The Classics Club is a club created to inspire people to read and blog about classic books. There’s no time limit to join and you’re most welcome, as long as you’re willing to sign up to read and write on your blog about 50+ classic books in at most five years. The perk is that, not only will you have read 50+ incredible (or at the very least thought-provoking) works in five years, you’ll get to do it along with all of these people. Join us! We’re very friendly.

You can read more on their join the club page! My personal completion date will be December 1, 2025 and I’ve listed 130 books of varying lengths. They’re organized into rough categories but there’s a lot of overlap.

My personal rules:

1. At least 50 years old (first published before 1970).
2. This list prioritises classics I haven’t read or read parts of but did not completely finish. In some cases I’ve already read a lot of an author’s other works, so this challenge is more to fill in the blanks, not reread.
3. These are, for the most part, either books I own or books available for free (library, project gutenberg, etc.)
4. In the case of a book I truly cannot get into: substitutions are fine, but must fit into the same category (i.e. a children’s classic should be replaced with another children’s classic) and must be recorded at the bottom of this page.

Heavyweights

700+ pages. Aiming to read one of these per year(ish).

1. The Tale of Genji, Shikibu Murasaki (1008)
2. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas (1844)
3. Middlemarch, George Eliot (1871)
4. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1879)

Non-White Authors

5. Dream of the Red Chamber (Story of the Stone 1-5), Cao Xueqin (1791)
6. Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northrup (1853)
7. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, Harriet Ann Jacobs (1861)
8. The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. DuBois (1903)
9. Kokoro, Natsume Sōseki (1914)
10. Native Son, Richard Wright (1940)
11. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison (1952)
12. Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin (1953)
13. The Sound of the Mountain, Yasunari Kawabata (1953)
14. The Sound of Waves, Yukio Mishima (1954)
15. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (1958)
16. A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry (1959)
17. Silence, Shūsaku Endō (1966)
18. The Doctor’s Wife, Sawako Ariyoshi (1966)
19. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (1967)
20. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou (1969)
21. The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison (1970)

Fantasy, Science Fiction & Horror

22. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Washington Irving (1820)
23. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins (1859)
24. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
25. The Invisible Man, H.G. Wells (1897)
26. Dracula, Bram Stoker (1897)
27. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley (1932)
28. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien (1937)
29. 1984, George Orwell (1949)
30. The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
31. The Two Towers, J.R.R. Tolkien (1954)
32. The Return of the King, J.R.R. Tolkien (1955)
33. The Chrysalids, John Wyndham (1955)
34. The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson (1959)
35. Dune, Frank Herbert (1965)

Children’s Classics

36. Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (1877)
37. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett (1902)
38. The Call of the Wild, Jack London (1903)
39. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame (1908)
40. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith (1943)
41. Stuart Little, E.B. White (1945)
42. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren (1945)
43. Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White (1952)
44. Beezus and Ramona, Beverly Cleary (1955)
45. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis (1950)
46. Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis (1951)
47. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis (1952)
48. The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis (1953)
49. The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis (1954)
50. The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis (1955)
51. The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis (1956)
52. The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be, Farley Mowat (1957)
53. The Incredible Journey, Sheila Burnford (1960)

LGBTQ+

Referenced the Publishing Triangle’s Best Lesbian and Gay Novels list.

54. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde (1890)
55. Bertram Cope’s Year, Henry Blake Fuller (1919)
56. Orlando, Virginia Woolf (1928)
57. The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe Hall (1928)
58. The Gallery, John Horne Burns (1947)
59. The City and the Pillar, Gore Vidal (1948)
60. Other Voices, Other Rooms, Truman Capote (1948)
61. Confessions of a Mask, Yukio Mishima (1948)
62. Olivia, Dorothy Strachey (1949)
63. The Price of Salt, Patricia Highsmith (1952)
64. The Tree and the Vine, Dola de Jong (1954)
65. The Last of the Wine, Mary Renault (1956)
66. Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin (1956)
67. City of Night, John Rechy (1963)
68. A Single Man, Christopher Isherwood (1964)

Canadian Classics

I’ve read plenty of modern Canadian lit but very little that would be considered classic. Referenced in part from the New Canadian Library bibliography.

69. The Man from Glengarry, Ralph Connor (1901)
70. The Spell of the Yukon and Other Poems, Robert W. Service (1907)
71. Woodsmen of the West, Martin Allerdale Grainger (1908)
72. Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town, Stephen Leacock (1912)
73. Over Prairie Trails, Frederick Philip Grove (1922)
74. Such Is My Beloved, Morley Callaghan (1934)
75. Thirty Acres, Ringuet (1938)
76. As For Me and My House, Sinclair Ross (1941)
77. Earth and High Heaven, Gwethalyn Graham (1944)
78. The Building of Jalna, Mazo de la Roche (1944)
79. The Tin Flute, Gabrielle Roy (1945)
80. Two Solitudes, Hugh MacLennan (1945)
81. Who Has Seen the Wind, W.O. Mitchell (1947)
82. Tempest-Tost, Robertson Davies (1951)
83. Swamp Angel, Ethel Wilson (1954)
84. Under the Ribs of Death, John Marlyn (1957)
85. The Last Barrier and Other Stories, Charles G.D. Roberts (1958)
86. The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Mordecai Richler (1959)
87. The Double Hook, Sheila Watson (1959)
88. The Stone Angel (Manawaka Sequence #1), Margaret Laurence (1964)
89. A Jest of God (Manawaka Sequence #2), Margaret Laurence (1966)
90. Dance of the Happy Shades, Alice Munro (1968)
91. The Fire-Dwellers (Manawaka Sequence #3), Margaret Laurence (1969)
92. The Studhorse Man, Robert Kroetsch (1969)
93. The Edible Woman, Margaret Atwood (1969)

Female Authors

…who didn’t fit into other categories.

94. Evelina, Frances Burney (1778)
95. The Italian, Ann Radcliffe (1797)
96. Emma, Jane Austen (1815)
97. Persuasion, Jane Austen (1818)
98. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte (1847)
99. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte (1847)
100. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Anne Bronte (1848)
101. North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell (1855)
102. My Antonia, Willa Cather (1918)
103. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton (1920)
104. The Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim (1922)
105. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolfe (1927)
106. The Good Earth, Pearl S. Buck (1931)
107. Regency Buck, Georgette Heyer (1935)
108. After Midnight, Irmgard Keun (1937)
109. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers (1940)
110. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh (1945)
111. Cotillion, Georgette Heyer (1953)

All the Rest

112. Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe (1722)
113. Roxana, Daniel Defoe (1724)
114. A Sentimental Journey, Laurence Sterne (1768)
115. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert (1857)
116. A Doll’s House, Henrik Ibsen (1879)
117. Hunger, Knut Hamsun (1890)
118. Where Angels Fear to Tread, E.M. Forster (1905)
119. A Room with a View, E.M. Forster (1908)
120. The Rainbow, D.H. Lawrence (1915)
121. A Passage to India, E.M. Forster (1924)
122. The Woman of Andros, Thornton Wilder (1930)
123. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (1939)
124. Player Piano, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1952)
125. The Quiet American, Graham Greene (1955)
126. Catch-22, Joseph Heller (1961)
127. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov (1962)
128. God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (1965)
129. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard (1966)
130. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov (1967)

Substitutions

Nothing yet!