The Classics Challenge (April-October 2009)

classicssmallThe Classics Challenge  offers three levels of participation.  Books must be read between April 1st and October 31st.

1. Classics Snack – Read FOUR classics
2. Classics Entree – Read FIVE classics
3. Classics Feast – Read SIX classics

1. Cross-posting with other challenges is allowed (and encouraged!)
2. Audiobooks are fine
3. Re-reads are acceptable, BUT books must be finished after April 1st to count for the challenge
4. Lists don’t have to be set in stone; you can change your selections at any time.
5. Have Fun!!
6. You do NOT need a blog to participate.

Well, I’m going to have a go at 6, and since I’ve already read heaps of 19th century British & Russian classics, I’m going to choose all Australian classics from my TBR.  My tentative list is

  • Voss (1957) by Patrick White (Australia’s only Nobel prize for Literature winner);
  • The Twyburn Affair* (1979) also by Patrick White
  •  My Crowded Solitude by Jack McLaren (1926);
  • Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Boldrewood (1888);
  • Power Without Glory (1950); and
  • The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead(1940).    List amended 26.9.09, see below.

The Twyburn Affair seems late for a classic, but it’s included in Classics, Books for Life by Jane Gleeson-White.  My sources for the others are The Australian Collection: Australia’s Greatest Books and The Literature of Australia both by Geoffrey Dutton.

6 titles in 6 months, and read other books as well? Maybe I won’t succeed but I’ll have a good time trying.  I’ll be blogging my reviews here at  (Update 26.9.09: links in the titles above are to my reviews.)

Others who are interested can sign up at The Classics Challenge 2009.

Update 26.9.09: links in the titles above are to my reviews.

Amended list

Having completed the Classics ‘snack’ (4 titles) and recently received some titles for review from the Australian Classics Library (scroll to p12 of the pdf file), I’m going to try to finish off the last two remaining books of this challenge with Inland, by Gerald Murnane and Bush studies, by Barbara Baynton.  Yes, these are two fairly short titles, but I’ve only got 5 weeks left to read them!

Update 27.9.09

Bush Studies, by Barbara Baynton, see my review

Update 3.10.09: I’ve finished, and by the deadline!

Inland, by Gerald Murnane, see my review.



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  3. Congratulations! I’m really fascinated with your choice of books and brilliant that you have picked all Australian authors. I haven’t heard of any of these but think Robbery Under Arms sounds especially good 0:)


    • Thank you, Tracey:) It was when I read Jill Roe’s biography of Miles Franklin (who set up our major literary prize) that I realised that there were Australian classics that I’d never heard of, or read. That’s why I like these challenges – they provide the impetus to discover new challenges.
      I wonder if I can do it next year with New Zealand classics?


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