The Classics Club

The Classics Club
Click to sign up on The Classics Club Blog
Jillian of A Room of One’s Own came up with an awesome idea to host a book club of sorts, which she has named The Classics Club. The idea is for individual readers to set a goal to read a certain number of classics over a certain period of time (say, 100 classics over a period of five years). The club is intended to be very casual–pick your own list, no stress, no major requirements, etc.–and it sounds like a lot of fun. I’m a lover of classics and there are so many I have yet to read, so I jumped at the chance to join Jillian and the other participants.

My goal is to read the following 100 101 classics over the next five years (list to be expanded if I reach the goal early), which is quite doable for me–that’s about two classics per month. Some of the books on the list will be re-reads for me (technically), but I read them so long ago (when I was a kid/teenager) that I have forgotten almost everything about them. I’m sure I will feel like I’m reading them for the first time. Plus, it’s amazing how much more one gets out of a book the second time around, when one has 20+ more years of experience and learning under one’s belt.

This list is subject to change, in case I exceed my goal or in case I decide to replace a title on the list with something different. Who knows? I may get into one of these classics and really hate it, and although I’ve only DNF’d two books in all my years of reading, I’m not opposed to doing it again (I’m looking at you, Truman Capote).

I don’t think every book will receive a “formal” review on the blog; I think for some of them, I will format my posts more like discussions or informal thoughts about the book (and its author). I’m really just going to take it as it comes and write whatever I feel like writing at the time.

Anyone is welcome to join the Classics Club, so if you’re interested, just click on the Classics Club button at the top of this page to be taken to the sign-up page on The Classics Club Blog (or click here to get more detailed information).

Start date: March 7, 2012
Goal finish date: March 7, 2017
Books in red = re-reads
Struck-through titles = read (if I choose to review a book, a link to the review will be posted next to the title)

Louisa May Alcott
Little Women

Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility
Mansfield Park
Northanger Abbey

James Baldwin
Go Tell It on the Mountain
Giovanni’s Room

Samuel Beckett
Malone Dies
The Unnamable

Saul Bellow
Humbolt’s Gift
The Adventures of Augie March

Anne Brontë
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
Agnes Grey

Charlotte Brontë

Truman Capote
Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Lewis Carroll
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass

Willa Cather
O, Pioneers!
Death Comes for the Archbishop
The Professor’s House

Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone

Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe
Moll Flanders
A Journal of the Plague Year

Charles Dickens
David Copperfield
Bleak House

A Tale of Two Cities
Oliver Twist
Great Expectations

Fyodor Dostoevsky
Crime and Punishment
The Idiot

Daphne du Maurier

Alexandre Dumas
The Count of Monte Cristo
The Three Musketeers

George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss
Silas Marner

William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying
The Sound and the Fury
Absalom, Absalom!

F. Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night

Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary

E.M. Forster
Howard’s End

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Nikolay Gogol
Dead Souls

Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Far From the Madding Crowd

Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House of the Seven Gables
The Celestial Railroad and Other Stories
The Blithedale Romance
Victor Hugo
Les Misérables
The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Henry James
The Portrait of a Lady

James Joyce
The Dead

Franz Kafka
The Trial

D.H. Lawrence
Sons and Lovers
The Rainbow

Sinclair Lewis
Main Street

Charles Robert Maturin
Melmoth the Wanderer (Review)

W. Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage
The Razor’s Edge
Cakes and Ale

Herman Melville
Billy Budd

Margaret Mitchell
Gone With the Wind

Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire

Flannery O’Connor
Wise Blood
The Violent Bear It Away
Everything That Rises Must Converge

Ann Radcliffe
The Mysteries of Udolpho

Erich Maria Remarque
All Quiet on the Western Front

Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Don Quixote

William Shakespeare

Mary Shelley

Betty Smith
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island

Bram Stoker

Jonathan Swift
Gulliver’s Travels

William Makepeace Thackeray
Vanity Fair (Review)

J.R.R. Tolkien (Wrap-up post)
The Hobbit
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Two Towers
The Return of the King

Leo Tolstoy
War and Peace
The Death of Ivan Ilyich

Jean Toomer

Mark Twain
The Innocents Abroad

Jules Verne
Around the World in Eighty Days
Journey to the Center of the Earth

H.G. Wells
The Island of Dr. Moreau
The Time Machine

Edith Wharton
Ethan Frome
The House of Mirth

Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway
A Room of One’s Own

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  • Heather! I can’t WAIT to see what you think of all those Austens! And I’m so excited to see you re-reading so many titles. I agree with you: experience and time can change the way we look at books. It will be interesting to see if you react differently to the titles you’re revisiting for this project.

