One of my goals for this fall (and winter, because, really, let’s not kid ourselves) is to make a list of my (ridiculous number of) books and try to put a schedule together to read the unread ones.
So naturally, I’m sidetracking myself by joining the Classics Club. And I love a full bandwagon, so maybe you could join too?
Here’s the idea: Make a list of at least fifty classic books you’d like to read, and then commit to reading them in five years, at most. More than fifty books? Great! Your classics are all sci-fi/nineteenth-century/YA/poetry? Go right ahead and list them (but seriously. YA? Really?).
My list, as you’ll see, is rather a smorgasbord. I’m trying to fill gaps in my education (and, you know, try to stomach a few things from the eighteenth century) and refresh my memory and remedy my shocking lack of under-the-belt sci-fi classics. You’ll also notice that there’s nary a sixteenth- or seventeenth-century work to be found on my list, because I spent five years in grad school chilling with my pals Shakespeare, Spenser, Donne, Middleton, Cavendish, Milton, Marvell, Jonson, and Lanyer. I feel like we can stay in touch via Facebook for at least a few more years.
Start Date: September 13, 2013
End Date: September 12, 2018
Here’s my list o’ 51. I did not alphabetize it. Please still hang out with me.
Well Before the Eighteenth Century
Homer, The Iliad
Homer, The Odyssey
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji
Laurence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman
Ann Radcliffe, The Mysteries of Udolpho
Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Anne Brontë, Agnes Grey
Elizabeth Barret Browning, Aurora Leigh
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White
Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass
George Sand, Indiana
Charlotte Brontë, Villette
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (last read 2008)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (last read 1998)
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre (last read 2010ish)
Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter (last read 2000 or 2001)
Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart
Sherwood Anderson, Winesburg, Ohio
Robertson Davies, The Rebel Angels
Edgar Lee Masters, Spoon River Anthology
Willa Cather, O Pioneers!
Ford Madox Ford, Parade’s End
Graham Greene, The Quiet American
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
Ernest Hemingway, To Have and Have Not
Kazuo Ishiguro, The Remains of the Day
Vladimir Nabokov, Pale Fire
Flann O’Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds
Sherman Alexie, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
Flannery O’Connor, Wise Blood
Ursula Leguin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Virginia Woolf, The Waves
Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander
Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook
Iris Murdoch, The Sea, The Sea
James Baldwin, Another Country
Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Raymond Chandler, The Big Sleep
Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49
Muriel Spark, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist
Henry Miller, Tropic of Cancer
Ray Bradbury, The Martian Chronicles
Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles (last read sometime in the late ’90s)
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (last read sometime in the early aughts)
So, what did I miss? What would you have added? Are you already a member? How’s it going?
15 thoughts on “Because I Love a Bandwagon: The Classics Club”
Oooh, I love this, and I am going to join! Going back to the classics has been a kind of nebulous goal of mine, so I’m thrilled to know that there is a “support” group, so to speak. I am a real sucker for these themed projects 😉
I love your list, and there are some new titles and authors there for me as well. I recently put The Golden Notebook on my TR list and I am very anxious to get to that. I also want to read Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, which I had started eons ago but never finished. I will be doing a lot of re-reads of the most common classics, to fill in my (memory) gaps from college. I also want to read The Tale of Genji – will be fascinating to read what is considered the world’s first novel. Looking forward to your future posts on your progress!
I can’t wait to see your list! I should have thought of Madame Bovary! I read Anna Karenina six or seven years ago and really liked it, which I wasn’t really expecting! The Classics Club blog has a big list somewhere with some of the most popular choices.
One of us, one of us, one of us…
I just joined the Classics Club last month, I’ve only read The Crying of Lot 49 (it didn’t exactly go well). But I love the challenge, it’s a great idea. Nice to see you get involved.
Our lists only share three title (Crying, Robinson Crusoe, and The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie). I actually don’t really know a lot of yours, so this was a good lesson in education 🙂
And Dickens! I’m trying Dickens again after years of high-school-inspired hatred. I’ve read a lot on your list but there are some new ones to think about too. I stopped my list at 2000, so I’m excited to hear what you think of the newer classics (and how you chose them). I can’t say enough good things about Kavalier & Clay — one of my all-time favorites. And American Gods was great. I wish I hadn’t sent my copy to my brother. Not that I’m selfish or anything.
I came extremely close to taking Kavalier and Clay off my bookshelf last night to start reading it. I honestly haven’t heard one person say anything but compliments. The bar is so high with this I’m nervous…
By the way, today I have to gird my loins to pick up the dragon book. I hope it is hilarious.
It BETTER be hilarious haha. Kudos for using “gird” as well. You don’t get many girds these days.
I think I’ll have to order mine online. I don’t have the intestinal fortitude to walk up to someone in person and hand them that book. Haha.
Ah, intestinal fortitude. Another choice phrase. Here’s the thing, though: if you buy it online, you BOUGHT it. Ouch.
… Guilty …
Great list! I don’t know that I can commit to more reading when I have two shelves of unread books staring at me… 🙂 Good luck! I’ll look forward to reading your reviews!
You’ve picked some wonderful book! I love breaking them up into eras. Welcome to the bandwagon! – Melissa
I love Ann Radcliffe!! Have you read Gone With the Wind? That one’s my favorite. 🙂 Welcome!
I think I read a bit of GWTW when I was a teenager, but not since. If I get through this first batch of 51, I’ll add it!
Thanks for the warm welcome!