Here we go: I’m trying again with the Classics Club. I signed up back in 2014 back when I was a brand new book blogger, and I have failed woefully. In fact, I now can’t find my original Classics Club list anywhere on this site (though I never consciously deleted it), I think that I missed my deadline by a lot, and there were a lot of things on the original list (Ulysses…) that I never really wanted to read, but felt obliged to. So I’m back, and this time I am only putting books on this list if I actually want to read them. Also, I have learnt about so many wonderful books through blogging that, even if I had genuinely wanted to read everything on the last list, I don’t think it would still reflect my reading interests or tastes. I still love the idea though, and I met some lovely bloggers through the challenge last time, so I’m having another go. The aim is to read all of these over the next five years – so my deadline is 25/9/2025. I’ll be keeping this as a living list as suggested by the Classics Club moderators – a lot of these authors are new to me and I imagine I might want to explore their further work if I like the first book I try.
Old Goriot by Honoré de Balzac (1835)
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni (1840)
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas (1844)
Bleak House by Charles Dickens* (1853)
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)
Can You Forgive Her? by Anthony Trollope (1865)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope (1871)
The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald (1872)
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot (1876)
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (1877)
A Strange Manuscript Found in a Copper Cylinder by James de Mille (1888)
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton (1905)
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (1920)
The Beautiful and Damned by F Scott Fitzgerald (1922)
The King of Elfland’s Daughter by Lord Dunsany (1924)
Passing by Nella Larson (1929)
The Diary of a Provincial Lady by EM Delafield (1930)
Stamboul Train by Graham Greene (1932)
I, Claudius by Robert Graves (1934)
The Nursing Home Murder by Ngaio Marsh (1935)
Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (1936)
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)
They Came Like Swallows by William Maxwell (1937)
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (1940)
Up at the Villa by W Somerset Maugham (1941)
A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor (1947)
In a Lonely Place by Dorothy B Hughes (1947)
An Alphabet for Gourmets by MFK Fisher (1949)
Merry Hall by Beverley Nichols (1951)
The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham (1952)
The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester (1953)
The Last Hurrah by Edwin O’Connor (1956)
Train to Pakistan by Khushwant Singh (1956)
Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (1957)
A Hero Born: Legend of the Condor Heroes by Jin Yong (1957)
To Sir, With Love by ER Braithwaite (1959)
Call for the Dead by John Le Carré (1961)
The Fat of the Land by John Seymour (1961)
Cover Her Face by PD James (1962)
The Housing Lark by Sam Selvon (1965)
Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay (1967)
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K Le Guin (1969)
The House of the Spirits by Isabelle Allende (1982)
Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1982)
Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
Red Sorghum by Mo Yan (1987)
Home Cooking: A Writer in the Kitchen by Laurie Colwin (1988)
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez (1991)
Cambridge by Caryl Phillips (1992)
*I am gingerly approaching Dickens again. AS English was 15 years ago. I can’t let it ruin my enjoyment of his work for the rest of my life. But if I should start somewhere other than Bleak House, let me know, because I’m open to suggestion. I read and enjoyed A Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist when I was about 11 or 12, but (inevitably, as a Kentish maid) I was forced to read Great Expectations at school and it killed my nascent love of Dickens.
9.4.22 – I bought, read, and review Picnic at Hanging Rock absolutely certain that it was on my Classics Club list, only to discover when I came to link it up that it wasn’t. I therefore replaced Stand on Zanzibar with it.
18.3.23 – I replaced Death in a White Tie with The Nursing Home Murder, also by Ngaio Marsh, because I found a copy of it in second-hand bookshop and it sounds much more up my street.
Go for David Copperfield. x
Oh, I didn’t notice you were asking for a replacement for your Bleak House selection. I haven’t made it through that one yet, & a ton of people love it. But I have read David Copperfield & it is gentle & lovely and NOT overly sweet like Oliver Twist. I love it nearly as much as A Christmas Carol. So there’s that, to be taken or tossed! 🙂
Thanks! I will gladly take the recommendation – I do like gentle and lovely books 😊
I second David Copperfield. I just read the entire thing aloud to my husband at the end of 2019, and we both enjoyed ourselves. He’d read it a few times before; it is his favorite book.
I didn’t realize To Sir, With Love was a book. I know the film version starring the wonderful Sidney Poitier.
I only heard of it for the first time a few months ago when I was looking for memoirs about teaching, but it sounds brilliant. The plan is to do a book review and follow it up with a discussion of the film, as I always enjoy it when bloggers do that.
Yes! I’m excited 🙂 Another great teaching book that is based on the author’s own experiences but is fiction is Up the Down Staircase by Bel Kaufman. I enjoyed reading it and had many moments when I nodded in recognition.