The Classics Club


I’m doing this. Yes. It may sound insane, but it also makes sense. The Classics Club is a blog which offers the following proposal: make your own list of 50 classics or more, and read those in the span of 5 years (or longer).

Looking back, I have read 50 classics in the last 5 years of my life. I know, as a christian, I’ve learned to say that, if the Lord wills… and that’s what I’m saying now, if the Lord wills, I’d have read these classics in the next five years (or less, or more, who can tell?), and, if the Lord wills, I’ll be writing about these books and linking to the Classics Club site.

These is my list of classics, and my deadline is March 2022. (Wow, it sounds so far away!)

ADDITIONS will have “added +” at the end, and those titles abandoned will show like this

  1. The Frogs, Aristophanes, 405
  2. Beowulf, Heaney’s translation, between 975 and 1025
  3. La Celestina, Fernando de Rojas, 1499
  4. Guzmán de Alfarache, Mateo Alemán. 1599  added +
  5. Utopia, Thomas More, 1516
  6. Henry V, Shakespeare, 1600
  7. Otelo, Shakespeare, 1603
  8. Pascal Pensees and Other Writtings, 1670
  9. Gargantúa y Pantagruel, François Rabelais, cc 1694 added +
  10. Candide, Voltaire, 1759 added +
  11. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austin, 1803
  12. Persuasion, Jane Austin, 1817
  13. Tales of the Alhambra, Washington Irving, 1832
  14. Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Browning poetry, mid 1845-46 added +
  15. The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne *re-read, 1850
  16. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
  17. North and South, Gaskell, 1855
  18. Fathers and Sons, Turgenev, 1862
  19. Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy, 1874 added +
  20. La familia de León Roch, Galdós, 1878
  21. Washington Square, Henry James, 1880
  22. Los hermanos Karamazov, by Dostoevsky, 1880
  23. Los Pazos de Ulloa, Emilia Pardo Bazán, 1886
  24. La muerte de Ivan Illich, Tolstoy, 1886
  25. Miau, Galdós, 1888
  26. Hambre, Knut Hamsun
  27. The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope, 1894
  28. The Scarlett Pimpernel, by Emmuska Orczy, 1905
  29. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, 1905 added + 
  30. Por el camino de Swan, Proust, 1913
  31. My Antonia, Willa Cather, 1918
  32. The Cross, (book III in the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy), 1922
  33. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories, Fitzgerald, 1922 added +
  34. La montaña mágica, Thomas Mann, *re-read, 1924
  35. The Glorious Adventure, Halliburton, 1927
  36. To the Lighthouse, Woolf, 1927
  37. Cheerfulness Breaks In, by Angela Thirkell, 1940
  38. The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers, *re-read, 1941
  39. Pavilon of Women, by Pearl S. Buck, 1946
  40. Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, 1948
  41. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey, 1951
  42. Speak Memory, Nabokov, 1951
  43. After You, Marco Polo, Jen Shor, 1955 added +
  44. Alfanhui, Sanchez Ferlosio, Rafael, 1955
  45. El Jarama, Ferlosio, Rafael Sanchez, 1956
  46. The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino, 1957 added +
  47. Mother Night, Vonnegut, 1961
  48. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy, 1961
  49. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1962
  50.  The Scent of Water, Goudge, 1963
  51. A Movable Feast, Ernest Heminway, 1964 added +
  52. The Rector of Justin, by Louis Auchincloss, 1964
  53. Ten Fingers for God, by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Philip Yancey, 1965
  54. Tres Tristes Tigres, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, 1965 added +
  55. Silence by Shusaku, Endo 1966

I prefer to leave my list of classics to books around 50+ years old, but these are additional titles that will soon be classics, or that are considered modern classics (I know).

  1. The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia, by Esther Hautzig, 1967
  2. A Circle of Quiet, L’Engle, 1971
  3. Watership Down, Richard Adams, 1972
  4. Meditations on Hunting, Ortega y Gasset, 1972
  5. Shogun, Clavell, 1975
  6. The Brendan Voyage, by Tim Severin, 1978
  7. Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry, 1989
  8. Olvidado Rey Gudú, Ana María Matute 1996
  9. La ciudad de las bestias, Isabel Allende, 2002
  10. The Scarlet Letters, by Louis Auchincloss, 2003
  11. Home, Marilyn Robinson, 2008
  12. La casa de los otros, (The Grey House), Mariam Petrosyan, 2009

I have other books not in this list at my ongoing reading log.


