Anyone who spends more than five minutes on this blog knows that I'm a romance and fantasy/urban fantasy reader more than anything else. Heck, even my fantasy/urban fantasy needs a good strong romance for me to get behind or I get grumpy, so let us keep it simple and say that I am a romance reader above and beyond anything and I don't often stray from that path... But that wasn't always the case.
My reading used to be much more varied.
I used to be more open to "risks". I'd pick up anything that sounded good to me, even if it wasn't in my typical wheelhouse and I'd read it. I've lost that somewhere along the way... And I want it back.
Classic books are one area where I rarely dip my toes nowadays but last year (2020) I found myself listening to the audiobook's for Alice in Wonderland, Through The Looking Glass and Peter Pan, and while my reactions to them were mixed, I was super happy that I'd finally read them!
I'd finally read these classic books and had an unpolluted (by pop-culture, re-imaginings, movies, tv etc) opinion of them! And there are so many others that I want to read! So many stories I'm familiar with because of their legacy or reputation but have never actually experienced from the source material.
So, I'm diving in!
I'm joining the Classics Club and pledging to read/listen to 50 Classic books by December 31st 2026.
The beauty of this club is that it isn't prescriptive on what constitutes a classic and re-reads are also acceptable. The only re-reads I've included are books that I haven't read in over 10 years, and some of them not since school days, so it'll be interesting reading them as an adult.
My list of 50 books are as follows and I'll update it with hyperlinks as I read them and share my thoughts on each.
- I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
- War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
- A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Emma by Jane Austen
- Sense & Sensibility by Jane Austen
- Persuasion by Jane Austen
- Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
- Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
- Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
- Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
- North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Fellowship of The Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Two Towers by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Return of The King by J.R.R. Tolkien
- The Wind in The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
- The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
- A Study in Scarlett by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle
- The Hound of The Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
- Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- The Secret Garden by Louisa May Alcott
- The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
- The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
- Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
- The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
- The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis
- The Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
- The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
- The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
- Interview With The Vampire by Anne Rice
- The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice
- The Queen of The Damned by Anne Rice
- The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
- Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett