Monday, 19 November 2018

Classics Club List #1 - Finished! ..... and not finished ....

November 18, 2018 has come and gone and I can't believe that my five year anniversary date with the Classics Club has come around so quickly!  It seems like only a year or so ago I was compiling my list and wondering how I was going to read so many books.  So how did I do with it?  Well, here's what I accomplished ....

First of all, I went completely overboard and instead of choosing the recommended 50 books, I chose 170 books!  Eh, not particularly my most wise decision, especially considering the content of some of them. Needless to say, I didn't finish my list but, on a brighter note I did manage to read 66 of them, which is better than 50.  I also had a few of them (The Histories, Paradise LostMetamorphosesHamlet and History of the Peloponnesian War come quickly to mind) where I posted by chapter/book/act, so that was a big task in itself and expanded my reading time.  I've also started Bleak House, City of God, Crime and Punishment and Dead Souls from my original list, I just didn't finish in time. :-(

So here is my first Classics Club list, which I will call complete!

My list:

Ancients  (5000 B.C. - A.D. 400): (9 books read)

The Odyssey - Homer (end of the 8th century B.C.)  March 23, 2014
The Histories (450 - 420 B.C.) - Herodotus (because I love my Greeks!)  April 17, 2017
The History of the Pelopponesian War (431 B.C.) - Thucydides  (a very
       interesting war.  I can't wait to get Thucydides viewpoint) June 15, 2017
Oedipus Rex (429 B.C.) - Sophocles  (Sophocles is one of my favourite
      Greek playwrights)  May 25, 2014
Oedipus at Colonus (406 B.C.) - Sophocles   June 24, 2014
Antigone (441 B.C.) - Sophocles  December 28, 2014
Apology (after 399 B.C.) - Plato   December 12, 2013
Defense Speeches (80 - 63 B.C.) - Marcus Tullius Cicero  (I've started this
      and love it!)  August 20, 2014
Metamorphoses (8) - Ovid  (I will finish this!)  March 31, 2016

Medieval/Early Renaissance (400 - 1600 A.D.): (6 books read)

The Rule of Saint Benedict (529)? - Saint Benedict  December 2, 2015
The Canterbury Tales (1390s??) - Geoffrey Chaucer  (groan!  It intimidates
      me but I must overcome!)  November 15, 2015
The Book of Margery Kempe (1430) - Margery Kempe   August 1, 2014
Le Morte d'Arthur (1485) - Thomas Mallory  (this read is coming up soon!)  December 6, 2014
Utopia (1516) - Thomas More  (looking forward to reading a good Utopian
      novel)  December 15, 2014
Selected Essays (1580) - Michel de Montaigne  November 30, 2015

Late Renaissance/Early Modern (1600 - 1850 A.D.): (17 books read)

Romeo and Juliet (1591 - 1595) - William Shakespeare   October 13, 2014
Richard II (1595) - William Shakespeare   November 30, 2014
Henry IV Part I (1597) - William Shakespeare  December 21, 2014
Henry IV Part II (1596 - 1599) - William Shakespeare  December 24, 2014
Henry V (1599) - William Shakespeare  June 22, 2016
Othello (1603) - William Shakespeare   October 28, 2014
Hamlet (1603 - 1604) - William Shakespeare  January 27, 2015
King Lear (1603 - 1606) - William Shakespeare  December 3, 2014
Paradise Lost (1667) - John Milton (time to use my guide by C.S. Lewis)  February 27, 2014
Gulliver's Travels (1726) - Jonathan Swift  (I wonder if I'll like it)   January 3, 2015
Candide (1759) - Voltaire   March 21, 2014
Sense and Sensibility (1811) - Jane Austen  January 25, 2015
Persuasion (1818) - Jane Austen (I have read every other Austen novel but
        this one.  For shame!)   February 21, 2015
Eugene Onegin (1825 - 1832) - Alexander Pushkin   December 1, 2013 & February 8, 2014
The Pickwick Papers (1836 - 1837) - Charles Dickens  (a fun read!)  November 5, 2017
Wuthering Heights (1847) - Emily Brönte   February 1, 2014
David Copperfield (1850) - Charles Dickens   January 15, 2014

Modern (1850 - Present): (34 books read)

