Once upon a time, back in 2010, I decided I wasn’t reading enough classics. To remedy the situation, I started my Classics Reclamation Project (CRP), with the goal of reading and reflecting on books I considered classics in a casual, low-stress way. (For more context, you can read about the original intent behind the project or peruse the list of books I covered during its year-long course.)
I’m far less frightened of classics than I used to be, thanks to the CRP. But my reading of them has definitely dropped off since I ended the formal project.
Time to remedy that situation!
Enter: The Classics Club
The Classics Club is a self-proclaimed “community of classics lovers.” The way you join? Commit to reading a list of at least 50 classics (of your choosing) in the next five years. I’ve also been trying to read the books on my own shelves, of which somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 are books I’d consider classics. Convenient, no?
I’ve officially joined the Club. You can see my full list of books — which I’ll do my darndest to get through by April 1, 2020 — right over here. I’ve also included a bit about what I’m counting as a classic for purposes of my list.
I’m just in time for the Classics Spin #9!
As someone who’s not particularly good at choosing a starting place, I appreciate that the folks who run The Classics Club sometimes pick for you. They’re called spins, and the idea is that you compile a sub-list from your main list (themed or not), post it before the spin date, and then whatever book on your list corresponds to the number that comes up is the one you read next (or at least by the deadline — May 15, in this case).
I will admit to being a wuss this time around. I can’t bring myself to put chunksters like Anna Karenina and Gone with the Wind on my list quite yet. So the theme of this list is…the 20 shortest books (which is different from easiest or least scary!) on my master list, arranged alphabetically by author.
- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
- The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- My Antonia by Willa Cather
- As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
- Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster
- The Life to Come and Other Stories by E.M. Forster
- Grendel by John Gardner
- Siddhartha by Hermann Hess
- Dust Tracks on a Road by Zora Neale Hurston
- The Real Life of Sebastian Knight by Vladimir Nabokov
- Waiting for the Mahatma by R.K. Narayan
- Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand
- The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton
- The Short Stories of Edith Wharton
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder
- Moments of Being by Virginia Woolf
- A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
Which book will it be? I’ll find out tomorrow!
Are you a classics reader? A Classics Club member? What draws you to (or scares you about) the so-called classics? How do you define a classic? (Lots of questions, I know…pick your favorite or tackle them all!)