Friday 9 March 2012

The Classics Club :-)

***This is my original post which I've left up for posterity. I have since revamped my list and you can find the current one here***

Jillian from A Room of One's Own has come up with the brilliant idea of a Classics Club, where people make their own list of 50, 100 or 200+ classics that they want to read within a 5 year period. I adore list making, and there are a lot of classics I want to read. I also love the totally unstressed nature of this project, and the fact that a 'classic' is whatever you define a classic as. Because of this, my list has probably ended up with a lot more rereads of series I loved as a child than it otherwise would have, but I tried to limit myself to books I actually want to read, rather than titles I feel I should have read as I know that they'll just sit on the list intimidating me for five years and I'll feel guilty about not reading them for five years... Hence the addition of such titles as Ian Fleming's James Bond series (they are classic spy fiction), and L. Frank Baum's Oz books, which I never read the entire series of as a child! 

Anyway, here's my list. Currently I have 142 books, but the number may grow. I'm hoping that as so many are children's books they won't actually take me that long to read!

Titles I own are in bold; ones I have read are struckthrough with a link to the review, if I've got around to it!

      20th Century
1. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
2. A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf
3. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
4. Alice Through the Looking Glass * by Lewis Carroll
5. Ariel by Sylvia Plath
6. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
7. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
8. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
9. Charlotte's Web * by E.B White
10.Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
11.Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
12.Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
13.Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
14.Forever by Judy Blume
15.For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
16.Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
17.Gone with the Wind * by Margaret Mitchell
18.Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood
19.Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
20.Kid by Simon Armitage 
21.Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H Lawrence
22.Let the Circle Be Unbroken * by Mildred D. Taylor
23.Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winnifred Watson
24.Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
25.My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
26.Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm * by Kate Wiggins Douglas
27.Robin Hood by Henry Gilbert
28.Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry * by Mildred D. Taylor
29.Save Me The Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald

30.Tell me the Truth About Love by W.H Auden 

31.The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

32.The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

33.The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald

34.The Bell Jar * by Sylvia Plath

35.The Cocktail Party by T.S Eliot

36.The Collected Poems, 1909 - 1962 by T.S Eliot

37.The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

38.The Enormous Room by E.E Cummings

39.The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

40.The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

41.The Great Gatsby * by F. Scott Fitzgerald

42.The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

43.The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

44-57.The James Bond Series by Ian Fleming (Casino Royale *, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, From Russia with Love, Dr. No *, Goldfinger, For Your Eyes Only, Thunderball, The Spy Who Loved Me, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, You Only Live Twice, The Man with the Golden Gun, & Octopussy and the Living Daylights )

58.The Last Tycoon by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

59-66.The Little House Series by Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House in the Big Woods *, Little House on the Prairie *, On the Banks of Plum Creek, By the Shores of the Silver Lake, The Long Winter, Little Town on the Prairie, These Happy Golden Years, & The First Four Years)

67.The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bugakov

68.The Outsiders by S.E Hinton

69-82.The Oz Series by L. Frank Baum (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz *, The Marvellous Land of Oz *, Ozma of Oz, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, The Road to Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, Tik- Tok of Oz, The Scarecrow of Oz, Rinktink in Oz, The Lost Princess of Oz, The Tin Woodman of Oz, The Magic of Oz, & Glinda of Oz) 

83.The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

84.The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

85.The Road to Memphis * by Mildred D. Taylor

86.The Silmarilion by J.R.R Tolkien

87.The Story of Doctor Doolittle by Hugh Lofting

88.The Stranger by Albert Camus

89-101.The Swallows and Amazons Series by Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons *, Swallowdale *, Peter Duck *, Winter Holiday, Coot Club, Pigeon Post, We Didn’t Mean to go to Sea, Secret Water, The Big Six, Missee Lee *, The Picts and the Martyrs: Or Not Welcome at all, Great Northern?,  & Coots in the North)

102.The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall

103.This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald

104.Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

105.Ulysses by James Joyce

106.Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M Forster

19th Century

107.A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

108.Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

109.Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne

110.Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant

111.Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

112.Grimms' Fairytales by Jacob & Willhelm Grimm

113.Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

114.Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens

115.Nights with Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris

116.North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

117.Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

118.Quo Vadis? * by Henryk Sienkiewicz

119.Shirley by Charlotte Bronte 

120.Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe

121.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

122.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

123.The Awakening by Kate Chopin

124.The Children of the New Forest * by Captain Marryat

125.The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

126.The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G Wells

127.The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

128.The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

129.The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

130.The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

131.The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte

132.The Time Machine by H.G Wells

133.The Water Babies by Charles Kingsley

134.Villette by Charlotte Bronte

135.Walden by Henry David Thoreau

136.War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
18th Century
137.Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

17th Century

138.Macbeth by William Shakespeare

139.Tales of Mother Goose by Charles Perrault
1st Century B.C (approx)

140.The Aeneid by Virgil

8th Century B.C (approx)

141.The Odyssey by Homer 

142.The Iliad by Homer

* = re-reads (some so distant I only barely remember that I've ever read the book, and not at all what it was about!)


  1. I LOVE that you picked titles you crave rather than titles you feel you should read. I got a shive of excitement when I saw Laura Ingalls AND Villette AND Walden AND AND AND Gone With the Wind!!!

    I can't wait to read your thoughts. Awesome list. I'm glad you joined, Bex. :)

  2. I love your list, Bex. The best one I've seen yet :)

    I'm not joining the Classics Club even though I think it's a great idea because list-making freaks me out and puts me off getting off my butt and reading the books! But I am really looking forward to all the reviews that will come out of the club :)

  3. Fantastic list! You've reminded me of some childhood classics I'd like to re-read. Have fun~
    Beth :-)

  4. Oh, this is kind of like the Project Fill in the Gaps I just started :) Same idea - 100 books, five years. I've just started on my fifth book, I think, so I'm not too far behind.

    Thinking about it, I should have added the Oz books! I've only ever read the first one and I've got absolutely no clue about any of the others. I'll have to get them for my Kindle at some point.

    Looking at it, we have a lot of similar books on our lists - maybe our reviews will prompt the other to get a move on :)

    Good luck!

  5. Love all the Oz book son your list! I've recently read the first one and really enjoyed it.

  6. love that you have the outsiders on your list. Love that book. I read it while growing up and than years ago, and both times had different perspectives of it. If you watch the movie make sure to see the collectors edition, it has about 30 more minutes than the original movie (although they changed the music which is annoying).

  7. HJi Bex! I'm a fellow clubber. I wanted you to know I'm hosting a very gentle and casual no-stress group read of Gone with the Wind May 1 through August 1, 2015. You'd be welcome to join! I see you've already read the novel above, but a casual reread with a few people could be fun, yes? No pressure, of course. I'm just offering. :)