    Also, RADCLIFFE! Yeah, I love my some The Mysteries of Udolpho. I can’t believe how much I liked it, but I did. 🙂

    I’m going to read “The Dead” next week for Mel U’s Irish Short Story Week. And I’m probably going to put a Joyce novel on my list. (I’m scared.)

    Thanks for joining, Heather!! I’m super-excited we’re doing this. 😀 😀

    PS – I’m halfway through Vanity Fair. It is SO GOOD so far.

    • I’m a bit scared of Joyce, too. Hahaha! And Goethe.

      I’m really excited about this–thanks so much for coming up with this!

  • Impressive list. And really classic. Some of them I’ve read lopng ago and it would be fun reading them from a different perspective that comes with age and wisdom.

    • Thank you! I’m looking forward to the re-reads.

  • Great looking list – you have some of my favourites on there (Villette, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Count of Monte Cristo) and we also have some of the same books planned. Happy reading 🙂

  • So many great books and authors on this list – and many that I want to read! We share some of the same, but I could easily have made my list 100 or 200 books instead of 50 – I just didn’t want to overwhelm myself (10 classics per year seems good to me, particularly when I read so many other types of books and because so many books on my list are SO LONG!).

    I LOVE Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin. Can’t wait for you to read that one. 🙂

    • I could have made my list much longer, too, so I had to keep telling myself, “It’s only five years. Don’t overdo it.” Haha! Thanks, Adam!

  • Great List! I had so much fun coming up with mine… though some titles got cut so I would keep it at 50. I’ve got to focus, or I get distracted and overwhelm myself!

  • I love that you’re doing more than one read by most of the authors. I’ve been trying to think of titles for my list and just stole a few from yours. I’m really looking forward to seeing what you think of the Nabokov, and to reading your reviews of those other russian authors I am finally planning to get around reading.

    (Well, sometime in the next five years.)

    • I’m really looking forward to everyone’s thoughts on all the books they’ve (we’ve) chosen. I have been meaning to read more Nabokov for years, and keep putting it off for some reason. No more!

  • What a great list, Heather! Good luck and happy reading! 🙂

  • Heather, what a list! Can’t wait to see what you think of Eliot – I am reading her too this year for the first time. Just trying to finalise my own list this weekend; easier said than done!

    • MUCH easier said than done. There are so many books I had to leave off my list for now.

  • This is such a great list! I’ve had so much fun browsing everyone’s lists. But it’s reminding me of all the books I probably should have added to mine… I can’t wait to see what you think of some of these – Persuasion, Gone with the Wind, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and Rebecca are some of my absolute favorite books!

    • Thanks, Hannah! As I look at other people’s lists, I realize how many I had to leave off of mine to keep it at 100. Coming up with a list like this was tough.

  • Great list! You have quite a few here that I would’ve liked to include but had to trim from my list. Awesome you included War & Peace – I think I’d need 6 months just to get that one done!

    • I’m pretty sure I’m going to need a lot of time to read War & Peace. Haha!

  • Adriana @ Classical Quest

    Awesome List Heather.
    I adored Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier. After I finished it, I read every other du Maurier title I could get my hands on:)

    • Thank you, Adriana! I’m looking forward to reading Rebecca–I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

  • Just joined The Classics Club so I’m making my way through the group. Great list you have here. I see a lot of my favorites and it looks I have a few on my list that have made it to yours. I debated on whether I wanted to put Tolkein on my list as I’ve read them before. I bet they’ll end up there eventually. Good luck with your Atwood reading, too.

    • Thanks for stopping by and checking things out here! It’s wonderful that so many people have joined. I debated the Tolkien, too, but I haven’t read them since I was in my early teens and I’ve been looking for a reason to re-read them. I just needed a push.

  • this is a wonderful list! I have several of the titles that you have, I can’t wait to read your views 🙂

  • I am new around here and a new follower…just wondering how did you get the progress widgets for your classics challenge? That looks so fun!