The Classics Club

I read about The Classics Club on Anbolyn’s Gudrun’s Tights and decided to join in too. You can read about it here.

I’ve listed 55 books which I intend to read within the next five years although in truth I hope it won’t take me so long. These are all books which have been in my house for years, waiting for their moment in the sun but I just haven’t got around to them. Apart from the Freeman Wills Crofts books near the end, I’ll be able to borrow those ones from my library and those are the ones I’m looking forward to reading most because I so enjoyed The 12.30 from Croydon and I love reading vintage crime. I’m going to read The Scarlet Letter first because it’s one of the ones which I think I should have read absolutely yonks ago.

When I get to the end of the 55 I’m going to reward myself with – a pat on the back and more books!

1. In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
2. Linda Tressel
3. Kim by Rudyard Kipling
4. The Lady of the Camelias by Alexandre Dumas
5. Swan Song by John Galsworthy
6. End of the Chapter by John Galsworthy
7. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
8. Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
9. The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
10. The Talisman by Walter Scott
11. Ivanhoe by Walter Scott
12. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
13. Nana by Emile Zola
14. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
15. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope
16. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope
17. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
18. The Old Wives’ Tale by Arnold Bennett
19. Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett
20. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
21. O Pioneer! by Willa Cather
22. Moby Dick by Hermann Melville
23. The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby
24. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
25. An Unsuitable Attachment by Barbara Pym
26. The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett
27. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
28. Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
29. The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
30. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
31. Witch Wood by John Buchan
32. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
33. The Moon is Down by John Steinbeck
34. Love by Elizabeth von Arnim
35. The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison
36. Good Morning Midnight by Jean Rhys
37. Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope
38. Poor Caroline by Winifred Holtby
39. The World my Wilderness by Rose Macaulay
40. Salem Chapel by Mrs Oliphant
41. The Republic by Pliny
42. The Harsh Voice by Rebecca West
43. Chatterton Square by E.H. Young
44. Not So Quiet by Hellen Zenna Smith
45. The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola
46. The Ladies Paradise by Emile Zola
47. The Castle by Franz Kafka
48. Felix Holt the Radical by George Eliot
49. Miss Mackenzie by Anthony Trollope
50. He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
51. The Eustace Diamonds by Anthony Trollope
52. The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope
53. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope
54. Phineas Redux by Anthony Trollope
55. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

I’m not really superstitious but I feel that as this challenge is such a prolonged one I really have to say that I intend finishing these books – and I’m borrowing a phrase from my late Mum here – If I’m Spared – and I’m saying it on behalf of everyone else taking part too because I just feel that these things shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s bad luck. Do I sound a bit mental? Don’t answer that!

16 thoughts on “The Classics Club

  1. I’ve wondered about doing this too, Katrina, but have hung back just because of the five year thing. It seems like being a hostage to fortune and I look at all my unread books (not just classics) and wonder if I’ll be around long enough to read them all. It doesn’t stop me from getting more though – just makes me think harder about whether I really want to read them.

    • Margaret,
      I know how you feel. It’ll make me pay attention to books which I’ve neglected for years though. Even as a child I worried about whether my Granny had finished reading her book when she died, somehow I think she was past caring!

  2. Like you mother’s ‘if I’m spared’, I picked up this phrase from a radio DJ in Boston back in the 1970’s, who ended each broadcast with this one: ‘God willing and the creek don’t rise’. A little backwoods, maybe, but it conveys pretty much the same sentiment.

    Nice list of books! I’m reading The Old Wives’ Tale right now and like it very much. (Yes, I’m still reading Russian Winter, too. So, far, I’ve been to or know of all the Boston locations and it’s making me homesick, but I like the Russian storyline better.)

    • Joan,
      That’s a good phrase too, I like the backwoodsy feel of it.
      I’ll put The Old Wives’ Tale near the top of the list then. Yes I enjoyed the Russian part most, I thought that life for top ballerinas in the USSR would have been much better than it seems to have been. The author did do her research so presumably it’s authentic.

  3. This sounds very interesting and I like the 5 yrs. plan! I’m off to see how many ‘classics’ I have laying around here I can read! I have a Mrs. Oliphant book!

  4. I see you have The Old Wives Tale on the list which I just loved and I feel it is undeservedly ignored, so I’m happy to see it on the list. O Pioneers is really good, I’ve decided it will be one our book group selections this year, so that’s nice to see too. And Decline and Fall is HILARIOUS. Nobody reads it, and they should. Waugh was really funny.

    • Karen,
      Yes The Old Wives’ Tale will be one of the first ones I read, I remember you really enjoyed it. You never know what you’re going to get with Waugh – something Brideshead-ish or a side-splitting hoot like Scoop, I’m looking forward to Decline and Fall now – a good laugh is required after our Budget.

  5. I’m clearly not ‘class-y’ enough for this club! LOL

    I nodded off just reading the list…zzzzzzzzz

    Y’all have fun. It’s back to Game of Thrones for me!

  6. When I was ill years ago and in hospital waiting for a brain operation I was reading the Poldark books, and like you worrying about Granny finishing her book, I was exactly the same – as I was sure I wasn’t going to pull through! Obviously I did, but I remember the feeling vividly of rushing through the book before I was operated on!!!
    What a list you have there. Not sure I could read all of those! Witchwood by Buchan sounds interesting though. Burnet of Barnes, another of his, was good.
    Good luck anyway!

    • Evee,
      I read the Poldark series a few years ago, I loved the TV series too. I suppose it must have helped you to concentrate on reading rather than the scary ordeal ahead. I haven’t read Burnet of Barnes yet, I think my fave so far has been Greenmantle.

  7. So happy to see Arnold Bennett on your list! I should really revise mine and add Anna of the Five Towns or Clayhanger. And nice to see Trollope, Cather, and Barbara Pym! I forgot Pym on mine but included LOTS of Trollope and most of the Cathers I haven’t read.

    And Zola! Nana is on my list as well.

    • Karen,
      I really enjoyed Anna of the Five Towns and Clayhanger years ago and then for some reason I didn’t read any more of his books apart from The Grand Babylon Hotel recently. You have been fairly eating up the Zolas, I have some catching up to do!

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