30 thoughts on “The Classics Club

Add yours

  1. It seemed crazy initially, but the more I pondered about it, the more it grew on me. 5 years seem (and are) long. I don’t know if I’ll be here. Reading. Writing. But I know who I am today as a reader. I loved searching for the dates, trying to lay out some books from different times. It’s lovely to make lists. I’m not slaved to them (and they can be modified).
    The club is nice because sometimes they do a ‘spin’ thing, and they give you a number for your list, to encourage you to contemplate that title. (You can also pick some less liked, or abandoned, etc, and they have another time where they encourage you to pick that one, etc.)
    I know I’ll read much from that list. It’s fun. (The Classics Club is at goodreads too, -in case you are interested on doing this yourself).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just think, by the time this reading cycle ends, we’ll have high school students! 😍 I think it will be fun. I love making book lists.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great list! I’m happy you decided to sign up, looking forward to reading your reviews.

    I’ve only read two of the books on your list: Northanger Abbey and Mother Night. I really enjoyed both of them. Northanger Abbey is definitely a story for book lovers, and I thought Mother Night was one of Vonnegut’s best, out of what I’ve read so far.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love this Silvia! Such a good idea to spread this reading over the next five years 🙂 Lord willing of course! I might join in with a few of these as well in addition to the ones you and I are reading…I’ve never read The Scarlet Letter! How did you come up with the number 58?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I started to place titles from my ‘want to read’ list, added other books, re-reads, and I came up with those 58. But anything over 50 is what they indicate.
      I like the fact that, right now, apart from a few other titles that may come my way, this list is a good indicator of where I am and where I am going with my reading. (Looking at it, also, reminds me of other possibilities I may add to the mix, and 5 years seems gentle and not intimidating).
      I also wanted to be linked to that wonderful Classics Club blog, because they have nice members who expand and enrich my reading horizon, and a very comprehensive list of books and reviews).
      I would love for you and Sherry (and everyone, 🙂 to do this too. Then we’ll have wonderful lists full of old friends, and possible new ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! I might try something similar…giving a good amount of time like five years to work though that long of a list makes it seem less daunting 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. What a great list! I see several books here that I love (Persuasion and Northanger Abbey and Kon-Tiki and North and South, especially), and some that are on my own CC list (like The Age of Innocence and The Scarlet Pimpernel). You have a really varied list, and it’s rich with authors I’ve barely heard of, or am not familiar with at all — it all looks excellent!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hamlette (I love your alias. Hamlet is my favorite play, even though I don’t understand it in full, it’s just wonderful).
      I love finding ‘different’ authors, genra, and to try to unearth titles from my youth, or forgotten classics or books in general, and being from Spain, I’m finding interesting authors that surprisingly are translated into English, such as Galdós or Ortega y Gasset (compound last name for one person, ha ha ha). I’m looking forward to his Meditations on Hunting.


      1. Thanks! Hamlet has been my favorite Shakespeare play since I was 17, and I’ve been using Hamlette as an alias almost as long.

        I really like finding people whose CC lists are far different from my own. Helps me discover new authors and books!


  5. I think I will do this too! And I was surprised to see that I’ve actually read 10 of the books on your list! Perhaps I’m better read than I give myself credit for. Now all I have to do is come up with my own 5 year plan! That might be difficult considering how many I have to choose from!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nothing will make me more happy than to see your list. And yes, I think you don’t give yourself enough credit. It’s a nice way to have your titles nicely tucked into a list that we all can look at. (And the Back to the Classics plan overlaps with this one too).


    1. I will let you know about Tey, I’m excited to read her Daughter of Time. I’ve read The Glimpses of the Moon and I liked that Wharton, but I want to read this longer title for whom she got the Pulitzer Prize.
      Dostoevsky is your all time favorite? I’m excited about Brothers K. I’ve read (1866) Crime and Punishment
      (1867) The Gambler (novella), and (1869) The Idiot, but Brothers K is, I believe, his last novel, 1880. I am starting in April, along with my friend Kim.


