Classics Club Meme

August 2015 Meme: Contributed by BookerTalk, who joined us in August 2012: “Have you made changes to your list since you first created it? If you added any new titles or removed some, why did you make those changes?”

Below is my original list. I decided to make a list of 55 classic books to read, my goal was to get them read by my 55th birthday and I have to admit that I’ve failed completely as I turned 56 recently and I’ve only managed to read 29 of them.

1. Deerslayer by J. Fenimore Cooper
2. Uther and Igraine by Warwick Deeping
3. Heroes by Thomas Carlyle
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. The Naulahka by Rudyard Kipling and W. Balestier
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. The Courts of the Morning by John Buchan
33. The Gap in the Curtain by John Buchan
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 Tenth Man by Graham Greene
46. The Third Man by Graham Greene
47. Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
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. Selected Tales by Edgar Allan Poe

I’ve tinkered with the list from time to time, in fact I’m not at all sure that the one above is the original, I’m sure I had some classic crime books on it in the begining. I’ve had doubts as to whether some of the books would be described as classics. I put a fair few Viragos on the list and I’m not sure about them at all.

My number 2. is Uther and Igraine by Warwick Deeping who was very popular in the 1930s but is it a classic? – I doubt it. I’ve decided to replace that one with The Bride of Lammermoor by Sir Walter Scott. Apart from anything else I can’t find my copy of Uther and Igraine.

Numbers 38, 39, 42, 43, 44 are all Viragos which I’m thinking about swapping for:
An Eye for an Eye by Anthony Trollope
The Way Live Now by Anthony Trollope
Lady Anna by Anthony Trollope
The American Senator by Anthony Trollope
and possibly a Daphne du Maurier, maybe Hungry Hill or The Glass Blowers.

Since starting to write this post I’ve been to the library and borrowed:
Mr Harrison’s Confessions by Elizabeth Gaskell and
The Belly of Paris by Emile Zola

So it looks like I’ll be amending the list yet again!

10 thoughts on “Classics Club Meme

  1. I’ve been wanting to read Gogol’s Dead Souls. It might be fun, but 488 pages? Maybe we could do so many pages a week or fortnight the way we did with Ivanhoe. Or, if you’re not ready for that, just let me know in the future if you wish to.

    • Judith,
      My copy is an ancient one, Everyman’s Library, published by J.M. Dent and it only has 324 pages. I’m up for a readalong, if we can figure out how to split it up into reading chunks.

      • Katrina,
        I’m glad you’re interested. Do you know when is a good time for you? I’m flexible, I think. I just need to order my copy from Amazon–I’ve got a 2-day delivery now, supposedly.

        • Judith,
          It might be easier if we both get it from Project Gutenberg then we’ll have the same set up. I don’t mind reading it on my Kindle and I’m totally flexible.

          • Oops! I just ordered it, an Everyman’s Library Copy, from Amazon. I have trouble reading books downloaded from Gutenberg, especially longish books.
            It’s supposed to arrive Friday, Sept. 4, but really, I’m ready whenever you feel like starting. In other words, I don’t want you to feel I’m rushing you because I ordered the book.
            We can probably decide to read by Chapter chunks, if you know what I mean. And see what we’re comfortable with.
            I’m looking forward!

  2. I fiddled with my list the first couple of months but it’s been the same now for more than three years. I’ve only got 15 books left (not counting my current read) but I’ve already started a second list! I’d like to read at least three more this year and finish up by the end of 2016.

    And I’m delighted to see so much Trollope on your list! I had 11 Trollopes on my list and I’ve crossed them all off, so now I have to finish up all my other Victorians. I’ve read The American Senator, Lady Anna, and The Way We Live Now, and I loved all of them. Happy reading!

    • Karen K,
      Thanks, I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Trollopes. My problem was I kept changing my mind as to what counted as a classic. I plan to read a lot of classics in the winter months so I should be whittling away at that list.

    • Karen Heenan-Davies,
      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I love Trollope but I’ve just finished reading Zola’s The Belly of Paris and enjoyed it so much I’ll be tracking more of his down. That one didn’t even appear on my list, I borrowed it from a library.

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