Sunday, November 16, 2014

The Classics Club - My 50 Book Challenge

Just this week I stumbled across The Classics Club and decided to sign up. Basically the "club" is a group of bloggers who commit to reading at least 50 "classics"  (it is up to each individual blogger as to how they define a classic) in five years and to blog about each title once they've read it.

The idea appeals to me for a number of reasons. I've always loved to read and have undertaken reading challenges that focus on the classics before. Fifty classics in five years is less than one a month which shouldn't be too onerous and should leave me with plenty of time for non-classics reading too. My participation in The Classics Club ties in nicely with the idea of "You, not Them" one of the keys of a Leadership Education. While I don't follow that model of homeschooling (or any other for that matter) in it's entirety, it has had an influence on how we operate. Making time for our own interests is also a great way of avoiding or overcoming the disenchantment and disillusionment that can overtake even the most committed home educator.  Thanks to Julie over at The Homeschool Alliance for emphasising that.

So without further ado here is my list of 50 classics that I'll be reading before November 2019. It's a bit of a mixture - some ancient, some modern, plays, poetry, novels, essays, short stories and non-fiction - so hopefully it should keep me interested.

Once you see a title highlighted here it means I've read it and written a review. Click on the link if you want to know what I thought.

I have signed up for a couple of Shakespeare related MOOCs. My daughter is doing at least one of those as well so we'll be reading most of these aloud together.

1. The Merchant of Venice - Shakespeare
2. Macbeth - Shakespeare
3. Othello - Shakespeare
4. Antony and Cleopatra - Shakespeare
5. The Tempest - Shakespeare
6. Hamlet - Shakespeare

Next year my daughter will be tying her literature in with her geography studies. There are a few titles that I  either haven't read or haven't read for many years so I'll read these one along with her.

7. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
8. The Book Thief - Markus Zusak
9. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee 
10. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
11. Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera

Then I've got a few old favourites that I enjoy rereading regularly.

12.Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
13.Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
14. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens

These have been sitting on our shelf for a while but I've never got around to reading them.

15. The Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolkien
16. On the Origin of Species - Charles Darwin
17. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
18. Moby Dick - Herman Melville
19. Journey to the Centre of the Earth - Jules Verne
20. Chemical History of a Candle - Michael Faraday

These I picked because of the reviews by other Classics Club members.

21. Germinal - Emile Zola
22. The Dollmaker - Harriette Arnow
23. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
24. A Raisin in the Sun - Lorraine Hansberry
25. Cold Sassy Tree - Olive Ann Burns

The remaining (rather large group) is more a list of suggestions. I am committed to reading 50 classics, just not necessarily these exact titles. But 50 titles must be listed before you sign up so this is what I picked. I'll probably substitute a lot of these ones but it's good to have a list to fall back on when I'm not sure what to read next!

26. Lysistrata - Aristoiphanes
27. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
28. The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
29. Vilette - Charlotte Bronte
30. O Pioneers! - Willa Cather
31. Three Sisters - Anton Chekhov
32. Murder on the Orient Express - Agatha Christie
33. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
34. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
35. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
36. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
37. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
38. The Inferno - Dante
39. East of Eden - John Steinbeck
40 The Death of Ivan Ilyich - Leo Tolstoy
41. An Ideal Husband - Oscar Wilde
42. Xingu - Edith Wharton
43. The Hunchback of Notre -Dame - Victor Hugo
44. Collected Poems - Robert Frost
45. Tender is the Night - F Scott Fitzgerald
46. In Defence of Sanity: The Best Essays of G.K. Chesterton
47. Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott
48. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
49. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoevsky
50. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

ETA. As expected I'm reading other classics as I go and may end up not reading all of my initially selected fifty titles. I'll add the extra (possibly substitute) titles here as I post reviews.

Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare

Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh

Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery

The Makioka Sisters - Junichiro Tanizaki

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou

The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway

The Two Gentlemen of Verona - William Shakespeare

The Good Earth - Pearl Buck

Nicholas Nickleby - Charles Dickens

The Odyssey - Homer

Dracula - Bram Stoker

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