Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Classics Club - Book List

I've recently, belatedly, discovered The Classics Club, which is described on the club website as 'a club created to inspire people to read and blog about classic books.'  I know I am a bit late to this as many have already started and are well into the challenge but I'd still love to join in. I see it as an opportunity to read more of the classics from time to time alongside the many newer books I read and will continue to read. I read a lot of classics when I was younger and there are so many of these books I still want to read that I'd love to spend some of my reading time now enjoying a classic book, perhaps revisiting some favourites and also reading ones that are a new book for me, or in some instances a new author to me too. I've set out my aim as being to read fifty books over five years, with a goal date of 23rd May 2018. I'll make the titles below into links when I've read the book and written about it here on the blog. I'm intending to read quite a few novels in translation and these are marked with ** in the list. I'm excited about getting started!

If anyone reading this is interested in finding out more, just visit The Classics Club here.

My book list is as follows:

  1. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (1868)
  2. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (1985)
  3. Union Street by Pat Barker (1982)
  4. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1909)
  5. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte (1848)
  6. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte (1847)
  7. Undue Influence by Anita Brookner (1999)
  8. Bullet Park by John Cheever (1969)
  9. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens (1865)
  10. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens (1841)
  11. Hard Times by Charles Dickens (1854)
  12. The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1869)**
  13. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot (1860)
  14. Silas Marner by George Eliot (1861)
  15. Little Man, What Now? by Hans Fallada (1932)**
  16. Wolf Among Wolves by Hans Fallada (1937)**
  17. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert (1856)**
  18. Faces in the Water by Janet Frame (1961)
  19. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1774)**
  20. The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (1951)
  21. Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938)
  22. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy (1887)
  23. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy (1874)
  24. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway (1941)
  25. The Blank Wall by Elizabeth Sanxay Holding (1947)
  26. The Bone People by Keri Hulme (1985)
  27. The Trial by Franz Kafka (1925)**
  28. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
  29. The Village by Marghanita Laski (1952)
  30. Collection of Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant**
  31. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
  32. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (1936)
  33. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1940)
  34. Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery (1908)
  35. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1929)**
  36. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966)
  37. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson (1981)
  38. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (1939)
  39. Saplings by Noel Streatfeild (1945)
  40. Journey by Moonlight by Antal Szerb (1937)**
  41. Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor (1971)
  42. The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West (1970)
  43. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton (1911)
  44. Frost in May by Antonia White (1933)
  45. Eleven Kinds of Loneliness by Richard Yates (1962)
  46. A Good School by Richard Yates (1978)
  47. Cold Spring Harbor by Richard Yates (1986)
  48. The Easter Parade by Richard Yates (1976)
  49. Therese Raquin by Emile Zola (1867)**
  50. Chess by Stefan Zweig (1942)**

** - will be reading an English translation of this book


  1. That sounds really interesting! I tried setting myself a challenge of reading the 'Top 100' books a couple of years ago, but failed miserably after I got stuck halfway through Les Miserables, haha! Good luck - it looks like you've got a great list :-).

    1. Thanks very much for commenting Kayleigh. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into this. Well done on your attempt at the top 100.

  2. Great to see you joining, Lindsay! :)
    You've got some great books on your list, I love both Agnes Grey and All Quiet on the Western Front.

    1. Thanks Sam, I am looking forward to both of those.

  3. You've joined!! I'm very excited for you. And your list is amazing. The Return of the Soldier is one of my favourite books ever, All Quiet on the Western Front turned me into an emotional wreck for days, Jamaica Inn is so mysterious and thrilling and Pat Barker is just an absolute gem. I hope you enjoy being part of the best club around :)

    1. Thanks Ellie! I am excited too. Thanks for your comments on some of my listed books. I am looking forward to getting started :)

  4. Not a huge fan of the classics it has to be said, I was surprised that I'd read as many as 11 of the books on your list. Away to look at the Classic Club site now, thanks for the link.

    1. That's a few isn't it! Hope you found it interesting to have a look at the site. I am keen to rediscover joy of reading the classics.

  5. Thanks for the info, I'm off to check out the classics club.


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