Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Classics Project: A Year of Classic Literature

I've always considered myself fairly well-read. After all, I read all the time. Then I saw one of those lists. You know the ones. "100 Best Books of All Time" "100 Must Read Classic Works of Literature" Those. And while I do usually score above the "average" person, that has always felt like a really low bar. Many of these books have been influential in our society, and I'm starting to feel like I'm missing out.

So I've decided to start a project. The Classics Project. I'm going to take one year of my life and devote all of my pleasure reading to the classics. I'll give myself a pretty large selection and write a review for each one so you, my readers, can follow along in my literary journey. Honestly, it's kind of shocking which books I haven't read, but please don't judge me too harshly! After all, I'm not listing the plethora of books that I have consumed. ;-)

Here are some quick rules about the list. 1) It has to be something I haven't read. 2) It has to be fiction. I prefer novels, but I do have one or two plays on the list. 3) It has to be a work of literary importance. I honestly don't care if it was written 200 years ago or 10. If it's great, it's great. 4) I'm trying not to duplicate authors with some notable exceptions, in which case, I either really love the author or I couldn't decide which was a better representation of their work. If you think I've picked the wrong book feel free to let me know in the comments! 5) The final decision is mine. I know a lot of you have very strong opinions on what should or should not be on a list like this, but ultimately this list is for me. You can definitely make one of your own though! 6) No Dickens. Just no. I'll watch his stories on the BBC.

I don't expect to finish in one year, because let's face it, some of these books will take longer than three and half days. I do plan to continue reading and writing reviews beyond 2014, but I will no longer be limited to classics.

So without further ado....

The Classics Project:

  1. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  2. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathon Swift
  3. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  4. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  6. Middlemarch by George Elliot
  7. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  8. Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham
  9. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  10. Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  11. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  12. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  13. The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells
  14. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  15. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  16. Ulysses by James Joyce
  17. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man  by James Joyce
  18. Vanity Fair by William Thackeray
  19. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  20. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  21. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
  22. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  23. Lady Chatterly’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  24. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
  25. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  26. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  27. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  28. Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote
  29. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  30. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  31. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  32. The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas
  33. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  34. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  35. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  36. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemmingway
  37. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemmingway
  38. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  39. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  40. The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
  41. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  42. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  43. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  44. The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  45. Watership Down by Richard Adams
  46. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  47. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  48. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  49. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  50. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  51. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  52. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  53. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
  54. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
  55. The Plague by Albert Camus
  56. The Bell Jar  by Sylvia Plath
  57. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolf
  58. My Antonia by Willa Cather
  59. Native Son by Richard Wright
  60. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  61. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
  62. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  63. The World According to Garp by John Irving
  64. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  65. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
  66. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
  67. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  68. The Heart is a LonelyHunter by Carson McCullers
  69. Blood Meridian by Cormac MacCarthy
  70. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  71. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  72. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  73. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  74. Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
  75. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
  76. The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thorton Wilder
  77. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
  78. The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
  79. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  80. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
  81. The Satanic Verses by Salmon Rushdie
  82. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  83. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles
  84. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  85. Last of the Mohicans by James F. Cooper
  86. Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams
  87. Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes
  88. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  89. The Thin Red Line by James Jones
  90. The Source by James Michener
  91. The Hunt for RedOctober by Tom Clancy
  92. Babbit by Sinclair Lewis
  93. The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by James Ford

What do you think? Is there a book or two you think I should add? I'd like to get this list up to 100, so please comment below!

Edit: As I write a review for these books, I will change the title to a link. Check them out!


  1. Some of my faves are on that list. But be prepared to give up on Joyce.

    1. It's really interesting how some people can have such trouble with a particular author. My mother has trouble with Joyce, too. And Faulkner. On the other hand, one of my friends loves Joyce. Personally, I can't stand Sir Walter Scott.

  2. A la recherche du temps perdu by Proust

    La Bas by Huysmans