Classics Club

A classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.” — Italo Calvino

I signed up for Classics Club some time ago but neglected to make up a list of fifty titles that I would read by the end of 2020.* I’ve now read many of them (indicated by read or reread): these were/are all books on my shelves so I haven’t had to have recourse to the library to make up the fifty. (Not sure if that’s shameful or not…)

What is a classic? In my book it’s a title that has stood the test of time — however long that is — and will include children’s fiction, classical and foreign texts in translation as well as those deemed modern classics (mostly 20th century).

The List

I’ve revised this list midway through 2020 to provide a more realistic selection and because some titles are, frankly, books I’m unlikely to read

  • Petronius Arbiter: The Satyricon
  • ‘BB’ [D J Watkins-Pitchford]: The Little Grey Men read
  • J M Barrie: Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens and Peter and Wendy read
  • Elinor M Brent-Dyer: The New House at the Chalet School read
  • Anne Bronte: Agnes Grey read
  • Charlotte Bronte: Shirley read
  • Charlotte Bronte: Jane Eyre read
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess
  • Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden read
  • Anton Chekhov: Early Stories read
  • Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair at Styles read
  • Michael Crichton: The Andromeda Strain read
  • Edmund Crispin: The Case of the Gilded Fly read
  • Edmund Crispin: The Moving Toyshop read
  • Philip K Dick: Ubik read
  • Charles Dickens: Oliver Twist
  • George Eliot: Middlemarch
  • Hermann Hesse: The Glass Bead Game
  • Hermann Hesse: Steppenwolf read
  • Hammond Innes: Dead and Alive read
  • Henry James: Daisy Miller read
  • Henry James: The Spoils of Poynton read
  • Henry James: The Aspern Papers read
  • Henry James: The Turn of the Screw read
  • Tove Jansson: The Summer Book read
  • Tove Jansson: Art in Nature read
  • Tove Jansson: Comet in Moominland read
  • Charles Kingsley: Hypatia
  • Rudyard Kipling: Kim
  • D H Lawrence: The Princess and other stories
  • Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince
  • John Masefield: The Box of Delights read
  • John Milton: Comus read
  • L M Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables
  • E Nesbit: The Power of Darkness read
  • E Nesbit: The New Treasure Seekers read
  • Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan read
  • Mervyn Peake: Gormenghast
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Masque of the Red Death read
  • John Polidori: The Vampyre read
  • Jean Rhys: Wide Sargasso Sea read
  • N K Sandars (translator): The Epic of Gilgamesh read
  • Mary Shelley: Frankenstein read
  • Georges Simenon: Maigret in Holland read
  • Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto
  • Mary Westmacott: Absent in the Spring read
  • Edith Wharton: Ethan Frome read
  • Oscar Wilde: Only Dull People Are Brilliant at Breakfast read
  • Virginia Woolf: A Room of One’s Own read

Read: 37 (May 2021)

* New deadline is now December 2021