The Girl Booker

The Girl Booker

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Let's Play 52 Pick Up

I humbly submit my application to join The Classics Club

Like the time I moved to Hobart in Tasmania because it was as close to wilderness as I could bear, I have taken up a mildly difficult and hugely exciting and fun challenge that in no way impares my access to tea or chocolate: I have taken up the challenge to read 52 classics in five years. They are my own selection, and the method I used to choose which classics would make the cut was mixed, but was heavily influenced by several walks around my apartment peering at the bookshelves. Fans of useless trivia will be delighted to discover that I already own 36 of the books on this list.

Here is my list, with a few things marked out for those of you who like added detail:

* = re-reads, because I want to see if an older version of me has a different take on the book in question.
@ = As most of the people taking part in this blog challenge seem to be American, I have marked out all the Australian classics.
# = non fiction

I have chosen to read some short stories, but they are all in published collections. Since I plan to read the whole volume I have listed the volumes in question as one single book. I also feel compelled to point out that, according to the rules, The Significance of the Frontier in American History might be considered too short to count as one book. But I beg you to allow me to take a couple of hundred pages off my Anna Karenina entry and tack them on to The Frontier essay quota. I'll only do it the once, I promise!

1. Lolita - Vladimi Nabokov *
2. Eleven Kinds of Lonliness - Richard Yates
3. Disturbing the Peace - Richard Yates
4. The Moonstone - Wilkie Collins
5. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
6. Great Expectaions - Charles Dickens
7. Hard Times - Charles Dickens
8. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorn
9. The Muddle Headed Wombat - Ruth Park * @
10. Missus - Ruth Park @
11. Harp in the South - Ruth Park @
12. Poor Man's Orange - Ruth Park @
13. My Life in France - Julia Child
14. The Australian Ugliness - Robin Boyd @#
15. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery
16. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
17. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
18. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
19. Persuasion - Jane Austen
20. Voltaire in Love - Nancy Mitford #
21. Madame du Pompadour - Nancy Mitford #
22. The French Lieutenant's Woman - John Fowles
23. Portrait of a Lady - Henry James
24. Careful, He Might Hear You -Sumner Locke Elliot @
25. The Glass Canoe - David Ireland @
26. Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
27. Cranford - Elizabeth Gaskell
28. The Glass Bead Game - Herman Hesse
29. I Capture The Castle - Dodie Smith
30. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Six Other Stories - F Scott Fitzgerald
31. Tender is the Night - F Scott Fitzgerald
32. The Beautiful and the Damned - F Scott Fitzgerald
33. The Significance of the Frontier in American History - Frederick Jackson Turner #
34. Friday's Child - Georgette Heyer *
35. The Art and Craft of Approaching Your Head of Department to Submit a Request for a Raise - Georges Perec
36. A Void - Georges Perec
37. Things: A Story of the Sixties with A Man Asleep - Georges Perec *
38. The End of the Affair - Graham Greene
39. Twilight Sleep - Edith Wharton
40. The Glimpses of the Moon - Edith Wharton
41. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett *
42. The George's Wife - Elizabeth Jolley
43. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
44. 1984 Orwell - George Orwell
45. Down and Out in Paris and London - George Orwell #
46. Short Stories - Somerset Maugham
47. Theatre - Somerset Maugham
48. Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll *
49. Through The Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll *
50. Dracula - Bram Stoker
51. The Wizard of Oz - Frank L Baum
52. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

Expected finish date: 12th September 2017

All reviews I post of books from this list can be found by searching for the label Classics Club

Edit: below is the list-in-progress of any classic I read not from the original list:

1. Starlight - Stella Gibbons


  1. Welcome to the Classics Club! I am so glad you are highlighting Aussie Authors! I'm finding that a sub-benefit of this Club is learning about literature from other countries.

  2. Thanks! I am really excited about this; it's a great opportunity to read lots of books I have been meaning to read but never get around to.

  3. Yah! You're in! And only one Georgette Heyer - such restraint :-)

    OMG!! You've never read P & P and Persuasion - how did that happen? How did I not know this about you?

    1. Since I will be reading the Georgette's anyway I thought any more than one was a bit cheeky. But I chose one deliberately because I want more people to discover how wonderful her books are!

      And... yeah... I might have kept that dirty little secret under tight wraps... although to be honest, I might have read P & P as a teen but I am not sure. The BBC series is so pervasive in my mind it is hard to tell. So it is on the list to make sure. I think discovering Wharton in high school kept me too busy for Austen.