Sunday, November 25, 2018

Joining the Classics Club

Back in 2016, I posted a list of classic books I wanted to read. At the time I was in the mood to have a loose goal, an open-ended personal project to read more "classics." Since then I have read 10 of the books on that list and written about 8 of those.

Recently I decided I wanted to revise the list, and make it official by joining The Classics Club, an online group that focuses on reading classics and posting about books read. The main requirements are to create a list of at least 50 classic titles that I plan to read and blog about within the next five years.

So here is the new list, now with about 70 titles.  Since I am posting this on November 25, 2018, my goal date to have finished all the titles is November 25, 2023.

Chinua Achebe – Things Fall Apart (1958)
Louisa May Alcott – Little Women (1868)
Margery Allingham – Tiger in the Smoke (1952)
Isaac Asimov – Foundation (1951)
Jane Austen – Sense and Sensibility (1811)
Vicki Baum – Grand Hotel (1929)
Nicholas Blake – The Beast Must Die (1938)
Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles (1950)
Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
Anne Bronte – Agnes Grey (1847)
Charlotte Bronte – Jane Eyre (1847)
Mikhail Bulgarov – The Master and Margarita (1967)
James Cain – The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934)
Albert Camus –  The Stranger (1942)
Truman Capote – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1958) [read October 7, 2019; reviewed October 27, 2019]
Lewis Carroll – Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
Willa Cather –  My Ántonia (1918)
Raymond Chandler – The Long Goodbye (1953)
Agatha Christie – And Then There Were None  (1939)
Roald Dahl – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964)
Charles Dickens – Bleak House (1853)
Charles Dickens – A Christmas Carol (1843)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Sign of the Four (1890)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – Adventures of Sherlock Holmes  (1892)
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle – The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902)
Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca (1938)
John Meade Falkner – The Nebuly Coat (1903)
Edna Ferber – Giant (1952)
Edna Ferber – Show Boat (1926)
F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby (1925)
Ford Madox Ford – The Good Soldier (1915)
Kenneth Grahame –  The Wind in the Willows (1908)
Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm (1932) [read August 19, 2019; reviewed Sept. 25, 2019]
Graham Greene – Our Man in Havana (1958)
Graham Greene – The Quiet American (1955)
Dashiell Hammett – Red Harvest (1929)
Robert A. Heinlein –  Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)
Patricia Highsmith – The Talented Mr.Ripley (1955)
Dorothy B. Hughes – In A Lonely Place (1947)
Victor Hugo  – Les Misérables (1862)
Zora Neale Hurston – Their Eyes Were Watching God (1937)
Christopher Isherwood – Goodbye to Berlin (1939)
Shirley Jackson – We Have Always Lived in the Castle (1962)
Madeleine L'Engle – A Wrinkle in Time (1962)
Ira Levin – A Kiss Before Dying (1953)
Carson McCullers – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (1940)
Margaret Millar – Beast In View (1955)
Nancy Mitford – The Pursuit of Love (1945)
Walker Percy – The Moviegoer (1961)
J. D. Salinger – Catcher in the Rye (1951)
J. D. Salinger – Franny and Zooey (1961)
Dorothy l. Sayers – The Nine Tailors (1934)
William Shakespeare – Much Ado About Nothing (1598)
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein (1818)
Nevil Shute – On the Beach (1957) [read May 4, 2019; reviewed May 22, 2019]
Betty Smith – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1943) [read July 16, 2019; reviewed Oct. 16, 2019]
Dodie Smith – I Capture the Castle (1948)
Muriel Spark – The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)
John Steinbeck – Cannery Row (1945)
Robert Louis Stevenson – The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1886)
Bram Stoker – Dracula (1897)
William Thackeray – Vanity Fair (1848)
James Thurber – The 13 Clocks (1950)
Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina (1878)
Anthony Trollope – The Warden (1855)
Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse-Five  (1955)
H. G. Wells –  The Invisible Man (1897)
Eudora Welty – The Optimist's Daughter (1972)
Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890)
Virginia Woolf – Flush (1933)

The definition of a classic is pretty much up to the person creating the list. My list is still primarily works of fiction that were published over 50 years ago that have "stood the test of time." I removed some titles, adding more titles. I did add one title that was published in 1972, so not quite 50 years old. Because the number of titles is greater, I also increased the number of classic crime fiction, science fiction, and fantasy books.

The club acknowledges that readers may want to change the list around over time, and it is allowable to "switch up the titles on your list after you post it, at any time during the duration of your challenge."

How to join the Classics Club



27 comments:

  1. That's an interesting and excellent list. I've read just 18 of them and there're quite a few I would like to read. Good luck.

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    1. Thanks, Cath. I am looking forward to making progress on the list. A few I have read already, and many will be new to me.

