I’ve finally decided to take the plunge and join the Classics Club.
The Classics Club is, in its members’ own words:
… 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 . . .
- Haven’t read before, or it’s been over a decade
- Focus on YA, SF/F, and science narrative non-fiction, but not exclusively
- Loose definition of “classic” but must be over 20 years old
- Not required to finish, given sufficient effort
- 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 . . .
- The adventures & memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- All the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy
- An American tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
- Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne
- The awakening by Kate Chopin
- Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
- Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
- Cat’s cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
- The chocolate war by Robert Cormier
- Clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
- The color purple by Alice Walker
- Cosmos by Carl Sagan
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The death of the heart by Elizabeth Bowen
- Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
- Foundation by Isaac Asmimov
- The French lieutenant’s woman by John Fowles
- The golden compass by Philip Pullman
- Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell
- I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
- In the shadow of man by Jane Goodall
- The little prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore
- Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky
- The Martian chronicles by Ray Bradbury
- The merry adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Morte D’Urban by J.F. Powers
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- My man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
- Neuromancer by William Gibson
- North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The once and future king by T.H. White
- The outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Passing by Nella Larsen
- The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The silent world by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
- Snow crash by Neal Stephenson
- Stranger in a strange land by Robert A. Heinlein
- Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardey
- Their eyes were watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
- The time machine by H.G. Wells
- Ubik by Philip K. Dick
- Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
- Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
- The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Wizard’s first rule by Terry Goodkind
- 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.