Monday, September 21, 2015

The Classics Club

For the past year or so I've been aware of a book/blogging community known as the Classics Club, whose members have pledge to read a list of fifty or so "classics" within five years, and share their thoughts about them with other members of the group. Although that sort of thing seems right up my alley, I've not joined in yet because I didn't too much like having to choose the books in advance.  On reflection, however,  I realized that I'm going to be reading classics, anyway: I might as well have company in doing it.  So, here's my official throwing-in announcement: below is the list of titles I expect to read before September 22nd, 2020.

These move generally from western civ classics to American literature, including southern literature.
  1. The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. Danny Jackson
  2. The Aenid, Virgil
  3. The Histories, Herodotus
  4. The Conquest of Gaul, Julius Caesar
  5. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Vol. I, Edward Gibbon
  6. One Thousand and One Nights, trans. Husain Haddawy
  7. The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
  8. The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor Hugo
  9. The Prince, Machiavelli 
  10. Inferno, Dante
  11. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoeyesky
  12. The Seven-Storey Mountain,  Thomas Merton
  13. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  14. The Gulag Archipelago, Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  15. The Hiding Place, Corrie ten Boom
  16. Dracula, Bram Stoker
  17. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  18. The Swiss Family Robinson, Robert Louis Stevenson
  19. Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
  20. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  21. Emma, Jane Austen
  22. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
  23. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  24. The Vicar of Wakefield, Oliver Goldsmith
  25. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  26. Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens
  27. The Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan
  28. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  29. Down and Out in Paris and London, George Orwell
  30. The Federalist Papers, various
  31. The Education of Henry Adams, Henry Adams
  32. .Life on the Mississippi, Mark Twain 
  33. Up from Slavery, Booker T. Washington
  34. The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  35. Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
  36. O Pioneers!  Willa Cather
  37. White Fang, Jack London
  38. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
  39. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  40. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  41. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  42. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  43. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  44. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  45. The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
  46. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  47. The Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  48. Love Among the Ruins, Walker Percy
  49. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy
  50. 2001: A Space Odyessey, Arthur C. Clarke


  1. Read 7 of those. Probably another 7 or so in my TBR pile(s).

  2. Which ones? The English lit section?

    I've read one, myself -- "The Grapes of Wrath". I remember starting a class discussion of it on September 11, 2001.

  3. Read:
    The Prince, Machiavelli
    Dracula, Bram Stoker
    Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
    Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
    Emma, Jane Austen
    Lord of the Flies, William Golding
    2001: A Space Odyessey, Arthur C. Clarke

    TBR Pile:
    War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
    The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
    Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
    Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
    A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
    The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
    Catch-22, Joseph Heller
    The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury

  4. I tried to read "Catch-22" in hgh school, but didn't make it.

  5. I tried to read it in my teens too - fail. I remember finding the film quite funny. I'll probably be reading it in the 1st half of next year in my batch on books into movies or 20th century classics.

  6. I'm not sure how I'll go about this list -- I know some will come up this October, and some I'll save for next year's Read of England (Beowulf and the Vicar of Wakefield were originally intent for this past Read). Catch-22 wouldn't show up until I've gone through the rest of the American Classic set, though.

  7. It'll be a while for me too. Part way through my 'in translation' section, next up (after the usual break) is 'end of the world' stuff and then (after the usual break) 'made into movies'. After that I might try 'the Ancient world'. I've certainly got enough Rome and Greece novel to easily make up the standard 10.


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