Friday, March 24, 2017

Classics Club: Five-Year Check-In

Exactly five years ago today I posted my list of 75 classics I want to read for the Classics Club. I'm proud to say I finished 69 of the books from my list, and reviewed 58 of them on this blog! Here's a link to my original list, with dates completed and all my reviews.

There are six books from my list that I still haven't completed:

The Mystery of Edwin Drood by Charles Dickens
The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Four Feathers by A. E. W. Mason
A Dance to the Music of Time (First Movement) by Anthony Powell
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson

In my defense, I have actually attempted to read all of the final six at one point or another and just haven't gotten inspired enough to finish any of them. I haven't given up on them entirely -- maybe it's just not the right time for those books. I'm still hoping to tackle Portrait of a Lady this year for the Victorian Reading Challenge. 

Girl Reading, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot
Of the 69 that I did finish, here are some that I really enjoyed:

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
A Bell for Adano by John Hersey
Lady Chattereley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Elephant
The Makioka Sisters by Junichiro Tanizaki
Kipps by H. G. Wells

And of course, just about everything on my list by Anthony Trollope, who rarely disappoints.

Least favorites:

The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
Theater by W. Somerset Maugham
Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West
Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
Nana by Emile Zola

Molly Reading a Book by Rose Mead
What surprises me most about this list is that includes books by some of my all-time favorite authors -- Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton and Emile Zola. So I guess there are no guarantees, even your favorite authors can fall short sometimes.

Now I'm trying to decide whether I should start another Classics Club list -- the books I want to read is never-ending! Bloggers, how is everyone else doing with their Classics Club lists?


  1. Wow, 69 read from 75 is fantastic. So congratulations!

    I haven't signed up for the Classics often, the minute I set up a defined list, my interest in the books ceases. But if you do start another list I will review your choices with great interest. The list making part is half the fun!

    1. I do love making up lists! That's half the fun of a reading challenge. And there are definitely books that make me feel guilty for ignoring them for so long. But then there are the books that I thought I'd hate and end up really liking, so that's something.

  2. Congratulations! I too have just wound up my CC list (with a few left to go), and I decided to go ahead and re-enlist. The CC has been very good for me.

  3. Congratulations, Karen! 69 classics is a great accomplishment. I've also reached the end of my five years but still have another four books to read so I won't be finished for a while yet. Of the books you mention particularly enjoying, I've only read The Good Soldier - I'll have to consider some of the others when I start to put my second Classics Club list together. :)

  4. I'm two books away from completing my Classics Club list. I really loved having the motivation to keep reading these classics. Your list of favorites are all books I haven't read yet! So there are always more titles to explore.

  5. I've completed my list. I intend to read more classics of course but I'm going to concentrate on your Back to the Classics Challenge. I had put Nana on my list but after what you said - I'm changing it.

  6. Congratulations! The Makioka Sisters is one of my Classic Club favorites, too, but I'm surprised to see Nana among your least favorites. I'll read another Zola soon, but maybe not that one ;-)

    My 5 year anniversary will be toward the end of April. I've read 47/50 books and am not sure I'll finish three more before the deadline. Hope you decide to start on a new list. I certainly will :)


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