The Classics Club

Jillian of A Room of One’s Own has come up with a great idea to unite people who like to read and blog about classic literature. It’s called The Classics Club and the idea is to make a list of fifty or more classics you want to read within the next five years. Modern classics and re-reads can also be included.

My goal is to finish by 10 March 2017 and after a lot of thought I’ve chosen the sixty books listed below – though I suspect I’ll probably end up making some changes!

My list:

Emma by Jane Austen (re-read)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (re-read)
Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (re-read)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (re-read)
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
Hide and Seek by Wilkie Collins
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (re-read)
Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas
The Vicomte de Bragelonne by Alexandre Dumas
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
The Odd Women by George Gissing
The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Washington Square by Henry James
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
The House by the Churchyard by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Painted Veil by W Somerset Maugham
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
The Heart of Midlothian by Sir Walter Scott
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M Yonge
La Bête Humaine by Emile Zola
Germinal by Emile Zola

Who else is joining the Classics Club?
Which books on my list do you think I should read first?

16 thoughts on “The Classics Club

  1. Jillian ♣ says:

    Great list, Helen! I love that you’re re-reading so much Austen and Bronte.

    I’m excited to read your thoughts on these. Have fun with this! 😀

    • Helen says:

      I love re-reading books and it’s been such a long time since I read any of those! I’m looking forward to reading them again, as well as reading all the others on my list for the first time.

      Thanks for hosting this, Jillian.

    • Helen says:

      I had problems narrowing my list down too. I could have included a lot more, but I thought 60 was a number I could realistically get through in five years.

  2. Sam (Tiny Library) says:

    A great list! Although I’m not joining the Classics Club (lists and deadlines are really not good for me), I’m looking forward to all the great posts that will come out of it 🙂

    I’ve just finished a Wilkie Collins (Moonstone), so my vote is start with his book!

    • Helen says:

      I’ve read quite a lot of Wilkie Collins books and loved them all, including the less well-known ones, so I’m looking forward to reading Hide and Seek.

  3. Cat says:

    Love your list and I have several of your choices on mine too. Very hard to know where to start but maybe The Age of Innocence or Cold Comfort Farm – I read that last year and very funny plus doesn’t long to read.

    • Helen says:

      Thanks for the recommendations, Cat – I’ve been wanting to read both of those for a long time so hopefully committing to reading them for the Classics Club will encourage me to pick them up soon!

  4. Deb Atwood says:

    Wow! What a list! I see an Elizabeth Gaskell (Sylvia’s Lovers) I didn’t know existed.
    It might be fun to read them in order of publication. Since you’re a history buff, you could sort of do your own literary survey and watch style/sensibility schools emerge. Enjoy!

    • Helen says:

      That’s an interesting idea, Deb, though I think I would prefer to alternate books from different eras so I don’t get bored with the writing styles.

      There are plenty of Elizabeth Gaskell books I haven’t read yet, but Sylvia’s Lovers is one that really appeals to me.

  5. jessicabookworm says:

    I am seriously considering joining this project too, but am currently still pondering over my list 🙂

    I haven’t read a huge amount of the books on your list (many of them are books I want to read too) but of the ones I have read I highly recommend Cold Comfort Farm, Frankenstein, and Of Mice and Men. I have also read Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House which I enjoyed but my favourite work of hers is We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

    • Helen says:

      I loved We Have Always Lived in the Castle too, so I can’t wait to read The Haunting of Hill House! I might keep that one for Halloween, though.

      I hope you decide to sign up for this too!

  6. Anbolyn says:

    oooh, I love your list! You have some great books on it – books I hope to read someday. I look forward to reading your thoughts on all of these.
    I am joining the club, too, and hope to have my list up either tonight or tomorrow. It was very hard choosing!

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