The Classics Project

Classics which I have somehow missed, barely skimmed over and set aside in the past, fastidiously avoided, are due for a long-awaited re-read, have always wanted to read, etc etc – the list goes on. Three hundred titles, both modern and pre-1800 classics,  listed in alphabetical order according to title, and to be read at random over a period of ten years – so that’s an average of thirty books a year! Pretty do-able :)


  • Some choices may be rather controversial (Atwood, Eco, Ondaatje, de Bernières) since they are by contemporary writers, but titles like Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and The English Patient are widely regarded as modern classics, so that’s why I’ve chosen to include them.
  • Also, since this is a ten year project, I’ve decided not to leave out ones that I’ve read when I was younger, such as Alice in Wonderland, Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre.
  • But, funnily enough, I seem to have left out almost all of Dickens’ work, because I just can’t stand that guy…
  • This is, by no mean, a comprehensive list of all the worthy classics out there (that would be impossible to fit into a list of 300 titles, I think) – I’ve left out titles I’ve read in the last year, such as Thackeray’s Vanity Fair (for now)
  • There are 168 titles as of today, 5-07-2012, but I’m leaving space for the remaining 137 as I discover more titles, and decide to re-read others, etc. (new additions in bold) – EDIT: THE LIST IS SLOWLY GROWING, 218 TITLES AS OF 11-10-2012!) 
  • For: The Classics Club project!

* re-reads

^ in its original language (either Korean, Chinese, Russian or Japanese – as these are the only languages I can read/are currently learning – but who knows, I may decide to take up either French or Spanish or both in the next ten years!)

