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. 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 Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)
  2. The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton) — September 2014
  3. Agnes Grey (Anne Brontë)
  4. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll) — October 2014
  5. The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath) — March 2018
  6. Beloved (Toni Morrison) — May 2015
  7. Bleak House (Charles Dickens)
  8. The Book of Mormon (Joseph Smith Jr.) — December 2018
  9. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
  10. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  11. Cranford (Elizabeth Gaskell)
  12. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky) — February 2019
  13. The Crucible (Arthur Miller)
  14. A Doll’s House (Henrick Ibsen)
  15. Don Quixote (Miguel de Cervantes)
  16. Dracula (Bram Stroker)
  17. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
  18. Far From the Madding Crowd (Thomas Hardy) — November 2015
  19. The Holy Bible (Anonymous) — December 2019
  20. The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton) — January 2015
  21. The House of Seven Gables (Nathaniel Hawthorne)
  22. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Maya Angelou) — October 2014
  23. The Iliad (Homer) — February 2016
  24. The Island of Dr. Moreau (H.G. Wells) — July 2015
  25. Jude the Obscure (Thomas Hardy)
  26. The Jungle (Upton Sinclair)
  27. The Jungle Book (Rudyard Kipling) — February 2015
  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) — August 2018
  32. The Left Hand of Darkness (Ursula K. Le Guin) — January 2018
  33. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Washington Irving) — September 2014
  34. Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)
  35. A Light in the Attic (Shel Silverstein) — January 2015
  36. Little Lord Fauntleroy (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — April 2015
  37. The Magician’s Nephew (C.S. Lewis) — November 2015
  38. The Making of the Marchioness (Frances Hodgson Burnett) — September 2014
  39. Matilda (Roald Dahl) — October 2014
  40. Moby Dick (Herman Melville)
  41. Mrs. Dalloway (Virginia Woolf)
  42. Murder on the Orient Express (Agatha Christie) — August 2014
  43. Nineteen Eighty-Four (George Orwell) — September 2014
  44. No Name (Wilkie Collins)
  45. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Ken Kesey)
  46. One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
  47. The Phantom of the Opera (Gaston Leroux)
  48. Pippi Longstocking (Astrid Lingren) — January 2015
  49. The Plague (Albert Camus)
  50. The Red Badge of Courage (Stephen Crane) — October 2014
  51. A River Runs Through It (Norman Maclean)
  52. A Room With a View (E.M. Forster)
  53. Roots (Alex Haley) — December 2014
  54. Sandition (Jane Austen)
  55. Selected Poems (Emily Dickinson) — March 2015
  56. Silas Marner (George Eliot)
  57. Snow Falling on Cedars (David Guterson) — October 2014
  58. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (John le Carre) — September 2014
  59. The Stranger (Albert Camus)
  60. The Swiss Family Robinson (Johann D. Wyss) — March 2019
  61. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (Anne Brontë)
  62. Their Eyes Were Watching God (Zora Neale Hurston)
  63. The Things They Carried (Tim O’Brien) — November 2017
  64. This Side of Paradise (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
  65. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith) — January 2019
  66. The Trial (Franz Kafka)
  67. Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe) — September 2014
  68. Villette (Charlotte Brontë)
  69. Walden (Henry David Thoreau)
  70. The Warden (Anthony Trollope) — January 2019
  71. The Waste Land and Other Writings (T.S. Eliot) — October 2018
  72. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Shirley Jackson) — January 2015
  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.

6 comments

  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!

    Like

  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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