So I'm looking for a new challenge. To focus. To settle me down. To put my energy into. Instead of moping after things that I cannot control. That I cannot have.
And, as if by magic, The Classics Club appeared. A group of bloggers reading books they consider classics. And sharing the experience with fellow bloggers. Sounds fab to me.
The challenge? To join, you need to provide a list of a minimum 50 books that you pledge to read over the next five years maximum. As you know, I cannot resist a list. And a list of classics?! It was a no-brainer.
So I’ve mooched and wondered. Reflected and puzzled. Checked out my other lists. And here’s what I’ve come up with. The classics that I would really like to read by 10 February 2017:
3. Adam Bede, George Elliott
4. An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
6. Catch 22, Joseph Heller
8. Cider House Rules, John Irving
9. Doctor Faustus, Thomas Mann
10. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
12. Faust, Johann Goethe
13. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
14. Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
16. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
17. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
18. Manhattan Transfer, John Dos Passos
19. Metamorphoses, Ovid
22. Oblomov, Ivan Goncharov
23. Of Human Bondage, Somerset Maugham
24. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
25. Sketches from a Hunter’s Album, Ivan Turgenev
26. Testaments Betrayed, Milan Kundera
27. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
29. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
31. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
32. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
33. The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams
36. The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper
37. The Odyssey, Homer
39. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
40. The Rights of Man, Thomas Paine
41. The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell
43. The Screwtape Letters, C S Lewis
44. The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir
47. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
48. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
49. Utopia, Thomas Moore
50. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Now I don't say that I'll read them in this order. I usually have to go with what I’m feeling at any particular time. But we’ll see. And I’ll keep the list updated as and when I read them. So feel free to pop back and check up on my progress.
I'm excited by the challenge. I'm pleased with my list. More or less. The only books that I'm really concerned about are the Dickens, Ovid and Homer.
We studied Dickens in school. In particular, Great Expectations. I was not a fan. I am still not a fan. Now I love his stories. And they make stunning films. But I just don’t love his style. It’s way too heavy on the descriptive for me.
Still, I felt compelled to put The Old Curiosity Shop in there, because it has sat on a bookshelf of mine since I was 12 years old. I received it as a school prize. My copy still has the congratulatory school certificate on the inside cover. And it’s hardly long, is it?
As for the Ovid and Homer, well, just reading their names seems well over my head. We shall see. As I said, this is a challenge. It's not meant to be easy, is it?? Wish me well. Join me if you dare…