Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Taking the Plunge into Classics Club

I've been reading about Classics Club nearly as long as I've been blogging. Erudite bloggers such as Deb at Readerbuzz, Lori at Emerald City Reviews, and Anne at My Head is Full of Books have impressed me with their eagerness to read books that require a little more thoughtfulness and a little less speed than the books I tend to pick up. Back in the day I was a big fan of classics--I'm one of the weird people who loved reading The Scarlet Letter, Great Expectations, The Color Purple, The Chosen, Cry, the Beloved Country, and Death of a Salesman in high school. (But not Walden, The Stranger, or Ethan Frome!) But I had more time and mental energy in those days. Or maybe I've just gotten lazy.

I knew the requirement was to read 50 classics of your choice within five years. There are definitely more than fifty classic books I'd still like to read, but there's a reason why I haven't read them yet--I'm intimidated by their size, archaic language, and/or cerebral subject matter. But then Deb finished hers, which re-inspired me to look at the rules, and it turns out you can RE-READ. Which means fun and easy options like Charlotte's Web and Eight Cousins are on the table, as well as familiar, once-beloved books I want to re-experience, like, well, everything by Dickens and Hardy.

So I went through my Goodreads shelves and the Classic Club's list and came up with nearly 100 titles. I whittled them down by focusing on books published before 2000, even if they were "modern classics," because honestly, I'm more likely to read those anyway.  I still had over seventy, so I eliminated a few of my old favorites that I don't want to spoil by re-reading as a grumpy old lady, and a few books on writing.

Without further ado, and alphabetically by title, here are my fifty books. I will complete them by May 15th, 2024. Re-reads are highlighted, then I'll add "done" dates and link to reviews as I go. 

Completion date


  1. The other nice feature of the Classics Club is that you can modify your list as necessary. Perhaps you thought you wanted to read A Distant Mirror, but maybe it turns out that you are not in the mood for Tuchman right now. Just strike it from your list and replace it with something else.

    I love the variety of your list, with both fiction and nonfiction, as well as mysteries, plays. You have several books on your list as rereads that I'm very interested in reading one day (my third list?) including The Book of Laughter and Forgetting and Cathedral. There are some that I read long ago, like The Power of Myth and Bell Jar that I'd love to reread (Bell Jar is on my list this time). There are many that I'm curious about on your list like Spy Who Came In from the Cold and Picnic at Hanging Rock and Black Like Me.

    Such a wonderful list! I'm very happy you are joining us at the Classics Club. I love seeing the books others are reading, especially those I'm unfamiliar with.

  2. Good luck! I’ve considered joining the Classics Club, but I haven’t been brave enough to commit to it yet. Maybe this winter when my work hours get cut down. Right now, I’m working constantly and barely reading.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  3. Good luck with this! I read some of these in high school, and probably burned out on classics from that period in my life.


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