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16 March 2014

The Classics Club

I've finally decided to take the plunge and join the Classics Club.

The Classics Club is, in its members' own words:

... a club created to inspire people to read and blog about classic books. There’s no time limit to join and you’re most welcome, as long as you’re willing to sign up to read and write on your blog about 50+ classic books in at most five years. The perk is that, not only will you have read 50+ incredible (or at the very least thought-provoking) works in five years, you’ll get to do it along with all of these people. 

Sounds intriguing, right?

I thought so, too.

I've challenged myself to read 80 books this year -- which, based on what I've managed for the past couple of years, and considering my 2014 - 2017 term on the Texas Library Association's Spirit of Texas committee, is not that wacky -- and I figure... why not give myself a secondary goal besides just "read X number of books" in the long term?

50 classics in 5 years? That's not a bad bet.

I've decided to try it, with the caveat that I'm not aiming for a strict 10 books per year. 5 years is kind of a long time! Who knows what kind of life events and career developments and new fav authors/series can happen during that time.

But I do have a short selection of self-imposed ground rules for this challenge . . .

  1. Haven't read before, or it's been over a decade
  2. Focus on YA, SF/F, and science narrative non-fiction, but not exclusively
  3. Loose definition of "classic" but must be over 20 years old
  4. Not required to finish, given sufficient effort
  5. Required to post a full review as proof of having read (or attempt)

I also have a little list of books of interest to get me started, in no particular order . . .
  1. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  2. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  3. The picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  4. The chocolate war by Robert Cormier
  5. North and south by Elizabeth Gaskell
  6. The outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  7. Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardey
  8. An American tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
  9. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  10. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  11. The color purple by Alice Walker
  12. The time machine by H.G. Wells
  13. The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  14. The golden compass by Philip Pullman
  15. Wizard's first rule by Terry Goodkind
  16. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
  17. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  18. The French lieutenant's woman by John Fowles
  19. Stranger in a strange land by Robert A. Heinlein
  20. Snow crash by Neal Stephenson
  21. Neuromancer by William Gibson
  22. Foundation by Isaac Asmimov
  23. The Martian chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  24. Clockwork orange by Anthony Burgess
  25. Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr.
  26. Call of Cthulhu by H.P. Lovecraft
  27. Gone with the wind by Margaret Mitchell
  28. Cat's cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  29. Lorna Doone by R.D. Blackmore
  30. The once and future king by T.H. White
  31. The merry adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
  32. The adventures & memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  33. Cosmos by Carl Sagan
  34. Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
  35. The silent world by Jacques-Yves Cousteau
  36. In the shadow of man by Jane Goodall
  37. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
  38. The little prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry
  39. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  40. The death of the heart by Elizabeth Bowen
  41. My man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
  42. I know why the caged bird sings by Maya Angelou
  43. Their eyes were watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  44. All the pretty horses by Cormac McCarthy
  45. Morte D'Urban by J.F. Powers
  46. Manufacturing consent by Noam Chomsky
  47. Around the world in 80 days by Jules Verne
  48. Passing by Nella Larsen
  49. The awakening by Kate Chopin
  50. The yellow wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
It's almost embarrassing to admit that I haven't read most of the above (even the ones we own!), and it's been at least 10 years for the few that I have seen before. I wanted a good number of SF/F options, but quite a lot of the classics in that genre are much newer than what many people really consider classic classic. Anyway, this is a "living" list, so I may or may not make changes as needed.
Thoughts from the peanut gallery?

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