Thursday, January 03, 2013

Classics Club

I’m a moody reader.  I read a variety of books, at different levels, in different genres.  Because of this, I don’t join challenges.  If I feel forced to read a book, I’ll avoid it and continue to avoid it, until I grudgingly pick it up.  Joining the Classics Club, however, has been something I’ve thought about for a while.  I wasn’t sure about joining because of the pertinent question: what constitutes a classic?  I follow several bloggers who are part of the Classics Club and after reading their reviews, I think I have a good idea of what the Club considers classic.

My list consists of “Modern Classics” and “Old Classics”.  There are some genre books, some short stories, some children’s books and some poetry.  There are even a couple books that can be debated about whether they are actually classics.  There will be a few re-reads, but it will be mostly new.  These are all books I already own.  On the Classics Club website, they describe the list we submit as a living list.  While I’ve put 60 titles on this list (to make it a little more challenging, since I'm including children’s stories, short stories and novellas), I’m not guaranteeing that I’ll read all these particular books.  Like I mentioned previously, I’m a moody reader.  If I can’t finish something or another classic catches my fancy, I’ll change the list.  The only thing I plan on guaranteeing is that I’ll finish this list in five years - January 3, 2018 (I'll be so old!).

In alphabetical order, 60 classics I plan on reading by January 3, 2018:

1. Stories from Hans Christian Andersen, by Hans Christian Andersen
2. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
3. Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
4. The Big and The Little, by Isaac Asimov
5. Emma, by Jane Austen
6. Lady Susan, by Jane Austen
7. Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen
8. Northhanger Abbey, by Jane Austen
9. The Watsons, by Jane Austen
10. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, by L. Frank Baum
11. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, by Anne Brontë
12. Villette, by Charlotte Brontë
13. Sonnets from the Portuguese, by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
14. Alice in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
15. Appointment with Death, by Agatha Christie
16. Lyrical Ballads, by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth
17. The Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins
18. Discourse on Method, by Rene Descartes
19. A Tale of Two Cities, by Dickens
20. Little Dorrit, by Charles Dickens
21. A Selection of Poems (1. Life), by Emily Dickinson
22. Sherlock Holmes #1: A Study In Scarlett, by Arthur Conan Doyle
23. Sherlock Holmes #2: The Sign of Four, by Arthur Conan Doyle
24. Medea, by Euripides
25. Middlemarch, by George Eliot
26. Grimm's Fairy Stories, by Jacob Grimm & Wilhelm Grimm
27. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
28. Daisy Miller, by Henry James
29. The Wings of the Dove, by Henry James
30. The Stone Angel, by Margaret Laurence
31. The Man Who Loved Islands, by D.H. Lawrence
32. Death of a Salesman, by Arthur Miller
33. Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery
34. Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery
35. Anne of the Island, by L.M. Montgomery
36. Anne of the Windy Poplars, by L.M. Montgomery
37. Anne’s House of Dreams, by L.M. Montgomery
38. Anne of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery
39. Rainbow Valley, by L.M. Montgomery
40. Rilla of Ingleside, by L.M. Montgomery
41. Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro
42. Animal Farm, by George Orwell
43. Lady Lazarus, by Sylvia Plath
44. The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe
45. The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
46. The Cat In The Hat, by Dr. Seuss
47. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare
48. Queen Mab/The Daemon of the World, by Percy Bysshe Shelley
49. Treasure Island, by Robert Louis Stevenson
50. Dracula's Guest, by Bram Stoker
51. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy
52. Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
53. From the Earth to the Moon, by Jules Verne
54. The Weapons Shop, by A.E. van Vogt
55. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
56. Under The Knife, by H.G. Wells
57. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
58. Kew Gardens, by Virginia Woolf
59. Solid Objects, by Virginia Woolf
60. The Waves, by Virginia Woolf

I will have a page listing each of these books, with links to reviews once I finish them.

*SIDE NOTE: I’ve been considering creating some reading projects for myself.  For example, I want to read every Margaret Atwood and Stephen King book.  I also want to read more Canadian authors and more immigrant literature.  Should I create these self-imposed projects, or will my moodiness negate my success?  Thoughts?


  1. Lots of good ones; lots of books I also intend to get to at some point :)

    I'm a moody reader too. I say make some additional 'project' lists for when you're drifting and can't decide what to read next, more than as 'must read, strict deadline' projects. The more Canlit I read last year, the more I realized how much was out there I want to read, which would probably drive me crazy as a specific goal :)

    1. That's a good idea, Lisa.

      I actually took a class in University that was 20th Century Canadian Literature and it was brilliant.

  2. Yay, you signed up!
    Happy reading - there are lots of fantastic books on your list.

    1. You were one of my influences :) I totally sneaked a look at your list as I was making mine.

  3. The Handmaid's Tale is such a powerful book! I hope you like it!

    1. The Handmaid's Tale is actually one of my re-reads. It's one of my favourite novels. It's been ages since I read it and I've been wanting to revisit it for a while.

  4. I've also been revisiting a number of children's classics as a part of my list. Are you joining in the Readathon this weekend?

    1. I think reading children's classics are so important... especially after you have some. I won't be joining the Readathon this weekend, as much as I'd like to. The little children I have wouldn't let me. (They're only 3 and a half and 18 months.)

  5. Best of luck with your list! Given your love of books, I'm sure you will have them all read by 2018.

    As for myself, I'm slowly but surely brushing up on Sinclair Lewis classics. I've read ELMER GANTRY, I'm almost finished with IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE, and I plan to read BABBIT sometime soon.

    1. I haven't read any Sinclair Lewis. Maybe he'll eventually end up on this list :)