As an English major, I've grown to slowly (make that slooooowly) appreciate some of the classics that are out there. For example, upon reading Wuthering Heights in my sophomore year in college, I fell in love with Heathcliff's character. In my junior year of college, Milton's Paradise Lost inspired the first urban fantasy manuscript I ever wrote.
I'm ashamed to say that there are so many other classics that are out there that I have either not read, or haven't even heard of. I've never read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, nor have I cracked open Tolstoy's Anna Karenina... even though I insisted my mother buy me a copy. Hell, I haven't even read Orwell's Animal Farm (though I will be for my satire class!). And let's be honest: we've all seen the Wizard of Oz, but how many of you have read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? Before this semester, I did not.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. These are the classics, and yet some high schools do not delve into the truly interesting books out there. Frankenstein? Dracula? Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?
I know that many of you out there would be interested in reading some sort of classic book, but like me, perhaps you've added it to your TBR but have never gotten around to it. There's nothing wrong with that... especially with how many wonderful novels that we enjoy reading and reviewing in the paranormal genre alone that comes out every month.
Here's my plan: for 2012, I want to do a monthly reading challenge. On the first of each month, I will post a book list (with 1-3 classic titles) and a widget that will make links public. The classics that are suggested will be simply that--suggestions. You can pick one of the titles on the list, or, if there's another book you're dying to read, you can read about that one.
Within that month, what you need to do is read the book (or if you're feeling adventurous, read more than one!), write a review, and then find a place to post it at. If you're a blogger, on your blog. If you're a reader, perhaps on Amazon or Goodreads (though if you are uncomfortable with the idea of writing a review, we can always work something out--this is the brainstorming stage, after all).
Once the review is published, you add a link to the widget on that month's post so that we can all see what you thought, and you will automatically be entered for a giveaway. The giveaway may be an item that is themed with that month's book, or it may be an Amazon gift card. The possibilities are endless.
Here's what I need from you: Tell me what you think in the comments!
- Do you like this challenge idea? Hate it? Want to improve it in some way?
- Do you think there should be an option to suggest which classic to read for the following month?
- Do you think re-reading a book should be an acceptable option?
- Do you have an idea for a particular item in for the monthly prizes?
- What items would you like to win if you participated in this challenge?
- What do you think of having authors participate in the challenge? Perhaps they can offer one of their own books as a prize for the month that one of their favorite classics is being highlighted?
- For readers only: would you feel comfortable writing a review? Do you have a suggestion for how you can enter?
- Any other ideas or comments or suggestions?