The Classics Club

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After years of resistance and thinking I can motivate myself, I finally took the plunge and join The Classics Club. The last time I read a piece of classic literature, excluding my reread of the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder, was in March 2013, and even that was a reread of a short novel I first read in high school. Obviously, motivating myself is not going well.

Club participants are supposed to pull together a list of fifty or more books considered to be classics and both read and discuss every single title on their personal blog within a five year period. I plan to read seventy-five books in three years ending on August 15, 2017 simply because I rather like the idea of reading twenty-five classics each year.

Neither the club nor I have a definition of what is a classic so in addition to those titles that immediately came to mind — those big, scary titles I’ve been avoiding for years — I pulled titles from two other lists I had hoped to read more titles from by now — 101 Great Books for College-Bound Readers and AP Literature. I would also like to finish reading the complete works of Jane Austen, and reread one novel I do not think I was ready to read when I original did. (I’m looking at you, Wuthering Heights.)

I’ve structured my list below the jump in alphabetical order by title, but I have also created a spreadsheet where you can organize my list by author, order in which I added it to my list, and year originally published.

  1. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)
  2. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
  3. The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)
  4. Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë)
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
  6. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson)
  7. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
  8. Beloved (Toni Morrison)
  9. Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
  10. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  11. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  12. Cranford (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  13. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
  14. The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
  15. A Doll’s House (Henrick Ibsen)
  16. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  17. Dracula (Bram Stroker)
  18. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  19. Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy)
  20. A Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway)
  21. The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)
  22. The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  23. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (Victor Hugo)
  24. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou)
  25. The Iliad (Homer)
  26. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
  27. The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
  28. Juvenilia (Jane Austen)
  29. King Lear (William Shakespeare)
  30. Lady Susan (Jane Austen)
  31. The Last of the Mohicans (James Feinmore Cooper)
  32. Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)
  33. A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein)
  34. Matilda (Roald Dahl)
  35. The Middle Passage (V.S. Naipaul)
  36. Middlemarch (George Eliot)
  37. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
  38. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
  39. Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie)
  40. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell)
  41. No Name (Wilkie Collins)
  42. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  44. The Painted Veil (W. Somerset Maugham)
  45. Pamela (Samuel Richardson)
  46. The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)
  47. The Plague (Albert Camus)
  48. The Portrait of a Lady (Henry James)
  49. The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane)
  50. A River Runs Through It (Norman Maclean)
  51. A Room With a View (E.M. Forster)
  52. Roots (Alex Haley)
  53. Sandition (Jane Austen)
  54. Selected Poems (Emily Dickinson)
  55. Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  56. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson)
  57. The Spy Who Came in From the Cold (John le Carre)
  58. The Stranger (Albert Camus)
  59. The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann D. Wyss)
  60. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë)
  61. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
  62. This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  63. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
  64. The Trial (Franz Kafka)
  65. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)
  66. Vanity Fair (William Makepeace Thackeray)
  67. Villette (Charlotte Brontë)
  68. Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
  69. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
  70. The Warden (Anthony Trollope)
  71. The Waste Land and Other Writings (T.S. Eliot)
  72. The Watsons (Jane Austen)
  73. Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  74. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum)
  75. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
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