(*) to be read in a different translation

  1. Ada, Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Adam Bede, George Eliot
  3. Adventures of Alice in Wonderland, The – Lewis Carroll *
  4. Aeneid, The – Virgil *
  5. Age of Innocence, The – Edith Wharton *
  6. Aleph, and Other Stories, The – Jorge Luis Borges
  7. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  8. All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
  9. Amelia Opie, Adeline Mowbray
  10. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy (*) – Pevear Volokhonsky (first read: Constance Garnett)
  11. Анна Каренина ^ (in the original Russian)
  12. Apple Tree, The – John Galsworthy
  13. A Passage to India, E M Forster
  14. A Room with a View, E M Forster
  15. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens *
  16. Awakening, John Galsworthy (Forsyte Saga)
  17. Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf *
  18. Beware of Pity, Stefan Zweig
  19. Bhagavad Gita, The (anonymous)
  20. Book of Tea, The – Kakuzo Okakura
  21. Border Town * (or: Bian Cheng/邊城), Shen Cong-wen ^ (in the original Chinese)
  22. Burmese Days, George Orwell
  23. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  24. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Truman Capote
  25. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  26. Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  27. Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family, by Thomas Mann
  28. Cakes and Ale, W. Somerset Maugham
  29. Captive and the Fugitive, Marcel Proust
  30. Candide, Voltaire
  31. Canterbury Tales, The – Geoffrey Chaucer *
  32. Castle of Otranto, The – Horace Walpole
  33. Cecelia, Madame d’Arblay (aka. Frances Burney)
  34. Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee
  35. Cherry Orchard, The – Anton Chekhov
  36. Children’s Bach, The – Helen Graham
  37. Clarissa, Samuel Richardson
  38. Cloudstreet, Tim Winton *
  39. Complete Poems, John Keats
  40. Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
  41. Cold Spring Harbor, Richard Yates
  42. Commonplace, Christina Rossetti
  43. Complete Short Stories, Oscar Wilde
  44. Conference of the Birds, The – Farid Al-Din Attar
  45. Count of Monte Cristo, The – Alexandre Dumas *
  46. Cranford, Elizabeth Gaskell
  47. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  48. Crome Yellow, Aldous Huxley
  49. Crucible, The – Arthur Miller
  50. Daniel Deronda, George Elliot
  51. Dawn Blossoms Plucked at Dusk, Lu Xun ^ (in the original Mandarin Chinese)
  52. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  53. Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
  54. Delta of Venus, Anais Nin
  55. Diary of a Young Girl, The – Anne Frank *
  56. Doctor Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
  57. Dracula, Bram Stroker
  58. Death of the Heart, The – Elizabeth Bowen
  59. Dream of the Red Chamber (or: Hong Lou Meng/红楼梦, The Story of the Stone), Cao Xueqin (*) – in two translations: 1. H Bencraft Joly, 2. Penguin Classics edition (can’t quite recall the name of the translator)
  60. Divine Comedy, The – Dante
  61. Early Masters of Modern Korean Fiction: A Short Story Anthology (selected and translated by Kim Chong-un)
  62. Early Short Stories, F Scott Fitzgerald
  63. Earth, The – Emile Zola
  64. Effi Briest, Theodor Fontane
  65. Emma, Jane Austen *
  66. Enchanter, The – Vladimir Nabokov
  67. English Patient, The – Michael Ondaatje
  68. Essays, George Orwell *
  69. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
  70. Eugene Onegin, Alexander Pushkin
  71. Eyeless in Gaza, Aldous Huxley
  72. Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
  73. Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
  74. Finnegan’s Wake, James Joyce
  75. Fox, The – D H Lawrence
  76. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley *
  77. Garden Party, The – Katherine Mansfield
  78. Girl with the Golden Eyes, The – Honores de Balzac *
  79. Glass Bead Game, The, by Hermann Hesse
  80. Glimpses of the Moon, The – Edith Wharton
  81. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens *
  82. Great Gatsby, The – F Scott Fitzgerald *
  83. Green Henry, by Gottfried Keller
  84. Green Hills of Africa, Ernest Hemingway
  85. Guermantes Way, Marcel Proust
  86. Hamlet, William Shakespeare *
  87. Handmaid’s Tale, The – Margaret Atwood
  88. Hard Times, Charles Dickens
  89. Herzog, Saul Bellow
  90. House of Mirth, The – Edith Wharton
  91. Howard’s End, E M Forster
  92. Iliad, The – Homer *
  93. In Chancery, John Galsworthy (Forsyte Saga)
  94. Indian Summer of a Forsyte, John Galsworthy (Forsyte Saga)
  95. Island of Doctor Moreau, The – H G Wells
  96. Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf
  97. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte *
  98. Jin Ping Mei (or: 金瓶梅, The Plum in the Golden Vase/The Golden Lotus) ^ – in English, and an abridged Chinese version, since the classical Chinese is much too difficult for me.
  99. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
  100. Kokoro, Natsume Soseki
  101. Kristin Lavransdatter, Sigrid Undset *
  102. Kusamakura, Natsume Soseki
  103. Land, The (or: 토지, Toji), Park Kyung-rhee ^ (in the original Korean)
  104. La Vita Nuova, Dante Alighieri
  105. Lemoine Affair, The – Marcel Proust *
  106. Leopard, The – Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  107. Les Liaisons Dangereuses,  Peirre Choderlos De Laclos
  108. Les Miserables, Victor Hugo (*) – haven’t decided on a new translation yet
  109. Letters from Russia, Marquis de Astophe Custine
  110. Letters of Vincent Van Gogh, The
  111. Little Dorrit, Charles Dickens
  112. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov *^ (interestingly: translated into Russian, from the original English, by its author)
  113. Lost Estate, The (Le Grand Meaulnes), Henri Alain-Fournier
  114. Lost Illusions, Honoré de Balzac
  115. Love in a Cold Climate, Nancy Mitford
  116. Love in a Fallen City, Eileen Chang *
  117. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
  118. Lust, Caution – Eileen Chang ^ (in the original Mandarin Chinese)
