Thursday, January 29, 2015

Classics Club

Happy Thursday! January 29th already, yikes.  No better time to write about reading goals than the end of January, am I right? ;) I'd heard of the Classics Club before, but didn't know if I wanted to jump in until now.  One of my 2015 goals is to read more, and this seemed like a focused way to do that, while finally getting around to some of the greats.

The deets: The Classics Club is a community of readers and bloggers who have the goal of reading at least fifty classic books in five years. With a few guidelines, you make the list, you set the number and the timeframe, and away you go! The goal is to read every one of the books on your list in five years, and to write a little bit about each one.
For my own list, I tried to pick books that:

  1. I knew I wanted to read, and really would try to plow through.
  2. Were not all written in English (though most of them were).
  3. Women wrote.
  4. Had diverse styles and stories, and were from different geographical areas.

Below is the list that I've come up with, where "classic" also means published at least 25 years ago. Am I missing books with authors from Africa, Asia, and many, many other countries? Yep.  Are probably 90% of my picks written by dead white men? Yep.  It's not the most diverse, and doesn't have the most "classic" classics - like Aenid or Shakespeare - but it's mine, and I had a lot of fun putting it together.

Nuts and bolts:
I'll have a few mini prizes (a chocolate bar or other small treat) each time I finish five books.
Each time I finish a book, I'll write a short reflection or review and link up to the Classics Club.
The reviews will also be under the "Classics Club" tab up at the top of the blog for easy access.

Have you joined the Classics Club? What classic books are you trying to read?

Ladies first:
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro
The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allande
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rys
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
My Mother's House by Colette
Near to the Wild Heart by Clarice Lispector
A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor

United Kingdom:
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien
A Passage to India by EM Forster
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Germinal by Emile Zola
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
In Search of Lost Time (Volume I) by Marcel Proust
Father Goroit by Honore de Balzac

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner
Native Son by Richard Wright
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Dune by Frank Herbert
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
*The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

German Language:
The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse
The Trial by Franz Kafka

Last but not Least, Greece:
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

*Sources said Canadian-American/Canadian-born American writer, so I placed him there.


  1. I like how you divided up your list. Nice selection of books to keep you busy.