50 classics in 5 years

I already told you in my first post that one of my reasons for starting this blog was to join the community of The Classics Club so that this classical reeducation journey didn’t become a lonely and tedious affair. The only requisite for joining is to come up with a list of any fifty classics of your choice (even the definition of what constitutes a classic is up to yourself) and pledge to read all those books within five years, or any reasonable timespan that works for you.

Well, well, here’s my list to read fifty classics in the next five years. I have come up with this list based on what I want to read and also on what I have at hand, so that I don’t have to be buying tons of new books (thought luckily, most old classics are readily available on the internet. There’s a bit of everything, though the most majority of books were written by British authors – hopefully I’ll add more variety if I ever get to put together a second list once I’m done with these fifty. Nevertheless, there are already three Spanish classics, one by a Colombian author, two French novels, two Russian and two German, and eight American classics, if I’m not mistaken. I haven’t made any distinctions between British and Irish authors for the time being, but that would also lead to some more diversity in the list.

Anyhow, you can scroll down and read my list of fifty classics to read in the next five years. It is in chronological order and starred titles are rereads. Dates have been taken from Wikipedia, so any mistake might be due to wrong information or, more probably, a typo on my side.

  1. Beowulf, anonymous (trans. by Seamus Heaney, among others) (approx. 10th century)
  2. El Cantar del Mio Cid, anonymous (approx.13th century)
  3. La Celestina, by Fernando de Rojas (1499)
  4. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare (1599-1602) – Read March 2018
  5. Othello, by William Shakespeare (1603)
  6. * King Lear, by William Shakespeare (1605-1606)
  7. Macbeth, by William Shakespeare (1606)
  8. The Duchess of Malfi, by John Webster (1612-1613)
  9. Henry VIII, by William Shakespeare (1613)
  10. Paradise Lost, John Milton (1667)
  11. Oroonoko, or the Royal Slave, by Aphra Behn (1688)
  12. * Robinson Crusoe, by Daniel Defoe (1719)
  13. * Gulliver’s Travels, by Jonathan Swift (1726)
  14. Sense and Sensibility, by Jane Austen (1811)
  15. Ivanhoe, by Sir Walter Scott (1820)
  16. The Last Man, by Mary Shelley (1826)
  17. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Brontë (1847) – Read April 2018
  18. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë (1847)
  19. Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackerey (1847-1848)
  20. Moby Dick, by Herman Melville (1851)
  21. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens (1859)
  22. Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens (1861)
  23. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo (1862)
  24. Alice in Wonderland, by lewis Carroll (1865)
  25. * Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott (1868-1869)
  26. Through the Looking Glass, by Lewis Carroll (1872)
  27. * Michael Strogoff, the Courier of the Czar, by Jules Verne (1876)
  28. * The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain (1876)
  29. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoi (1877)
  30. * The Adventures of Huckelberry Finn, by Mark Twain (1884)
  31. The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde (1890)
  32. The Jungle Book, by Rudyard Kipling (1894)
  33. The Call of the Wild, by Jack London (1903)
  34. Dubliners, by James Joyce (1914)
  35. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
  36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley (1932)
  37. La casa de Bernarda Alba, by Federico García Lorca (1936)
  38. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck (1937)
  39. Animal Farm, by George Orwell (1945)
  40. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950) – Read November 2018
  41. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury (1953)
  42. The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954) – Read March 2018
  43. The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkien (1954) – Read April 2018
  44. The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkien (1955) – Read October 2018
  45. Dr Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak (1957)
  46. * Cien años de soledad (A Hundred Years of Solitude), by Gabriel García Márquez (1967) – Read June 2018
  47. Momo, by Michael Ende (1973)
  48. * The Neverending Story, by Michael Ende (1979)
  49. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams (1979) – Read June 2018
  50. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood (1985)

I’d love to read your thoughts on this list and suggestions, so feel free to comment. Even if it’s just to say hi!




9 thoughts on “50 classics in 5 years

  1. When I hear the word classic, I think of classics from the 1800s and before. I love classics and my favorite one is Les Misérables. Other classics I have read that I have loved are Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, A Christmas Carol, Don Quixote and Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tale of Two Cities and Great Expectations are the two books on this list that I have no clue why I loved them in the first place.

    I know it sounds crazy that Les Misérables is my favorite of all of them, but I never would have read it if wasn’t for my obsessive love for the musical. I used the musical to understand what was going on in the book. I wrote in songs and marked up major characters. It is mainly on top because of the musical, but there are other reasons as well. Even though the tangents are annoying, they help you understand the time period.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So interesting! I actually included Les Miserables on my list because I once saw this film with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman, I think, and I really liked it. I didn’t like the most recent film based on the musical much. But to be fair, I know people who had seen the musical and loved it and then saw the film and didn’t really enjoy it.

      Wow, I’m always amazed when I find people who have read and enjoyed Don Quixote. I find it too long and daunting so I didn’t dared to put it in this list. I couldn’t even finished an abridged version for children that I got as a child and I was always happy that it wasn’t a compulsory read for school. Maybe some day …

      I have also read and loved Oliver Twist and A Christmas Carol 🙂


      1. My dad suggested Don Quixote, Tale of Two Cities, and Great Expectations to me.

        About Les Misérables, if I never even saw that movie, I wouldn’t have been that big of a Les Mis. The movie was my first full exposure to Les Misérables and than saw the stage show. I believe in the power of live theatre so the stage production is stronger. If that first step never happened, than I never would have read that book.

        About Don Quixote, yes it seems quite long but worth it.

        Starting over this coming summer, I will be reading Nicholas Nickleby and the classic after that will be David Copperfield

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That’s a great thing about films and theatre. Hopefully I’ll see the Miserables musical on stage some day.

          Great plans 🙂 I am currently reading the trilogy of The Lord of the Rings for the very first time and then I’m planning on reading A Tale of Two Cities and Jane Eyre. And then we’ll see. I also have many other non-classics I’d like to read this year.


    1. Thanks 🙂
      I hope you’re enjoying Wuthering Heights. I am currently reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time (though I’ve seen the film trilogy many times) and so far I’m really enjoying the journey.


  2. I just read Lord of the Rings for the first time too! We share a few titles on our club lists. It’s nice to see a new face. 🙂 #40 on this list is pure magic. I assume you’re rereading Little Women since it has an asterisk? That’s one of my favorites. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your welcome 🙂 Nice to meet nice people along the way!
      I read Little Women many times during my teens; it was one of my favourite books together with Tom Sawyer’s Adventures and Gulliver’s Travels. I haven’t read any of them since … forever. So I’m looking forward to reading them again and see what I find in them all these years later 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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