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.

Update: I was ambitious back in 2014, but my reading slowed down in the three years I gave myself to finish this challenge. Now I aim to finish by August 15, 2020.

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. More information about what I hope to read and why I decided to join the challenge can be found in my introductory post.

Books I Want to Read (in alphabetical order by title)

  1. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
  2. Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
  3. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  4. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  5. The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
  6. A Doll’s House (Henrick Ibsen)
  7. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  8. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  9. The Feminine Mystique (Betty Friedan)
  10. The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  11. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
  12. Juvenilia (Jane Austen)
  13. Lady Susan (Jane Austen)
  14. Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)
  15. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
  16. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
  17. No Name (Wilkie Collins)
  18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)
  19. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  20. The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)
  21. The Plague (Albert Camus)
  22. A River Runs Through It (Norman Maclean)
  23. A Room With a View (E.M. Forster)
  24. Sandition (Jane Austen)
  25. Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  26. The Stranger (Albert Camus)
  27. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë)
  28. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
  29. This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  30. The Trial (Franz Kafka)
  31. Villette (Charlotte Brontë)
  32. Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
  33. Wives and Daughters (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  34. 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 (and the edits of my book club). I have given myself permission to allow substitutions, particularly should my deadline loom and my original list remain incomplete.

Books I Have Read (in order by date read)

  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (L. Frank Baum) — August 2014
  2. Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) — August 2014
  3. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe) — September 2014
  4. The Making of the Marchioness (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — September 2014
  5. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (John le Carre) — September 2014
  6. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving) — September 2014
  7. The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton) — September 2014
  8. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell) — September 2014
  9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) — October 2014
  10. Matilda (Roald Dahl) — October 2014
  11. The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane) — October 2014
  12. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou) — October 2014
  13. King Lear (William Shakespeare) — December 2014
  14. Roots (Alex Haley) — December 2014
  15. The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton) — January 2015
  16. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson) — January 2015
  17. A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein) — January 2015
  18. Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lingren) — January 2015
  19. The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) — February 2015
  20. Selected Poems (Emily Dickinson) — March 2015
  21. Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — April 2015
  22. Beloved (Toni Morrison) — May 2015
  23. The Island of Dr. Moreau (H.G. Wells) — July 2015
  24. The Magician’s Nephew (C.S. Lewis) — November 2015
  25. Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy) — November 2015
  26. The Iliad (Homer) — February 2016
  27. The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien) — November 2017
  28. The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin) — January 2018
  29. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) — March 2018
  30. The Last of the Mohicans (James Feinmore Cooper) — August 2018
  31. The Waste Land and Other Writings (T.S. Eliot) — October 2018
  32. The Book of Mormon (Joseph Smith Jr.) — December 2018
  33. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) — January 2019
  34. The Warden (Anthony Trollope) — January 2019
  35. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) — February 2019
  36. The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann D. Wyss) — March 2019
  37. The Jungle (Upton Sinclair) — September 2019
  38. Strangers on a Train (Patricia Highsmith) — September 2019
  39. A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole) — September 2019
  40. Dracula (Bram Stroker) — November 2019
  41. The Time Machine (H.G. Wells) — November 2019
  42. Wife in Name Only (Charlotte M. Brame) — December 2019
  43. The Shuttle (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — December 2019
  44. A Lady of Quality (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — December 2019
  45. The Holy Bible (Anonymous) — December 2019
  46. Anne of Avonlea (L.M. Montgomery) — February 2020
  47. Anne of the Island (L.M. Montgomery) — February 2020
  48. Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë) — March 2020
  49. Anne of Windy Poplars (L.M. Montgomery) — March 2020
  50. Anne’s House of Dreams (L.M. Montgomery) — March 2020
  51. Anne of Ingleside (L.M. Montgomery) — March 2020
  52. Cranford (Elizabeth Gaskell) — April 2020
  53. Rainbow Valley (L.M. Montgomery) — April 2020
  54. Rilla of Ingleside (L.M. Montgomery) — May 2020


  1. Like you I thought I could read 25 classics a year & made my first five year list with 125 books!
    I didn’t make it & like you, rejigged my list to make it work better.

    You’ve certainly read some fabulous classics so far with some great choices ahead of you.
    Welcome back!


  2. I like the deadline because it encourages me, but I’m also glad it can be flexible because I feel I may have been over-optimistic about my 90 books in 5 years list too! You’ve got some great reads waiting for you though, so I hope you continue to enjoy your classics reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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