Villette (1853) - Charlotte Brönte  March 31, 2016
The Warden (1855) - Anthony Trollope  (looking forward to starting The
      Barchestershire Chronicles)  April 8, 2014
Madam Bovary (1856) - Gustave Flaubert  (just because)   April 4, 2014
Barchester Towers (1857) - Anthony Trollope   August 7, 2014
Doctor Thorne (1858) - Anthony Trollope  September 25, 2014
Framely Parsonage (1860 - 1861) - Anthony Trollope  December 8, 2016
Fathers and Sons (1862) - Ivan Turgenev  September 19, 2014
The Small House at Allington (1864) - Anthony Trollope  March 31, 2017
The Moonstone (1868) - Wilkie Collins  (for a light read)  January 1, 2016
War and Peace (1869) - Leo Tolstoy  (going on and on and on ……)  August 3, 2014
Erewhon (1872) - Samuel Butler  May 16, 2015
La Curée (1871 - 1872) - Emile Zola (continuing the Rougon-Macquart
        series)  April 23, 2014
Far from the Madding Crowd (1874) - Thomas Hardy (I dislike Hardy's
        novels but should include one.)  June 23, 2016
Daniel Deronda (1876) - George Eliot   February 24, 2014
Son Excellence Eugène Rougon (1876) - Emile Zola   January 31, 2014
A Doll's House (1879) - Henrik Ibsen  July 27, 2016
The Brothers Karamazov (1880) - Fyodor Dostoevsky (I can't wait for this
        one!)  November 10, 2016
The Black Arrow (1888) - Robert Louis Stevenson   November 20, 2013
L'Argent (1891) - Emile Zola  August 21, 2015
The Time Machine (1895) - H.G. Wells  January 11, 2016
The Importance of Being Earnest (1895) - Oscar Wilde  September 18, 2014
The Well at the World's End (1896) - William Morris  October 5, 2016
Dracula (1897) - Bram Stoker  (scary ….. not my favourite genre)  October 19, 2015
The Man Who Was Thursday (1908) - G.K. Chesterton  (love Chesterton!)  August 20, 2014
Count Magnus and Other Ghost Stories (1904 - 1911) - M.R. James
          November 13, 2013
Ethan Fromme (1911) - Edith Wharton  May 11, 2015
 The Great Gatsby (1925) - F. Scott Fitzgerald (double groan.  Since the
          first time I read this was in high-school, I need to do a re-read to
          confirm that I despise it)   January 2, 2014
Mrs. Dalloway (1925) - Virginia Woolf   January 13, 2014
The Pilgrim's Regress (1933) - C.S. Lewis  (I think this is a more simpler
          Lewis) {No - this was incredibly complex!} November 30, 2013
Out of the Silent Planet (1938) - C.S. Lewis  (love his Space Trilogy - a re-
          read)  September 19, 2014
The Great Divorce (1945) - C.S. Lewis (fascinating plot)  June 15, 2014
Seven Story Mountain (1948) - Thomas Merton  (looking forward to it)  March 15, 2014
East of Eden (1952) - John Steinbeck  (I hated Mice & Men but I will attempt
          to keep an open mind with this one)   February 17, 2015
To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) - Harper Lee  April 5, 2016

Where do I go from here .....??  I'm going to condense my original list to 66 and roll many of the ones I didn't read into my second list.  Which I'm going to keep to 50.  See!  I do learn by experience!!  Stayed tuned for the second list which I'll post soon!


  1. i'm impressed; they're almost all heavy classics: probably more than i've read my whole life! i read more than that, but my list would include a lot sci fi, mysteries, bios, and the like... i'm all over the map, without a shred of discipline, as you can tell by my blog... anyway, congratulations!

    1. More than you've read in your life? That surprises me but is also encouraging. I've had such a bad reading year that it's nice to feel that I accomplished something. Discipline has its place, right? ;-)

    2. absolutely... and one of these days, i'm going to... etc. etc. fat chance, as they say...

  2. Bravo! 66 classics in 5 years is a tremendous achievement. And you did what I had to do when I realised I wasn’t going to read the 150 books on my original list either!! I simply stopped where I was & said ‘done’ then created list 2 from the leftovers. I think that means we’re optimistic, but willing to be flexible & face reality when we overreach 😉

    1. Thank you, Brona. I'm glad to hear someone else had to condense their list. My enthusiasm turned out to be more than my abilities. I'm looking forward to compiling the next list!

  3. Congratulations!! Well done you. I'll be interested to see your next list!

  4. Congratulations! Well done. I found Pilgrim's Regress really complex, but it has gotten better for me.

    1. Hey, thanks for taking time in your busy life to stop by! I can't believe Lewis wrote the Pilgrim's Regress in three weeks. The complexity blew my mind. I still haven't read The Pilgrim's Progress. Perhaps a title for my next list!

  5. Well done! There are some tough ones on here. I'll have a look at your posts on Metamorphoses when I get to that one -- probably 2019.

    1. I believe Metamorphoses made book of the year for me. It was somewhat icky but Ovid really crafts some wonderful tales. Good luck with it and enjoy!

    2. I'm looking forward to it. Also -- I can't believe I forgot The Canterbury Tales on my list! I'll see if I can fit it in somewhere.

  6. Well done, Cleo! You have read great pieces there!
    And I'm glad you decided to do a second round.

    1. Thanks, Fanda! I'm very excited to start on the second list. Glad to see you're posting a bit more lately. I've missed your reviews!

  7. I join the chorus....'Well done!"
    2019 is just around the corner and let the reading games begin!

    1. Thank you, Nancy! I've been inspired seeing all the reading you've done this year. I will aspire to be you in this area. Great job!

  8. An exciting moment! Good for you!!!

    I admire your Ancients list...and look at all that Shakespeare! Thanks for reading along in the biographies, too!

    1. I do plan to get back to the histories but I've fallen off whereas you've done an exemplary job of keeping up. Oh for more reading time! At least I'm enjoying life, reading or no. But it would be better with more reading. I'll try in 2019!

  9. Well done! :D I can't wait to see your next list :)

    1. Thank you! All your consistent reading keeps me inspired! Next list is up-and-coming!

  10. Way to go, Cleo!! There are some long ones on there... War and Peace AND Brothers K. :) Looking forward to seeing your new list!

    1. Yes, I just have to keep telling myself ..... long books and long posts. Then I'll feel much better! :-)

  11. Well done! That's a great list & very brain heavy. I've read 69 & will try to finish two more by the end of the year & then make a new list. Quite a few of mine were not heavy reads & a couple were children's classics - the only reason I managed to read 69!

    1. It was brain heavy and post heavy so I feel okay with getting through less than planned. Children's classics are great! I'll have to plan for more of them in 2019!

  12. Replies
    1. Thanks, Faith! You seem to have had a good reading year. Hope you have an even better one in 2019!