The Classics Club

classicsclubThe Classics Club is a club created to encourage people to read more classics. The basic rules are to read at least 50 classics within five years (you can set your own deadline) and to write about them. These are the fifty books (yes, I’ve chosen the minimum number, which is fifty) I’m reading for The Classics Club. I plan to finish reading all fifty by January 1, 2018.

I’m listing them in order of publication, which means I may or may not read them in that order (depending on whether or not I can control my anal retentive nature,) along with a brief reason why I’ve chosen each.

1. (1601) Twelfth Night – William Shakespeare, because we’re nearing the Christmas season, and I wanted to choose one of his comedies

2.  (1797) The Italian – Ann Radcliffe, because I’m always up for a good gothic novel, and it seems I ought to read one of the early incarnations of the genre

3. (1820) Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott, because it was a popular choice by bloggers for some reading challenge, a number of years ago, and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since

4. (1835) Democracy in America – Alexis de Toqueville, because I always find non-Americans’ views of America interesting

5. (1839) The Charterhouse of Parma – Stendhal, because we own a beautiful edition of it that just begs to be read (seriously)

6. (1852) The Overcoat and Other Tales of Good and Evil – Nikolai Gogol, because I’ve read The Overcoat but want to read those other tales of good and evil

7. (1862) Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev, because I was supposed to read it for a course I took in college and didn’t

8. (1869) The Innocents Abroad – Mark Twain, because I love Mark Twain and want to read some of his nonfiction

9. (1895) The Time Machine – H.G. Wells, because I love books about time travel, so why have I never read this one?

10. (1886) Death of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy, because I did read this one in college, don’t remember a thing about it, and love Tolstoy now in a way I didn’t back then

11. (1899-1914) The Short Stories of Saki – Saki, because I’ve read a few of his stories, loved them, and want to read more

12. (1902) The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James, because I’m already reading it (which means I’m already not reading these books in chronological order but doesn’t mean I can’t begin to do so)

13. (1903) The Call of the Wild – Jack London, because I can’t believe (and I bet you can’t either) I’ve never read it

14. (1919) Winesburg, OH – Sherwood Anderson, because I live in Small Town, USA., and I ought to read more tales about Small Town, USA, especially classic ones

15. (1920) Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath – Sigrid Undset, because Ms. Musings recommended it, oh about, seven years ago or so, and Bob read it and loved it. I’ll probably read all three books once I get going.

16. (1921) The Brimming Cup – Dorothy Canfield Fisher, because I love, love, love her The Home-Maker and would like to read more by her

17. (1922) The Forsyte Saga – James Galsworthy, because a list like this ought to include at least one saga

18. (1924) Billy Budd – Herman Melville, because I just can’t face trying, yet again, to tackle Moby Dick

19. (1925) The Professor’s House – Willa Cather, because what’s not to like about Willa Cather? Also, because, despite being a professor’s daughter and two professors’ sister, I haven’t read this one

20. (1926) Soldier’s Pay – William Faulkner, because I love Faulkner and haven’t read this one

21. (1929) Red Harvest – Dashiell Hammett, because, this list needs a little hard boil crime

22. (1931) Brave New World – Aldous Huxley, because (see reason for Call of the Wild)

23. (1936) Bread and Wine – Ignazio Silone, because I want to read more 20th-century Italian literature

24. (1936) Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier, because I love duMaurier

25. (1938) Out of the Silent Planet – C.S. Lewis, because people who never lead me astray have been telling me, for years, that  I ought to read Lewis’s science fiction

26. (1939) A Family and a Fortune – Ivy Compton-Burnett, because I’ve only read one Compton-Burnett and have been meaning to read more

27. (1940) The Heart is a Lonely Hunger – Carson McCullers, because I’m Southern and female, which means I should’ve read it long ago

28. (1942) The Myth of Sisyphus – Albert Camus, because Bob refers to it quite a lot, and I really ought to read it in order really to understand what he’s talking about

29. (1942) The Robber Bridegroom – Eudora Welty, because I’ve read plenty of her short stories but have never read any of her novels

30. (1945) Black Boy – Richard Wright, because Native Son devastated me when I read it in college, and everyone needs to be devastated like that every so often by a good book

31. (1948) Other Voices, Other Rooms – Truman Capote, because I bought it after reading In Cold Blood 4 or 5 years ago, and it’s about high time I read it

32. (1951) Hangsaman – Shirley Jackson, because I love Shirley Jackson

33. (1951) The Blessing – Nancy Mitford, because ditto Nancy Mitford, and look at that, Jackson and Mitford each published a book in the same year

34. (1952) Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison, because I didn’t get to finish it when I was in college and have been meaning to do so (yes, for nearly 30 years) ever since

35. (1952) Wise Blood – Flannery O’Connor, because it’s high time I read some more O’Connor

36. (1953) Go Tell It On the Mountain – James Baldwin, because I’m hoping I don’t hum the hymn the whole time I’m reading it

37. (1955) Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenter – J. D. Salinger, because it’s been sitting since Salinger died, waiting to be read

38. (1957) The Wapshot Chronicle – John Cheever, because the movie Birdman is showing in a theater near you, which has reminded me that I’ve never read any of Cheever’s novels (and because Spellcheck hates “Wapshot” and wants it to be “Washout”)

39. (1958) The Once and Future King – T. H. White, because I love tales of King Arthur

40. (1958) The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac, because all I’ve ever read is On the Road, which is a cliché (“Kerouac? Hey, yeah, I’ve read On the Road“) Kerouac would probably turn into a story

41. (1959) Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow, because it’s high time I discovered Bellow

42. (1960) The Diary of Soren Kierkegaard, because, well, I’m just curious

43. (1960) Rabbit Run – John Updike, because I read the biography of Updike over the summer and live in Pennsylvania and, yet, have never read his Rabbit books

44. (1961) The Small Room – May Sarton, because Sarton spent some time living in Maine, and I read a collection of her poetry that I loved

45.  (1962) Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov, because the only book by Nabokov I’ve read is Lolita (and also, I’m fascinated by the fact that Nabokov had synesthesia, which means I probably ought to read Speak, Memory, but for some reason, Pale Fire is calling me to read it more than that one is)

46. (1968) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  – Philip K. Dick, because I’ve never read any Dick, and I think I ought to have a little more sci fi on this list (also, I loved the movie Bladerunner when I was younger but haven’t seen it in years)

47. (1971) Angle of Repose – Wallace Stegner, because although I’ve read plenty of Stegner, for some reason, I’ve never read this one, which is probably his most well-known work

48. (1974) Obedience to Authority – Stanley Milgram, because I just listened to a book that referred to it which reminded me that I’ve always wanted to read it (also about ten years ago, I read a fascinating biography of Milgram called The Man Who Shocked the World)

49. (1979) The White Album – Joan Didion, because it’s been ages since I read any Didion

50. (1980) The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco, because (see reason for reading Bread and Wine)

There you have it. Looks like I’ll be busy, huh?




















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