The Classics Club

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I’ve decided to join The Classics Club. I’ve been reading more classics lately, and I’d like to continue that trend. And I can’t resist a good list.

The goal is to read 50+ classic novels in five years. Will I be blogging in five years? Will I be alive in five years? Will society as we know it still exist in five years? I can answer none of these questions for you, but this will be fun up until any of that happens.

This is really just my current classic literature wishlist. If I read a classic that’s not on the list, I’ll swap one out. I haven’t really read many classics, so I’m assuming along the way I’ll find authors I love and authors I can’t stand, and the list will rearrange to reflect that.

What constitutes a classic? I have no idea. I suppose it’s an arbitrary label decided by popular opinion? For my list, I figure anything written in the middle of the twentieth century and before counts if it’s still around today. The only book published after 1970 that’s currently on the list was written by a Nobel Laureate, so I figure that works.

Here are my 50 classics to be read by March 23, 2017:

  1. The Trial and Death of Socrates: Four Dialogues by Plato (~399 B.C.)
  2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare (1623)
  3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813)
  4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (1817)
  5. Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley (1818)
  6. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin (1833)
  7. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (1864)
  8. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
  9. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain (1876)
  10. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)
  11. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (1884)
  12. King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard(1885)
  13. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
  14. She by H. Rider Haggard (1887)
  15. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) by Jerome K. Jerome (1889)
  16. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890)
  17. A House of Pomegranates by Oscar Wilde (1891)
  18. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)
  19. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde (1895)
  20. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (1895)
  21. Dracula by Bram Stoker (1897)
  22. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (1898)
  23. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1899)
  24. In the Ravine and Other Short Stories by Anton Chekhov (1900)
  25. The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle (1912)
  26. The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle (1913)
  27. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka (1915)
  28. The Great Gatsby * by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
  29. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
  30. Laughter in the Dark by Vladimir Nabokov (1932)
  31. The Hobbit * by J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
  32. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  33. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)
  34. The Stranger by Albert Camus (1942)
  35. Animal Farm by George Orwell (1945)
  36. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck (1945)
  37. Earth Abides by George R. Stewart (1949)
  38. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (1951)
  39. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway (1952)
  40. The Kraken Wakes by John Wyndham (1953)
  41. The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (1955)
  42. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
  43. Have Space Suit—Will Travel by Robert A. Heinlein (1958)
  44. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)
  45. Trouble with Lichen by John Wyndham (1960)
  46. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
  47. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark (1961)
  48. Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut (1961)
  49. Solaris by Stanisław Lem (1961)
  50. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey (1962)
  51. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
  52. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut (1963)
  53. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (1966)
  54. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (1966)
  55. Chocky by John Wyndham (1968)
  56. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (1980)

* rereads

8 thoughts on “The Classics Club

  1. Jillian

    Hello and welcome! A wonderful list, and I don’t have any idea what a “classic” actually is, either. 😉 Horray for your #10, especially! Also, 7 & 9.

    Don’t forget to sign up here, if you weren’t already headed that way. Cheers!

    – jill

  2. Rob Post author

    Thanks for hosting! All signed up and ready to go now.

    People seem to be quite enthusiastic about Walden, so I’m really starting to look forward to that one.

  3. Geoff W

    Loving all the HG Wells on there! I read most of his works in High School and truly enjoyed them. And Brave New World is definitely one of the great dystopian novels.

  4. Rob Post author

    I haven’t read a word of his yet, so very excited for HG Wells. I have a feeling this list is going to develop more of a science fiction spine as we go on, as I’d like to dive more into the likes of Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, and Ray Bradbury.

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