The Classics Club

The Classics ClubIn line with my intent to write about more of what I read and to encourage myself to explore all genres, cultures and eras, I’ve decided to take the plunge and get involved in the Classics Club challenge.  The goal is to choose 50+ “classics” (with a subjective definition of what constitutes a classic book,) read them and then write about them.  The default time frame for working through one’s list is 5 years, so this is a longish-term goal.

Update January 1, 2016:  My original list was posted on March 31, 2015, with a goal date of 2018, but as I’ve been away from blogging from almost a year and am just returning, I’ve decided to start fresh with a new list today, January 1, 2016, submit my updated list to The Classics Club, and set my new goal date to January 1, 2021.

In selecting my classics list, I am aiming for “50-plus that are 50-plus”, so I have chosen a (largely arbitrary) 50-year cut-off age for each book’s original publication date, so each book on my list must be from 1966 or before.  I’m hoping to read and review (fully or briefly in digest) 50 titles during that time span, but I’m listing more than 50 here, as I’m not yet certain which books I want to cut from my roster.  I expect my list to morph a ridiculous number of times, as I can never leave well enough alone.

Titles listed in boldface are those I intend to read in the current year.


My Classics Club list:  50 books in 5 years  (Goal Date: January 1, 2021)

  1. Alcott, Louisa May – Work: A Story of Experience (1873)
  2. Assis, Machado de – Epitaph of a Small Winner (1880)
  3. Baker, Dorothy – Young Man with a Horn (1938)
  4. Barnes, Djuna – Nightwood (1936)
  5. Bennett, Arnold – The Old Wives’ Tale (1908)
  6. Bly, Nellie – Around the World in 72 Days (1890, travel memoir)read January 2016
  7. Brooks, Gwendolyn – Maud Martha (1953)read January 2016)
  8. Buck, Pearl S. – Living Reed (1963)
  9. Bulgakov, Mikhail – The Master and Margarita (re-read, 1966)
  10. Cabell, James Branch – Jurgen (1919)
  11. Camus, Albert – The Plague (1947)
  12. Carson, Rachel – Under the Sea Wind (1941, narrative nonfiction)
  13. Cather, Willa – O Pioneers! (1913)
  14. Collins, Wilkie – The Woman in White (1860)
  15. Conrad, Joseph – Typhoon (1902)
  16. Dumas, Alexandre – The Black Tulip (1850)
  17. Durrell, Lawrence – Justine (The Alexandria Quartet #1) – 1957
  18. Ellison, Ralph – Invisible Man (1952)
  19. Faulkner, William – As I Lay Dying (1930)
  20. Ferber, Edna – So Big (1924)
  21. Finney, Jack – The Body Snatchers (1955)
  22. Fothergill, Jessie – The First Violin (1877)
  23. Gaskell, Elizabeth – Cranford (1851)
  24. Gautier, Théophile – Mademoiselle de Maupin (1835)
  25. Gibbons, Stella – Cold Comfort Farm (1932)
  26. Grand, Sarah – Ideala: A Study from Life (1888)
  27. Grau, Shirley Ann- The Keepers of the House (1964)
  28. Graves, Robert – I, Claudius (1934)
  29. Haushofer, Marlen – The Wall (1963)
  30. Heller, Joseph – Catch-22 (1961)
  31. Herbert, Frank – Dune (re-read, 1963)
  32. Highsmith, Patricia – Strangers on a Train (1958)
  33. Huxley, Aldous – Island (1962)
  34. Jackson, Shirley – Hangsaman (1951)
  35. Jackson, Shirley – The Bird’s Nest (1954)
  36. Jackson, Shirley – The Sundial (1958)
  37. Jewett, Sarah Orne – The Country of the Pointed Firs (1896)
  38. Kafka, Franz – The Trial (1925)
  39. Kaye-Smith, Sheila – Joanna Godden (1921)
  40. Keun, Irmgard – The Artificial Silk Girl (1932)
  41. Laclos, Pierre Choderlos de – Dangerous Liaisons (1782)
  42. Laforet, Carmen – Nada (1944)
  43. Lagerlöf, Selma – The Saga of Gösta Berling (1891)
  44. Laxness, Halldór – Independent People (1934)
  45. Lee, C.Y. – The Flower Drum Song (1957)
  46. Lessing, Doris – The Golden Notebook (1962)
  47. Lewis, Sinclair – It Can’t Happen Here (1935)
  48. London, Jack – The Star Rover (1915)
  49. Mahfouz, Naguib – Cairo Modern (1945)
  50. Maurier, Daphne du – Rebecca (1938)
  51. McCullers, Carson – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
  52. Murdoch, Iris – The Bell       (1958)
  53. Nabokov, Vladimir – Pale Fire (1962)
  54. Porter, Katherine Anne – Pale Horse, Pale Rider (3 novellas, 1939)
  55. Powell, Dawn – The Locusts Have No King (1948)
  56. Pushkin, Alexander – Eugene Onegin (1833)
  57. Sackville-West, Vita – All Passion Spent (1931)
  58. Salinger, J. D. – Franny and Zooey (1955 & 1957, together in 1961)
  59. Sarton, May – The Fur Person (1957)
  60. Southworth, E.D.E.N. – The Hidden Hand (1859)
  61. Steinbeck, John – To a God Unknown (1933)
  62. Stoddard, Elizabeth – The Morgesons (1862)
  63. Swift, Jonathan – Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
  64. Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro – Naomi (1924)
  65. Tanizaki, Jun’ichiro – The Makioka Sisters (1943)
  66. Thayer, Ella Cheever – Wired Love (1879)
  67. Twain, Mark – A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court (1889)
  68. Undset, Sigrid – The Wreath (Kristin Lavransdatter #1) (1920)
  69. Webb, Mary – Precious Bane (1924)
  70. Wilder, Thornton – The Ides of March (1948)
  71. Woolf, Virginia – Orlando (1928)
  72. Xueqin, Cao – The Golden Days (The Story of the Stone #1) (1760)
  73. Yourcenar, Marguerite – Memoirs of Hadrian (1951)
  74. Zitkala-Ša – American Indian Stories (stories, autobiography and an essay, 1921)
  75. Zola, Émile – The Belly of Paris (1873)

   

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6 thoughts on “The Classics Club

  1. WoW! There’s so much on your list I haven’t even heard of!…and that’s probably because you seem to have concentrated your list on 20th century lit. that I have only just decided to venture in. I’m definitely following this blog to keep up and see what would be worth it. 😀

    All the best with you project, and welcome to the club! 🙂

    Reply
    • It’s funny – I didn’t purposefully concentrate on any one era. Things just sort of worked out that way. I’m actually going through my various to-read lists in an attempt to find more pre-20th century works I’d like to include! I’ve followed your blog, as well, because you seem to have a lot of wonderful content outside my usual reading zones, and I’m already getting ideas just by browsing around.

      Thanks for the welcome. I’ve been busy finishing up some non-classic books for various book clubs, but I should have my first classics challenge review up this week some time. 🙂

      Reply

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