Thursday, October 8, 2015

I Finished My Classics Club Challenge


In March 2012, I joined The Classics Club and pledged to read 50 books in five years.  At the time, I had just started blogging (in January) and was following The Well-Educated Mind reading list.  All of the books on the novel list were considered classics, and that was all I was reading.  Later I joined other challenges, too, and started reading three or four books at a time.  It was obvious that I would reach my goal in plenty of time; so I added twenty-five more books to my challenge.  Now I'm done!

Basically, I finished about 18 months sooner, and I could have kept going if I wanted to add another twenty-five books; but I think I am done.  Yay!

I'm glad I participated, and I had a lot of fun when I was more involved.  The best part was connecting with other book bloggers who were also reading the classics.  The Classics Club is a great challenge for people who usually do not read the classics, but would like to be encouraged to read more.

Here is a review of my list:


Titles with * are rereads.

NOVELS:
1.   Don Quixote - Miguel De Cervantes   Completed 3/24/12
2.  The Pilgrim's Progress * John Bunyan  Completed 4/11/12
3.  Gulliver's Travels Jonathan Swift  Completed 4/28/12
4.  Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen  Completed 5/11/12
5.  Oliver Twist Charles Dickens  Completed 5/31/12
6.  Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë  Completed 6/12/12
7.  The Scarlet Letter Nathaniel Hawthorne  Completed 6/29/12
8.  Moby-Dick - Herman Melville  Completed 7/18/12
9.  Uncle Tom's Cabin * Harriet Beecher Stowe  Completed 7/31/12
10Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert  Completed 8/10/12
11Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky  Completed 9/9/12
12Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy  Completed 11/9/12
13The Return of the Native - Thomas Hardy  Completed 12/18/12
14The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James  Completed 1/27/13
15The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain  Completed 2/10/13
16The Red Badge of Courage Stephen Crane  Completed 3/25/13
17Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad  Completed 4/13/13
18The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton  Completed 5/11/13
19The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald  Completed 5/30/13
20. Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf  Completed 6/27/13
21The Trial - Franz Kafka Completed 7/18/13
22Native Son - Richard Wright Completed 8/19/13
23The Stranger - Albert Camus  Completed 9/6/13
241984 * - George Orwell  Completed 9/26/13
25Invisible Man Ralph Ellison  Completed 11/10/13
26Seize the Day - Saul Bellow  Completed 11/20/13
27One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez Completed 1/20/14
28If on a winter's night a traveler - Italo Calvino  Completed 2/15/14
29White Noise - Don DeLillo  Completed 3/26/14
30Possession - A.S. Byatt  Completed 5/31/14

AUTOBIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIRS:
1.  The Confessions - Augustine  Completed 6/30/14
2.  The Book of Margery Kempe - Margery Kempe  Completed 7/20/14
3.  Essays - Michel De Montaigne  Completed 9/30/14
4.  The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself - Teresa of Ávila  Completed 11/25/14
5.  Meditations - René Descartes  Completed 12/20/14
6.  Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners - John Bunyan  Completed 2/6/15
7.  The Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration Mary Rowlandson  Completed 2/18/15
8.  Confessions - Jean-Jacques Rousseau  Completed 3/23/15
9.  The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin - Benjamin Franklin  Completed 4/10/15
10. Walden * - Henry David Thoreau  Completed 5/18/15

SUPLEMENTAL LIST: These are classics that are not on the Well Educated Mind list, but I have read them in between WEM titles.  They are from my TBR list.

