Looking Ahead: Momma Challenges Herself To Read The Classics in 2011

momma challenges herself to read the classics

I’ve mentioned here a few times that I am probably one of the worst read English Major Graduates of all-time. There are dozens of classics I’ve never read. Like it could make your head spin just to think – and often does make my husband’s head spin when the subject comes up and we find once again that my husband is much better read than I am (::coughs:: private school education ::coughs::)

The only books I remember being required to read in my four years of high school are Romeo & Juliet and The Scarlett Letter. Yup, that’s it. I mean mayyybe there were more, but I don’t remember them so it doesn’t really count. In college I read a lot of the more archaic stuff, a good bit of Shakespeare, Chaucer, Romantic Era Poetry and so on. So a loooot of great books fell through the cracks.

I’ve been trying to slowly catch up with the rest of the world and read some of the classics like Pride & Prejudice, Anne of Green Gables, Gone With the Wind, etc. and I’ve enjoyed almost all of them. I thought I’d challenge myself to really kick it up a notch in 2011 and I’m inviting you to do the same! Maybe we can link up and share our classic experiences next year?

Anyway, here is a list of 30 books that I’m interested in reading next year. This is in no way a finished list. These are not the only classic books I ever plan to read, that list had over 100 titles and seemed too daunting. Truthfully, I think this list of 30 books is probably totally unrealistic and too long also but I couldn’t bear to narrow it down anymore and decided to just list them all here and read what I can. I know I’ll want to read some non-classics, too, next year – book club picks, review books that come my way (pretty please?) and all the books that catch my eye at the bookstore and library – you know how it is, right?

But enough of my babbling and excuses, let’s get down to the list. I’d love to read your lists, too! Want to make a list of 30 books of your own? Or less? Or more? Let’s be Bookish List Making Nerds together! I may even make a little button for us to use if there is enough interest. Oh look, I’m babbling again…

30 Classic Books I’d Love to Read in 2011

  1. Peter Pan by J.M Barrie (I own it)
  2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  3. The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1) by Pearl S. Buck (I own it)
  4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  5. Bleak House by Charles Dickens (free on kindle)
  6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle (free on kindle)
  7. The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
  8. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
  9. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse (free on kindle)
  10. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  11. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  12. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux (free on kindle)
  13. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  14. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy (free on kindle)
  15. 1984 by George Orwell
  16. Metamorphoses by Ovid
  17. Anthem by Ayn Rand (free on kindle)
  18. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  19. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  20. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
  21. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw (free on kindle)
  22. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  23. Dracula by Bram Stoker (free on kindle)
  24. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  25. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy (free on kindle)
  26. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne (free on kindle)
  27. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  28. Night by Elie Weisel (I own it)
  29. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (free on kindle)

Some of these are older than others, some considered more of a “classic” I’m sure. I know there are probably books not on this list that you’re all “waaaahhhh?”about, but hey. There’s always 2012, right? Feel free to leave commentary about my choices in the comments section, that’s half the fun you know. And definitely, if you’d like to join in – let me know!!

5 Comments

  1. Good list–you’ve got some of my favorites on there (Phantom of the Opera and Much Ado about Nothing). Then again, there are plenty on that list I HAVEN’T read. I haven’t set anything in stone for 2011, but my plan is to read 2 books that qualify as “literature” every 6 weeks (my library checkout period). I’m starting with Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. We’ll see how well those go!

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  2. You certainly must read the following in no particular order..but yeah you should. To Kill A Mockingbird, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn, and The Good Earth and Fahrenheit 451.
    I read Gatsby in high school and it wasn’t the greatest…but it may have been that it was high school and required. A lot of these I read but don’t really remember that well. I think it’s great you’re going to try and tackle War and Peace. I just don’t think I could do it.
    I think this is a great list and will try my best to join in but no guarantees. I feel I need to at least read Catcher in the Rye as it’s one of the biggies I haven’t read.

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  3. I’ll join in! I’m hoping to read 100 books next year – I’ll come pretty damn close this year – and I’m thinking I’ll make a goal of 25 of them classics.

    I counted from your list and while I’ve read 10 of them, only a handful were in school, the others were after school when I realized how many classics I hadn’t read.

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