The Classics Club

classicsclub

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. Confesiones, Agustín de Hipona, 397 – 400 added +
  2. The Frogs, Aristophanes, 405
  3. Beowulf, Heaney’s translation, between 975 and 1025
  4. La Celestina, Fernando de Rojas, 1499
  5. Guzmán de Alfarache, Mateo Alemán. 1599  added +
  6. Utopia, Thomas More, 1516
  7. Henry V, Shakespeare, 1600
  8. Otelo, Shakespeare, 1603
  9. Pascal Pensees and Other Writtings, 1670
  10. Gargantúa y Pantagruel, François Rabelais, cc 1694 added +
  11. Candide, Voltaire, 1759 added +
  12. Northanger Abbey, Jane Austin, 1803
  13. Persuasion, Jane Austin, 1817
  14. Tales of the Alhambra, Washington Irving, 1832
  15. Sonnets from the Portuguese, Elizabeth Browning poetry, mid 1845-46 added +
  16. The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne *re-read, 1850
  17. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
  18. North and South, Gaskell, 1855
  19. Fathers and Sons, Turgenev, 1862
  20. Far from the Madding Crowd, Hardy, 1874 added +
  21. La familia de León Roch, Galdós, 1878
  22. Washington Square, Henry James, 1880
  23. Los hermanos Karamazov, by Dostoevsky, 1880
  24. Los Pazos de Ulloa, Emilia Pardo Bazán, 1886
  25. La muerte de Ivan Illich, Tolstoy, 1886
  26. Miau, Galdós, 1888
  27. Hambre, Knut Hamsun
  28. The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope, 1894
  29. The Scarlett Pimpernel, by Emmuska Orczy, 1905
  30. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton, 1905 added + 
  31. Por el camino de Swan, Proust, 1913
  32. My Antonia, Willa Cather, 1918
  33. The Cross, (book III in the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy), 1922
  34. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Other Stories, Fitzgerald, 1922 added +
  35. La montaña mágica, Thomas Mann, *re-read, 1924
  36. The Glorious Adventure, Halliburton, 1927
  37. To the Lighthouse, Woolf, 1927
  38. Gaudy Night, Dorothy Sayers, 1935 added +
  39. Cheerfulness Breaks In, by Angela Thirkell, 1940
  40. The Mind of the Maker, Dorothy Sayers, *re-read, 1941
  41. Pavilon of Women, by Pearl S. Buck, 1946
  42. Kon Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl, 1948
  43. The Daughter of Time, Josephine Tey, 1951
  44. Speak Memory, Nabokov, 1951
  45. East of Eden, Steinbeck, 1952 added +
  46. After You, Marco Polo, Jen Shor, 1955, re-readadded +
  47. Alfanhui, Sanchez Ferlosio, Rafael, 1955
  48. El Jarama, Ferlosio, Rafael Sanchez, 1956
  49. The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino, 1957 added +
  50. Mother Night, Vonnegut, 1961
  51. The Moviegoer, Walker Percy, 1961
  52. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, 1962
  53. The Scent of Water, Goudge, 1963
  54. A Movable Feast, Ernest Heminway, 1964 added +
  55. The Rector of Justin, by Louis Auchincloss, 1964
  56. Ten Fingers for God, by Dorothy Clarke Wilson, Philip Yancey, 1965
  57. Tres Tristes Tigres, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, 1965 added +
  58. 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.

Advertisements

47 comments on “The Classics Club

  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

  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

    • 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

      • 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

    • 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.

      Like

      • 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!

        Like

  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

    • 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).

      Like

    • 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.

      Like

  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

    • 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!

      Like

  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 2 people

  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 2 people

    • 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

  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.

    Cheers,
    Sarah

    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

    • 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

  13. I had so much fun making my list, but I didn’t realize that I can’t officially participate without having a blog. Oh, well! I still intend to read through my list. I am especially excited about reading all the classics that I already own.

    Like

    • You know what? , I am not updating my reviews at their site, or adding them to twitter, I am not doing other than reading from my list.

      And I do have a category, though, at goodreads, with the books. That, like you say, makes me happy in itself.

      I am glad you still see purpose. You are so positive. I do love reading your thoughts or reviews of books, but I guess I am satisfied with your activity at Goodreads. I know you are busy with life and reading itself, and sometimes writing about the books is difficult.

