And it scares the hell out of me. A few years ago, I already started my own classics project. And I did read some great classics: the novels of Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, The three musketeers… I enjoyed them all, but the last years I’m just picking up other books above classics. Mainly because I think they will be too difficult to read and thus take too long to finish. But I kept enjoying TV adaptions of classics such as War and peace and Les miserables. So now, I want to start reading classics again.
That’s why I joined the classics club where the goal is to make a list of 50 classics and read them in the coming 5 years! You review them on your blog and track your progress on a separate page. I don’t have high hopes in really finishing 50 classics in 5 years. I will try, but as I only read around 35-40 books every year, it’s a great commitment. But I’m not afraid of a challenge. I know that by joining I will have read a lot more books from this list by 31st December 2025 than without this challenge.
My list consists of authors I already enjoyed or think I will enjoy (the Brontë sisters, Dumas, Du Maurier…), of stories I already know because of the TV version (Vanity Fair, Les miserables, War and peace…) and of some older historical fictions works (Richard III, The fifth queen, I Claudius…).
When you take a look at my list, you should keep this in mind:
- No Jane Austen on this list as I already read her books.
- No Ernest Hemingway, as I hated ‘the old man and the sea’.
- Not too much of dystopian fiction as it really isn’t my thing. So no Orwell or Wells, I made the exception for ‘a clockwork orange’ since one of my best friends loved it so much and for ‘the handmaid’s tale’ because everyone seems to love it.
- There are some authors on this list that I’m scared to start reading because of what I heard about their writing. That’s why I only chose one book from them so that I can give up on the author if the writing is not my cup of tea. This is the case with Charles Dickens, G.G. Marquez and Fyodor Dostoeysky.
This is my list:
- Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
- My cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier
- Jamaica’s Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
- Villette by Charlotte Brontë
- Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
- The tenant of Wildfell hall by Anne Brontë
- Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (reread)
- War and peace by Leo Tolstoj
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoj
- Les misérables by Victor Hugo
- The count of monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The man in the iron mask by Alexandre Dumas
- La reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas
- The Borgias by Alexandre Dumas
- The prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
- Utopia by Thomas More
- Howard’s end by E.M. Forster
- A passage to India by E.M. Forster
- To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Tess d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
- Far from the madding crowd by Thomas Hardy
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- Lady Chatterly’s lover by D.H. Lawrence
- I, Claudius by Robert Graves
- The handmaid’s tale by Margaret Atwood
- Tender is the night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- And then there were none by Agatha Christie
- Great expectations by Charles Dickens
- The color purple by Alice Walker
- The idiot by Fyodor Dostoeysky
- North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro
- Orlando by Virginia Woolf
- The fifth queen by Ford Madox Ford
- The woman in white by Wilkie Collins
- Treasure island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Iliad by Homer
- The Odyssey by Homer
- The scarlet letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
- A clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
- The cacher in the rye by J.D. Salinger
- The trial by Franz Kafka
- The bell jar by Sylvia Path
- Richard III by William Shakespeare
- Love in time of cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- East of Eden by John Steinbeck
What’s your favorite classic?