Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The Classics Club

I've been doing a lot of wavering back and forth about joining The Classics Club. The point of this club is to “unite those of us who like to blog about classic literature, as well as to inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life.” To join the club, you have to choose at least 50 classics that you want to finish within the next 5 years. Then, as you complete them, you make a blog post about your progress. I wasn't sure if I wanted to join, because I knew that I would read more than 50 classics in 5 years, but did I want to stick to a specific list? However, I decided that I can probably do this. So here goes:

  1. Flatland, by Edwin A. Abbott
  2. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  3. Emma, by Jane Austen (3/18/2014)
  4. Persuasion,  by Jane Austen
  5. Pride and Prejudice,  by Jane Austen (Norton Critical Edition) (10/18/2012)
  6. Sense and Sensibiltiy,  by Jane Austen (1/15/2013)
  7. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury (9/14/2012)
  8. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
  9. Marrow of Tradition, by Charles W. Chesnutt
  10. The Last of the Mochicans, by James Fenimore Cooper
  11. On the Origin of Species, by Charles Darwin
  12. A Christmas Carol (12/22/2012)
  13. The Old Curiosity Shop, by Charles Dickens (12/31/2012)
  14. Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison
  15. Wives and Daughters, by Elizabeth Gaskell
  16. Herland, by Charlotte Perkins Gilman (9/13/2012)
  17. Twice Told Tales, by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  18. The Blind Owl, by Sadegh Hedayat (9/23/2012)
  19. Green Mansions, W. H. Hudson
  20. Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog), by Jerome K. Jerome (12/17/2012)
  21. Amerika, by Franz Kafka
  22. Metomorphosis,  by Franz Kafka
  23. The Trial,  by Franz Kafka
  24. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  25. Surprised by Joy, by C. S. Lewis (10/9/2012)
  26. Tales of H. P. Lovecraft
  27. Palace of Desire, by Naguib Mahfouz
  28. Palace Walk, by Naguib Mahfouz
  29. Sugar Street,  by Naguib Mahfouz
  30. Paradise Lost, by John Milton
  31. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  32. Utopia, Thomas More
  33. Pale Fire, by Vladimir Nabokov (11/29/2012)
  34. Perrault’s Fairy Tales, Charles Perault
  35. Complete works of Edgar Allan Poe, by Edgar Allan Poe
  36. Catcher in the Rye, by J. D. Salinger
  37. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
  38. East of Eden, by John Steinbeck
  39. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by Robert Louis Stevenson
  40. The New Annotated Dracula, by Bram Stoker
  41. Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  42. The Annotated Classic Fairy Tales, Maria Tartar
  43. Lord of the Rings, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  44. Silmarilion, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  45. The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien
  46. The Island of Doctor Moreau, by H. G. Wells
  47. The Time Machine, by H. G. Wells
  48. The War of the Worlds, by H. G. Wells
  49. A Room of Ones Own, by Virginia Woolf
  50. Orlando, by Virginia Woolf

Children's and YA Classics

Five years from today will be 9/11/2017

October 2012 Meme
November 2012 Meme
December 2012 Meme
April 2013 Meme

To see all the classics that I've reviewed so far (even prior to joining classics club), click here.


  1. I'm so glad to see you've decided to join the club. Interesting list. I love that you have some C S Lewis and Tolkien on there. Happy reading!

  2. Thanks Jessica! You all made it look like so much fun that I decided I'd try. I'll just have to curb my obsessive need to stick to lists and make it a "living list" like the Classics Club Q&A says.

  3. Resistance is futile indeed! I'm glad you've decided to join Rachel :)

  4. Welcome to the Classics Club! No worries if your list changes a little in five years :) I keep adding to mine! -Sarah

  5. Welcome to the club, Rachel!
    It's a great list... Do tell me when you want to read Darwin, I'd be happy to find a company to read it, it's one of books that terrifying for me, but I still want to read it in the future.

  6. Thanks Jennifer, Sarah, and Fanda!

    Fanda: It would be nice to have company. I already tried and was having a little trouble concentrating on it and set it aside. I'm not sure when I'll try again, but probably within the next year. :)

  7. I am not doing the Classics Club but am interested to see your wonderful reading list. Since you named several Tolkien books, I wondered if you had heard there will be a new, never-before-published Tolkien coming out in May: The Legend of Sigurd and GudrĂșn. Two long poems. Instant classic? Seems likely.

  8. No, I didn't know they were released a couple more of Tolkien's poems. You're probably right, they'll be instant classics. Though I find that I generally better appreciate the books / stories / poems that the writer has published during life better than the stories he or she decided not to publish. Sometimes there are unpublished gems though!

  9. I just wanted to say hello and wish you luck on this list. I like your recent article about relaxing to inspire creativity. :)

  10. I love your classics list; you're the first person I've seen who's reading Flatland, which is awesome. Also, you read Herland! None of my friends have heard of it! I agree with you that Herland was not an entertaining read. I also noticed many of the disturbing elements of Herland that you spoke of in your post about it, which is why I want to read the sequel (which I'm hoping clarifies some of Gilman's views on men). Gilman's work is really a reflection of her time period--in The Yellow Wallpaper, it becomes apparent that Gilman thought men to be as harmed by societal expectations as women. After all, John loved Jane but had no idea how to help her because society wasn't very permissive of studying women, let alone the needs of women suffering postpartum depression. I hesitate to say that Herland is Gilman's way of saying that perfect women are asexual--instead, I think it's necessary to read With Her in Ourland before really coming to a conclusion. After all, these two works (along with Moving the Mountain) were, I believe, published consecutively as part of a serial publication and were thus not be intended as stand-along stories.

    ALSO I noticed that you took the Coursera course on SF/fantasy! I wanted to take it, but was away at camp.

    Not only that, but I also noticed that you're a biomedical engineer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! So cool. I want to be some sort of biologist, chemist or psychologist when I grow up. As of yet, I'm unsure. I'm taking a research biology class right now, and it's so much fun (we just did a lab in which we conducted a bacterial transformation of E. Coli using pGLO and then purified the GFP using an HIC column).

    1. :) Well, I'll await your review of With Her in Ourland to see if I feel like reading it. ;) Or I can just make conclusions vicariously through you. The Yellow Wallpaper was a pretty amazing story. Did you see my review on it?

      The Coursera class will be offered again, so you can always take it then. I had a lot of fun with the class, but I wish that I'd had more time to read background information about the authors and/or literary criticisms of the works. But the books just kept coming so quickly! I was even thinking about auditing the class next time it's offered so that I can read some background information. It was certainly a lot of fun!

      Being a biologist is a lot of fun. I'm glad you're enjoying your class. :) Are you in high school? I didn't get to do cool stuff like that in high school. :p


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