Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Classics Club

After a week of prevaricating, I was starting to feel like a character in a Nick Hornby novel. So here, at last, is my list of classic books.

I'm taking up the challenge of  The Classics Club and setting myself the target of reading fifty classic books over the next five years. Fifty books is quite enough for me, as I'll still be trying to keep up with contemporary fiction.  Most of the books here I've never read before, although I am revisiting a few old favourites such as the Camus I read at university more than twenty years ago.

I've interpreted the term 'classic' quite loosely, including what you might call 'modern classics' and also some genre fiction. I drew the line at Lord of the Rings, but can I learn to love science fiction, I wonder? We'll have to wait and see.

  1. Asimov - Foundation
  2. Austen - Persuasion
  3. Beckett - Murphy
  4. Burroughs - Naked Lunch
  5. Camus - The Plague
  6. Camus - The Outsider
  7. Capote - Breakfast at Tiffany's
  8. Carter - The Magic Toyshop
  9. Chandler - The Big Sleep
  10. Chopin - The Awakening
  11. Dante - Inferno
  12. di Lampedusa -The Leopard
  13. Dick - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
  14. Dickens - A Tale of Two Cities
  15. Dineson - Out of Africa
  16. du Maurier - My Cousin Rachel
  17. Eliot - The Mill on the Floss
  18. Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
  19. Fitzgerald - Tender is the Night
  20. Forster - Where Angels Fear To Tread
  21. Gaskell - North and South
  22. Gibbons - Cold Comfort Farm
  23. Greene - Brighton Rock
  24. Hamilton - Hangover Square
  25. Hardy - The Return of the Native
  26. Hugo - Les Miserables
  27. Huxley - Brave New World
  28. James - The Turn of the Screw
  29. Joyce - Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  30. Lawrence - Women in Love
  31. Mann - Death in Venice
  32. Marlowe - Dr Faustus
  33. Maupassant - Bel Ami
  34. Mitford - Love in a Cold Climate
  35. Ondaatje - The English Patient
  36. Orwell - Animal Farm
  37. Pasolini - The Ragazzi
  38. Pasternak - Dr Zhivago
  39. Salinger - Catcher in the Rye
  40. Sartre - Nausea
  41. Shute - A Town Like Alice
  42. Sillitoe - Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
  43. Steinbeck - Of Mice and Men
  44. Thackeray - Vanity Fair
  45. Voltaire - Candide
  46. Vonnegut - Slaughterhouse 5
  47. Waugh - A Handful of Dust
  48. Wharton - The House of Mirth
  49. Woolf - To the Lighthouse
  50. Zola - L'Assommoir

I'm looking forward to my classics journey, and meeting other classics readers along the way.


  1. I looked at this, but decided I already had too many things dictating what I read and so let it pass me by. However, that doesn't mean I shan't be interested in what you have to say as the time goes on.

    1. I know what you mean Alex, but I can't resist a challenge!

  2. Like a character in a Nick Hornby novel... I know just what you mean. Welcome to the club! Your list looks awesome :)

  3. Great list! I love how varied your choices are and how many authors you've included. Good luck!

  4. Thank you to you both for dropping by.

    I'm looking forward to discovering some new authors and re-reading old friends too.

  5. Oh, Out of Africa is a beautiful book! I hope you enjoy it. :)


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