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 Jean Brodie – Murial Spark
2. Lady Audely’s Secret – Mary Elizabeth Braddon (1862) Reviewed 30 April 2018
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 (1911) Reviewed 12 March 2018
9. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolfe
10. Our Spoons Came From Woolworths – Barbara Comyns (1950) Reviewed 15 February 2018
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 Tristesse – Françoise Sagan
22. East Lynne – Henry Wood
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 (1957) Reviewed 3 July 2018
31. The Lodger – Marie Belloc Lowndes (1913) Reviewed 24 May 2018
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 Crispin (1946) Reviewed 9 April 2018
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 Godden
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.