My Classics Club List

Cover for The Long ShipsIt’s a coincidence that I picked this book cover to illustrate my short classics list for the Classics Spin 5, because this book is the one selected for me to read as part of the spin! Having committed to that much, I decided I might as well join the Classics Club. In the Classics Club, you select your own list of 50 or more books and a date by which you decide to have read them all, within five years.

Since I am posting this list today, my deadline date is February 12, 2019.

Here is my proposed list, also located permanently under my About menu.

Early Classics

  • Beowulf (Seamus Heaney translation)

16th Century

  • Henry VI Pt I by William Shakespeare (1591)
  • Henry VI Pt. II by William Shakespeare (1596-1599)
  • Henry VI Pt. III by William Shakespeare (1591)

17th Century

  • Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes (1605 and 1615)

18th Century

  • Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)
  • The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith (1761-1762)

19th Century

  • The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (1868)
  • Bleak House by Charles Dickens (1852-1853)
  • Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1864-1865)
  • The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1868-1869)
  • Queen Margot by Alexandre Dumas (1845)
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot (1871-1872)
  • Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874)
  • The Perpetual Curate by Margaret Oliphant (1864)
  • The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter (1810)
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray (1848)

20th Century

  • Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958)
  • The Long Ships by Frans G. Bengtsson (1941 and 1945)
  • Sisters by a River by Barbara Comyns Carr (1947)
  • O Pioneers! by Willa Cather (1913)
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham (1998)
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
  • Troubles by J. G. Farrell (1970)
  • Light in August by William Faulkner (1932)
  • Selected Poems by Robert Frost (1934)
  • Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1915)
  • Goodbye to All That by Robert Graves (1929)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
  • Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata (1956)
  • Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy (1953)
  • The Call of the Wild by Jack London (1903)
  • Death in Venice by Thomas Mann (1912)
  • Selected Poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay (1992)
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
  • The Beggar Maid by Alice Munro (1978)
  • Ada by Vladimir Nabokov (1969)
  • That Lady by Kate O’Brien (1946)
  • Giants in the Earth by A. E. Rolvaag (1924-1925)
  • A Wreath of Roses by Elizabeth Taylor (1949)
  • The True Heart by Sylvia Townsend Warner (1929)
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)
  • Summer by Edith Wharton (1917)
  • Greenbanks by Dorothy Whipple (1923)
  • Night by Elie Wiesel (1958)
  • Stoner by John Williams (1965)

21st Century

  • The Broken Road by Patrick Leigh Fermor (2013)
  • The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003)
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10 thoughts on “My Classics Club List

  1. Cecilia February 13, 2014 / 4:37 pm

    I love reading what people have to put on their lists. It’s also interesting to see the way you’ve divided your books by century. I really struggled with how to define “classic” and at first I was thinking to draw the line at 1970…but then that seems arbitrary. I think I’m going to go with your system. I think that you can tell even now which modern books will eventually become classic.

    • whatmeread February 14, 2014 / 7:44 am

      It was hard for me, too. I had more books from the 21st century at first, but I thought maybe that was a bit too much, so I took most of them off and found books in other centuries to make up for them. I also looked at other people’s lists and the Classics Club list of links to get ideas of what books people were reading. It’s kind of hard to just sit down and make a list of 50 unless you already have one!

  2. literaryvittles February 13, 2014 / 6:45 pm

    Gosh seeing Robinson Crusoe on this list reminds me how old that book really is! Maybe you’ll pick it in 2019 for its bicentennial.

    • whatmeread February 14, 2014 / 7:45 am

      I think I’ll pick it earlier, though, because a friend of mine bought it for me. I just haven’t read it yet.

  3. Cedar Station February 13, 2014 / 7:01 pm

    What a great list. The Long Ships looks fantastic, and you have some other really unique choices here. Good luck!

    • whatmeread February 14, 2014 / 7:45 am

      Thanks! One thing I did was look at the Virago list. I was trying to make sure I had a lot of women writers represented.

  4. Carolyn O February 14, 2014 / 2:30 pm

    I love your list! I’ve read a bunch of these, so I know how much you have to look forward to! (And nice call on those poets!) 🙂

    • whatmeread February 14, 2014 / 2:31 pm

      Oh, goody! I have to admit that several of the 19th century books are rereads, but most of the others are not.

  5. Audra (Unabridged Chick) February 18, 2014 / 2:13 pm

    Love your list! we have some overlaps. Can’t wait to see what you think of your reads — Far from the Madding Crowd was my first Hardy, which I read two years ago — I adored it. So.good! Love your 21st century picks — hadn’t thought of them and might squeeze them in!

    • whatmeread February 18, 2014 / 2:19 pm

      Oh, really? I should look at your list. The 19th century books were the ones that had quite a few rereads in them. I guess I could have found a Thomas Hardy that I hadn’t read, but I realized that I hadn’t read Far from the Madding Crowd in years and years. Love the movie. I started out with what I decided were too many 21st century picks, so I took all but two of them out and found some others I could try instead. I’ve started on my first book, my Spin choice. Love it so far!

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