In October 2012, I signed up for the Classics Club. 50 books seemed too easy – so when I originally made my list it totalled about 130 books. If that wasn’t bad enough I have kept fiddling with the list over the years – you can see the complete list which include links to reviews here. By fiddling, I mean adding books, I thought I wanted to read, deleting things I had changed my mind about reading. I probably fiddled far too much – the list now stands at – well I’m not exactly sure I keep losing count – but I think it’s about 156.
So I there I was editing in links to my classics club page a couple of weeks ago – when I suddenly realised – that I was supposed to be finishing it this year. Thankfully there are only twelve books left on my list – I took a few off last year, and haven’t thought much about it since. My original pledge was to finish my list by 12th October 2017 – that’s less than six months away!
This year, was supposed to be the year of no reading challenges – no lists (as soon as I make a list I don’t want to read anything on it), and here I am suddenly remembering that a pledge I made nearly five years ago needs completing – argh!!
One book – A Note in Music – I don’t even have a copy of yet. Another – Effi Briest is winging its way to me thanks to Persephone books. Many of the others I have had on my book case for years – which is why I added them to the list in the first place.
At the time of writing I am about to start reading Mr Skeffington by Elizabeth von Arnim, but I might need a little inspiration to read 2 a month for the rest of the year. Thankfully all the ones left on the list do look very good – it’s just that list reluctance again which might hold me back.
So which of these books should I be reaching for next?
So here is what is left on that list:
Mr Skeffington – Elizabeth von Arnim
The Caravaners – Elizabeth von Arnim
Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte (a re-read)
Eva Trout – Elizabeth Bowen
The Professor’s House – Willa Cather
Cindie – Jean Devanny
Effi Briest – Theodor Fontane
The Yellow Wallpaper and other writings – Charlotte Perkins Gillman (a re-read of Yellow wallpaper)
The Conservationist – Nadine Gordimer
A Note in Music – Rosamond Lehmann
The Matriarch – G B Stern
The Devastating Boys and other stories – Elizabeth Taylor
My classic club list has provided me with some fantastic reading over the last four and a half years – re-reads of Hardy, Madame Bovary and The Woman in White among my favourites. Modern classics that have delighted me from Elizabeth Taylor, Sylvia Townsend Warner and Willa Cather – novels which have opened my eyes to what incredible writing can look like from people like Virginia Woolf and Elizabeth Bowen. I really do want to complete it by October 12th.
One important question of course of course is:
What happens if I don’t finish, can I get an extension? 😉 (I suppose I could delete the unread books and shout fiiiinshed!)