Thursday, May 9, 2019

My Second Classics Club List

"Read the best books first, 
or you may not have a chance to read them at all."

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 ( 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 the club know.
Happily, I completed my first Classics Club list of fifty titles on May 2, 2019. It's time to create a second list.

I spent a day browsing through and organizing the lists of books I am interested in reading I keep under Perpetual Challenges on my blog. I'm pleased with how this came out. (If you are interested in copying any or all of these lists, feel free to do so.)

The day culminated in the formation of my second Classics Club list. I am quite proud of it. There are fifty books I plan to try to read in the next five years. I have five long books, including The Decameron (554 pages), The Old Curiosity Shop (545 pages), Tom Jones (690 pages), Wives and Daughters (583 pages), and Dickens' Bleak House (800 pages). But most books on my list fall within the very-doable range of 200-400 pages. My list is heavy with adult fiction (20 titles) and children's fiction (11 titles). But I also included science fiction (2), short story collections (4), poetry (2), biographies (1), philosophy (2), folk tales (2), plays (3), mysteries (1), travel (1), and nature (1). 

Update: 19/50 (January 2020)

All Passion SpentSackville-West, Vita1931Fiction174 pages
Around the World in 80 DaysVerne, Jules1873Science fiction256 pages
Arsene Lupin, Gentleman-BurglarLeblanc, Maurice 1905Children's304 pages
Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, TheStein, Gertrude1933Biography238 pages
Bell Jar, ThePlath, Sylvia1963Fiction190 pages
Bleak HouseDickens, Charles1853Fiction800 pages
Cloven Viscount, TheCalvino, Italo1959Fiction128 pages
CranfordGaskell, Elizabeth1853Fiction192 pages
Decameron, TheBoccaccio, Giovanni1353Short stories554 pages
Emperor of Ice Cream and Other PoemsStevens, Wallace1954Poetry96 pages
End of the AffairGreene, Graham1951Fiction237 pages
Essential Rumi, TheRumi1240Poetry340 pages
Family from One End Street, TheGarnett, Eve1937Children's212 pages
Four Loves, TheLewis, C. S.1958Spirituality180 pages
Friday's TunnelVerney, John1959Children's263 pages
FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American PoetryStavans, Ilan, ed.2011Poetry726 pages
Good Man is Hard to Find, AO'Connor, Flannery1955Short stories256 pages
Haiku in English: The First Hundred YearsKacian, Jim, ed.2013Poetry424 pages
Heat of the Day, TheBowen, Elizabeth1948Fiction372 pages
In Search of Lost Time: Swann's WayProust, Marcel1927Fiction285 pages
Japanese Fairy TalesOzaki1903Folk tales256 pages
Jungle Book, TheKipling, Rudyard1894Children's433 pages
King Arthur and the Knights of the Round TableGreen, Roger1953Folk tales330 pages
MaigretSimenon, Georges1934Mystery144 pages
Main StreetLewis, Sinclair1920Fiction368 pages
Man and SupermanShaw, George Bernard1903Play208 pages
Moby DickMelville1852Fiction463 pages
My Friend Mr. LeakeyHaldane, J.B.S. 1937Children's149 pages
My Sweet Orange TreeMauro de Vasconcelos, Jose1968Children's262 pages
Mystery of the Yellow RoomLeroux, Gaston1907Mystery236 pages
No ExitSartre, Jean-Paul1944Play60 pages
OrthodoxyChesterton, G. K.1908Philosophy100 pages
Pursuit of Love, TheMitford, Nancy1945Fiction247 pages
Razor's Edge, TheMaugham, W. Somerset1944Fiction314 pages
Right Ho, JeevesWodehouse, P. G.1934Fiction248 pages
Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, ANewby, Eric1958Travel306 pages
StoriesChekhov, Anton1903Short stories384 pages
Tale of Two Cities, ADickens, Charles1859Fiction307 pages
Tales of Snugglepot and CuddlepieGibbs, May1940Children's224 pages
Tom Brown's SchooldaysHughes, Thomas1857Children's420 pages
Travels in Asia and AfricaBattuta, Ibn1340Travel270 pages
Vicar of WakefieldGoldsmith, Oliver1766Fiction170 pages
War and PeaceTolstoy, Leo1869Fiction1229 pages
WeZamyatin, Yevgeni1924Science fiction224 pages
Where Angels Fear to TreadForster, E. M.1905Fiction128 pages
Wilderness EssaysMuir, John1920Nature296 pages
Winter Book, AJansson, Tove1996Short stories208 pages
Winter’s Tale, TheShakespeare, William1611Play160 pages
Wives and DaughtersGaskell, Elizabeth1864Fiction583 pages
Yellow WallpaperGilman, Charlotte Perkins1892Short stories29 pages

