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The Classics Club

I’ve joined The Classics Club today and therefore aim to read the following list of 50 books by 27 January 2023.

Fortunately the rules are simple, the definition of a classic book is not set in stone, so I have used the easy formula that if a book was published before 1970 it goes on the list.

Some readers may be surprised that I am joining this club, on the occasions when I have talked about them either on my own blog or as a comment on other blogs, I have received surprise that I’m interested in classics at all. Yes, I love crime fiction, psychological thrillers have been a pull and I enjoy a well-written contemporary novel but I have been a reader long before the blog was born. I am a child who read all the childhood classics, as a teenager, I read the popular bonk-busters of the day, but I also read Dickens and Austen amongst a whole host of other classic writers of the era. My dreams were full of Heathcliff and these were in addition to the books we read because they were on the syllabus. Even in the (many) intervening years I have revisited old favourites and found others to enjoy, but, and here is the one of the few downsides of blogging, somehow  my focus has veered away from this area and so one of my New Year Resolutions was to read six classic books this year. Then came the peer pressure principally from FictionFan’s Book Reviews who somehow persuaded me if I was going to commit to six I may as well commit to fifty!!

So to the list – You’ll note this has two sub-sections for Classic Crime which is a larger section and the smaller Author’s of Children’s Classics, Adult Novels. I’ve tried to limit to one book per author except for two notable exceptions and not to include too many re-reads although there are a sprinkling to keep me going.  Quite a few of the books on the list I already possess and as another of my resolutions is to use the library I will be making frequent trips to try and source most of the others.

Classic Fiction

1. The Prime of Miss Brodie – Murial Spark
2. Lady Audely’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon
3. Miss Pettigrow Lives for a Day- Winifred Watson
4. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
5. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
6. Barsetshire Chronicles (The Warden) – Anthony Trollope
7. The Hireling – L.P. Hartley
8. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
9. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolfe 
10. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths – Barbara Comyns
11. A Wreath of Roses – Elizabeth Taylor
12. The Quiet American – Graham Greene
13. We Have Always Lived in the Castle – Shirley Jackson
14. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
15.Bleak House – Charles Dickens
16. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
17. Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
18. The Long View – Elizabeth Jane Howard
19. Chocky – John Wyndham
20. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
21. Bonjour Tritesse – Françoise Sagan
22. East Lynne – Henry James
23. The Gowk Storm – Nancy Brysson Morrison
24. Sunset Song – Lewis Grassic Gibbon
25. The Dubliners – James Joyce
26. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens

Classic Crime

27. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
28. The Sign of the Four – Arthur Conan Doyle
29. The Poisoned Chocolate Case – Anthony Berkeley
30. Off With His Head – Ngaio Marsh
31. The Lodger – Marie Belloc Downes
32. Sergeant Cluff Stands Firm – Gil North
33. The Clocks – Agatha Christie
34. The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding – Agatha Christie
35. Crooked House – Agatha Christie
36. Five Little Pigs – Agatha Christie
37. A Murder is Announced – Agatha Christie
38. Sussex Downs Murder – John Bude
39. The Moving Toyshop – Edumund Cripsin
40. Calamity Town – Ellery Queen
41. A Pin to See the Peepshow – F Tennyson Jesse
42. The Franchise Affair – Josephine Tey
43. The Wheel Spins – Ethel Lina White

Author’s of Children’s Classics

44. Saplings – Noel Streatfeild
45. The Lark – E Nesbit
46. The Shuttle -Frances Hodgeston Burnett
47. The Greengage Summer – Rumer Goddon
48. One Man’s Meat – E.B. White
49. Who Calls the Tune – Nina Bawden
50. The Red House Mystery – A.A. Milne

It has taken me weeks to build the list because I’m not great at committing quite so far into the future and I’m sure I will veer off at points and choose more of some of the featured author’s works.



A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

54 thoughts on “The Classics Club

      1. At least you’ve been realistic with your timeframe. I was uber confident and set mine at two years…and that leaves me with just the rest of this year to complete my list. Probably not going to happen and it would feel like too much pressure to chase it. Plus there are too many shiny new books to distract me…


  1. Well yes this is indeed a surprise, kudos to Fiction Fan for persuading you to go for the full 50. You have a good range of books so should find something to suit different moods. I’m about 15 away from completing mine but I did keep changing my mind about what was on the list….

