Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Classics: well, some of them, at least

I'm joining the Classics Club, hosted by Jillian at A Room of One's Own, and participating in this challenge: I'll read 50 classics, chosen by me, in no particular order, within 5 years, and blog about each one here.

The ones listed in purple are books I've read before, but not for 20 to 30 years. The exceptions are The English Patient and The Bell Jar, both of which I read about 15 years ago. I've tried to mix eras and genders. Some books are not technically classic in and of themselves, such as The Portable Dorothy Parker, but are collections of work by an author I consider part of the canon. I also wanted to get plenty of poetry in there, as I tend not to read much poetry unless nudged. So here is my list, to be completed by March 10, 2017. I'll reward myself with a trip to Hawaii! Well, maybe not. I think I'll choose to visit a literary monument of some sort, but I haven't yet decided. Maybe City Lights Bookstore? The Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum? Time will tell.

  1. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  2. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  3. Persuasion, Jane Austen
  4. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  5. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  6. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  7. The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane
  8. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  9. Miss Lonelyhearts, Nathaniel West
  10. Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
  11. The Good Earth, Pearl Buck
  12. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  13. Sons and Lovers, D.H. Lawrence
  14. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  15. Women In Love, D.H. Lawrence
  16. Out of Africa, Isak Dineson
  17. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  18. Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  19. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster
  20. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  21. Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford
  22. Man’s Search for Meaning, Viktor Frankl
  23. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  24. The Hours, Michael Cunningham
  25. The March, E.L. Doctorow
  26. The Enormous Room, E.E. Cummings
  27. The Good Soldier, Ford Maddox Ford
  28. Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  29. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami
  30. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
  31. The Doctor Stories, William Carlos Williams
  32. Collected Poems, Wallace Stevens
  33. Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
  34. The Complete Poems, Elizabeth Bishop
  35. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  36. The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, T.S. Eliot
  37. Howl, Alan Ginsberg
  38. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  39. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
  40. Nine Stories, J.D. Salinger
  41. The Wapshot Chronicles, John Cheever
  42. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  43. Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  44. My Antonia, Willa Cather
  45. O, Pioneers!, Willa Cather
  46. The Poems of Emily Dickinson
  47. Ship of Fools, Katherine Anne Porter
  48. The Bride of the Innisfallen and Other Stories, Eudora Welty
  49. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
  50. The Portable Dorothy Parker


  1. I love your choice to visit a literary monument for a prize! What a GREAT idea. My favorite on your list is Sense & Sensibility. :)

    Greay to meet you, Julia!

  2. A new list - literary monuments of the world!

  3. Wonderful list! I think The Portable Dorothy Parker definitely counts as a classic. It's one that I loved too. She had such an amazing wit.

  4. I am tempted to increase it to 100 after reading all the other lists, but practicality prevails. Hoping that reading some of these leads me to others by those authors.

  5. A fellow Dorothy Parker fan! Love her.

  6. A fellow Dorothy Parker fan! Love her.

  7. I might save her for last...