50 Classics in 5 Years

This is my list for The Classics Club, which I probably knew about at the time of inception 2012, but the time wasn’t right for me. Since then I read classics more and more, and now it was easy to come up with 50 classics I want to read (and more), so I’m joining the club!

I pondered about my definition of classics and at the end decided on cut off year of 1966, which is 50 years ago from now (almost, it’s now December 2015 — let’s pretend we’re in 2016). Also there are surprisingly a number of classics I want to read that were published in 1966, e.g. The Bell Jar, In Cold Blood, Season of Migration to the North, and I just finished Silence by Shusaku Endo (which I don’t count here as I finished it before I compiled the list). I made one exception for The Master and Margarita, which was published in 1967, but was written a couple of decades before and was basically banned to be published until 1967. I feel good about 1966 as the cut off year. (Edit: As the year goes over the period of the challenge, I’ll count the book that is 50 years old or older at the time of reading.)

My completion goal date is  1 December 2020, as I started in 1 December 2015. It’s kinda terrifying to think that I will be nearly 40 by then, and may not even finish reading all 50 books in the initial list!

Oh, and the list will change. Every time I read a classic that is not in the list I will insert it here and take one out (will make a record of what’s being taken out at the bottom of the 50 books list – see Candidates). For my initial list I only include one book per author. I’m not worried about reading multiple books from the same author for now, because I generally like to distribute my reading, and never, as I recall, read more than one book from the same author in the same year. Though I could read more than one book from the same author in 5 years time.

I guess that’s it for now. See you on the other side of enlightenment! :)

Read: 18 / 50

  1. Akutagawa, Ryunosuke – Hell Screen (1918)
  2. Baldwin, James – Giovanni’s Room (1956)
  3. Bulgakov, Mikhail – The Master and Margarita (1967)
  4. Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood (1966) Read: Breakfast at Tiffany’s
  5. Chopin, Kate – The Awakening (1899)
  6. Collodi, Carlo – Pinocchio (1883)
  7. Conrad, Joseph – The Secret Agent (1907)
  8. Dermout, Maria – The Ten Thousand Things (1958)
  9. Didion, Joan – Slouching Towards Betlehem (1961-1968)
  10. Doyle, Arthur Conan – The Sign of Four (1890) Read: A Study in Scarlet
  11. Eliot, George – Middlemarch (1871-2)
  12. Enchi, Fumiko – The Waiting Years (1957)
  13. Fisher, Dorothy Canfield – The Home-maker (1924)
  14. Flaubert, Gustave – Madame Bovary (1856)
  15. Forster, E. M. – A Room with a View (1908)
  16. Grahame, Kenneth – The Wind in the Willows (1908)
  17. Greene, Graham – The End of the Affair (1951)
  18. Hartley, L. P. – The Go-Between (1953)
  19. Haasse, Hella – The Black Lake (1948)
  20. Hemingway, Ernest – The Sun Also Rises (1926) / Moveable Feast Read: The Old Man and the Sea
  21. Ibuse, Masuji – Black Rain (1965)
  22. Inoue, Yasushi – The Hunting Gun (1949)
  23. Jerome, Jerome K. – Three Men in a Boat (1889)
  24. Kafka, Franz – The Trial (1925) Read: Metamorphosis
  25. Kipling, Rudyard – Kim (1901) Read: The Jungle Book
  26. Laski, Marghanita – The Victorian Chaise-Longue (1953)
  27. Lessing, Doris – The Grass is Singing (1950)
  28. Mahfouz, Naguib – Palace Walk (1958)
  29. Maugham, W Somerset – Of Human Bondage (1915)
  30. O’Brien, Edna – The Country Girls (1960)
  31. Okakura, Kakuzō – The Book of Tea (1906)
  32. Orwell, George – 1984 (1949) Read: Animal Farm
  33. Pasternak, Boris – Doctor Zhivago (1957)
  34. Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar (1963)
  35. Sagan, Francoise – Bonjour Tristesse (1954)
  36. Salih, Tayeb – Season of Migration to the North (1966)
  37. Stead, Christina – The Man Who Loved Children (1940)
  38. Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island (1882)
  39. Thurber, James – The 13 Clocks (1950)
  40. Tolstoy, Leo – Anna Karenina (1873-7) / War and Peace (1869)
  41. Turgenev, Ivan – First Love (1860)
  42. Waugh, Evelyn – Brideshead Revisited (1945)
  43. Wharton, Edith – Age of Innocence (1920) Read: The House of Mirth
  44. Wilde, Oscar – Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) Read: Complete Short Stories and The Importance of Being Earnest
  45. Wilder, Thornton – The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1927)
  46. Williams, Tennessee – A Streetcar Named Desire (1947)
  47. Wodehouse, P. G. – Carry On, Jeeves (1925)
  48. Woolf, Virginia – Mrs Dalloway (1925) / A Room of One’s Own Read: To the Lighthouse
  49. Zola, Émile – Thérèse Raquin (1867) / Ladies of Paradise
  50. Zweig, Stefan – Beware of Pity (1939) Read: Chess

