the classics club list


I am officially in the club.  The Classics Club.  Only, I think I have been an unofficial member for quite some time.  Up until today, though, I’ve been sort of a fake.  A collector.  I’ve got puddles of chic wicker floor baskets from Pottery Barn, all artfully arrayed with neat stacks of books.  At the foot of my bed: books.  Next to my overstuffed bedroom chair: BOOKS!  My home office is lined with bookshelves full of books I’ve read, but when I wander into a bookstore and these books follow me home, I toss them into a basket with a pocket full of good intentions.  So many books I want to read and so little time.  So today, I joined The Classics Club.  My name is Rebecca and I am a book-a-holic.

The Classics Club is an online community, a virtual meeting space for other book-a-holics.  When you join the club, you are required to make a promise to read at least 50 classics in 5 years and then blog about them.  That sounds like such a noble goal, and yet I’m already doubting myself being not only a terribly slow reader but someone who can’t waste a moment on a bad book.   How will I be able to do this?  But then I look at all these baskets of brand new books.  I look at the tall stack on my nightstand and feel for the housecleaners who must dust and rearrange them.  I look on the shelf above this very desk and see The Wings of the Dove.  The House of Mirth.  The Optimists Daughter.  They’re all longing to become more than mere decorative objects around my house.  So, here is the list I’ve gathered.  Some of these have been on the to do list for quite some time.  Others are re-reads, and still a few more are obscure things I feel I need to read should I fancy myself a Medievalist some day down the road, because you know, those oddballs are few and far between in English Departments these days, especially at community colleges like mine.  Imagine that and wish me luck!  I welcome other suggestions if you’ve got them, too!  What are you reading?  What have you loved?

Classics Club 5-Year List (not in any specific order)

1. M. Somerset Maugham The Painted Veil or Short Stories

2. Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

3. Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray

4. Edith Wharton The House of Mirth

5. Henry James The Wings of the Dove

6. Jane Austen Mansfield Park

—. Northanger Abbey

8. Flannery O’Connor The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor

9. Thomas Hardy The Return of the Native

10. Faulkner Absalom, Absalom!

11. Barbara Pym A Glass of Blessings

12. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart (dreading this!)

13. Cormac McCarthy The Orchard Keeper

14. —. Blood Meridian

15. Carson McCuller’s The Heart is a Lonely Hunter

16. Nathaniel Hawthorne The Marble Faun

17. Eudora Welty The Optimists Daughter

18. Sherwood Anderson Winesburg, Ohio

19. Evelyn Waugh A Handful of Dust

20. Graham Greene The Heart of the Matter

21. —. The End of the Affair

22. —. Our Man in Havana

23. Willa Cather Death Comes for the Archbishop or My Antonia

24. Thomas Merton Seven Storey Mountain (if at first you don’t succeed . . .)

25. Wallace Stegner Angle of Repose

26. John Fowles The Magus

27. Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind

28. Fredrico Garcia Lorca The Gypsy Ballads

29. St. Augustine Confessions

30. Daphne Du Maurier Rebecca

31. Milan Kundera The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

32. May Sarton Plant Dreaming Deep

33. Dante The Divine Comedy

34. St. Teresa of Avila The Interior Castle

35. Dostoevski The Brothers Karamazov

36. James Salter Light Years

37 —. A Sport and a Pastime

38. Pablo Neruda Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

39. Truman Capote Breakfast at Tiffany’s

40. Colleen McCullough The Thorn Birds

41. Margaret Atwood Surfacing

42. Mo Yan Red Sorghum

43. Philip Roth Portnoy’s Complaint or Everyman

44. Michael Cunningham The Hours

45. Maya Angelou I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

46. Colette My Mother’s House

47. unknown 14c, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

48. Margery Kempe The Book of Margery Kempe

49. unknown 14c, Pearl

50. Sir Thomas Malory Le Morte D’Arthur


[dot_recommends]    Email This Post


  1. buythebook says

    This looks like an ambitious list. Good luck to you and keep us posted!

  2. itgirlreads says

    Have you read the Brontes? I don’t see any on your list and loved Agnes Grey.

  3. I’ve just finished The House of Mirth. It’s EXCELLENT. Gone With the Wind is my favorite novel. ♥

    • Hi Mabel. I love Wharton, too, and just bought another copy of The Age of Innocence yesterday because the cover of the book was so lovely. Thanks for following my blog, and I will catch up with you on Twitter! -rebecca.

Leave a Reply