In the High Peaks

Thursday, December 31, 2015

At Long Last! My Classics Club List!

I completed Ken Follett's nearly 1,000-page Fall of Giants by Ken Follett this afternoon. I've been working so non-stop lately that it felt luxurious to allow myself time to settle into the loft bed to spend a couple of hours reading. What a pleasure!

The following is my completed Classics Club List. I've been working on it off and on since September, but finally it's more or less together. I imagine it may alter slightly as the years pass, but it's good to go for now.

The one thing that concerns me about this list is that many titles are exceptionally LENGTHY. My reading plans for 2016 involve reading a number of books on the Classics Club List, but many other books as well.

1. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

2.  Persuasion by Jane Austen

3.  Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

4.  Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (rereading because I last read it when I was barely 15 years of age) Winner, Nobel Prize 1957

5.  Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf

6.  Dr. Finlay Stories—Omnibus by A.J. Cronin (Scottish)

7.  Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell

8.  The Professor’s House by Willa Cather

9.  The First Circle OR The Cancer Ward by Alexander Solzhenitsyn 

10. Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

11. German Classic   Heinrich Boll   

12. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

13. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol  finished 09/2015

14. The Professor by Charlotte Bronte

15. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

16.  Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 2 The Bride  by Sigrid Undset

17.  Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. 3  The Cross (I read Vol. 1 fifteen years ago—excellent!)

18.  Snow by Orhan Parmuk (Modern Turkish Classic)

19.  Vanity Fair  Thackeray

20.  Poldark by Winston Graham

21  The Adventures of Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

22. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

23. Shirley Jackson   Short Stories

24. A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers by Henry D. Thoreau done 10/2015

25. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

26. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

27. Bleak House by Charles Dickens

28. Beowulf   award-winning translation by Seamus Heaney  11/2015 in progress

29. Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

30. *The Painted Veil or Short Stories by W. Somerset Maugham

31. Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek by Annie Dillard (American classic)

32. Kamouraska  by Anne Hebert   Canadian Classic   Quebecois

33. O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

34. The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg   First vol. of Swedish classic (trilogy)

35. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

36. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

37. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

38. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carre

39. The Golden Notebooks by Dorris Lessing (South African—English)

40. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck

41. The Storm by Margriet de Moor  (Dutch classic about historic storm in early 1950s)

42.  In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

43. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger

44. The Things They Carried and other Stories by Tim O’Brien

45. And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Sholokhov  Soviet Russian classic (Reading Vol. 1 of 4) .

46. The Harp in the Park by Ruth Park (1948 Australian classic)

47. Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden

48. Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym

49. Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev (heard about fr. Danielle)

50. Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya   published 1954

51. Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala   Booker Prize 1975.


  1. I really like your list, I've read 19 of them. Let me know when you want to read Red Badge of Courage.

    1. Katrina,
      I will indeed. I'm working such long hours this week, last week, and the week before that, that I'm in despair about when I'll have time to move forward with books!
      A little lull this weekend, I think!!! Super excited. I need to choose my next Classics Club read. But you know I have so many books I want to read this year.
      I went through the list and tried to "pick" which ones you might have read.
      There is one trilogy I know for sure you would like, but you may have read it: Sigrid Undset, the Norwegian writer and Nobel-prize winner author of Kristin Lavransdatter. I loved the first volume so much! I think you would, too. But I don't want to curse you with more books on your list.

  2. I haven't read anything by Sigrid Undset.
    2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 19, 20, 22, 25, 26, 33, 36, 45, 47, 48 are the ones I have read.

    1. I'm saving the list of the ones you've read. I guess the ones that surprised me most were that 1)you haven't read Dickens's Bleak House or Tale of Two Cities, and 2) that you read Solzhenitsyn. With the latter, my surprise signifies that I'm forgetting your interest in Russian literature.
      The Charles Dickens novels I've enjoyed in the past are Great Expectations, David Copperfield, and The Christmas Carol, that all the Dickens I've actually read? Perhaps it is. What about you?

    2. I dodge Dickens, I did try him when I was at school and wasn't enamoured, despite reading a lot of classics then. After I heard about how he treated his poor wife - I was put off him completely! I've read The Christmas Tree to get me in the mood for the season in the past. I read Solzhenitsyn in the 1970s, when he was in the news a lot, mainly before he got out of the USSR.

    3. I must note down "The Christmas Tree." And, just curious, do you recall if you enjoyed the Solzhenitsyn you read. Perhaps "enjoyed" is the wrong word entirely! Was it illuminating at the least? I know the 1970s was a very long time ago. Just curious about your thoughts.

    4. Yes enjoy isn't the word but as I recall I found them a fascinating glimpse into another world. I read Cancer Ward, Gulag Archipelago and August 1914. BTW, J is a big Orhan Pamuk fan but I haven't read any, maybe we could do a Snow readalong.

    5. Katrina,
      Wow! I only just now recalled that he wrote August 2014. I'm in awe that you read those three. That's Solzhenitsyn in depth, I'll say.

      I started reading Snow years ago and was captivated by the first 40 pages, but I had to drop it due to all the reading I was doing for work.
      I'd love to do a readalong of Snow.