Reading the Classics 2018-2022

I have been seeing that a few other book bloggers are challenging themselves to reading more of the classics. I attempted to do the same this year with my 2018 A-Z Classics Reading Challenge and failed. It was just too much, when I’m reading so many other books as well. I am going to try something a bit different. I am creating a list of 50 classics that will consist of the ones from my A-Z challenge and additions. However, I will be giving myself 5 years to complete this challenge. I think that will be much more manageable.

Here is the list (the books in red are the ones that I have completed):

  1. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  2. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  3. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  4. Dubliners by James Joyce
  5. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  6. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  7. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  8. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  9.  I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  10. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  11. Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  13. Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  14. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  15. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  16. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  17. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  18. The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  19. The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
  20. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  21. Utopia by Thomas More
  22. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
  23. The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  24. Xingu by Edith Wharton
  25. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  26. Zeno’s Conscience by Italo Svevo
  27. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  28. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  29. Travels with Charley by John Steinbeck
  30. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  31. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  32. Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin
  33. Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
  34. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  35. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  36. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  37. The Odyssey by Homer
  38. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  39. The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
  40. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  41. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  42. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
  43. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  44. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  45. Dune by Frank Herbert
  46. Death Come for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
  47. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
  48. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  49. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  50. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Classics not on the list but also read during this time:

  1. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  2. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
  3. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
  4. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
  5. Adam Bede by George Eliot
  6. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  7. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  8. Stuart Little by E. B. White
  9. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  10. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells
  11. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  12. Hard Times by Charles Dickens
  13. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  14. The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
  15. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  16. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  17. Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fenu
  18. The House on the Borderland by William Hope Hodgson
  19. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
  20. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  21. The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington
  22. Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov

I am very much looking forward to reading more classics, especially the ones that have been on my bookshelves for years and years. Have any of you read these? Any favorites on this list? 

Book Review: West With The Night

West-with-the-NightTitle: West with the Night
Author: Beryl Markham
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Publication Date: 1942
Pages: 294
Format Read: Audiobook
Standalone or series: Standalone
Where I got the book: Library Libby app
Date finished reading: June 21, 2020

Goodreads Description: West with the Night is the story of Beryl Markham–aviator, racehorse trainer, beauty–and her life in the Kenya of the 1920s and ’30s.

My Review: I heard about this book via Jeff O’Neal on the Book Riot Podcast. Based on his description, I thought it would be an interesting travelogue. The goodreads description, as you can see above, can hardly be considered a comprehensive description. I really did not know what to expect with this book. I just really wanted to read something set in a different part of the world. Plus, Jeff O’Neal mentioned that this book was given high praise from none other than Ernest Hemingway.

I am ashamed to say that I had never heard of Beryl Markham. I have definitely been missing out. Her life was absolutely fascinating! She lived a free life, yet maybe at times a bit lonely. West With The Night has everything you could think of: descriptions of the Maasai culture, a lion attack, horse racing, malaria, World War 1, colonialism, fascism, and aviation by only maps, protractors and compasses (no navigational or radio systems).

Plus, Hemingway was absolutely correct. Beryl Markham was a beautiful writer. Her descriptions put you in another time and place beyond what may be imaginable. This book was a truly a remarkable and memorable reading experience. I highly recommend it!

My Rating: ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ½

“Every tomorrow ought not to resemble every yesterday. Still I look at my yesterdays from months passed and find them as good a lot of yesterdays as anybody might want. I sit there in the firelight and see them all.”

2018 A-Z Classics Reading Challenge

I spent much of 2017 reading recent bestsellers and want to get back to reading some classics. I’ve decided to participate in a reading challenge, where I will read one classic for every letter of the alphabet. Here is my list:

  • A   Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  • B   Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • C   Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
  • D   Dubliners by James Joyce
  • E   East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • F   Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • G   The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • H   The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • I   I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
  • J   Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
  • K   Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • L   Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • M   Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie
  • N   The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  • O   Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
  • P   Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
  • Q   The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  • R   The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
  • S   The Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
  • T   Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  • U   Utopia by Thomas More
  • V   Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
  • W   The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  • X   Xingu by Edith Wharton
  • Y   The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  • Z   Zeno’s Conscience by Italo Svevo

Book covers