This morning I stumbled upon a wonderful blog called The Classics Club. Its exactly what I never knew I was searching for!
The premise of the club is a simple one. To join, one must simply submit a list of at least 50 titles that you personally consider classic in some way and commit to attempting to read and review all of them within a time frame of hire own choosing, up to five years. I eagerly spent some of my morning and afternoon building my own classics list.
A Few Notes Concerning My Selections
• I chose a very broad spectrum of titles because I am interested in a broad spectrum of fiction. I am aware that many, nay most, are probably not classics or only exist as classics in a certain subculture.
• They are in the order I came up with them, so I will not be reading them in this or any other particular order.
• I chose a number of children’s titles because I love children’s literature more now than when I was a kid.
• The spirit of the club is to read new titles, so I have only allowed myself step or three re-reads. I chose them mostly because they are lesser known titles and I was eager to re-read them to review them.
• Most of these are either titles I own and have not read or titles I started once and got side-tracked from finishing. I thought this seemed like a great opportunity to officially pursue them more diligently.
• The list is mainly novels and chapter books, with a smattering of short story collections, picture books, essays, and curated diaries.
• I intend to use the maximum allotment of five years, finishing the list by 2/22/2019.
The List (55 titles)
– The Plague by Albert Camus
– The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
– Watership Downs by Richard Adams
– Letters To An American Lady by C.S. Lewis
– On Stories by C.S. Lewis
– The Worm of Ouroboros by E. R. Eddison
– The Giver by Lois Lowry
– Mr. Bliss by J.R.R. Tolkien
– Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
– The Railway Children by E. Nesbit
– Odd And The Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
– Phantastes by George MacDonald
– The Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
– The Silmarilion by J.R.R. Tolkien
– Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry
– Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
– A Room With A View by E. M. Forster
– Redwall by Brian Jacques
– Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie
– Poems of John Keats by John Keats
– Brothers and Friends : The Diaries of Major Warren Lewis by Warren Lewis
– The Third Man by Graham Greene
– The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
– The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
– Peril At End House by Agatha Christie
– Bring It To The Table: On Farming And Food by Wendell Berry
– The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
– Descent Into Hell by Charles Williams
– War In Heaven by Charles Williams
– The Food Of The Gods And How It Came To Earth by H. G. Wells
– Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang by Ian Fleming
– Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers
– The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
– At The Back Of The North Wing by George MacDonald
– Jeeves In The Offering by P. G. Wodehouse
– Heavy Weather by P. G. Wodehouse
– Middlemarch by George Eliot
– The Narrative Of Arthur Gordon Pym Of Nantucket by Edgar Allan Poe
– Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
– The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
– On Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
– A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
– An Arsene Lupin Omnibus by Maurice LeBlanc
– The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
– The Innocence of Father Brown by G. K. Chesterton
– King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
– The Sorrows Of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
– Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
– In The Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
– Runaway by Alice Munro
– The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchanan
– I Sing The Body Electric by Ray Bradbury
– Walden by Henry David Thoreau
– My First Summer In The Sierras by John Muir
As a somewhat saddening side-note, I realized while curating this list that I finished reading every Sherlock Holmes novel years ago. While there are only four novel-length Holmes stories, I was surprised to realize that I had finished all of them years ago. I’m certain that I haven’t read all the short stories yet, but it was a strange sensation to realize that I had long since finished these and even forgotten that I had completed every one of them.
Anyway, I am excited to get any feedback as I start! If you have any personal thoughts, experiences, or opinions on any or all of these titles, I would love to hear them. I need all the advice I can get!
Welcome to the club!
You do have a wide assortment of titles, children’s literature is always a fun retreat for me from the “heavy” classics and history books I tend to read.
I haven’t read Nesbit’s Railway Children yet, but I have enjoyed others by her. The Giver and Phantom Tollbooth while different types of stories, were both enjoyable in own their way.
The Book Thief for me did not live up to all the hype it gets, but I seem to be a bit in the minority there. I read it a few years ago before it really took off and landed its own movie deal.
I’ve been meaning to read The Giver and Tollbooth for years! The truth is at least half of these are books I have been wanting to read forever and now I hope to settle down and get to it. Some of them I’ve started and never finished.
I don’t know if anyone considers it a classic yet, but The Book Thief sounds like its worth giving a try. I’ll keep your thoughts in mind while reading, thanks!
Vonnegut is my favorite. I became interested in literature in 11th grade because of an English teacher that introduced me to “Cat’s Cradle” by Vonnegut. Slaughterhouse Five is definitely in my top 5 books of all time. I was also happy to see Frankenstein and Walden on your list because they are personal favorites as well.
I have an audio book of a ton of Vonnegut short stories and I love them immensely, I’m excited to read him. I read Dracula a few years ago and I wanted to include something comparable so I went or Frankenstein. I sense it might be a bit more philosophically deep than Dracula, which is still a highly recommended read.
My junior English term paper was on Vonnegut. I have been meaning to revisit his novels, but just have not got around to it.
Great list! I’m just about to start The Railway Children so I hope it’s good.
Let me know how it goes or when you review it!
I haven’t read The Railway Children for years and years, but I loved it way back when. There was also a wonderful BBC series back in the late 70’s/ early 80’s which is what got me started on it in the first place.
I’ve gotten quite a few comments on that one, I think I’d better get to it sooner rather than later! I really know very little about the story, so that makes it all the more exciting to dive into!