The Classics Club

The Classics Club is a community for literature bloggers in which your goal is to read at least 50 classic books of your choice in five years or less. I joined on the 10th of February, 2015; therefore, my aim is to finish my reading list by the 10th of February, 2020.

The participants are allowed to decide for themselves what they regard as a "classic". For me, any work of literature that has received considerable critical acclaim, is recognized internationally and/or has had a significant impact on literature of later generations is a classic. Therefore, my list of classics includes many very recent, but already widely recognized works. Many of these books are on The Guardian's list of '1000 novels everyone must read'. All of them are novels except for one collection of short stories and one play (I have a separate Shakespeare project of my own going on as well.)

For someone who reads with such a passion as me, making up a long-term reading list is a serious business. Alright, some books found their way on the list just because the title had a certain interesting word in it, or because my mother is always talking about that book. Mostly, though, I want to genuinely expand my reading horizons and achieve some personal aims. Here are some of my motivations:

  • To finish reading all of Jane Austen's and Charles Dickens' novels
  • To finish a couple of books that I never got through with for some reason but that still interest me very much (such as The Master and Margarita and the His Dark Materials trilogy)
  • To read in other languages besides English; the list contains a a couple of French novels which I'm going to read in the original language, and hopefully I'll have time to learn Spanish well enough in the next five years to read Gabriel García Márquez and Federico García Lorca in Spanish. I do try to read in my first language occasionally, though the list doesn't contain any Finnish classics – but I'm going to read the Finnish translations of each book that isn't originally in English, French or Spanish.
  • To indulge my love of Victorian Britain, imperialist/colonialist themes and war settings in literature
  • To get more acquainted with some well-known, hopefully high-quality pieces of modern literature and with the genre of magical realism
So now you know why, how and when I'm going to go about this Classics Club project. Voilà, my list of 50 classic titles, all of which I'll be reading for the first time:

Jane Austen:
1. Northanger Abbey
2. Persuasion (read, not yet reviewed)

J.M. Barrie:
3.Peter Pan (play) (read, not yet reviewed)

Harriet Beecher Stowe:
4. Uncle Tom's Cabin

Aphra Behn:
5. Oroonoko

Mikhail Bulgakov:
6. The Master and Margarita 

Wilkie Collins:
7. The Woman in White

Charles Dickens:
8. The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club
9. The Old Curiosity Shop
10. Barnaby Rudge
11. Martin Chuzzlewit
12. Dombey and Son
13. David Copperfield
14. Hard Times
15. Bleak House
16. Little Dorrit (read, not yet reviewed)
17. Great Expectations
18. Our Mutual Friend
19. The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Alexandre Dumas:
20. The Count of Monte Cristo 
21. The Three Musketeers 

Umberto Eco:
22: The Name of the Rose 

William Faulkner:
23. The Sound and the Fury

Neil Gaiman:
24. American Gods
25. Anansi Boys

Elizabeth Gaskell:
26. North and South

27. Gilgamesh

William Golding:
28. Lord of the Flies

Victor Hugo:
29. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame 

Yashar Kemal:
30. Memed, My Hawk 

Madame de Lafayette:
31. The Princess of Cleves 

Harper Lee:
32. To Kill a Mockingbird

Federico García Lorca:
33. The House of Bernarda Alba

Gabriel García Márquez:
34. One Hundred Years of Solitude

Guy de Maupassant:
35. Bel-Ami

James A. Michener:
36. Tales of the South Pacific

George Orwell:
37. Animal Farm

Boris Pasternak:
38. Doctor Zhivago 

Edgar Allan Poe:
39. Tales of Mystery and Imagination (short story collection)

Erich Maria Remarque:
40. All Quiet on the Western Front

Philip Pullman:
41. Northern Lights
42. The Subtle Knife
43. The Amber Spyglass

Salman Rushdie:
44. Midnight's Children
45. The Satanic Verses (read, not yet reviewed)

Mary Shelley:
46. Frankenstein

Dan Simmons:
47. Hyperion

John Steinbeck:
48. Of Mice and Men

Robert Louis Stevenson:
49. Treasure Island

Oscar Wilde:
50. The Picture of Dorian Grey

The Classics Club seems like a great project for book-lovers in the Blogiverse, and it's nice to set yourself challenges and goals without restriction or stress. Let me know if you're joining in too!


  1. Yay! Classic Club friends! *fist bump*

    Northanger Abbey is hilarious and it has my favourite Austen hero whereas Persuasion is the most moving and romantic out of Austen's books. I re-read them both over Christmas and they've firmly cemented themselves in my Jane Austen top three, along with Pride and Prejudice of course :D I haven't read David Copperfield in a long time but it was my first Dickens novel and I really loved it. Even my best friend who hates Dickens thinks that book is "alright" and, believe me, that means a lot coming from her! DC is probably still my favourite by Dickens although A Tale of Two Cities can't be far behind. The only other Dickens novel that I've read on your list is Great Expectations and I have mixed feelings about that book. I loved the 2012 film though.

    You've picked some fantastic books for your list. To Kill a Mockingbird, The Count of Monte Cristo & North and South (quelle surprise!) are also huge favourites of mine :)

    I'm trying to educate myself on magical realism too although I didn't include any titles on my list. Neil Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane is supposed to be his take on the genre so that's another book that I'm sure would interest you. Happy reading!

  2. I also choose books because they have interesting words in them, or because my mother likes them. :) Your goals are fetching, especially the one about Dickens & Austen. If this is your first time on To Kill a Mockingbird, I hope you love it!! x