  119. Macbeth, William Shakespeare
  120. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert (*) – new Lydia Davis translation
  121. Magic Mountain, The – Thomas Mann
  122. Makioka Sisters, The – Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
  123. Man in the Iron Mask, The – Alexandre Dumas
  124. Man of Property, John Galsworthy (Forsyte Saga)
  125. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen *
  126. Master and Margarita, The – Mikhail Bulgakov
  127. Medicine (or Yao/药), Lu Xun ^ (in the original Chinese)
  128. Memoirs of a Korean Queen (Hanjung Nok – Record of Sorrowful Days), Lady Hong of Hyegyŏng Palace (translated from the original Korean by Choe Yang-hi)
  129. Merry Go Round in the Sea, Randolph Stowe
  130. Metamorphoses, Ovid
  131. Mill on the Floss, The – George Eliot
  132. Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson
  133. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  134. Moll Flanders, Daniel Defoe
  135. Moonstone, The – Wilkie Collins
  136. Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
  137. Mujong (무정), Yi Kwang-Su (translated from the original Korean by Lee Sung-hee)
  138. My Memories of Old Peking, Lin Haiyin ^ (in the original Mandarin Chinese)
  139. Mysteries of Uldopho, The – Ann Radcliffe
  140. Name of the Rose, The – Umberto Eco
  141. Night and Day, Virginia Woolf
  142. Nikolai Gogol, Vladimir Nabokov (non-fiction)
  143. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell *
  144. North and South, Elizabeth Gaskell *
  145. Odyssey, The – Homer *
  146. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  147. Old Man and the Sea, The – Ernest Hemingway
  148. On the Road, John Kerouac *
  149. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez *
  150. Orient Express, Graham Greene
  151. Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  152. Ormond, Maria Edgeworth
  153. Othello, William Shakespeare *
  154. Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
  155. Pamela, Samuel Richardson
  156. Paradise Lost, John Milton
  157. Pearl, The – John Steinbeck *
  158. Peasants, The – Wladyslaw Reymont
  159. Peter Pan, J M Barrie
  160. Persuasion, Jane Austen *
  161. Picture of Dorian Grey, The – Oscar Wilde *
  162. Plague, The – Albert Camus
  163. Portrait of a Lady, The – Henry James *
  164. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen *
  165. Professor’s House, The – Willa Cather
  166. Quiet American, The – Graham Greene
  167. Quo Vadis, Henryk Sienkiewicz
  168. Rainbow, The – D H Lawrence
  169. Rasselas, Samuel Johnson
  170. Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy
  171. Revolutionary Road, Richard Yates
  172. Romance of the Three Kingdoms, The
  173. Room of One’s Own, A – Virginia Woolf
  174. Roxana, Daniel Defoe
  175. Russian Short Stories from Pushkin to Buida, Penguin Classics
  176. Scarlet Letter, The – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  177. Secret History of the Lord of Musashi, The – Jun’ichiro Tanizaki
  178. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen *
  179. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
  180. Seducer’s Diary, The – Sören Kierkegaard
  181. Seoul of Winter, 1964 (or: 서울,1964년 겨울), Kim Seung-ok ^ (in the original Korean)
  182. Sodom and Gomorrah, Marcel Proust
  183. Someone at a Distance, Dorothy Whipple
  184. Sonnets, William Shakespeare
  185. Sorrows of Young Werther, The – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  186. Sound and the Fury, The – William Faulkner
  187. Sound of the Waves, Yukio Mishima
  188. Spring Snow, Yukio Mishima
  189. Starlight, Stella Gibbons
  190. Summer, Edith Wharton
  191. Sun Also Rises, The – Ernest Hemingway
  192. Swann’s Way, Marcel Proust
  193. Tempest, The – William Shakespeare *
  194. Temple of the Golden Pavilion, The – Yukio Mishima
  195. Tender is the Night, F Scott Fitzgerald *
  196. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy *
  197. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch
  198. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  199. This Side of Paradise, F Scott Fitzgerald *
  200. Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll *
  201. Time Regained, Marcel Proust
  202. Tin Drum, The – Gunter Grass
  203. Tortilla Flat, John Steinbeck
  204. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf *
  205. Tropic of Capricorn, Henry Miller
  206. Tun-huang, Yasushi Inoue
  207. Ulysses, James Joyce
  208. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
  209. Utopia, Thomas More
  210. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray *
  211. Villette, Charlotte Bronte *
  212. Voss, Patrick White
  213. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy (*) – Constance Garnett (first read: Anthony Briggs)
  214. Water Margin, The – Shih Naian
  215. Waves, The – Virginia Woolf *
  216. Westwood, Stella Gibbons
  217. Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  218. Wings of the Dove, The – Henry James
  219. Within the Budding Grove, Marcel Proust
  220. Woman in White, Wilkie Collins *

‘Maybe’ List (books that I’ve read over the past three or four years that I might re-read in the next ten):


7 thoughts on “The Classics Project

  1. Hi and welcome to The Classics Club, Tuesday! This is an incredible list. I hope you enjoy every one of these titles. I’m currently reading the Constance Garnett Anna Karenina and the Pevear Volokhonsky War & Peace. I love comparing the two translations. :)

    1. Thanks Jillian! I was so excited to discover your project because I actually closed my blog down for a year, and I’m just getting back into things – this is just what I need to give me that extra push! A niiiice long list of books to read and write about :)

  2. What a list! Some of the titles are really unfamiliar for me. And I’m impressed by how you read the stories in the original language. How many languages do you speak? It’s amazing.

  3. I love that you have Tim Winton on your list :-)
    I’m hosting AusReading Month in Nov – perhaps you could read it and join in with us !

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