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  2. This is a great list, Tracy. I miss reading classics especially from the Golden era....I do miss Past Offenses and his monthly rounds ups, too. Not sure what happened but I might just join this new blog. Thanks for the heads up. Looking forward to seeing your opinion espeically on some of those in your list that I've read which is maybe about 14 books. Take care. --Keishon

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    1. Good to hear from you, Keishon. I miss Past Offenses also, and the Crimes of the Century meme. I am looking forward to trying the books on this list.

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  3. It always feels good to 'revamp' a list and start crackin' !
    13 Clocks...(Thurber)so funny
    The Christmas Carol...such a favorite.
    Those are 2 short books that can kickstart your reading during a busy December holiday season!
    Great list!

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. I do hope to read Christmas Carol this December.

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  4. How nice that you are joining The Classics Club. I'm so pleased that the club has basically made it so that participant can make the journey their own. I've read a number of the books you listed. Enjoy, enjoy! Do read Rebecca and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - just saying...LOL!

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    1. I do like the way the club is set up, Kay. I have not read Rebecca in ages and look forward to it. I just recently decided I want to read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and I do hope I get to it soon.

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  5. I'm happy for you that you've decided to sign up for the Classics Club, Tracy. I give you a lot of credit for that, and I think you've got some excellent choices. I really like the variety in your choices, too. I'll be interested in what you think of the ones you choose.

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    1. I look forward to all of these books, Margot, I just hope I can keep up the pace.

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  6. Good luck with this venture. There's probably more on the list that I have in my collection than I might have expected there to be 7 or 8 read, maybe 10 on the pile.

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    1. Right now I maybe own half of these books, Col. Or can borrow from Glen or my son. That will keep me going for a while.

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  7. I'm so happy that you're joining in. That's a good mix of books you have on your list so I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself.

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    1. I think so, too, Katrina. I have been working on revising and adding to the list for two months now, it was about time to commit to it.

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  8. Very impressive ambition, and what a great list! Really look forward to reading your reviews.

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    1. I have worried about being overly optimistic about what I can get done in 5 years, Moira, but I do plant to retire in about a year, so that should give me more time for reading and more time for blogging. I like the list, and I did add Little Women.

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  9. So many, many Classics I haven't read yet. I love to read them though I don't think I can do proper justice to reviews. Good luck with the challenge, Tracy. Truly commendable.

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    1. Thanks, Prashant. I agree, it is really challenging to review a classic.

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  10. Interesting list. There are several books on your list that I are on my Classics Club list and a bunch more I want to read. I'm reading Achabe's Things Fall Apart in January for the CC Spin #19.

    If you want to do a buddy read for Things Fall Apart or Jane Eyre (one of my all time favorites) or The Invisible Man or a Wrinkle in Time let me know.

    If you're interested there is a year long or extreme buddy read hosted by the Goodreads group Nothing But Reading Challenges. I'm doing that. Should be interesting. It's called a A Weighty Tome

    Good luck and Happy reading!
    Erica @ The Broken Spine

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    1. Thanks, Erica, for all of this. I will think about the buddy reads. I have never done one, but for for some of the ones you mentioned, that might be useful for me.

      And especially thanks for mentioning A Weighty Tome. I am a good ways through Les Miserables but still have a ways to go. This may be what I need to finish it. (and not feeled too rushed about it)

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  11. Many congratulations on becoming Clubber of the Month at The Classics Club. Somehow I've missed your blog, so I'm very glad to have found you! 😊

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments and sorry for my belated reply, Paula. I am enjoying the classics I am reading and hoping to speed that up when I retire.

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  12. welcome to Classics Club! Lots of nice titles here. I think I've read The Heart is a Lonely Hunter three times. I'm currently reading WE. Here is my list, I just need to read 7 to finish it: https://wordsandpeace.com/2016/01/01/the-classics-club-2016-2020/

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    1. Thanks, Emma. I have been looking for a copy of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. I went and checked out your list, and I am going to have to do what you have done, add other classics I have read. Of course, it would also help if I linked in my reviews of the ones I have read and actually reviewed the others.

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  13. Welcome as the Clubber of the Month. Interesting list, of which I have read 22. I tend to add older books to my list, but I will go for a few 'newer' ones. Quite inspired by some of your choices, which I will add to my own list.

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    1. Thank you, Lisbeth. Since I put together this list, I have read two classics not even on the list (The Tin Flute by Gabrielle Roy and The Woman in White). And I am interested in reading An American Tragedy, although I haven't found a copy with print at a comfortable size yet.

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    2. You are really doing very well. My approach to classics comes and goes, although I like to mix them with 'ordinary' books. I loved The Woman in White and also The Moonstone. Great classics and great reads.

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