I’m so excited! Why? Two big reasons of which I shall now elucidate!
First of all, thanks to Laurie at Relevant Obscurity, I have discovered The Classics Club! What?! A blog that links together other classic readers?! Yes, please! I know, I get excited about the strangest things, but it’s not often that I find other people that are reading the same kind of books that I read.
As per their rules for membership, this post is a declaration of sorts. I’m listing fifty classic books that I promise to read between now and August 29, 2027. Five years to read fifty assigned books is perfect for me because it let’s me read many of the other glorious books that come across my path at the same time. But what to choose?!
The first thing I did was print their list and find the books I had already read. That was a little disappointing. It turns out I KNOW more of the titles on the list than I have actually read, but I’ve read quite a few, so I’m not unhappy, I’m inspired.
The second thing was to look on my TBR shelf for any books from the list that I have already bought. I found ten, so that takes me well into the first year of the challenge. And it gave me the nice picture for this post!
The last thing to do was put a mark next to any book on the list that I had heard of and was planning on reading already.
And now I have my list! Are you ready?
Flatland by Edwin Abbott
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? By Edward Albee – October 2022
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Plague by Albert Camus
Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge
The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky – January 2023
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
Middlemarch by George Eliot
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Where Angels Fear to Tread by E.M. Forster
Faust by Johann Goethe
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiel Hammett
A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
The Iliad by Homer – December 2023
The Odyssey by Homer
The Alchemist by Ben Jonson
The Dubliners by James Joyce – October 2023
Ulysses by James Joyce – February 2023
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Man Who Would be King by Rudyard Kipling
Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
The Misanthrope by Moliere
The Enchanted Castle by E. Nesbit
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott
East of Eden by John Steinbeck – August 2022
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
Rosencratz and Guildenstern are Dead by Tom Stoppard
Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson
Candide by Voltaire
The Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut – March 2023
The Once and Future King by T.H. White
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – March 2023
A formidable list to be sure, but at less than one book a month, it is doable even when the book gets hard or I have other books I MUST read or else perish. Yeah, feeling a tad dramatic. I’ll be coming back and linking any post that I write about these books as I read them, so stay tuned.
But Michelle! You said there were TWO reasons you were excited. What is the other reason?
Oh, yeah! Well, it pertains to this list, the blog, and spending countless hours reading and writing in general. You’ve probably read something from me along the lines of angst and broodiness since my sons have deserted me…I mean grown up like they were supposed to and struck out on their own. I’ve been a housewife and mom for over twenty years now. What am I supposed to do with all my time now that I’m not raising other humans?
I thought about getting a job to fill the time. Didn’t sound very exciting, and amazingly it’s not as easy as it sounds, even in today’s economy (at least the one reported on the news). It seems that the old story (which I do not understand) is true, businesses aren’t keen on hiring people that haven’t worked in years. Maybe they’re jealous, I can’t say. But I’ve put out ten applications in my town and only one called me back, but still no work. I decided to take it as a sign that I was needed elsewhere.
I love reading and writing about things, but it doesn’t pay at all. I’m not published, and this blog isn’t all the popular. I get discouraged. What’s the point of spending all this time?! And then it dawned on me.
I’m happy and content with my life. Why do I feel like I need to be paid to be making a difference in the world?! And I do make a difference here, in small ways. So that’s what I’m doing. I’ve been reading more blogs like mine, branching out, talking to people, and then this classics club shows up in my feed and I’m off to the races!
My husband laughed at me as I sat at one of my bookshelves with a printed list of books.
“What are you doing? You look like you’re on a mission.”
Glasses on, pencil in hand, on the floor running my finger across the spines. “I joined and book club of sorts and I’m finding books to add to my list and write about. They read books like I do!”
“That’s what I love about you. You get so excited about things.”
I can’t wait to get reading! I finished The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy this morning, so I’ll be picking my next book from the list this afternoon.
If ainyone can achieve this challenge, it’s you!
Thanks for the encouragement, Dale! 😍
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