I saw Sherry’s post about The Classics Club at A Room of One’s Own, a challenge to read and blog about fifty (or more!) works of classic literature in the next five years. Since I’m a sucker for a reading challenge, I thought to myself, why not? I like having a focus to my reading, and while I don’t have a great track record for actually following through on my plans to read high-brow literature, maybe this will help me. I’m limiting myself to fifty-ish books in hopes that I can actually read ten a year, and I’m also including classic children’s literature because it is my first love.
Alcott, Louisa May. Little Men.
Alexander, Lloyd. The Book of Three. Read aloud January 2014.
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. Partial re-read October 2014.
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. Read July/August 2014. —. A Christmas Carol.Read aloud November/December 2012 Enright, Elizabeth. The Saturdays. Read aloud March 2014. Forbes, Esther. Johnny Tremain. Read aloud March 2015
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Cranford.
George, Jean Craighead. Julie of the Wolves.
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. Read May 2016
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 Goblin. Read aloud February/March 2013. Meigs, Cornelia. Invincible Louisa. Read February 2015. Norton, Mary. The Borrowers. Read aloud August 2013. O’Brien, Robert C. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. Read aloud May 2013. O’Dell, Scott. Island of the Blue Dolphins. Read May 2013. Orczy, Baroness. The Scarlet Pimpernel. Read May 2014. 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. Audiobook early 2016
de Saint-Exupéry, Antoine. The Little Prince.
Sayers, Dorothy. One of her mysteries. Read Whose Body? June 2012.
Smith, Betty. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
Smith, Dodie. I Capture the Castle. Read August 2014. —. Smith, Dodie. The One Hundred and One Dalmatians. Read aloud July 2014.
Streatfeild, Noel. Ballet Shoes.
Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Read Dec. 2014/ Jan. 2015.
—. 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.
I’ll stop there, although I could go on. My list is mostly off the top of my head (well, not exactly–it took a little research, but you know what I mean), though I did take some titles off this Top 100 Children’s Novels list and the Newbery list. Thankfully, the originator of this challenge leaves the term classic to be defined by the participant. I hope I can mark almost everything off this list by the end of April 2017.