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Go girl! I’d love to join in, but I know myself well enough to realize that ‘the blog’ has overtaken my TBR and my reading life, at least for now…
    I worked in a public library for over twenty-five years, so was surprised to see a title on your list that I had never heard of before. “Our spoons all come from Woolworths “. ALSO, was not surprised that you included ‘Jane Eyre, my favorite classic novel, which I have read at least five times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you – I really don’t know how this is going to fit in with everything else but I had already designated 2018 to more free reading and cut back on newer books as a result. I love Jane Eyre so that’s one of my rereads for pure pleasure.


  3. Yay!! Of course, you followed the ‘rules’ more than I did since I set my publish date at 1988 – still, almost 30 years. And, of course, almost all of mine could fit the ‘mystery’ designation. I’ve read 7 from your list (all the Agatha Christie books and Jane Eyre and Catcher in the Rye – think that’s it). Good luck! I’ve already finished my first one and had a good time with it. You’ll do wonderfully!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A former boss of mine used to call me a militant conformist because I argued about rules but ultimately can’t help but follow them 😂 I’ve been to the library today so have some more to choose my first pick from. Thank you!


  4. Hurrah! Welcome to the Club! Ooh, what a fabulous list! I think I actually prefer it to my own list. I don’t know whether I’m more excited about Chocky or The Gowk Storm!!! And Sergeant Cluff! And never mind – at least The Catcher in the Rye is short… 😉 We’ve got quite a lot of crossover on the crime novels – not so many of them on my CC list but they’re part of my 100 Books challenge. Lots of them are available either through or a site I just found yesterday – I’ve downloaded from both successfully and with no security isssues or anything. So glad you joined in and I hope you have as much fun with it as I do – it’ll be extra fun comparing the books that are on both our lists… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

        1. Haha you can see how I plundered your list and recent reviews – I already had found a copy of The Lodger before you talked me into the challenge and of course I have used a selection from the Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books for my crime section!

          Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂 I decided to give Chocky a chance and I was so taken by your review of The Gowk Storm I decided a trip to Scotland was in order 😊 The Catcher in the Rye is on my bookshelf so I decided to go for it – as you say it’s short! Thanks so much for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do think you’ll enjoy The Gowk Storm – great book and kinda you-ish, I think. I also have high hopes that you’ll enjoy Chocky – it might be sci-fi, but it’s very much about humanity, really… Good luck with all your selections! 😀


  5. I think it’s great you’ve joined the Classics Club, Cleo. And you have some great titles there! With such a fine list, and so many of my blogger friends involved, I may have to join, myself, at some point…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love the Classic Crime list – and I’ve never heard of any of the Children’s Classics (although I’ve obviously heard of the authors)! Wasn’t a reader of Classics when I was a child – have agreed to go back and read some this year though.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a fab list of books! I was quite sad to realise that I only read one classic in the whole of last year and have been thinking that I need to get back to reading older books because I love them too. I’m not really wanting to sign up to any challenges this year but you’ve definitely inspired me to have a look through my bookcases and to make sure I read more classics this year. I really hope you enjoy all of your choices.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Enjoy the journey! I’ve read a few in the Classic Fiction list…but lately I’ve been thinking I need to read Mrs. Dalloway, having just watched the movie The Hours again (based on Michael Cunningham’s book).

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. What a fabulous list, some of my old and new favourites on there. Last year I read and fell in love with Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. It’s made me determined to read even more classics and forgotten authors this year. I’m tempted to join you. Have fun reading through your choices 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s fun to try new lists and I’m looking forward to reading about your progress with these classics. I love reading classic literature and I’ve read a bunch from your list, but definitely not all of them. I hope you enjoy them all!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. What a terrific post and a great list. It sounds like a great thing to do and even though 50 books sounds like a lot – especially if you’re already committed with other reading, particularly this year – over five years makes it seem more manageable and I’m sure you’ll make it with ease. You have piqued my interest, I’ll follow your quest and I may just make a list myself mmmm 🧡 📚🧡 📖

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Thanks to your post here, I also joined the Classic Club. I have already read a good number of classic works but love an excuse to read good literature. I will have fun composing my list of missed works & some fav retreads.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is a terrific list! So far I have not been able to commit to joining the Classics Club, but it has inspired me to read more classics (and I just enjoy them as well.) There are many on your list I want to read as well. It would also take me weeks to come up with my list!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There are so many books on your list I would love to read! But only two that I’ve read – only 2! Maybe I need to join this club. 🙂
    The two are good ones, though – Bleak House and Jane Eyre – loved them both. Have fun with this challenge!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Naomi – the list took weeks to create as I was trying to find books I haven’t already read – the two you mention are old favourites for me too. It was a great way to have some sort of plan to explore and I figured five years was long enough for me to have some chance of completing the list.

      Liked by 1 person

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