What do you think? Do you see anything on my list that looks good to you? Anything you have read and recommend? Anything you have read and didn't like?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.


  1. What a fun list! I'm particularly looking forward to what you think about the children's classics--they're mostly new to me.

    I have We on my classics club list and read it last summer and quite liked it. Some of the others I read pre-blogging, but Bleak House is one of my favorite Dickens.

    Congratulations on finishing your first list!

    1. I not only have never read We, but, despite having a ten-year run of nothing but sci fi, I'd never even heard of it until I joined the Classics Club.

  2. Yay! I was so inspired by your recent wrap-up posts that I have put together my first list. I'll start next week, and the list will go up on the blog then. I think we have Bell Jar and Howard's End in common.

    I re-read Jungle Book a couple of years ago, and like a lot of classic children's lit, I definitely see more racism and colonialism in it now. I remember liking Man & Superman when I read a bunch of GB Shaw in college, and being very unsettled by Yellow Wallpaper. I didn't think of essays for my list; John Muir would be interesting to read.

    Enjoy the adventure!

    1. I'm so happy for you, Wendy. I can't wait to see what you are putting on the list.

  3. This will probably sound insane, but I'm anti-classics. I'm not sure if it's because they were forced on me during school or what, but I avoid them. I can appreciate them for what they are, what they represent, and what they've accomplished, but they just don't do it for me. Kudos on your list! I hope you're able to get through them all!!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

    1. Hey! I just saw your comment. If you like the images/icon tags at the bottom of my reviews, you can use them! I have a tab at the top of my blog (Book Blogger Icon Tags), where I've uploaded all of the icons I've created. Fee free to use them!

    2. I'm sure being forced to read books may have contributed to your dislike of classics. Please don't let that kill your love for classics. Classics are just really good stories.

  4. We're watching a TV adaptation of Tom Jones at the moment and it's a lot funnier than I expected it to be so I hope the book will be as good for you.
    I read The Yellow Wallpaper a while back. Disturbing, but brilliantly atmospheric

  5. I have only read a few of these, but I vividly remember reading Yellow Wallpaper in college. Intense stuff.

  6. Oh! The Jungle Book. I have always wanted to read that one.

  7. Love the variety on your list and always happy to see a couple of Dickens' books. Of the others, I enjoyed We, and loved The Mystery of the Yellow Room - lots of melodramatic fun! Enjoy your reading...

  8. Wow, this has a lot of books I haven't read yet either. I really liked Bleak House, Agnes Grey, and End of the Affair, and I know I've read Winesburg, Ohio and The Yellow Wallpaper but honestly can't remember whether I enjoyed them or not, lol.

    1. There are so many great books. I'm a little tired of reading the books that appear on my radar simply because they have just been published.

  9. wonderful to be on your 2nd list! I love the diversity. By the way, I wouldn't consider Arsene Lupin for children, mystery category rather. and this is the first book of a long series

  10. Looks like a great list. I've read a couple of them, but nothing too exciting. I really enjoyed the character of Arsène Lupin, but the translation I read was terrible.

    1. Maybe I should look for something other than the free translation at Gutenberg.

  11. Congratulations on finishing your list! I read Tom Jones years ago and remember a rambling, bawdy tale!! Enjoy your new list!


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