The Classics Club: Wherein I Cave and Join…

Earlier this year, Jillian from A Room of One’s Own created The Classics Club where bloggers could pledge to read a certain amount of classics over the next 5 years.  It’s a superb idea and a great way to build community among the bookish interwebs.  That being said, I initially hesitated.  Not because I don’t love classics – I do, probably my favorite ‘genre’, but rather I was worried about over-extending myself or forcing myself to read from a list (even if it were of my own creation).  But I’ve caved in and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

Why now, you ask?  Because my fears were recently rendered silly when I realized that in the next four weeks I will be completing 4 books I consider classics – for fun!  And this classics reading pace is the norm for me – not the exception.  As long as my list does in fact have an end and isn’t overly long, I’ll reach this goal naturally.  So, I made my list and had a blast.  I mean, who doesn’t love a great list of books?   Plus, Jillian and several other amazing bloggers just launched The Classics Club’s own internet home this week!  Check it out here.

My list consists of books off the top of my head (mostly!) and off my shelves that I am excited about reading.  There are quite a few re-reads, but more than enough new-to-me titles.  My list is 75 books long and I am vowing to finish the list by July 31, 2017 – roughly 5 years from now.  Fifteen books a year is nothing and leaves me plenty of time to read my Litwits books and other pure pleasure reads.  WIN.

Without further ado, please see my lovely list below.  The re-reads are in bold!

And Then There Were None Agatha Christie (10/10/12)
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Color Purple Alice Walker
Black Beauty Anna Sewell (January 2013)
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Anne Bronte
Agnes Grey Anne Bronte (January 2013)
Revolutionary Road Richard Yates
The Hound of the Baskervilles Arthur Conan Doyle (11/12/12)
A Tale of Two Cities Charles Dickens
David Copperfield Charles Dickens
The Professor Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte
Moll Flanders Daniel Defoe
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
I Capture the Castle Dodie Smith (10/16/12)
Ethan Frome Edith Wharton (April 2013)
North and South Elizabeth Gaskell (8/23/12)
Cranford Elizabeth Gaskell (April 2013)
The Robber Bridegroom Eudora Welty
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald (February 2013)
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett (November 2012)
Love in the Time of Cholera Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
Norwegian Wood Haruki Murakami
The Ambassadors Henry James
Daisy Miller Henry James
Washington Square Henry James
Call It Sleep Henry Roth
The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien (11/22/12)
Mansfield Park Jane Austen (August 2013)
Sense and Sensibility Jane Austen
The French Lieutenant’s Woman John Fowles
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
East of Eden John Steinbeck
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro
Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
Anne of Green Gables L.M. Montgomery
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Lewis Carroll
Little Women Louisa May Alcott(March 2013)
Gone With the Wind Margaret Mitchell (8/6/2012)
The Woman Warrior Maxine Hong Kingston(June 2013)
The Hours Michael Cunningham
The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne  (8/6/2012)
The Picture of Dorian Gray Oscar Wilde
The Good Earth Pearl. S. Buck
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
The Big Sleep Raymond Chandler (May 2013)
Native Son Richard Wright
I, Claudius Robert Graves
Stranger in a Strange Land Robert Heinlein
All the King’s Men Robert Penn Warren
A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
Henderson the Rain King Saul Bellow
King Lear Shakespeare
Twelfth Night Shakespeare
The Tempest Shakespeare
The Haunting of Hill House Shirley Jackson
The Stand Stephen King
American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
Jude the Obsure Thomas Hardy
Tess of the D’Ubervilles Thomas Hardy
Our Town Thornton Wilder
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Truman Capote
Les Miserables Victor Hugo
Lolita Vladimir Nobokov(July 2013)
O Pioneers! Willa Cather
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
Neuromancer William Gibson
The Princess Bride William Goldman
Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray (March 2013)
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston (9/23/12)

19 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Wherein I Cave and Join…

  1. Congratulations on your commitment, Brooke.
    I personally can highly recommend the following: A Clockwork Orange, The Grapes of Wrath, Slaughterhouse Five, Stranger in a Strange Land, and The Stand.
    Each of them seems to carry some baggage with it that may tend to make people shy away, a reputation of violence, a massive page count, the source for a well-known film, or simply old and dated.
    Don’t be deterred.
    You’ll find that each of these books brings more than the obvious to the table.
    All of them have made a lasting impression on me.
    I hope you thoroughly enjoy every one.

    • I’m extremely excited to read each and every title! I love classic literature by any definition and believe all the time I spend with these books will be priceless!

  2. I put off joining for ages too because like you, I don’t like lists and pressure. But I caved earlier in the week and I’m glad to see you caved too 🙂

    You have a great list, I loved Agnes Grey and I Capture The Castle. The Tempest is my favourite Shakespeare play out of those I have read so far. Happy reading!

    • I’m glad someone else caved as well!! Looking forward to the list, especially I Capture the Castle which I decided to throw on there whether or not most people believe it to be a classic. Definitions be damned!

  3. Like you, I had a great time just making my list. Some of my favorites on your list are Slaughterhouse Five, The Stand, Never Let Me Go, Tess, and The Princess Bride. I agree that reading should just be for fun and sometimes these challenges take a little away from that. But mostly I’m excited to have a good go-to list when I need an idea of what to read next.

    • The list making was definitely a lot of fun. I could literally spend hours a day making book lists. I’m so glad everyone is excited about reading off their lists and discussing their choices!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Round-up for August 6, 2012. « The Classics Club

  5. That’s a really nice mix of classics you have there! I decided to join in June only when I realised my list didn’t have to be set in stone. I already have a feeling I’m going to be changing at least half my list. After all 5 years is a really long time! 😀

  6. Brilliant list! One of my favourite things about the club is browsing other people’s lists. You have so many of my favourites on here, and I’m now thinking I need to add a re-read of Black Beauty onto my own list!

    • Thanks! I’m a list geek as well, but it gets me in trouble because I end up just wanting to combine everyone’s list onto mine. I’ve never read Black Beauty so I’m excited to give it a go.

  7. This is a good idea to join this Classics Club and now you got me thinking of it too, if not only for the reason that I missed quite a few during my school years. I need to retrace my tracks. Is there a limited amount you have to read in a year? hmm dont want to be overburdened. Your list is good — some of them you will blow through easy, others more painstakingly. good luck

  8. I LOVE all your re-reads!! Especially Rebecca, which I just read for the first time a couple weeks ago. DEFINITELY plan to reread. Also, I spy The Tenant of Wildfell Hall on your list. SO GOOD. I ♥ Anne Bronte. 🙂 And Little Women. And Vanity Fair. And Sense & Sensibility. 🙂

    • I’m super excited about everything on my list! I can’t believe I’m almost 30 and have never read Little Women or Anne of Green Gables (although I adored both movies/mini-series). And the Rebecca re-read might be my most anticipated. I loved it in high school and haven’t read it since – way overdue!!

  9. Hey there! This is my first visit to your blog!
    We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same niche.

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  10. Great list. I too love the classics … I’m tempted to join the the club, but not sure I’ll have the time! I will check it out. I’m falling in love with your site by the way. I feel like I’ve just stumbled upon heaven – book heaven that is 😉

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