In Chronological Reading Time

  1. Dermout, Maria – The Ten Thousand Things (1958) – Read in December 2015
  2. Didion, Joan – Slouching Towards Betlehem (1961-1968) – Read in December 2015
  3. Doyle, Arthur Conan – The Sign of Four (1890) – Read in December 2015
  4. Enchi, Fumiko – The Waiting Years (1957) – Read in January 2016
  5. Forster, E. M. – A Room with A View (1908) – Read in February 2016
  6. Salih, Tayeb – Season of Migration to the North (1966) – Read in March 2016
  7. Wilde, Oscar – Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) – Read in April 2016
  8. Mahfouz, Naguib – Palace Walk (1958) – Read in May 2016
  9. Orwell, George – 1984 (1949) – Read in July 2016
  10. Okakura, Kakuzō – The Book of Tea (1906) – Read in August 2016
  11. Akutagawa, Ryunosuke – Hell Screen (1918) – Read in September 2016
  12. Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar (1963) – Read in October 2016
  13. Inoue, Yasushi – The Hunting Gun (1949) – Read in January 2017
  14. Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood (1966) – Read in February 2017
  15. Baldwin, James – Giovanni’s Room (1956) – Read in February 2017
  16. Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island (1882) – Read in April 2017
  17. Conrad, Joseph – The Secret Agent (1907) – Read in July 2017
  18. Ibuse, Masuji – Black Rain (1965) – Read in August 2017

IN Order of Publication

  1. Stevenson, Robert Louis – Treasure Island (1882)
  2. Doyle, Arthur Conan – The Sign of Four (1890)
  3. Wilde, Oscar – Picture of Dorian Gray (1890-1891)
  4. Okakura, Kakuzō – The Book of Tea (1906)
  5. Conrad, Joseph – The Secret Agent (1907)
  6. Forster, E. M. – A Room with A View (1908)
  7. Akutagawa, Ryunosuke – Hell Screen (1918)
  8. Inoue, Yasushi – The Hunting Gun (1949)
  9. Orwell, George – 1984 (1949)
  10. Baldwin, James – Giovanni’s Room (1956)
  11. Enchi, Fumiko – The Waiting Years (1957)
  12. Dermout, Maria – The Ten Thousand Things (1958)
  13. Mahfouz, Naguib – Palace Walk (1958)
  14. Plath, Sylvia – The Bell Jar (1963)
  15. Ibuse, Masuji – Black Rain (1965)
  16. Capote, Truman – In Cold Blood (1966)
  17. Salih, Tayeb – Season of Migration to the North (1966)
  18. Didion, Joan – Slouching Towards Betlehem (1961-1968)

Candidates

  1. Thomas, Dylan – Under Milk Wood (1954)
  2. Collins, Wilkie – The Moonstone (1868) Read: The Woman in White
  3. Sayers, Dorothy L. – Whose Body? (1923)
  4. Austen, Jane – Emma (1816) Read: Pride and Prejudice
  5. Stevenson, Robert Louis – Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)
  6. Yates, Richard – Revolutionary Road (1961)
  7. Conrad, Joseph – Heart of Darkness (1899)
  8. Simenon, Georges – The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By (1938)