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,A Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (2/14)
George Sand, Indiana
Charlotte Brontë, Villette
Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (last read 2008)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (last read 1998-9) (3/14)
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 Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Virginia Woolf, The Waves
Octavia Butler, Lilith’s Brood
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander (1/14)
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)
11 thoughts on “The Classics Club”
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Wow! That’s some list! Good luck with The Tales of Genji, it becomes very repetitive after awhile. All it’s about is a guy sneaking in and seducing one Japanese maiden after another, or maybe they were wives. It was awhile back. I didn’t make it through. I have read 26 of your list, but I see that I have read more of the older books than the newer ones. I’m not sure if I want to make a list like that or not! Mine seems to change from day to day as I hear of different books.
Thanks, Kay! I got the new edition of the Tale of Genji, which is supposed to be great. I like this list because it gives me something to focus on besides my hundreds-long TR list, and I feel as if I’m filling in gaps in my education at the same time.
That might be a good reason to make a list myself. I’ll think about it. I know there are always books that come up in conversation that I have not read.
Pingback: Recommended Reading (and a Classics Club Checkmark): Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, by Diana Gabaldon | Rosemary and Reading Glasses
Pingback: Succumbing to Peer Pressure: The Classics Club Spin # 5 (the first for me). | Rosemary and Reading Glasses
Pingback: The Classics Club Spin #6 (the second for me). | Rosemary and Reading Glasses
Great list with the emphasis on 20th C. books. Tool often classic book lists are overloaded with 19th C selections. ( mine included). S.Undset isn’t on many lists and I must say this book was a great read. It really surprised me. I hope to keep up with your reviews and might borrow some of your 2oth C reading suggestions for my next CB list!
Thanks, Nancy! KL is both my grandmothers’ favorite book; I tried it when I was younger and couldn’t finish, but I think I’m ready for it now. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it!
Pingback: Recommended Reading: Why Homer Matters, by Adam Nicolson | Rosemary and Reading Glasses
Pingback: Recommended Reading: Excellent Women, by Barbara Pym | Rosemary and Reading Glasses