Back to the classics

classics

I rearranged my books last night, on the last day of a not-quite-break from work (this “break” was due to monsoons, tropical storms, holidays, and all-around existential angst). The anarchy in my shelves was—is—a wee bit too much, and it was getting fucking difficult figuring out where things were. And since it’s out of sight, out of mind, there’s less pressure to actually get cracking on my to-be-read pile. Right. Anyway. I put the classics shelves up first [click to embiggen], partly because they’re easier for me to organize, partly because I’d finally decided to join The Classics Club. [Segue win.]

Anyway. Back in 2011—because despite some of my favorite books having been written by now-dead people—I realized I needed to read more of the classics, to have them become a more integral part of my reading life. And although the rigid 2011 plan kind of tapered off, there are more classics on my shelves; and it’s become easier for me to approach these books as, well, books, and not homework. (Not that most of those books of my shelves have been read.) Enter The Classics Club, which has been going around the internet being its awesome self. It took a while for me to jump in—that Iris joined recently was a pretty major nudge—but I figured I needed a stronger nudge to get cracking on those classics shelves. Anyway. Below is a list of fifty books, and I’ll be reading them up until 2016. Yikes. Challenge accepted, Internet.

  1. [1] Adams, Richard — Watership Down.
  2. [2] Bradbury, Ray — Fahrenheit 451. [reread]
  3. [14] Brontë, Anne — Agnes Grey.
  4. Brontë, Charlotte — Shirley.
  5. [3] Brontë, Charlotte — Villette.
  6. Brontë, Charlotte — The Professor.
  7. Brontë, Charlotte — Jane Eyre. [reread]
  8. Brontë, Emily — Wuthering Heights.
  9. Chekhov, Anton — The Lady with The Little Dog.
  10. Conan Doyle, Arthur — The Lost World.
  11. Conan Doyle, Arthur — The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.
  12. [4] Devereaux, Charles — Venus in India.
  13. [5] Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Great Gatsby. [reread]
  14. Fitzgerald, F. Scott — The Last Tycoon.
  15. Flaubert, Gustave — Madame Bovary. [reread]
  16. [6] Flaubert, Gustave — Sentimental Education.
  17. Fowles, John — The French Lieutenant’s Woman.
  18. Hardy, Thomas — Tess of d’Urbervilles.
  19. Hawthorne, Nathaniel — The Scarlet Letter.
  20. [7] Isherwood, Christopher — A Single Man.
  21. Kierkegaard, Søren — Either/Or.
  22. Lawrence, D.H. — Lady Chatterley’s Lover.
  23. Lee, Harper — To Kill a Mockingbird. [reread]
  24. Nabokov, Vladimir — Lolita.
  25. [8] Némirovsky, Irène — All Our Worldly Goods.
  26. [9] Némirovsky, Irène — David Golder.
  27. [10] Némirovsky, Irène — Snow in Autumn.
  28. Némirovsky, Irène — The Ball.
  29. Némirovsky, Irène — The Courilof Affair.
  30. Nin, Anaïs — A Spy in the House of Love.
  31. Nolledo, Wilfrido — But for the Lovers. [reread]
  32. [11] Orczy, Emmuska — The Scarlet Pimpernel.
  33. Orwell, George — 1984.
  34. Pessoa, Fernando — The Book of Disquiet.
  35. Réage, Pauline — Story of O.
  36. [12] Rhys, Jean — Wide Sargasso Sea.
  37. [13] Rilke, Rainer Maria — Letters to a Young Poet.
  38. Shelley, Mary — Frankenstein.
  39. Sterne, Lawrence — Tristram Shandy.
  40. [15] Stoker, Bram — Dracula.
  41. Tolstoy, Leo — Anna Karenina.
  42. Updike, John — Couples.
  43. [16] Vonnegut, Kurt — Slaughterhouse-Five.
  44. [17] Walter — My Secret Life.
  45. [18] Waugh, Evelyn — Brideshead Revisited.
  46. [19] Wharton, Edith — House of Mirth.
  47. Wharton, Edith — The Age of Innocence.
  48. White, Patrick — Voss.
  49. [20] Wilde, Oscar — The Picture of Dorian Grey. [reread]
  50. Yuson, Alfred — The Great PHL Jungle Energy Café.

The ones with the numbers-in-blue in them are for the Classics Spin, which is an even greater nudge within the Our Classics Club community to get cracking. This means that I have to have read Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World by the first of October. Right. Laters, lovelies; there is much reading to be done.

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8 comments

  1. Welcome to the club! I’m so glad you decided to join. I loved finding your blog through Fanda’s.

  2. I’ve been part of the club since last fall and I really enjoy it. Lots of fun events and a great way to find others’ thoughts on the classics you’re reading.

  3. Hallo, Hallo Sasha! :)

    I came by last night, as I was seeking out your Septemb-Eyre posting, but I wanted to return to see if maybe it was threaded through this one instead! :) I noted that Jane Eyre is listed on your tCC Master List! Brilliant! I’m a newbie to the book, but not to the story, which I disclosed over here: JLAS Septemb-Eyre!! Like you, I have been slightly hesitant to join tCC — not because I feel like reading through the classics is daunting (although several of my selections might fall under that category!) but because I have a large portion of my library in ‘boxes’ and I wanted to read those specific books as my reading copies rather than borrow alternatives through my local library! Therefore, to give myself time to adjust to the search that will involve, I’m trying to do 50% personal & 50% public library reading choices!!

    I will officially join in January [2014] as I will need the extra bit of time to sort through which books I want to focus on during the next years that I embark down this journey! One thing I need to sort out is if we can ‘add’ books to our list OR if we can only read the books we originally write down!? Such as if we find one that is unable to be read for whichever reason, do we get to select alternatives!?

    When I read the review + interview of *Age of Desire* last month over on “Oh for the Hook of a Book”, I decided that I needed to read Age of Innocence and The House of Mirth before the close of 2013!! I’d love to be able to follow it up with Age of Desire so I will have to see if my library is getting a copy! Have you read Wharton previously!?

    I mention “The Great Gatsby” on my Septemb-Eyre post, so I will skip over mentioning it here, to reflect that I too, want to read the canon of Sir Arthur as much as I am keen to read Bradburys! Brideshead Revisited is definitely going on my tCC list as I have one of the adaptations as it came in a pack of 3 book-to-film adaptations!! I swooned when I saw that! :)

    Happy reading!!

  4. Jane Eyre reread! I should have put that on my list..

    1. That’s technically not cheating, ahahaha.

  5. […] Most of my freer time in the afternoon was spent with The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle, my read for the Classics Club Spin. I never expected I’d be laughing so much: For one, Professor Challenger is among the strangest […]

  6. […] them a last chance before letting them go. Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World—which I read for the Classics Club Spin—was rather entertaining at the beginning, truly fun and funny. And then we got to the actual […]

  7. […] Back when I was nine or ten, my mother and I were killing time by the discount bin of a bookstore, and I found a copy of Oscar Wilde‘s The Picture of Dorian Gray—tiny and compact, hardbound, though the dust jacket was torn—and asked my mother for 50 bucks (roughly a dollar). I read this book over and over in my childhood; the dust jacket was eventually thrown to the winds, the onionskin paper inevitably frayed at the edges. But I’ve never revisited that book, the way I do Jane Eyre. So I picked up this annotated, uncensored edition, but never really cracked it open. But it’s about damned time—I’m going to be reuniting with Dorian Gray at the soonest, for the Classics Club. […]

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