Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Sunday Salon: Classics Club

Okay, I've tried very hard to not sign-up for any new challenges until May and when I have a few completed (which reminds me I need to see where I'm at with my challenges).  BUT this isn't a year long challenge; this is a  five year challenge to read 50+ classics.  Of course we have the her bookishness Jillian to thank for this inspiring idea and pulling it all together.  I've picked 100 books to complete in the next five years (01 March 2012 - 01 March 2017).  You may notice that there are more than 100 books (technically) listed.  All of the novels composing The Forsyte Saga (9) and Kristen Lavransdatter (3) are not individually listed.  This will give me some wiggle room in case there are books I don't care to finish.  I have "shorter works" on my list, but I've chosen to read the entire short story collection to make it count.  I do have one play, Richard III, that is the shortest work on the list. 

I also set a few rules for myself:  1) all the books had to be published prior to 1950 and 2) I can reread, but only if I've read the book once or it has been over 5 years since I read the book).  So, alas, I cannot reread Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights over over over and over again. But the good news is that I will hopefully increase my list of classics I adore.

On to the list!  Turquoise books are rereads and Greens are Viragos!
  1. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (completed 04/17/12)
  2. The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katherine Green
  3. The Dead Secret by Wilkie Collins
  4. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Uncle Silas by Sheridan Le Fanu (completed 07/29/12)
  6. The Warden by Anthony Trollope
  7. Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
  8. Doctor Thorne by  Anthony Trollope
  9. Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope
  10. Small House at Allington by  Anthony Trollope
  11. Last Chronicle of Barset by  Anthony Trollope
  12. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
  13. Kristen Lavransdatter (all three books) by Sigrid Undset
  14. Hunger by Knut Hamsen
  15. No Name by Wilkie Collins
  16. Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  17. The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
  18. Gothic Tales by Elizabeth Gaskell
  19. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  20. Adam's Breed by Radclyffe Hall
  21. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
  22. The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen (completed 07/01/12)
  23. Howard's End by E. M. Forster 
  24. The Golden Apples by Eudora Welty
  25. The Blue Fairy Book by Andrew Lang
  26. Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens 
  27. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens 
  28. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens 
  29. Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens 
  30. Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens 
  31. Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens 
  32. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens 
  33. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 
  34. Bleak House by Charles Dickens 
  35. Hard Times by Charles Dickens 
  36. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens 
  37. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens 
  38. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens 
  39. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens 
  40. Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens 
  41. The Monk by Matthew Lewis
  42. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  43. Richard III by William Shakespeare
  44. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  45. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  46. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  47. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  48. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery
  49. The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells
  50. The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton
  51. The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen
  52. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
  53. The Forsyte Saga (all 9 books plus the "interludes")
  54. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  55. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  56. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
  57. Diana of the Crossways by George Meredith
  58. No Signposts in the Sea by Vita Sackville-West
  59. The Friendly Young Ladies by Mary Renault
  60. Hunt the Slipper by Violet Trefusis
  61. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  62. The Italian by Ann Radcliffe
  63. Lorna Doone by Richard Blackmore
  64. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
  65. Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
  66. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  67. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
  68. He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope
  69. East Lynne by Ellen Wood
  70. The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen
  71. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte
  72. The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories
  73. The Rising Tide by Molly Keane
  74. Without my Cloak by Kate O'Brien
  75. Harriet Hume by Rebecca West
  76. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  77. Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
  78. Trilby by George Du Maurier
  79. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  80. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  81. Passage to India by E M Forster
  82. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  83. The Thing on the Doorstep and Other Weird Tales by H P Lovecraft
  84. The Call of Cthlulu and Other Weird Tales by H P Lovecraft
  85. The Thinking Reed by Rebecca West
  86. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  87. The Three Sisters by May Sinclair
  88. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
  89. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  90. War and Peace by Leo Tolstory
  91. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
  92. A House and Its Head by Ivy Compton-Burnett
  93. The Collected Shorter Fiction of Virginia Woolf
  94. Summer will Show by Sylvia Townsend Warner
  95. The Judge by Rebecca West
  96. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy (completed 12/31/12)
  97. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  98. All Passion Spent by Vita Sackville West
  99. A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
  100. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
I've thought long and hard about my list.  Over three quarters of the novels are books I own.  I'm also incorporating my desire to read all of Dickens's novels in order, complete a Trollope series, and read a stack of Viragos.  My approach is that challenge success is based on making challenges work together.

Okay -- mini-rewards.  For every 5 books off of this list I read I will purchase one classic novel NOT ON THIS LIST in a nice copy.  By nice copy I mean that it isn't a ratty paperback in a thrift store bin -- it could be a vintage something in good condition, a Penguin clothbound, a newish edition with a lovely introduction.  See, I'm already prepping for 2017 onward!  At the end of my 100 books read I will have 20 new-to-me classic novels that are lovely, pristine, and will beautify my shelves, my mind, and my imagination.

I hope you'll join us in the Classics Club!  I think this will be an amazing experience.

The Sunday


Jillian said...

Yay for joining, Amanda! I'm so excited by all your rereads! And I respect your self-rules -- though I don't know if I could steer clear of re-reading my favorites for five years. :)

I'm also reading Richard III. I've never read Trollope either!! And I completely forgot him when I was making out my list. I might have to squeeze him in at some point. I'll be watching for your thoughts on his books. :)


Heather said...

Oooooooo Great list Amanda!!! I have a few rereads on my list too, so many I can't wait to revisit. And I LOVE your rewards. I may have to do something similar. Any excuse to buy a nice book, you know…. lol

MJ said...

Great list! I salute you on tackling Dickens - he's never been my favorite, although I know a lot of people just love his work.

It is fun to think about all the classics I couldn't fit on my list. I'm certainly not in danger of running out of things to read anytime soon!

Creations by Laurel-Rain Snow said...

Sounds like a doable goal...I'm amazed at how many on that list I haven't read, although I have read some.

I like goals that are achievable...and, of course, I'd have to want to achieve them.


Melissa said...

Such a great list! I am also joining the Classics Club:

I am thinking I am going to treat myself to a spa treatment or a dinner at a really nice place with a good glass of wine.

Allie said...

What a fabulous list!

I love your reward. I think that's a great idea...I may do something similar, but only after 10 or so books... :)

Karen K. said...

Ooh, great list! There's tons of overlap with my favorites and the books on my Classics Club list (which I'm still working on, should finish it and post this week too). I look forward to reading your reviews.

So far my favorites off your to-read list are the Trollopes (Barchester series -- I'm halfway through! -- and The Way We Live Now); Elizabeth Gaskell; and Somerset Maugham. The Painted Veil is one of my favorites.

Loving your reward idea too -- I may steal it for myself! ;-)

Her Royal Orangeness said...

I just randomly selected your blog from the members list and was thrilled to see that you have Viragos on your list! Your title selections are all different from mine, so I really look forward to hearing what you think so I can discover new Viragos. Good luck with the challenge!

Anonymous said...

Amanda, our lists are really similar, & I'm incorporating a Dickens project as well. I'll be reading all 12 of his novels in order, and am 130 pages into The Pickwick Papers. I'm also reading the complete Chronicles of Barsetshire.