50 Classic Books in 5 Years for My 50th Birthday

Classic Books

Since today is my 50th birthday, I thought I would start my next 50 years off right by joining the Classics Club and committing to read 50 classic novels by October 25, 2021. The idea behind the club is to read at least 50 classic books within five years, and to blog about each one.

My main purpose in this project is to read more books from my Summary of Great Books Lists and my Catholic Classics List. I’ve selected books from those two lists along with a few extras. You can see the full list below. As I finish each book I’ll write a blog post about it and link to it from this page.

As I mentioned last week, I am currently reading The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni, so I’ll make that my first book for this challenge. Here’s the rest of my list:

  1. Louisa May Alcott – Little Women
  2. Jane Austen – Emma – Finished September 27, 2017 Review
  3. Jane Austen – Mansfield Park
  4. Jane Austen – Persuasion
  5. Jane Austen – Sense and Sensibility
  6. Robert Hugh Benson – Lord of the World – Finished November 12, 2016 Review
  7. Emily Bronte – Wuthering Heights
  8. John Bunyan – Pilgrim’s Progress
  9. Frances Hodgson Burnett – The Secret Garden
  10. Willa Cather – O Pioneers! – Finished July 16, 2017 Review
  11. Charles Dickens – Bleak House
  12. Charles Dickens – The Old Curiosity Shop
  13. Charles Dickens – Our Mutual Friend
  14. Charles Dickens – Oliver Twist
  15. Fyodor Dostoyevski – Crime and Punishment
  16. Alexandre Dumas – Twenty Years After
  17. Alexandre Dumas – The Vicomte of Bragelonne
  18. Alexandre Dumas – Louise de la Valliere
  19. Alexandre Dumas – The Man in the Iron Mask
  20. Alexandre Dumas filCamille
  21. Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca – Finished 12/6/2017 Review
  22. E.R. Eddison – The Worm Ouroboros – Finished November 15, 2017 Review
  23. George Eliot – Middlemarch
  24. George Eliot – Adam Bede
  25. George Eliot – RomolaFinished October 22, 2017 Review
  26. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
  27. E.M. Forster – A Room with a View
  28. E.M. Forster – A Passage to India
  29. Elizabeth Gaskell – North and South
  30. Nikolai Gogol – Dead Souls – Finished November 25, 2017 Review
  31. H. Rider Haggard – She
  32. Thomas Hardy – Tess of the D’Urbervilles
  33. Thomas Hardy – Far From the Madding Crowd Finished April 8, 2017 Review
  34. Nathaniel Hawthorne – The Scarlet Letter
  35. William Hope Hodgson – The House on the Borderland – Finished November 3, 2016 Review
  36. Robert E. Howard – Conan: The Definitive Collection – Finished December 4, 2016 Review
  37. Franz Kafka – The Trial – Finished May 19, 2017 Review
  38. Richard Llewellyn – How Green Was My Valley – Finished February 11, 2017 Review
  39. George MacDonald – Lilith
  40. Alessandro Manzoni – The BetrothedFinished October 31, 2016 Review
  41. Larry McMurtry – Lonesome Dove – Finished July 11, 2017 Review
  42. William Morris – The Well at the World’s End
  43. Flannery O’Connor – The Violent Bear It Away
  44. George Orwell – Nineteen Eighty-four – Finished January 5, 2017 Review
  45. Sir Walter Scott – Waverley
  46. Sir Walter Scott – Ivanhoe
  47. Leo Tolstoy – Anna Karenina
  48. Sigrid Undset – Kristin Lavransdatter
  49. Evelyn Waugh – Brideshead Revisited
  50. Thornton Wilder – The Bridge of San Luis Rey Finished November 21, 2016 Review

Deacon Nick

Nick Senger is a husband, a father of four, and a Catholic school teacher, vice principal and technology coordinator. He taught junior high literature and writing for over 25 years, and has been a Catholic school educator since 1990. In 2001 he was named a Distinguished Teacher of the Year by the National Catholic Education Association.

4 Responses

  1. looloolooweez says:

    Woohoo! (1) Happy belated birthday, and many healthy returns. (2) Welcome to the Classics Club! You have a great list here. I haven’t read any of those Dumas books yet, but ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ was on my list and I *loved* it — I’m super interested to see what you think of his other titles!

    • Deacon Nick says:

      Yes, The Count of Monte Cristo is fantastic. All the Dumas books on my list (except Camille) are sequels to The Three Musketeers, which I also love. They are all mammoth books (750+ pages each), so I have my work cut out for me. But I also have lots of great adventures to look forward to.

  2. Just saw this post. Happy birthday in advance, a year after your 50th. Quite a list of books. I always have a wish to read Dickens, but am never able to get through. They are so filled with unimportant details (for the story that is, not for the times), so I never manage to get through the really thick ones.
    Jane Austen and Emily Brontë are favourites. Why not Jane Eyre with Charlotte Brontë? Love Dostoyevski, Du Maurier and Hardy and a lot of the other authors.
    I have read 15 of my list of 50. It goes slowly.
    Good luck!

  3. Deacon Nick says:

    I just read Jane Eyre a few years ago or it definitely would have made this list. I hope you get through a Dickens book one of these days. The endings are so worth it!

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