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Classics Club

“The Classics Club hopes to unite readers who blog about classic literature and inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life!”

I was excited when The Classics Club first launched in 2012. It was a breath of fresh air — a group of people who are enthusiastic about reading classics and who encourage others to read and write about them.

The original moderators of the group recently retired their posts and four new moderators were chosen to continue guiding the group. This “New Beginning” has inspired me to revise my classics reading list, which needed a bit of a reboot.

Below is my list of 52 classics that I plan to read by July 24, 2022. I’ll allow myself two DNFs as I’ve already had two. This is the second major revision of my list since I joined in in 2012. I hope it will be the last revision and that I read these books. Only time will tell. Interests change, and one of the things I like about The Classics Club is the flexibility and non-judgment. This is great for someone like me who loves to make lists, but isn’t all that great about following through on reading them!

If there’s a hyperlink on a title in the list below, it will take you to the post I wrote about the book. For the books on which I did not write a post, I’ve simply added “read.” Going forward I plan to get back to writing about each book I read.

* = re-read
Red = added in 2018
Blue = read
Black = survived the latest revision/on the original list

  1. The Odyssey* by Homer, 8th century BC, new translation by Emily Wilson
  2. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes, 1605
  3. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, 1678
  4. The Monk, Matthew Gregory Lewis, 1796
  5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, 1813 (read)
  6. Frankenstein* by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelly, 1818
  7. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott, 1819
  8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas, 1844 (read)
  9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, 1847 (read May 2015)
  10. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
  11. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, 1859 (read)
  12. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, 1862
  13. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, 1866
  14. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, 1869
  15. Middlemarch by George Eliot, 1871 (currently reading)
  16. Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, 1872 (read 2017)
  17. The Bostonians Henry James, 1886
  18. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, 1890 (read July 2015)
  19. The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett, 1896
  20. The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin, 1903
  21. Maurice by E.M. Forster, 1914 (read 2018)
  22. The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams, 1918
  23. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, 1919
  24. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1920 (read)
  25. So Big by Edna Ferber, 1924
  26. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, 1924
  27. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, 1925
  28. Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves, 1929
  29. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet, 1930 (read March 2015)
  30. A Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain, 1933
  31. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, 1939 (read 2017)
  32. Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood, 1939 (read)
  33. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 1943
  34. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, 1947 (read August 2015)
  35. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk, 1951 (read February 2015)
  36. From Here to Eternity by James Jones, 1951
  37. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, 1952
  38. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, 1952 (read)
  39. Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 1954
  40. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, 1956
  41. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, 1958
  42. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, 1962 (read April 2014)
  43. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter, 1962
  44. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway, 1964 (read)
  45. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, 1968
  46. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, 1969
  47. Deliverance by James Dickey, 1970 (read)
  48. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 1970
  49. The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara, 1974 (read)
  50. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, 1977 (read)
  51. The Color Purple* by Alice Walker, 1982
  52. The Handmaid’s Tale* by Margaret Atwood, 1985 (read)

DNFs:

Some Classics I love and read prior to participating in the group:

  1. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
  2. Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories
  3. Emily Dickinson’s poetry
  4. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  6. The Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  7. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  8. A Lantern in Her Hand by Bess Streeter Aldrich
  9. The Seven Story Mountain by Thomas Merton
  10. Everything by Willa Cather!

 

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12 replies

  1. I love that your list is set up in chronilogical order, much more organized than mine! You have great variety too! -Melissa

  2. Great list! I recently created my own 100 books reading challenge too, comprised both of classics and contemporary books that will likely become classics by the time I finish the list. Many of our selections overlap.

    On Faulkner, I've only read “The Sound and the Fury.” It was a challenging read, but I appreciated his art.

    Good luck with the list!

  3. Thanks, Melissa! I can't help thinking in chrono order and it sometimes gets in the way for me.

  4. Thanks, Becky! It was fun to put it together. I'm much better at compiling lists than actually working through them, so we'll see how it goes. 🙂 Love your list and look forward to reading your reviews!

  5. Hello. I just found your blog. Sorry I couldn't join you in the Cather challenge last year. How about doing an Edna Ferber challenge for 2013? Are you familiar with her? I love her strong female leads and the advocating for rights that she weaves into her stories so deftly that a casual reader may not recognize it exists. I'm new to blogging and don't really understand what all the profile terms mean so I'll sign this anonymously. DD

  6. Hi, DD! Congrats on starting to blog! I've been blogging for about 3 years now and still feel like I'm stumbling around sometimes. It's a fun outlet, though, and I've learned a lot from other bloggers and have been turned on to some great reading. Creating a profile (easy to do it you're on Blogger or Twitter) is a good way for people to be able to link back to you, find your blog, etc. I haven't yet read any Edna Ferber but her novel So Big is on my shelves waiting to be read. Honestly, I don't know much about her at all. I've been reading around in Glenn Clark's 1922 A Manual of the Short Story Art and he uses one of Ferber's stories–“The Gay Old Dog”–as an example of the story of character. I haven't gotten to that section yet, but maybe I'll just skip ahead and read the story. If you're comfortable sharing a link to your blog, I'd love to read it. Thanks so much for visiting and for taking the time to leave a comment!

  7. I've signed up for the Classics CLub as well and am only tackling 50, and I thought that was enough! We have a few in common, of course everyone raves about the Handmaid's Tale so I look forward to reading that one.

  8. Hi Tanya! Thanks for visiting. Happy to hear you signed on for the Classics Club. They're a supportive group and also very active on Twitter. I'm heading over to check out your list. And, yes, the Handmaid's Tale deserves all the praise it gets!

  9. Wow! You have a really great list of authors. The fact you wrote it as a chronological list is amazing too. I hope you are enjoying Wuthering Heights. Forster, Ford and Vonnegut are brilliant but I can't believe you haven't read Anna Karenina yet, it is so good, the film doesn't do it any justice.

  10. I read half of Anna Karenina years ago and then I put it down and never got back to it. Not sure why because I was enjoying. Will re-start that one from the beginning. Thanks for checking out my list.

Trackbacks

  1. The Classics Club, A New Beginning – WildmooBooks
  2. Classics Club Spin #18 – WildmooBooks

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