The Classics Club

5 years to read the classics

A blog I love (and only discovered a few months ago) called A Room of One’s Own has decided to start a Classics Club and I am LOVING this idea!

The rules are pretty flexible but basically you have to list 50 or 75 or 100 classic books that you want to read in the next 5 years (these can be changed at any time – which is great for me ‘cos I am fickle ;)) and you have 5 years to read them. There are so many classics that I really want to read and I am loving the timeframe as it means I don’t have to panic-read them all this year (or fall off the wagon as I don’t think it will be do-able).

Jillian (A Room of One’s Own) has also set up a private group on Goodreads for all those who are joining in the Classics Club to share links and posts and reviews etc.

So after much thought and deliberation, here is my (initial) list of books I want to read. I have gone for sixty as that equals one per month for the next 5 years which I think should be more than do-able.



  1700’s (4)

The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos

The Monk by Matthew Lewis

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe



  1800’s (31)

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Jude The Obscure by Thomas Hardy

The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

Sylvia’s Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell

Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

The Beth Book by Sarah Grand

Aurora Floyd by Mary Elizabeth Braddon

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac

Germinal by Emile Zola

Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

The Odd Women by George Gissing

Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott

Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas

Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

Can you Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope

Armadale by Wilkie Collins

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

Esther Waters by George Moore

The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald

Complete Short Fiction by Oscar Wilde

The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde



  1900’s (25)

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Where Angels Fear to Tread by E M Forster

Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing

The Mad Ache by Francoise Sagan

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Vet’s Daughter by Barbara Comyns

The Distance Between Us by Dorothy Whipple

Mariana by Monica Dickens

Justine by Lawrence Durrell

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff

Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles

Daniel Martin by John Fowles

The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

  Will you be joining us?

  Any of the ones above an absolute mus-read-right-now?


30 thoughts on “The Classics Club

  1. I’m not joining you but wishing you good luck! Good for you to tackle the classics. I like the odd classic now and then but don’t want to commit to 10 or more per year.

    The first one, The Castle of Otranto (check your spelling!) was a quick and strange read. But apparently it was the first ever gothic novel so you should read it just for that reason.

    East of Eden, Cold Comfort Farm – you’re going to have a good time, I’m sure!


  2. I loved Armadale, The Black Tulip and Jude the Obscure! I’m planning to sign up for this too but I haven’t finished putting my list together yet. I think some of the books on your list are probably going to be on mine as well, particularly the 19th century ones.


  3. Holy smokes – that is a big commitment. I like the idea of reading more classics and I like the idea of making a list of those I hope to one day read…. but as Judith said, even at ten a year that is a big commitment. I hope you rock it! 🙂


  4. Great list!! I’m loving seeing The Mysteries of Udolpho on so many lists!! That book ROCKS. Also the book by Monica Dickens. I want to read that!

    We have a lot of the same titles on our lists. No Gone With the Wind? 😉


  5. Love, love, love your list. As far as the more modern classics you’ve chosen, The Poisonwood Bible is one of my favorites.

    Side note: Have you read any Kingsolver before? The Lacuna is my favorite of hers–it is so wonderful.


  6. I decided today to join The Classics Club, too! I’m on a new American lit kick so my list will probably be American-centric. I hope to compile my list over the weekend.
    I’m glad to see Uncle Tom’s Cabin on your list. It’s such an important book and one that I find very powerful.


  7. Pingback: High Ambitions – Joining The Classics Club « All The Books I Can Read

  8. A great list. I have Wives & Daughters, Esther Waters and Mariana on mine too, and I meant to add The Beth Book but it slipped my mind. Too many wonderful possibilities!


  9. Good luck with this….and your list is very impressive. I’m also taking part in this challenge and writing out my ‘to read’ list as I type this… 🙂


  10. Oh, Eight Cousins and Rose in BLoom are my favorites by Alcott. I’m glad to see them getting some attention on your list. And David Copperfeld is my favorite Dickens, but it is really long. I’m so looking forward to seeing what people post about their classics lists.


  11. Love your list with plenty of interesting titles. I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts and seeing more of you in the GoodReads Classics Club.


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