Monday, October 30, 2017

The Classics Club - Classics Challenge

Five plus years ago, I jumped into The Classics Club Classics Challenge. The idea was to make a list of 50 classics to read in the next five years. I love the classics and had well more than 50 in my house that I could choose from and wanted to find time to read. Easy peasy, right? Not so much. I even gave myself a couple of extra months at one point. I didn't even reach 30 books. I finally gave up, because reading is supposed to be fun, even when we are challenging ourselves to read better.


JoAnn, of Lakeside Musing, recently completed her challenge (she is a great reader of classics!) then she announced that she is restarting the challenge for another five years. Wait - what? You can do the challenge a second time? Well, then. I do hate to have been a failure at anything. And I do still have all of those classic books around the house. That being said, here is my new list of classic books* to read in the next five years:

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Moll Flanders by Daniel DeFoe
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Far From The Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
My Man Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse
Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
My Antonia by Willa Cather
The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins
The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
The Children by Edith Wharton
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Candide by Voltaire
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Miss Bishop by Bess Streeter Aldrich
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Classics I'd Like To Do As A Readalong:
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Middlemarch by George Eliot
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Modern Classics:
Crossing To Safety by Wallace Stegner
The Mystery of Hunting's End by Mignon Eberhart
The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Remains of The Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Decline And Fall by Evelyn Waugh
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
Frenchman's Creek by Daphne du Maurier
The Sound And The Fury by William Faulkner
This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
The Mysterious Affair At Styles by Agatha Christie
Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Huston
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Stoner by John Williams
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
The Trial by Franz Kafka
Native Son by Richard Wright
All The Kings Men by Robert Penn Warren
We Have Always Lived In The Castle by Shirley Jackson

Children's Classics:
Where The Redfern Grows by Wilson Rawls
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawls
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevens

Short Stories and Plays:
Rocking Horse Winner by D. H. Lawrence
The Fall of The House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe
A Midsummer's Night Dream by William Shakespeare
Our Town by Thornton Wilder

*I realize that this list is, even after extensive research, largely made up of American and European literature. My goal is to continue to look for books from other cultures to add to the list. While this is my list as of today, I reserve the right to add and delete things as the mood strikes. Because, just as I may or may not be in the mood to read any particular book on a given day, the list reflects my mood as of today and books I left off today may be added on another day.


  1. What a great idea to list the classics you'd be interested in doing in a readalong! Uh, I founded the club. You can definitely start over. Whatever makes it fun for you. I have started over SEVERAL times. :) :) Good luck!!

  2. Good luck! I'm terrible with classics, although I can recommend the following that are on your list:

    My Antonia (Willa Cather)
    The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
    The Children by Edith Wharton
    East of Eden by John Steinbeck
    Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Huston

    I enjoyed all of these very much! There are others on your list that I have read, but didn't care for.

  3. Oh, Lisa... I'm so happy you have revisited your list! I would love to read The Portrait of Lady with you, but not until I've finished with Trollope's Palliser novels. Good luck!

  4. You have some great, readable titles on your lists, some of which are among my all-time favorites, namely Middlemarch and Of Mice and Men. Personally, I am glad I read Anna Karenina a few years ago and don't intend to ever reread it!

    Good luck with your new list!

  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God is so great! Get to that one sooner rather than later! Good luck on your Classics journey. Sadly I have not read one on my list this year yet. I'm hoping to jump into Don Quixote in December and Little Women this month.