50 in 5 (Classics Club) Intro Post

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Jillian from A Room of One’s Own has started a group to encourage bloggers to read a set number of classics (you choose — at least 50) to read in the next five years (or you choose a different length of time). Because of the hiatus of the Classics Circuit and given my interest in the classics, I hope you are not surprised that I decided to join in!

  • See the introduction post
  • See the “join” post, with links to other participant’s lists.

I’ve decided to make my list of 50 books mainly books I own because I’ve struggled to get my own books read in the past years! About ten of the books on my list I do not own, but I wish I did. The rest are ones I’m eager to read but they’ve been sitting neglected for far too long!

I am going for a list of just 50 because, let’s face it, since my daughter was born last month and I became a mother of two, my time for reading has disappeared. I’m hoping to read my 50 books by Strawberry’s fifth birthday: February 22, 2017. That sounds like so far away from now, but my experience is that it will go fast!

To be honest, however, I hope to finish much sooner than five years. I wanted to say  two years, but I’m more realistically thinking three years. My reward for when I finish is that I”ll make a list of 50 books to reread … and then I’ll get to reread them! I can’t wait for that. I love rereading.

My list is here. I’ll update it as I finish books. I am heavy on the Victorians because they are my favorite. But I also added a few ancient classics and some modern ones (although I’m keeping my list of “classics” pre-1950). If it looks like there are authors omitted from a must-read classics list, it’s because I’ve probably already read them. This is a list of books I have not read yet. I love rereads, but this project will stay with new books. I am most excited to read Vanity Fair (which I may start next month if I ever finish the dragging Erewhon by Samuel Butler that I’m reading now). I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Vanity Fair! I’m most scared of The Tale of the Genji which is huge and I’ve heard it drags!

You’ll notice I also have a few other lists I’m working on. I’ve made steady progress on the 101 Great Books for College-Bound Readers since I started my blog four years ago. I’m not crazy excited about some of those books, so I didn’t make those a priority per se. (I can’t image a teenager getting through all of those before college!) I also have favorite authors I want to read the complete works of. Shakespeare is a must, but I left him off my 50 in 5 list because I want to spontaneously decide which play to read next over the next five years. Reading his complete works is my life goal, not a five-year goal. I am also about to embark on the wonderful project called home schooling, so I plan on working on a list of classics to read with my son (and daughter) for that.

What books on this list are you excited for me to read?

Reviewed on March 22, 2012

About the author 

Rebecca Reid

Rebecca Reid is a homeschooling, stay-at-home mother seeking to make the journey of life-long learning fun by reading lots of good books. Rebecca Reads provides reviews of children's literature she has enjoyed with her children; nonfiction that enhances understanding of educational philosophies, history and more; and classical literature that Rebecca enjoys reading.

  • Hi, Rebecca! I’m so excited you decided to join. I love your reward!! And I have to say I’m most looking forward to you reading Vanity Fair. I’ve read half and adore it (which is why I set it aside.) I will probably finish it this summer, but it is SO GOOD. I’m also excited for you to read Villette.

    I hope all is well with the little Rebeccalet(te)s. πŸ™‚

  • Happy reading, Rebecca! I’m most interested in seeing your ancient Greek reviews, what you make of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (love it), and what you think of Mann’s Magic Mountain, which I hope to get to myself later this year. Cheers!

  • I’m just about to join this challenge too. I’ve been making my list up, and being realistic – 50 classics in 5 years is my goal, too. I’d love to do more! Though I am being realistic, I don’t read as many classics as I feel I should, so this is a way to bring them back into my reading life. Except for Jane Austen, who is ensconced as one of my favourite writers! Good luck to you, and I’m sure you will achieve this goal before I do πŸ™‚

  • A great list! I especially like how you divided up the list into different time periods, works in translation, etc. You inspired me to make my own list of 50 in 5 years. I don’t have my own blog but it will be fun to see how many I can complete. I am a huge George Eliot fan, so I’ll be interested to see your views on her books on your list.

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