Friday, August 24, 2012

Classics Club

Yes, I am jumping on that bandwagon.  The Classics Club, 50 classics in five years, oh my!  So I chose my classics with an eye to:

1) what I already own
2) what I'm always embarrassed to admit I've never read
3) what I've always intended to read
4) what I still feel guilty about skipping in high school
5) avoiding those books that I'd like to have read but I know just won't happen (see: Ulysses)

So yeah, you know what it's all about, I'm sure.  I've mostly constructed a list of classic classics, Charles Dickens and whatnot, but I've also included some other genres like sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and even kids' books (Everyone read The Giver but me!  Everyone!).  My list is below, and I've also added it to my rather sparse Challenges page, should you ever feel the urge to check my progress.  And here they are, 50 books I'm committing myself to read by August 24, 2017.  Oy.  Oh and I'm starting today with Mansfield Park.  Wish me luck!

  1. Austen, Jane: Mansfield Park
  2. Austen, Jane: Persuasion
  3. Austen, Jane: Lady Susan
  4. Bronte, Charlotte: Villette
  5. Burgess, Anthony: A Clockwork Orange
  6. Butler, Octavia, E.: Kindred
  7. Calvino, Italo: If on a winter’s night a traveler
  8. Collins, Wilkie: The Woman in White
  9. Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness
  10. Dickens, Charles: Great Expectations
  11. Dostoevsky, Fyodor: The Best Short Stories
  12. Dostoevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment
  13. Dreiser, Theodore: Sister Carrie
  14. Eco, Umberto: The Name of the Rose 
  15. Faludi, Susan: Backlash
  16. Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury
  17. Fitzgerald, F. Scott: The Great Gatsby
  18. Flaubert, Gustave: Madame Bovary
  19. Gaskell, Elizabeth: Cranford
  20. Hardy, Thomas: The Mayor of Casterbridge
  21. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlett Letter
  22. Homer: The Odyssey
  23. Irving, John: A Prayer for Owen Meaney
  24. Kafka, Franz: The Trial
  25. Kerouac, Jack: On the Road
  26. Keyes, Daniel: Flowers for Algernon
  27. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild
  28. Lovecraft, H.P.: Bloodcurdling Tales of Horror and the Macabre
  29. Lowry, Lois: The Giver
  30. Mitchell, Margaret: Gone With the Wind 
  31. O’Brien, Tim: The Things They Carried
  32. Orwell, George: Animal Farm
  33. Paton, Alan: Cry, the Beloved Country
  34. Proust, Marcel: Swann’s Way
  35. Pynchon, Thomas: Gravity’s Rainbow
  36. Radcliffe, Ann: The Mysteries of Udolpho
  37. Shakespeare, William: Henry VIII
  38. Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath
  39. Styron, William: Sophie’s Choice
  40. Thoreau, Henry David: Walden
  41. Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Hobbit
  42. Tolkien, J.R.R.: The Lord of the Rings
  43. Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  44. Updike, John: Rabbit, Run
  45. Wallace, David Foster: Infinite Jest
  46. Waugh, Evelyn: Brideshead Revisited
  47. Wharton, Edith: Ethan Frome
  48. Woolf, Virginia: The Waves
  49. Woolf, Virginia: Jacob’s Room
  50. Wright, Richard: Eight Men


  1. A great list! I have Tolkien on my list too but cheated by having LOTR as three separate books :P

    Hope you are enjoying Mansfield Park.

    1. Lol. I'm listening to all of the Tolkien books on audio, so I figured I should do some condensing to make up for it!

  2. Jennifer,

    Persuasion is my favorite Austen title. I don't think I'll attempt any of the others any time soon. I enjoyed P&P in the sense that I really wanted to keep reading once I got into it.. there was this thought that something big was going to happen just around the bend.

    I'm interested to see your reviews as you work through the list because I see many overlapping titles and some that I considered. Good luck! :)

    I absolutely loved Wharton's Ethan Frome so hopefully you'll enjoy it. It's so different from her other work and I really appreciated it.

    1. Well then there's hope that my having put 3 Austen titles on my list wasn't a big mistake, because Mansfield Park is so blah.

  3. Good luck! I've been considering joining this challenge myself but it's such a long commitment I just haven't decided yet. I've read a handful on your list and some favorites are Animal Farm, Kindred, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

    Also - Kudos for adding Gravity's Rainbow to your list! I've never read it but I have to say it intimidates me more than any other book I can think of.

    1. Yeah, I'm a little nervous. I have a hard enough time sticking to much shorter challenges! But we'll see how it goes. I purposely included some not-so-old and not-so-tough classics to keep myself going.