The Classic Club Challenge


Several months ago, I encountered an interesting classic reading challenge on a post made by areaderofliterature. I was suddenly intrigued to join this challenge after reading her list and also after realizing that I have too many classics on my book shelf waiting to be opened and finished. The challenge was initially introduced by The Classic Club and eventually this challenge become widely known as The Classic Club Challenge.

The rules to join this challenge are simple. You just need to list 50 or more classic books you want to read within the next 5 years on a post in your blog. Write a review post or discussion after reading and link it to the master post. You can also share your review to The Classic Club and join discussion with other classic enthusiasts all over the world. All classics are welcome; whether it is a Western canon, Eastern canon, American, British, Asian, African classics, ancient classics, modern classics, or Persephone. There’s no limitation as long as the book can be considered as classic: e.g. has been published for more than 30 years and has a great influence to the literacy world. You may see the complete guideline to join this challenge here.

I do realize that classics have an extensive range of genre and form, and seems that all of them are exciting and challenging to read. As a result, in making this list I’m trying to diverse and combine various genre of classics: from fiction to non-fiction, literary canon to short stories, memoir to scientific reports, as well as plays and folktales. Most of them are international classics from United States, United Kingdom, Russia and Europe as a general. They are mostly widely known and even considered as ever-lasting books. The literary works from reputed authors such as Leo Tolstoy, Franz Kafka, Victor Hugo, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, F. Scott Fitzgerald, George Orwell, Charles Dickens, and several others are included in this list. I deliberately separated Japanese classics and Indonesian classics I want to read on other challenges I previously attended: 2016 Japanese Literature Reading Challenge and Indonesian Literature Reading Challenge respectively.

Classic2Here is the full list of the 50 Books I Want To Read Within The Next 5 Years (you can see the details of the genre on the graph above).

  1. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  2. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  3. Les Miserablés – Victor Hugo
  4. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  5. The Iliad – Homer
  6. The Odyssey – Homer
  7. Ulysses – James Joyce
  8. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  9. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  10. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  11. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  12. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  13. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  14. Emma – Jane Austen
  15. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  16. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  17. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  18. The Beautiful and The Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) – George Orwell
  20. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  21. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame – Victor Hugo
  22. The Sound and The Fury – William Faulkner
  23. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  24. The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  25. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  26. Orlando – Virginia Woolf
  27. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  28. A Tale of Two Towers – Charles Dickens
  29. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  30. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  31. The Stranger – Albert Camus
  32. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  33. The Catcher in The Rye – JD. Salinger
  34. The Trial – Franz Kafka
  35. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
  36. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  37. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  38. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  39. A Portrait of The Artist as A Young Man – James Joyce
  40. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  41. The Best Short Stories – Guy de Maupassant
  42. Selected Stories – Anton Chekhov
  43. Selected Stories – O. Henry
  44. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
  45. On The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
  46. The Wealth of Nations – Adam Smith
  47. The Diary of A Young Girl – Anne Frank
  48. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
  49. Macbeth – William Shakespeare
  50. Arabian Nights

With a total of 50 books I have to read, it means that I need to read at least 10 classics a year which will be pretty challenging. I will start this challenge on 1st of May 2016, so it will ends five years later on the same day at the year of 2021.

This will be a living list with future updates. Additions and adjustments can also possibly be made. If you are interested in this challenge and decided to join, let me know your classics list on the comment section below.


5 thoughts on “The Classic Club Challenge

  1. You are so ambitious, hahaha!! I’m afraid of getting near some of these novels, way too long and dense for my taste.

    I hope you like The Hunchback of Notre-Dame more than I did. I found it interminably dull. 18th century writers clearly didn’t have editors, that book could have easily be cut in half!

    I’m glad to see some of my favorite classics here. Pride and Prejudice is a book I always turn to when I’m sad. You’re in for a treat with The Great Gatsby; Fitzgerald writes the most beautiful, lyrical, transporting, and exquisite prose. And I’m so, so happy to see Macbeth on this list.

    Macbeth is my favorite Shakespeare out of all I’ve read of his work. The Macbeths form a much more convincing tragic romance than the annoying (in my opinion, at least) Romeo and Juliet. I love the recent film adaptation of Macbeth with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard too. Ugh, someday I’ll write a personal overview of Macbeth. Someday.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m obsessed to read all of the so-called ‘Books of All Time’ or ‘Books you must read before you die’, even though I doubt myself to read all of those within 5 years. However most of those are already in my bookshelf, just lying there untouched which I believe reading those will give me a great feeling of accomplishment.

    Good to see your favorite classics are in my list too. Never have read Austen, but I already have Emma and Pride & Prejudice. Hope I can enjoy these as much as you.

    Looking forward to your overview on Macbeth. I’ve never enjoyed reading plays before (except several Indonesian plays such as ‘Mangir’ by Pramoedya and ‘Aku’ by Sjuman Djaya), but I think I should give it a shot to Shakespeare’s signature works.


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