  1. Homer’s Odyssey – this is the cornerstone of Western Cannon and seems to have the basis for most fantasy. Easements: You can read a modern version (i.e. made into something that is easier to read).
  2. Isaac Asimov’s Foundation, Foundation and Empire and Second Foundation. Yes I know it is three books, but they are short ones. They are very good and they are the foundation (not a pun) for modern space epic’s such as Iain M Banks Culture and Star Trek. The Foundation series was published in 1942 and then collected in proper book in the 50s.
  3. Ring World by Larry Niven. I thought it looked quite good. It is a interesting story about a space structure.
  4. Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard I have not read these book, but I think they may underpin some hero fantasy or it might be tripe.
Good luck :-)

Gulp! Now, I'm scared! But I going to give it a good go. I'm also going to try a to add a few other classics to that list including Frankenstein, Dracula, The Three Musketeers and maybe some HG Wells - all of which some under the Inspiration to other writers condition.  So what do you think of this challenge? Any other classics I should read?

*Shameless Plug* And if you've got some time stop by Kris's blog here - it's not about books but focus's on knitting and public transport in London. Might seem like a strange combination at first but it works! And he's rants about commute are both familiar and funny to other commuters! :)


  1. I went crazy with reading challenges for 2011! I stopped counting after 10.

  2. I hope you have fun with all the challenges! Looks like you'll be busy!