Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Classics Club Project

I first saw a mention of The Classics Club over on A Great Books Study and it sounded like a great challenge to participate in. The idea behind the club is to work your way through those classics you've just never gotten a chance to read, or to re-read classics you may not have read since high school or college.

I'm a big fan of Susan Bauer's The Well-Educated Mind, in which she provides lists of books that every educated person should read, with a slant toward obtaining a true classical education. I'm also going to be working my way through some of those books (which I'll address in another post) so there will be plenty of overlap between my Classics Club list and my Well-Educated Mind list.

The nice thing about the Classics Club is that it's very flexible. You pick the books, you decide how many you want to read, and you pick your own timeframe/deadline (though the organizers recommend a time frame of no longer than five years.)

With all of this in mind, I have developed my Classics Club program.

Classics Club Reading List

(January 2017 - December 2020)

1. Don Quixote, Cervantes
2. Pride and Prejudice, Austen
3. Oliver Twist, Dickens
4. Jane Eyre, Bronte
5. The Scarlet Letter, Hawthorne
6. Uncle Tom's Cabin, Stowe
7. Madame Bovary, Flaubert
8. Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky
9. Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
10. The Portrait of a Lady, James
11. Heart of Darkness, Conrad
12. Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf
13. 1984, Orwell
14. The Confessions, Augustine
15. The Book of Margery Kempe, Kempe
16. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin
17. Walden, Thoreau
18. Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, Douglass
19. The Autobiography of Malcolm X
20. The Epic of Gilgamesh
21. Beowulf
22. The Inferno, Alighieri
23. The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
24. A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare
25. The Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare

This is a decent mix of novels, biographies, poetry, and plays. Some, I've read already, but most of these will be first-time reads for me. I'm looking forward to this challenge, and it doesn't seem too daunting -- if I read 5 - 6 books from this list per year, I'll complete it by the end of 2020. I'm excited to get started, and I'll blog here about my experience reading each book.

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