      Now, if you want to have a simple blog where to record your lists, it’s not that difficult, and it’s free, but if you are happy the way you are, don’t let anything ruin that joy! I love to have your company as a reader, and a reader of classics.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I love this idea. And I love lists. Every January I make a list of the books I hope to read in the coming year, but I like this long view and how it encourages great diversity.

    Like

    • Exactly. As long as we see them as provisional and ever-changing, or not oppressing but encouraging, they are fun, I agree. (Looking at others’ lists inspires me too)

      Like

      • Mind, you say? I’d be elated and honored. I’ll have a tag for you, and you can make the changes that you like (I think I can add writers to my blog, so that you can alter that list on your own. But I don’t mind taking care of posting it or updating it either! (Actually, this is your space too, at any time you want to share anything you write.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Okay, here is my list for 2017. I won’t get to them all, but it’s nice to dream. My oldest will be in Y6 this year, and I hope to keep up with all his reading too. I’m looking forward to a lot of those selections!

        Fiction/Poetry:
        This Day, Collected and New Sabbath Poems by Wendell Berry (year long read)
        The Gray House by Mariam Petrosyan (added mid-year, currently reading)
        Brideshead Revisited by Waugh (added mid-year, currently reading)
        The Count of Monte Cristo by Dumas (currently reading)
        Killer Angels by Shaara (currently listening on audio)
        Sense And Sensibility by Austen
        Silence by Endo
        Villette by Charlotte Bronte
        Rebecca by Du Maurier (read)
        Norse Mythology by Gaiman (added mid-year)
        Dandelion Wine by Bradbury (added mid-year)

        Non-Fiction:
        Norms and Nobility by Hicks (year long read)
        A Touch of The Infinite by Megan Hoyt (added mid-year)
        Mere Motherhood by Cindy Rollins
        Different by Sally and Nathan Clarkson (read)
        Jesus Outside The Lines by Sauls (currently reading)
        Befriend by Sauls
        Liturgy of The Ordinary by Tish Harrison Warren (read)
        You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith
        Beauty Will Save The World, Recovering The Human In An Ideological Age by Wolfe
        The Worship Pastor by Zak Hicks (currently reading)
        Orthodoxy by Chesterton
        Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

        Liked by 2 people

    • I started out reading that with the AO group, but I quickly fell behind because I couldn’t even keep up with the forum discussion! So, I’m on my own now and actually haven’t picked it up in a couple months. I am hoping to spend a good deal of time with it this summer – once my brain starts working again! Have you read it before?

      Like

  15. This was the reading challenge I created for myself for 2017:

    1. A book of poetry
    2. A Shakespeare play
    3. A play by someone other than Shakespeare.
    4. A novel by a French author
    5. A book by an early Christian
    6. A book by a native American
    7. A book by an African American
    8. An American history book
    9. A book I serendipiticiously find browsing through the library
    10. A book I’ve already read and loved
    11. A book about the Christian life
    12. A book about the arts

    Besides that, I’ve created a five year classics reading list. This is definitely subject to change.

    This year my focus is French literature, so although I won’t be reading these books in order, many of the French titles are for this year (time permitting).

