The Classics Club

Jillian at A Room of One’s Own has started The Classics Club.  Many of you know that I am working my way through the 1001 books you must read before you die.  As you can imagine, this list includes many classics.  Jillian’s challenge is to read a list of classics over the next five years.  And you get to select your own classics.  Below you will find my list of 50 classics that I would like to read over the next half decade.  50 is the minimum for the challenge, but you can commit yourself to reading many more if you want.  I wanted to leave room for contemporary novels.  The goal is to read the classics on your list and to blog about them.  You can combine this challenge with other challenges.  If you would like to check out the challenge and to read all of the rules (I didn’t include them all, but don’t worry, they aren’t extensive or too restrictive) please visit her site.    Hopefully I will finish this list early so I can create another list of 50.  I still have a ton of books to go before completely the 1001.

Without further ado, here’s the list:


Jane Austen:


Mansfield Park

Northanger Abbey


Sense and Sensibility

Albert Camus:

The Outsider

The Plague

The Rebel

James Fenimore Cooper:

Last of the Mohicans

Daniel Defoe:

Robinson Crusoe


Moll Flanders

Charles Dickens:

Barnaby Rudge

Bleak House

A Christmas Carol

David Copperfield

Great Expectations

Hard Times

Martin Chuzzlewit

Our Mutual Friend

A Tale of Two Cities

Arthur Conan Doyle:

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

The Hound of the Baskervilles

George Eliot:

Adam Bede

Daniel Deronda

The Mill on the Floss

Henry Fielding:


Joseph Andrews

Tom Jones

Gustave Flaubert:

Madame Bovary

Thomas Hardy:

Far from the Madding Crowd

The Hand of Ethelberta

Jude the Obscure

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

The Woodlanders

Joseph Heller:

Catch 22

John Steinbeck:

The Grapes of Wrath

Of Mice and Men

Robert Louis Stevenson

The Masters of Ballantrae


Jonathan Swift:

Gulliver’s Travels

A Modest Proposal

A Tale of a Tub

Anthony Trollope:

He Knew He Was Right

The Last Chronicle of Barset

Phineas Finn

Castle Richmond

Edith Wharton:

The House of Mirth

The Age of Innocence

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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48 Responses to The Classics Club

  1. Good Luck! I read Wharton’s ‘Ethan Frome’ this year and planning a couple of Dicken’s and for sure a few other classics, though in my own meandering, random, connecting way. 1001, now that’s a real challenge.

    • TBM says:

      I loved Ethan Frome. I’m looking forward to the other two Wharton books on my list. Thanks for the luck. Happy reading to you as well!

  2. zelmare says:

    That is an impressive list! I’m 3/4 of the way through Mme Bovary, can’t quite motivate myself to finish it. Maybe I should try hard, then I can tick off one book… How sad that I’ve read none of the classics – and I LOVE reading! 🙂

    • TBM says:

      The only thing that matters is that you love reading. What you read doesn’t matter. As a reader, I’m happy when I hear that others love to read as well. It is a gift that I adore and could not live without.

  3. Wow–that is quite a list…..I am overwhelmed!!! 🙂

  4. wow can’t believe I’ve actually read some of these…! lol

  5. niasunset says:

    WOW! This is a nice list… I check for myself, I read 27 books among them, but I haven’t read these writers yet, Anthony Trollope, Edith Wharton, Robert Louis Stevenson (but some of his poesm) and Joseph Heller, Henry Fielding… Thank you dear TBM, you are a very nice reader, I wish you to have a nice and enjoyable reading time, with my love, nia

    • TBM says:

      Out of your list, Trollope and Fielding are authors I haven’t read at all. I’m looking forward to finding out about their writing style. Hopefully you remember some of the 27 you have read so we can talk about them when I finish them. Thanks Nia!

