Classics for 2014

I’m slowly making my way through some self-selected classics for the Classics Club, a challenge which I started working on last year and that runs for five years.  I updated my list last night, so I thought it worthwhile to share here in my post on classics I’d like to read in 2014.  The asterisks denote specific titles I’m going to try to read this year.



Alcott, Louisa May.  Little Men.

Alexander, Lloyd.  The Book of Three.*

Austen, Jane.  Emma.

Blyton, Enid.  Anything I can get my hands on by her. Read aloud–The Magic Faraway Tree October/November 2012

Brontë, Anne.  Agnes Grey.

Brontë, Charlotte.   Jane Eyre. *  This will be a re-read of my favorite required novel from high school.

—.  Villette.

Brontë, Emily.  Wuthering Heights.    I remember not caring for this much when I read it as a teen.  I want to see if my opinions or tastes have changed.

Burnett, Frances Hodgson.  A Little Princess. Read aloud February/March 2013.

Cather, Willa.  O Pioneers!  I think this is a re-read, but maybe I’m mistaking reading the novel for watching the movie.

Cooper, Susan.  The Dark Is Rising.

Dickens, Charles.  Great Expectations.  I was required to read it in the ninth grade, a task which I did rather joylessly (and took a daily quiz over five chapters!), and I’m sure I missed a lot.

—.   A Christmas Carol.Read aloud November/December 2012

Enright, Elizabeth.  The Saturdays.*

Estes, Eleanor.  The Moffats.  Read aloud January 2013.

Forbes, Esther.  Johnny Tremain.

Gaskell, Elizabeth.  Cranford.

George, Jean Craighead.  Julie of the Wolves.

Goudge, Elizabeth.  The Little White Horse.  Read aloud October/November 2012.

Hugo, Victor.  Les Miserables.  I tried to read it a few years ago, but I failed.  This time I think I’ll go with an abridgement.  Finished (unabridged!) January 6,  2013.

Jewett, Sarah Orne.  The Country of the Pointed Firs.  I read something by Jewett in a graduate English class I took several years ago (maybe A Country Doctor), and I liked it.  I enjoy Regionalism, so I’m going to read what some consider to be her best work.

Juster, Norton.  The Phantom Tollbooth Read aloud June 2012.

Keller, Helen.  The Story of My Life.

L’Engle, Madeleine. A Wrinkle in Time.  Re-read, but it has been about 25 years since the first time I read it.

Lindbergh, Anne Morrow.  Gift from the Sea.

MacDonald, George.  The Light Princess.  We listened to the audiobook of this several years ago, and I really enjoyed it.  I want to read it myself.

—.  The Princess and the GoblinRead aloud February/March 2013.

Meigs, Cornelia.  Invincible Louisa. 

Norton, Mary.  The BorrowersRead aloud August 2013.

O’Brien, Robert C.  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMHRead aloud May 2013.

O’Dell, Scott.  Island of the Blue DolphinsRead May 2013. 

Orczy, Baroness.  The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Porter, Gene Stratton.  Freckles.  Read May/June 2012.

Ransome, Arthur.  Swallows and Amazons.*

Richter, Conrad.  The Light in the Forest.

Rowling, J.K.  Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine.  The Little Prince.

Sayers, Dorothy.  One of her mysteriesRead Whose Body? June 2012.

Smith, Betty.  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Smith, Dodie.  I Capture the Castle.*

—.  Smith, Dodie.  The One Hundred and One Dalmatians.*

Streatfeild, Noel.  Ballet Shoes.

Taylor, Sydney.  All-of-a-Kind Family.*

Twain, Mark.  The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.*

—.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.  It’s May’s Reading to Know Bookclub pick, and I’m the hostess.  Read May 2012.

—. A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.*

—.  The Prince and the Pauper.

Wharton, Edith.  The Age of Innocence.  Re-read.

—.  The House of Mirth.

Wodehouse, P.G.  A Jeeves and Wooster novel. Jeeves and the Tie That Binds.  (April 2012)

Wyss, Johann David.  The Swiss Family Robinson.*


This year I’m doing something new: I’m hosting an in-real-life classics bookclub!  There’s not much I enjoy more than talking about books, so I was inspired this past November to ask around on Facebook if any of my IRL friends were interested in starting a classics bookclub in 2014, and more than a dozen said yes!  We’ll be meeting every other month starting in February, and these are the books we’ll be discussing:

February–Pride and Prejudice
April–Gone with the Wind
June–Their Eyes Were Watching God
August–Moby Dick
October–Jane Eyre
December–The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
There’s an overlap of only two books between my Classics Club list and my IRL bookclub list because I took suggestions from the bookclub members, of course.  Roughly half of these books are re-reads for me.  (I say roughly because I think I read most of Gone with the Wind as a teen, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t finish it.)

Reading to Know - Book Club

This year I also plan to participate when possible in the 2014 Reading to Know Bookclub, which will, for the second year in a row, be made up exclusively of classics.  Many of the months I won’t participate because I’ve read quite a few of the selections in the past few years, but I am hosting the discussion in July, and the book comes straight off my Classics Club list–101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith.
Reading through this many denser works will require discipline on my part, but I’m ready for the challenge!
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5 thoughts on “Classics for 2014”

  1. Great list! I don’t know if you’ve never read them before but if you haven’t you are going to LOVE All-of-a-Kind Family, The Saturdays and I Capture the Castle. Seriously LOVE. And The Dark is Rising is one of my favorite childhood books. In fact, like someone else who had a bookish honeymoon :), we went to Cornwall because of Susan Cooper’s series (Dark is Rising is the second in the series but you can read it first without being confused,)

  2. I should do something like this. I could at least make the list, right? : ) You will LOVE The Saturdays – we read two of the series outloud, and I *think* I finished it? I’m hoping to get to more nonfiction this year and read as much of CS Lewis as I can. We’ll see how that pans out. Oh, and I want to read Unbroken this year. That’s the one that you LOVED right? I think I saw that it’s fairly inexpensive on Kindle and so I hope this is the year that I finally get to it.

  3. All of my older children have read the Book of Three and the others in the series. Over the holidays, we listened to the audio while traveling. I think you will enjoy this one. So many valuable lessons sprinkled throughout the story. I was pleasantly surprised.

    I look forward to your thoughts on Swallows and Amazons. We recently attempted this as a read aloud. I was surprised at how the children and I didn’t really enjoy it. Very odd for us.

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