The Classics Club

Have you heard about what all the cool kids in The Classics Club are doing? They’re making the classics an integral part of their lives by choosing to read and blog about 50+ classics over a five year time period. I’m not claiming to be cool, but I do want to read more classics, so I’m in!

The process of creating your own reading list is a wonderful challenge in itself. I greatly enjoyed forming my own reading lists in graduate school and for the courses I used to teach. Creating a focused and limited reading lists helps you to refine your thinking about a topic, genre, or time period, as well as what’s important to you and why.

In the process of putting together my list of classics I focused on books I have not yet read, although there are a few that I started in the past and didn’t finished. These are the books that whenever I come across them I think, “I really want to read that already.” I tried to keep the list to 100 books published before 1970, but there are some at the end published after 1970 that I just couldn’t resist.  

Here’s my list of 100 classics that I plan to read by October 2017:

  1. On The Good Life, Cicero, BCE
  2. The Divine Comedy, Dante, 1318
  3. The Decameron, Boccaccio, 1351
  4. Don Quixote, Cervantes, 1605
  5. Les Liaisons Dangereuses, De Laclos, 1782
  6. The Monk, Lewis, 1796
  7. Sense and Sensibility, Austen, 1811
  8. Pride and Prejudice, Austen, 1813
  9. Ivanhoe, Scott, 1819
  10. The Red and the Black, Stendhal,1830
  11. The Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas, 1844
  12. Wuthering Heights, Bronte, 1847
  13. The House of the Seven Gables, Hawthorne, 1851
  14. Bartleby, the Scrivener, Melville, 1853
  15. The Woman in White, Collins, 1859
  16. Les Miserables, Hugo, 1862
  17. War and Peace, Tolstoy, 1864
  18. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll, 1865
  19. Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky, 1866
  20. Anna Karenina, Tolstoy, 1869
  21. Carmilla, Le Fanu, 1872
  22. Personal Memoirs, Grant, 1885
  23. The Bostonians, James, 1886
  24. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court, Twain, 1889
  25. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Wilde, 1890
  26. Hunger, Hamsun, 1890
  27. The Canterville Ghost, Wilde, 1891
  28. The Country of the Pointed Firs, Jewett, 1896
  29. The Invisible Man, Wells, 1897
  30. Lord Jim, Conrad, 1899
  31. Kim, Kipling, 1901
  32. The Land of Little Rain, Austin, 1903
  33. The Way of All Flesh, Butler, 1903
  34. A Room with a View, Forster, 1908
  35. The Phantom of the Opera, Leroux, 1910
  36. Maurice, Forster, 1914
  37. The Good Soldier, Ford, 1915
  38. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce, 1916
  39. The Education of Henry Adams, Adams, 1918
  40. Winesburg, Ohio, Anderson, 1919
  41. This Side of Paradise, Fitzgerald, 1920
  42. Three Soldiers, Dos Passos, 1921
  43. So Big, Ferber, 1924
  44. The Magic Mountain, Mann, 1924
  45. Mrs. Dallowy, Woolf, 1925
  46. The Castle, Kafka, 1926
  47. Steppenwolf, Hesse, 1927
  48. To the Lighthouse, Woolf, 1927
  49. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Doblin, 1929
  50. Goodbye to All That, Graves, 1929
  51. As I Lay Dying, Faulkner, 1930
  52. The Maltese Falcon, Hammet, 1930
  53. Little Man, What Now? Fallada, 1932
  54. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Stein, 1933
  55. A Testament of Youth, Brittain, 1933
  56. Tender is the Night, Fitzgerald, 1933
  57. Mary Poppins, Travers, 1934
  58. Rebecca, du Maurier, 1938
  59. The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck, 1939
  60. And Then There Were None, Christie, 1939
  61. Goodbye to Berlin, Isherwood, Christopher, 1939
  62. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, McCullers, 1940
  63. Mythology, Hamilton, 1942
  64. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Smith, 1943
  65. Brideshead Revisted, Waugh, 1944
  66. The Drinker, Fallada, 1944
  67. Animal Farm, Orwell, 1945
  68. Hiroshima, Hersey, 1946
  69. The Diary of a Young Girl, Frank, 1947
  70. The Caine Mutiny, Wouk, 1951
  71. From Here to Eternity, Jones, 1951
  72. The Price of Salt, Highsmith, 1952
  73. Wise Blood, O’Connor, 1952
  74. Lord of the Flies, Golding, 1954
  75. Catch-22, Heller, 1955
  76. Night, Wiesel, 1955
  77. Giovanni’s Room, Baldwin, 1956
  78. You’re Stepping on my Cloak and Dagger, Hall, 1957
  79. Doctor Zhivago, Pasternak, 1957 
  80. The Ugly American, Lederer, 1958
  81. A Raisin in the Son, Hansberry, 1959
  82. The Tin Drum, Grass, 1959
  83. Revolutionary Road, Yates, 1961
  84. We Have Always Lived in the Castle, Jackson, 1962
  85. Ship of Fools, Porter, 1962
  86. A Moveable Feast, Hemingway, 1964
  87. The Stone Angel, Laurence, 1964
  88. Stoner, Williams, 1965
  89. The Chosen, Potok, 1967
  90. Slaughterhouse-Five, Vonnegut, 1968
  91. The Godfather, Puzo, 1969
  92. The Winds of War, Wouk, 1970
  93. Deliverance, Dickey, 1970
  94. The Killer Angels, Shaara, 1974
  95. The Thorn Birds, McCullough, 1977
  96. Midnight’s Children, Rushdie, 1980
  97. Curious Wine, Forrest, 1983
  98. The Handmaid’s Tale, Atwood, 1985
  99. Regeneration, Barker, 1991
  100. Suite Francaise, Nemirovsky, 2006 (written in 1930s/40s)

I feel the need to say that the only book I’m not thrilled about reading is the Faulkner. I have never read anything by him, although I’ve tried. But since I re-read The Great Gatsby this year and have come to have a new appreciation for Fitzgerald, I thought I’d give Faulkner another chance. 
Do you read classics? What are some of your favorites or some that you really want to read already?

Categories: General


4 replies

  1. Glad to see you signed up 🙂
    100 is a challenge, you're going to be a busy classics reader! I haven't read lots of these books so I will be looking forward to your reviews.

  2. Welcome to the Club. Your list is impressive. There are so many here that are not on my list, though I have a couple of them lined up on my TBR. Looking forward to rading your reviews.

  3. I tried to balance things out with some shorter classics, but some of those older, thicker classics now make five years seem like a tight time frame!

  4. Thank you for the welcome! I'm so happy to take the plunge back into the classics and am looking forward to your reviews as well. It's always interesting to me how different people focus in on different things about the same book.

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