      • niasunset says:

        Yes, we can talk but it’s been many years ago… I can’t believe this… Camus is much more near past… but the others… By the way I noticed that Emma was in the BBC… a television series, I think it is based on the novel, next time it would be nice to catch it. Have a nice evening, with my love, nia

  6. fgassette says:

    Sending you encouragement in this impressive challenge. I have read some of these and I am sure you will enjoy the old classics. There is so much knowledge about people and circumstances that provide the reader with great lessons that can be learned and appreciated. Good Luck


    • TBM says:

      Thanks! I can use all the encouragement I can get. I love reading the classics. These authors remind me why I love to read. And I love learning about the culture, customs, and people of bygone days. Thanks for you well wishes.

  7. Jillian ♣ says:

    Awesome list!! I can’t wait to see what you think of all those Austens! And A Tale of Two Cities, especially. 🙂

    • TBM says:

      I’m hoping to tackle the Austens after I complete my personal Dickens challenge. Thanks for hosting the challenge. It will be fun to follow everyone and their progress.

  8. Cassie says:

    I really love the idea for this, but I’m such a sucky Classic’s reader. I can’t seem to get into them. I should probably try again though.

    • TBM says:

      I think this challenge would be horrible for non-classic lovers. I really enjoy them, but I can see why others don’t. If you give them another whirl I hope you enjoy them more. If not, I wouldn’t feel bad about it. There are so many good books out there.

  9. The Hook says:

    Sounds like an amazing concept to me!

  10. wow! I’m so amazed with you…good luck..
    That’s hard for me. and classic makes it more harder..
    with 10001 books, I think will going to break my eye glasses. hehe 😛
    you’re so amazing.. I admire your passion with, not everybody can do that.. 😀

    • TBM says:

      I wonder how much my contacts prescription will change by the time I finish. The other day I mentioned that I might need reading glasses since I was squinting. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement. It always helps!

  11. carol says:

    You’ve got some great ones on your list!

  12. I’m very impressed by you tackling all that Hardy and Trollope. I think my list would have some easier novels in it, but this is certainly a challenge!

  13. Fergiemoto says:

    A great list! Looks like I would have a lot of work to do if this were my list! 50 years…wow…I would be very old by then.

  14. Caroline says:

    I ‘m surprsied I have read many but some I still want to read and some I’m sure I will never read. I guess you will be occupied as many are chunksters.
    I really would like to read The Grapes of Wrath this year. And The House of Nirth. Maybe we can do a readalong later

  15. HKatz says:

    I hope you enjoy these. I look forward to reading your thoughts including on the books that overlap on our lists. It’s a wonderful selection you have here.

  16. TBM says:

    Thanks! I’m also looking forward to reading your reviews and thoughts on your list. It will be loads of fun. Happy reading and good luck!

  17. This sounds very exciting… Maybe I’ll do this at another time in my life. Right now, I’m just trying to get through the 123 books I have left on my book shelves that I haven’t read.

    • TBM says:

      Many of the books listed above are on my shelves. I’m also trying to read more of the books I own. Good luck and enjoy your 123!

  18. Madhu says:

    Have read quite a few from that list! Might need to reread some. Can’t seem to stick with a book without getting distracted these days!

    • TBM says:

      Sometimes it is hard to find the time to read. I’ve haven’t been that great of a reader this week. I better get busy. Good luck to you!

  19. kahyehm says:

    Great selection!

  20. 52BrandNew says:

    Good luck! I love to read, and I just recently revisited a couple of books I enjoyed in high school. Your list makes me want to reread all the Jane Austen novels I read in college. I just may start this weekend!

  21. Robin says:

    This is a great list. I’ve read some of them, but still have many to go. Good luck with your list. 🙂

  22. Great titles, is there a time limit to this challenge? I seem to recall you mentioning half-decade – 5 years you mean? Interesting, maybe we should think about joining.

    • TBM says:

      You are correct, you have 5 years to read at least 50 classics. And you get to select your own classics which is pretty cool. I hope you join. It will be fun!

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