Joining the Classics Club

March 16, 2014 Books 0

I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and join the Classics Club.

The Classics Club is, in its members’ own words:

Classics Club Logo… a club created to inspire people to read and blog about classic books. There’s no time limit to join and you’re most welcome, as long as you’re willing to sign up to read and write on your blog about 50+ classic books in at most five years. The perk is that, not only will you have read 50+ incredible (or at the very least thought-provoking) works in five years, you’ll get to do it along with all of these people. 

Sounds intriguing, right?

I thought so, too.

I’ve challenged myself to read 80 books this year — which, based on what I’ve managed for the past couple of years, and considering my 2014 – 2017 term on the Texas Library Association’s Spirit of Texas committee, is not that wacky — and I figure… why not give myself a secondary goal besides just “read X number of books” in the long term?

50 classics in 5 years? That’s not a bad bet.

I’ve decided to try it, with the caveat that I’m not aiming for a strict 10 books per year. 5 years is kind of a long time! Who knows what kind of life events and career developments and new fav authors/series can happen during that time.

But I do have a short selection of self-imposed ground rules for this challenge . . .

  1. Haven’t read before, or it’s been over a decade
  2. Focus on YA, SF/F, and science narrative non-fiction, but not exclusively
  3. Loose definition of “classic” but must be over 20 years old
  4. Not required to finish, given sufficient effort
  5. Required to post a full review as proof of having read (or attempt)

I also have a little list of books of interest to get me started, though I haven’t committed yet . . .

  1. The adventures & memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. All the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy
  3. An American tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  4. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  5. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  6. Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne
  7. The awakening by Kate Chopin
  8. Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
  9. Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  10. Cat’s cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  11. The chocolate war by Robert Cormier
  12. Clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
  13. The color purple by Alice Walker
  14. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  15. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  16. The death of the heart by Elizabeth Bowen
  17. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
  18. Foundation by Isaac Asmimov
  19. The French lieutenant’s woman by John Fowles
  20. The golden compass by Philip Pullman
  21. Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell
  22. I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
  23. In the shadow of man by Jane Goodall
  24. The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  25. Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore
  26. Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky
  27. The Martian chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  28. The merry adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  29. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  30. Morte D’Urban by J.F. Powers
  31. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  32. My man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  33. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  34. North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell
  35. The once and future king by T.H. White
  36. The outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  37. Passing by Nella Larsen
  38. The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  39. The silent world by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
  40. Snow crash by Neal Stephenson
  41. Stranger in a strange land by Robert A. Heinlein
  42. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardey
  43. Their eyes were watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  44. The time machine by H.G. Wells
  45. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  46. Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
  47. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  48. The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  49. Wizard’s first rule by Terry Goodkind
  50. The yellow wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I haven’t read most of the above (even the ones we own!), and it’s been at least 10 years for the few that I have seen before. I wanted a good number of SF/F options, but quite a lot of the classics in that genre are much newer than what many people really consider classic classic. Anyway, this is a “living” list, so I may or may not make changes as needed.

Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

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