  6. I love The Brothers! I saw the movie when I was about 12 ~ very dark & atmospheric. I fell in love so looked up the book. I like Solzhenitsyn also but Tolstoy not so much. 🙂

    Daughter of Time I have read several times. The first time I was still in primary school & missed a lot. I was surprised @ how much when I reread it as an adult. The Lighthouse is beautifully written too but I have never had the patience to finish it. Let me know. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How funny, I have two friends who, having read Dostoievsky’s BK and Tolstoy, prefer Tolstoy. I think I prefer Solzhenitsyn, just by reading his Cancer Ward, but I have high expectations with BrothersK or BK as I call it.

      I wonder if my girls will re-read some of these books, such as Daughter of Time, and realize too they’ve missed much. I’m intrigued about Wolf, because I gravitate to books that are usually described as beautifully written, for some reason. It must be our love for language?, or for philosophy/psychology in other cases?, but some books get to my soul in a straight line, and cut deep!


  7. What a neat idea! After reading a lot of contemporary fiction in February and then mostly Children’s literature books in March, I have been so ready for more classics! My husband and I are both reading A Tale of Two Cities now and are discussing it together. And I *need* to get back to reading The Brothers Karamazov!

    Just yesterday, I pulled out a book on my shelf that’s all about classic literature and entertained the thought of possibly reading through the classics talked about in the book. At least many of them anyway. But I’ve been tossing around several ideas recently for my reading. That’s just one idea. Another idea I have been thinking about for some time now is reading through a history series and pairing up classics to go along with it. And trying to be more intentional with narrating at least the history series. 😉 The planner in me loves the thought of having a reading plan like that. But I also love picking up a book that interests me and reading it when I want. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I also love picking up a book that interests me and reading it when I want.

    I agree with you there too, Karen.

    I saw the list as not imposing, it’s more a place where to record classics I’d love to read, and yes, some inner motivation. At the Classics Club they let you decide which are modern classics.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow. Amazing list, Silvia. You are the Classics Queen!!! I didn’t make a list this year, because I was being lazy, but I *am* trying really hard to look for “better” light reads. If that makes any sense. I’m actually finding that I can’t stand reading many of the books I used to read *ahem, cough Christian fiction* much any more. So, maybe my taste is finally changing a bit. I think I sound book snobbish, but oh well. I really would like to read Watership Down as my oldest devoured it and really, really enjoyed it. Happy Friday to you. Amy

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think is snobbish or “bad snobbish”, and Kim and I talked yesterday about this same thing, we feel the same you do.
      That’s why we pick that order, instead of very light books, we do light or more uplifting titles after or along the more demanding ones.
      Wow, your oldest is a wonderful reader. Watership Down is a book I want to read with my girls too.
      I always love to see what you read (actually, I need to read your last post).

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have been spending WAY too much time working on a list! It is fun, though, and addictive.

    I want to stick with this year’s list, which includes several French classics. But next year I want to read several Spanish classics. What would you suggest? I ordered Fortunata and Jacinta last night (yippee!) and I am planning Yerma by Lorca, and some poetry of Machado. Any must-reads I should know about?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, wow, I’m so happy to hear you ordered Fortunata and Jacinta. I believe you’d love it. I’ll join you reading Yerma and re-reading Machado with you.
      I plan to read Alfanhui, and it’s in English for almost nothing,
      I believe we will both love this book written in 1951.
      I also have Los Pazos de Ulloa, by Emilia Pardo Bazán, also in English for not much, (The House of Ulloa), it’s highly praised here (but I did not read it all, just the beginning, for I don’t want to spoil it).
      I’m going to send you a book or two by a Spanish from Spain author, but I’ll keep it a surprise until I send them.
      I’m so happy you’ll be reading Spanish lit, I believe our authors are in general characterized by humor and drama, and Frenzen said in one of his essays that they are truly one and the same, right?


  11. What a fun idea. I see so many books I love on your list – The Prisoner of Zenda is one of my favorites. I had never even heard of it until we read The Scarlet Pimpernel on the AO forum, someone recommended Zenda, and I fell head over heels in love.


    Liked by 1 person

  12. Belated welcome to the club, Silvia! Hope you enjoy it as much as I do – I’m just about to finish my first year (and am already way behind!) Lots of variety on your list – I look forward to hearing what you think of them. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Fiction Fan!
      And… who cares about being behind!, what matters is the fun we are having, and I’m having lots of fan already. I’ve met wonderful new people, fellow readers. I’m visiting your blog, and getting to know you a bit through your readings.

      Liked by 1 person

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