However, I was reluctant to join. At the time I had my own challenges going on, and I dropped out of them — which was poor motivation to embark on another challenge (albeit one with not such imposing quotas and rules).
Recently, I’ve been more and more attracted to this club, so I decided whatever, let’s join! You can find the complete overview of rules here. They are quite simple and to add more context to this post, I’ll summarize them:
• Choose 50 or more classics and set a finish date for reading all of them (max 5 years)
• Link stuff/send your info to the moderators of the club
• Review each book as you complete it
I read a lot of classics already, so joining the Classics Club will only add incentive to continue devouring classic titles. I made a list of 75-ish books (it will probably grow as I go along), and I plan on reading them all in three years’ time. I’ll link the complete list HERE, but these are the books that were drafted initially, in the most random fashion possible:
1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
—I’m currently reading this, so I hope it isn’t cheating if I add it on, too. It is rather enjoyable, although I predict my opinions on things will be quite different from other readers’…
2. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
—In my Author Ambitions video I mentioned that I’d like to be introduced to Dostoevsky, so yeah.
3. Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky
4. The Fortunes of Nigel, Sir Walter Scott
—I’d name this the most random pick on the list, because it has no connection whatsoever to my reading ambitions, except for the fact that I own a really pretty vintage edition of it.
5. Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens
—I’m a Dickens fangirl.
6. Daisy Miller, Henry James
7. The Turn of the Screw, Henry James
8. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Charles Dickens
9. Martin Chuzzlewit, Charles Dickens
10. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
—Collins is another author I’d like to pursue further…
11. The Old Curiosity Shop, Charles Dickens
12. Emma, Jane Austen
13. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
14. Villette, Charlotte Bronte
15. The Pickwick Papers, Charles Dickens
16. LOTR: The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien
17. LOTR: The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien
18. Sherlock Holmes, vol. II, Arthur Conan Doyle
19. Sherlock Holmes, vol. III, Arthur Conan Doyle
—I have the complete annotated SH in three volumes and I finished the first one last year. The reason I listed them as two separate books is because I’d like to give myself the opportunity to discuss a bunch of the stories and not clump the whole collection into one review. This way I can talk about the stories exclusive to that volume and dwell on them a little. 🙂
20. The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
—Because I can’t just read Brits, Russians, and Frenchmen…
21. Annotated Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
—Yes, I read Alice long ago, but this one is annotated and I’m fascinated by this story, so I’d like to see what a deeper reading will uncover.
22. Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne
23. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
24. Fairy Tales, Hans Christian Andersen
25. Howard’s End, E.M. Forster
—Did I mention that I previously thought this was a book about a man called Howard and how he died… No? Good.
26. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
—This is a reread, but I first read it when I was like ten, and my memory falters.
27. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
—Yes, I’m serious. One of the longest novels. 1,225 pages. It’s on.
28. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
29. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
31. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
32. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
33. Madame Bovary, Gustav Flaubert
34. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
35. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
—Another contestant for the longest novel. I cradle the ambition of reading it in French.
36. Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
37. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
38. On the Eve, Ivan Turgenev
39. Short Stories, Anton Chekhov
40. Germinal, Emile Zola
41. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
42. Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
43. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
44. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
45. The Painted Veil, Somerset Maugham
46. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
47. The Stranger, Albert Camus
48. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
49. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
50. Stories of Agatha Christie
—No specifics, just something.
51. Love in the Times of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
52. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
53. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
54. Orlando, Virginia Woolf
55. The Waves, Virginia Woolf
56. North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell
—This is going to be GREAT. I’m reading this next.
57. A Hero of Our Time, Mikhail Lermontov
58. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
59. House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
60. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
61. The Tempest, William Shakespeare
—I warned that this will be random. I’ll probably read more than this for Shakespeare, but this is THE ONE I’d like to read for certain.
62. Taming of the Shrew, William Shakespeare
— Another one. 🙂
63. A Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
64. Agnes Grey, Anne Bronte
65. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
66. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
67. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
68. Dickens’ Christmas Stories
—I have a nice little vintage edition of stories such as The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth. I should save this for Christmas!
69. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
70. The Diary of Anne Frank, Anne Frank
71. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
72. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
73. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
74. Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K Jerome
75. The Trial, Franz Kafka
76. Anne of Green Gables, L.M. Montgomery
77. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
I guess I should have mentioned that this list is extremely eurocentric. But these are the classics I want to read most, and diversifying my library is a new project altogether.