The Classics Club

Participants of The Classics Club 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 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. And, of course, my introductory post explains why I decided to join the challenge in the first place. Books I have completed are crossed off the list and dated as well as linked to my reviews so you can see if I manage to stick to my plan of reading about twenty-five books each year.

  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) — September 2014
  4. Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë)
  5. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) — October 2014
  6. Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man (James Weldon Johnson)
  7. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
  8. Beloved (Toni Morrison) — May 2015
  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) — November 2015
  20. A Farewell to Arms (Ernest Hemingway)
  21. The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton) — January 2015
  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) — October 2014
  25. The Iliad (Homer) — February 2016
  26. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
  27. The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
  28. Juvenilia (Jane Austen)
  29. King Lear (William Shakespeare) — December 2014
  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) — January 2015
  34. Matilda (Roald Dahl) — October 2014
  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) — August 2014
  40. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell) — September 2014
  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) — October 2014
  50. A River Runs Through It (Norman Maclean)
  51. A Room With a View (E.M. Forster)
  52. Roots (Alex Haley) — December 2014
  53. Sandition (Jane Austen)
  54. Selected Poems (Emily Dickinson) — March 2015
  55. Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  56. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson) — October 2014
  57. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (John le Carre) — September 2014
  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) — September 2014
  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) — August 2014
  75. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)

While I’m planning to read all seventy-five titles on my original list, I also recognize reading tastes change and my reading habits are subject to my whimsy. Books listed below are classics that did not make it onto the original list but that could count towards this challenge. I will use them as substitutions should my deadline loom and my original list remain incomplete.

  1. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving) — September 2014
  2. The Making of the Marchioness (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — September 2014
  3. Someone at a Distance (Dorothy Whipple) — October 2014
  4. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson) — January 2015
  5. Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lingren) — January 2015
  6. The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) — February 2015
  7. Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — April 2015
  8. The Island of Dr. Moreau (H.G. Wells) — July 2015
  9. The Magician’s Nephew (C.S. Lewis) — November 2015

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