For the past few years, I've been saying that I need to read more classics. Not because have any sense of obligation or am plagued by feelings that I should be reading anything in particular or that there are books that are more worthy than others but because when I do invest the time in the stories and writing that have really stood the test of time, I really do enjoy it. I did a couple of read-alongs this week and the responses that I've had from people on Twitter and the discussions that I've had on the blog have been some of the most interesting. I'm not saying that that's only down to the fact that I've been reading classics but I do feel as though there's something about reading books that have been read by countless others that's kind of nice.
I've umm-ed and ahh-ed over whether to sign up to the Classics Club ever since I first saw other bloggers signing up. 50 books over 5 years might not sound like a lot to those that read 100+ books a year but I tend to read 50-65 books in a year, which would make almost a fifth of the books that I was to read each year classics. And yes, I do know that that is rather over-thinking things SO this year, buouyed up by actually reading Charles Dickes in 2013 and not dying in the process, I decided to stop thinking about the numbers and just start reading some classics and see how I get on. Plus, putting together the list was fun in and of itself so even if I never actually read any of these books, that's something.
Since I've been putting the list together over the past week or so, I'm going to call my start date 1st January 2014, making my target for reading and reviewing all 50 of these beauties 31st December 2019. That's ages. I can definitely do this.
(sorted alphabetically by author's surname and with those that I already own marked in bold)
1. Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin
2. Jane Austen – Northanger Abbey
3. Jane Austen – Persuasion 4. J.M. Barrie – Peter Pan 5. Ray Bradbury – Something Wicked This Way Comes 6. Anne Bronte – Agnes Grey 7. Anne Bronte – The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 8. Charlotte Bronte – Villette 9. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights 10. Truman Capote – In Cold Blood 11. Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game 12. Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White 13. Daniel Defoe – Robinson Crusoe 14. Charles Dickens – Bleak House 15. Charles Dickens – The Pickwick Papers 16. Fyodor Dostoevsky – Crime and Punishment 17. Alexandre Dumas – The Count of Monte Cristo 18. Alexandre Dumas – The Three Musketeers 19. Daphne du Maurier – My Cousin Rachel 20. George Eliot – Middlemarch 21. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby 22. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary 23. E. M. Forster – Howard’s End 24. Elizabeth Gaskell – North and South 25. Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm 26. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm – The Complete Brothers’ Grimm Fairy Tales 27. Thomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Urbervilles 28. Joseph Heller – Catch 22 29. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter 30. Victor Hugo – The Hunchback of Notre Dame 31. Shirley Jackson – The House on Haunted Hill 32. Henry James –The Turn of the Screw 33. Franz Kafka – The Trial 34. Daniel Keyes – Flowers for Algernon 35. C. S. Lewis – The Chronicles of Narnia 36. Gabriel Garcia Marquez – Love in the Time of Cholera 37. Thomas Mallory - Le Morte D’Arthur: Volume 1 38. Margaret Mitchell – Gone with the Wind 39. George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-Four 40. Salman Rushdie – Midnight’s Children 41. J. D. Salinger – The Catcher in the Rye 42. Robert Louis Stevenson – Treasure Island 43. William Makepeace Thackeray – Vanity Fair 44. Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina 45. Jules Vergne – Around the World in Eighty Days 46. Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse Five 47. H. G. Wells – The Time Machine 48. Edith Wharton – The House of Mirth 49. Virginia Woolf – To The Lighthouse 50. John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids
Any favourites I should stick at the top of my pile? Any stinkers I should be avoiding like the plague? Let me know! And if you fancy signing up yourself, head HERE!