    1. The Stranger Camus (French) 1942
    2. Tartuffe Moliere (French) 1664
    3. Pensees Pascal (French) 1669
    4. Le Petit Prince Saint Exupery (French) 1946
    5. The Misanthrope Moliere (French) 1666
    6. The Charterhouse of Parma Stendahl (French) 1839
    7. Democracy in America Toqueville (French) 1835
    8. Madame Bovary Flaubert (French) 1856
    9. Swann’s Way Proust (French) 1913
    10. Antigone Anouilh (French) 1944
    11. The Count of Monte Cristo Dumas (French) 1844
    12. Confessions Augustine (Early Christian) 397
    13. Fortunata and Jacinta Galdos (Spanish) 1887
    14. Yerma Lorca (Spanish) 1934
    15. Border of a Dream Machado (Spanish) pre-1939
    16. Up From Slavery Washington (African American) 1900
    17. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (African American) 1845
    18. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee Brown (Native American) 1970
    19. Final Harvest Dickinson (American poetry) 19th century
    20. Grapes of Wrath Steinbeck (American) 1939
    21. Story of My Boyhood and Youth Muir (Scottish American) 1913
    22. Last of the Mohicans Cooper (American) 1826
    23. Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God Edwards(American) 1741
    24. Death Comes For the Archbishop Cather (American) 1927
    25. Best Short Stories of Edgar Allan Poe Poe (American) 1833
    26. Absalom! Absalom! Faulkner (American) 1936
    27. Something Wicked This Way Comes Bradbury(American) 1962
    28. Life and Diary of David Brainerd Brainerd (American) 1749
    29. The Fire Next Time Baldwin (African American) 1963
    30. Their Eyes Were Watching God Hurston (African American) 1937
    31. House of the Seven Gables Hawthorne(American) 1851
    32. Murder in the Cathedral Eliot (English) 1930
    33. The Moonstone Collins (English) 1868
    34. Tamburlaine Marlowe (English) 1590
    35. Reflections on the Revolution in France Burke (English) 1790
    36. The Man Who Was Thursday Chesterton(English) 1908
    37. A Little Princess Burnett (English) 1905
    38. A Tale of Two Cities Dickens (English) 1859
    39. I, Claudius Graves (English) 1934
    40. The Picture of Dorian Gray Wilde (English) 1891
    41. Of Human Bondage Maugham (English) 1915
    42. The Quiet American Greene (English) 1955
    43. Vanity Fair Thackery (English) 1847
    44. The Inferno Dante (Italian) 1320
    45. Orlando Furioso Oriosto (Italian) 1516
    46. The Aeneid Virgil (Roman) 17 B.C.
    47. Letters to a Young Poet Rilke (German) 1929
    48. Imitation of Christ Kempis (German) 1418
    49. Life Together Bonhoeffer (German) 1939
    50. Brothers Karamazov Dostoevsky (Russian) 1880
    51. The Idiot Dostoevsky (Russian) 1868
    52. The God Who Is There Schaeffer (American) 1968
    53. Night Wiesel (Romanian; Holocaust) 1958
    54. The Odyssey Homer (Greek) 800 B.C.
    55. Lysistrata Aristophanes (Greek) 411 B.C.
    56. The Mind of the Maker Sayers (English) 1941
    57. Midaq Alley Mahfouz (Egyptian) 1947
    58. The Chosen Potok (Jewish American) 1967
    59. Cancer Ward Solzhenitsyn (Russian) 1968
    60. Leaves of Grass Whitman (American poetry) 1855
    61. Homage to Catalonia Orwell (English) 1938
    62. Julius Caesar Shakespeare (English) 1599
    63. King Lear Shakespeare (English) 1603
    64. Collected Poems Yeats (Irish poetry) 1889
    65. Growth of the Soil Hamsun (Norwegian) 1917
    66. Their Father’s God Roolvag (Norwegian American) 1931
    67. City of God Augustine (Early Church) 426
    68. On the Incarnation Athanasius (Early Church) 318
    69. The Problem of Pain Lewis (English; Christian) 1940
    70. In This House of Brede Godden (English) 1969

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, what a fascinating list.

      How am I so lucky to have Katie and Sherry’s list here with mine?

      It is an honor, I love it! I will definitely borrow from them.

      And at the end of the year, when I post a recap, (or at any time, really), don’t hesitate to publish changes, updates, and anything you like.

      I can publish a guest post with your reviews, lists, thoughts, anything, at anytime. And to add anything to the comments, you don’t need any permission at all. I love to find you have posted these lists!

      Liked by 1 person

    • This is a formidable list! Are you reading all 70 in 2017?? I really like your challenge. My lists gravitate too much to what I already know. Your list and Silvia’s encourage me to step out of my comfort zone more when considering books.

      I love the idea of focusing on the literature of one part of the world. That would be really interesting.

      Letters To A Young Poet was one of my favorite books in my early 20’s. I’ve often wondered what I would think of it now, almost half a lifetime later. I also spent a lot of time with his poetry in those days. He had such passion and intensity.

      Liked by 2 people

  16. No, Katie, I am definitely NOT expecting to read all of those in one year! I am not a fast reader, and my continual goal is to become an even slower one. It’s a five year list, inspired by Silvia joining the five year Classics Challenge. I will be surprised if I manage it in five years.

    Silvia, thank you for the invitation! I look forward to doing an end of the year review–that’s the kind of thing that can help me slow down and read more contemplatively.

    Like

    • Ah, got it! I knew you mentioned five years, but for some reason, I thought this was just a list of the first year!

      Slowing down can be so hard, and I do find that writing a review does so much for slowing the pace – as does reading many books at one time, which I’ve become the queen of, except that right now, 90% of my attention is on The Gray House because that’s the kind of book it is.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s