My Classics Club List, Version 2.0

Happy New Calendar Year!

In the spirit of new beginnings and fresh starts, I decided to reorganize my Classics Club list. After participating in the Club for a few months, I realized that I definitely wanted the list to be a living, dynamic thing that incorporates my interests as they develop. I also realized that we read a ton of classics over at Unputdownables, and I want to add them to my list. Another thing you might note is that I removed most of the poetry. I found that I like to read individual poems when the spirit moves me, and rattle them around in my head for a few days. I don’t like to read them like a novel (and what does it mean to have “completed” the Complete Emily Dickinson!? No, no, no.). The only book of poetry I left on was Ginsberg’s Howl, which is of a piece and should be read at one time. I removed the Eugenides – sorry Jeffrey! I rethought it, and couldn’t put it as a classic in good conscience just yet. I’m still going to read it, of course. I got the list back down to 50, too.

I expect to do this at least once a year, maybe twice. Some of my favorite reading this year were classics that I put on my list after the fact, so I know this is a process that works with my particular brand of madness. I’ll keep annotating, changing, and breathing life into this list until I decide to do a new one in July 2013 or January 2014.

So, without further ado – here is my revamped list!

50 classics, 5 years. So, by July 15, 2017 my goal is to complete:

1. The Classic Fairy Tales – Tartar

2. Angels and Insects – Byatt Completed 9/15/13 Thoughts

3. Babel Tower – Byatt Completed 9/16/12 Thoughts

4. Ragnarok – Byatt

5. Remembrance of Things Past: Swann’s Way – Proust

6. Don Quixote – Cervantes

7. David Copperfield – Dickens

8. Hard Times – Dickens Completed 12/20/12 Thoughts

9. Great Expectations – Dickens Completed 12/19/13 Thoughts

10. The Plague – Camus

11. 1984 – Orwell Completed 8/31/13 Thoughts

12. Crime and Punishment  – Dostoyevsky Completed 4/27/13 Thoughts

13. The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoyevsky

14. The Professor – C. Brontë

15. Jane Eyre – C. Brontë

16. Villette – C. Brontë

17. Howl and Other Poems – Ginsberg

18. The Importance of Being Earnest – Wilde   Completed 8/19/12 Thoughts

19. Hamlet – Shakespeare  Completed 7/13/13 Thoughts

20. Macbeth – Shakespeare

21. King Lear – Shakespeare

22. Much Ado About Nothing – Shakespeare

23. The Tempest – Shakespeare

24. Twelfth Night – Shakespeare

25. As You Like It – Shakespeare

26. War and Peace – Tolstoy 

27. Wuthering Heights – E. Brontë Completed 10/25/12 Thoughts

28. The Virgin in the Garden – Byatt

29. The Bloody Chamber – Carter Completed 2/18/13 Thoughts

30. Tropic of Cancer – Miller

31. The Dharma Bums – Kerouac Completed 6/14/13 Thoughts

32. The Bell Jar – Plath

33. Persuasion – Austen Completed 1/25/12 Thoughts

34. Northanger Abbey – Austen Completed 11/2/13 Thoughts

35. Frankenstein – Shelley Completed 3/23/13 Thoughts

36. Walden – Thoreau

37. Wives and Daughters – Gaskell Completed 9/5/13 Thoughts

38. Huckleberry Finn – Twain

39.  The Hound of the Baskervilles – Doyle Completed 6/2/13 Thoughts

40. Moby Dick – Melville

41. The Poisonwood Bible – Kingsolver

42. Mrs. Dalloway – Woolf

43. Orlando – Woolf

44. The Rainbow – Lawrence

45. The Idiot – Dostoyevsky

46. Howards End – Forster

47. A Christmas Carol – Dickens Completed 12/16/12 Thoughts

48. The Hobbit – Tolkien Completed 11/24/12 Thoughts

49. Agnes Grey – A. Brontë Completed 10/2/13 Thoughts

50. Rebecca – Du Maurier Completed 12/1/12 Thoughts



  1. Jenny Colvin (@readingenvy)

    I haven’t read any Dickens since high school (except rereading A Christmas Carol), but David Copperfield is my favorite of those I’ve read!

    I love 1984 and reread it often. I first read it before I hit double digits and it is always fresh.

    Proust- well, sometimes I look up volumes of this but I can’t even figure out what the entire work is, exactly. Multiple volumes? One? I’d like to try it, but how would I start? I’ll look to you for guidance!

    • jackiemania

      Proust: Remembrance of Things Past is a seven volume work, and Swann’s Way is the first volume. I was confused about that too until I looked at my physical book. The book I have is my husband’s – given to him by his friend in college when he was his best man in his wedding. It has the first two of the seven volumes in it.

      I always wanted to read it for the madeleine/involuntary memories he writes about. I hope to get to it this year!

    • jackiemania

      Thanks, Patty! I just counted the female authors on my list and there are 19 out of 50. I chose my list without thought of gender, but I’m glad to see that my list is naturally semi-balanced male/female. 🙂

      I expect the Brontes will be a permanent fixture even if I decide to do another 5 or 10 or 20 year list! I plan to reread them over and over and over for as long as I can!

  2. Pingback: Happy Blogiversary and ClassicsClubiversary to Me! | jackiemania
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