1.  The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Mark Twain Completed 3/1/13
2.  The Crucible Arthur Miller  Completed 3/7/13
3.  The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien  Completed 4/2/13
4.  O Pioneers! - Willa Cather Completed 8/1/2013
5.  The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde Completed 8/25/13
6.  Persuasion*Jane Austen Completed 2/20/15
7.  Frankenstein - Mary Shelley  Completed 10/28/13
8.  A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens  Completed 12/15/13
9.  Gone With the Wind Margaret Mitchell Completed 1/28/14
10A Christmas Carol *- Charles Dickens Completed 12/20/13
11Great Expectations  - Charles Dickens (2014)  Completed 2/16/14
12Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll  Completed 2/24/14
13Candide - Voltaire  Completed 3/29/14
14. Germinal - Émile Zola  Completed 4/13/14
15. Arthurian Romances - Chrétien de Troyes  Completed 3/28/14
16. Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton  Completed 5/15/14
17The Story of Sir Lancelot and His Champions - Howard Pyle  Completed 5/18/14
18The Old Man and the Sea *Ernest Hemingway  Completed 7/22/14
19. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger Completed 8/3/14
20. Slaughterhouse-Five - Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.  Completed 9/23/14
21The Story of the Grail and the Passing of Arthur - Howard Pyle  Completed 10/28/14
22. The History of the Kings of Britain - Geoffrey of Monmouth Completed 9/29/14
23. Little Woman - Louisa May Alcott  Completed 10/31/14
24. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck  Completed 8/5/15
25. My Ántonia - Willa Cather  Completed 12/12/14
26. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy  Completed 12/28/14
27. The Fortune of the Rougons - Émile Zola  Completed 4/23/15
28. Lord of the Flies - William Golding  Completed 7/21/15
29. Beowulf - unknown/translated by J.R.R. Tolkien  Completed 1/4/15
30. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe  Completed 1/18/15
31. Dracula Bram Stoker  Completed 10/1/15
32. East of Eden - John Steinbeck  Completed 2/23/15
33. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - Robert Louis Stevenson Completed 6/7/15
34. The Voyage Out - Virginia Woolf  Completed 4/10/15
35. The Kill Émile Zola  Completed 8/19/15

20 comments:

  1. Wow! It seems like so many of us are finishing up. Are you going to make another list? What was your favorite title(s)?

    Congrats, Ruth!! x

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    1. Thanks, Jillian. I probably won't make another list. This year I felt a little pressured about my reading challenges, and I think I won't join so many next year, if at all.

      As for which were my favorites: I loved so many of them, especially from my WEM novel list. Reading through the books on TWEM list was an amazing experience for me that I want to start over from the beginning again. But I still have four more genres to go through. It would be easier to ask which books were my least favorite. Or maybe I just need more time to think about it.

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  2. Yay! Well done! Excellent job, and well done too for reviewing them! :)

    Echoing Jillian - will you make another list? :)

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    1. Thanks, o. I'm glad I joined b/c it helped keep me accountable. But I probably won't make another list. I already only read the classics, or mostly classics. And I still have TWEM Reading Challenge to finish, and that will take me another 10 years, probably.

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  3. Brava! I'm envious of your accomplishment.

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  4. Congratulations on finishing! This is a really impressive list. :)

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  5. Way to go! I'm so impressed!! Were all these books on your list right when you initially started it, or did you add as you went along?

    I have fallen off lately in reading from my classics list so you've given me inspiration to get back at it again.

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    1. Not at all. I started w/ 50, and they were mostly my WEM novels and some bios. Then I realized I was going to finish early, so I added more and more.

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  6. Huzzah! Three cheers for you! I am just a little over half done with my list, but it keeps growing and growing, and I figure once I finish the first 50, I'll "re-up" and do another 50. But I might also decide to just quit there, we'll see.

    You read an amazing amount of important literature -- well done.

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    1. Thanks, Hamlette. It's easy to grow the list when you think of more things to read.

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  7. Wow! Congratulations! I am sooooo far away from my goal, it feels a bit impossible right now, so I am very impressed. :)

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    1. Thanks, Jean. It wasn't difficult to finish the list (early) b/c classics are really all I read; I can see how it may be a challenge for someone who either doesn't read classics usually, or mixes it up a bit, like you do, with a wide variety of books. But you'll do it.

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  8. Well done! I keep adding to my initial list and I don't know that I'll ever finish.

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    1. Thank you, Carol. See, that is what I wish I did not do. I wish I stayed with my initial 50. But I added and added and changed out a lot of books, so it took longer. If I had to do it over, I wouldn't have altered it, and when I finished, I would have decided if I wanted to make another list and started again.

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  9. This is an impressive list! Congratulations! I'm excited for you. Are you going to keep reading from The Well Educated Mind?

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    1. Thank you, Heidi. Yes, I definitely will continue reading through the list. I'm reading through the biographies right now.

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