Sunday, January 14, 2018

The Classics Club: Fifty Classic(ish) Books I Will Read in the Next Five Years

Many thanks to Kay of Kay's Reading Life who nudged me toward The Classics Club this year.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love reading. But another, less obvious truth about me is that I love to plan, to make lists, to research my reading almost as much as I love to actually read.

How could I resist joining in this challenge? I'm in my final twenty years of reading on earth, I think, and it's time to devote myself to reading some of the best writing in these last years.

What is the Classics Club? From the blog:


  • choose 50+ classics
  • list them at your blog
  • choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles
  • e-mail the moderators of this blog (theclassicsclubblog@gmail.com) with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page!
  • write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list
  • when you’ve written about every single title, let us know.
I devoted a complete day to preparing the list. Because I am very much an overlapper (a self-created designation for a person who loves to do activities that check off as many lists at once as possible) I created most of this list from books I had already challenged myself to read, from the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read list and the 1001 Books You Must Read list, as well as from the various award-winning book lists I'm perpetually trying to read. Books marked in bold print are read and have links to reviews. I will try to read all of these by December 31, 2023. 

Update (August of 2018): So far, I've read 20/50.

    The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
At the Back of the North Wind by George MacDonald
Autumn Term by Antonia Forest
The Black Corsair by Emilio Salgari
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
The Doll's House by Rumer Godden
Dona Barbara by Romulo Gallegos  
Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
Emma by Jane Austen
Essays by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
Old Filth by Jane Gardam
One Thousand and One Arabian Nights
The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Round Rock by Michelle Huneven
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
White Fang by Jack London
The Wonderful "O" by James Thurber


Are you a member of the Classics Club? What books do you want to read first? Are there any on this list that I should read soon? 






What are you reading today?



What is the Sunday SalonImagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them,and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book. Click here to join the Salon.

The Sunday Post is a meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news and recap the past week.


Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page. We share books that we found in our mailboxes last week. 
 It is now being hosted here.

Stacking the Shelves is a meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews in which you can share the books you've acquired.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between!  This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! I love being a part of this and I hope you do too! It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is now being hosted at The Book Date.




24 comments:

  1. Yay! And I do understand the appeal of making the lists. That's me all over. I've read 9 of your list. I can recommend PERSUASION and ALAS BABYLON and A THOUSAND ACRES (very sad book). Hope you enjoy the fun of trying the classics here and I love the fact that we can adjust the list to suit our own preferences. Like I did. LOL

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    1. I second Kay's recommendation for Alas, Babylon. It's a little dated, but I thought it was a great read.

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  2. I adore this idea! I, too, am in the final two decades of reading... and I want to be more purposeful in all I do. I own both "must read" books and love the idea of making a life long reading list from those suggestions.

    I'm not sure I'm brave enough to officially join the club... but you have inspired me to up my reading game.

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  3. I haven't read a lot of classics, so I should check some out aswell. Emma by Jane Austen is one of my favourite books, so I hope you will get to that one very soon.

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  4. Bryan G. Robinson: Tried to comment on your blog, but it doesn't like me, so commenting here :) ...The ones that I think you should read sooner than later are A Thousand Acres and To The Lighthouse, two of my personal favorite classics.

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  5. While I have read a few of these, many of them long ago, my more recent (in the last ten years) include A Thousand Acres (loved the book and the movie) and Housekeeping. I loved Anna Karenina and The Bell Jar in college.

    Enjoy working your way through these! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog.

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  6. I would love to be able to read some of the classics. I do wish my library carried more of them though. Hope you enjoy the books you've picked to read for the challenge. Happy reading.

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  7. What a great, interesting list! I gave up on doing reaching challenges a few years ago, not least because my job requires me to read in a certain way, but I always enjoy seeing what challenges others set for themselves. And I especially like that you're able to work both modern and "contemporary classics" onto your list, like A Little Life.

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  8. Yes. I am a member of the Classics Club, too. My problem is that I keep ADDING books to the list that I forgot to add when I made my initial list so it isn't getting shorter as I finish books.

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  9. Wow! I keep looking at the Classics Club too, but that's not how I read right now. I've actually read 18 of the ones on your list, but almost all of them were in my teens and twenties. I loved Song of Solomon and Passage to India at that age, and I am always a Dickens and Austen proponent.

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  10. Wow! 50 classics! I need to try this challenge since I need to read some classics myself!

    Here’s my Sunday Post!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog and join in this week’s Book Photo Sundays!

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  11. This is a great list, Deb! I am going on my second year in the club, but am not making the fastest of progress. I need to work harder on it this year. Several of the books on my list are children's books or YA type books. I like that they allow such a wide variety. I wish you the best with this challenge!

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  12. This is a wonderful list of books and I like that you are giving yourself five years to get through them.

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  13. welcome to the club, with a great list. I have read ony 20 of those. we have some in common, I'm starting my 3rd year of my first round: https://wordsandpeace.com/2016/01/01/the-classics-club-2016-2020/
    Enjoy the experience!

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  14. I swear I'm always discovering new blogging community activities from your blog. ALWAYS. This is why I love looking at your weekly post XD.

    Thank you so much for the Classics Club introduction. Have a great week!

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  15. I used to read tons of classics, but I don’t anymore. I need to get back to them. I’ve read 16 of the books on your list. Good luck with the challenge! Have a great week!

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  16. Yes, i've read many of these. Shakespeare's Twelfth Night is one of my all time favorites, i go see it performed, as well, whenever i can.

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  17. I almost never stick to reading lists, so I'v given up challenges. But I wish you much luck!

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  18. I'm not a member of The Classics Club but I have read 9 that are on your list - mostly in high school and college English classes. Good luck! Come see my week here. Happy reading!

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  19. Great idea. I love making lists too. Oh wow, your list is AWESOME. I hope you enjoy all of the books once you read them. Have a awonderful reading week and happy reading. 😁❤️

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  20. I am so tempted to try this Classics Club. I'm just not sure if there is enough time. I will stop by and look at the blog. I hope you reach your goal for this year and have fun.

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Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!