Classics Club….FINALE!

Yesterday, I finished The Brothers Karamazov, and, with that last page, completed  the Classics Club challenge.   I began the challenge in September 2015, and pecked away until late  2018, when I realized I had two years left and over half the stack still to tackle. Just for my own amusement, I  took a look at how my reading was dispersed, more or less*:


As you can see, I started making a concerted and deliberate effort only at the end of 2018, although this was interrupted by Red Dead Redemption 2 in late March and April of last year.  (That huge dive in Q2 2019? Allllllll Arthur Morgan’s fault.)  By way of wrapping up, here are a few highlights:

  1. Favorite from the list:
    The Gulag Archipelago
  2.  The Unfavorite:   The Sun Also Rises. I figured I would take to Hemingway, but the appeal of this one was lost entirely on me.
  3. Books I would drop from the list were I do it  again:
    Most of the nonfiction (surprisingly, given my usual reading is 70% nonfiction).
  4. Books that surprised me:
    The Gulag Archipelago (amazing),  The Gallic Wars (…not exciting), The Jungle  (more enjoyable than I’d anticipated)
  5. Book I started and stopped the most times before I finished:
    Catch-22.  I’d tried the book three times before, once in high school and twice during the CC period.
  6.  Book I’m proudest to have finished:  War and Peace, Bragging rights for life!
  7. First and last read:  Emma (Dec 2015),   The Brothers Karamazov (Sept 2020).
  8. Oldest and youngest (The Epic of Gilgamesh,  ~2000 BC;  2001:  A Space Odyssey,  A.D. 1968)
  9.  Authors introduced to me from this series whom I’ll be reading more of:   Willa Cather (O Pioneers!),   Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Gulag Archipelago),  and Leo Tolstoy (War and Peace).
  10. Fastest and slowest reads:   The Picture of Dorian Gray (<2 days);  War and Peace (~ five weeks). Brothers K wasn’t too far behind War and Peace, though.

Will the Classics Club return?  Absolutely;  I’ve been keeping a word file with ideas, and will start the challenge again on January 1st, 2021, which is when the list is scheduled to go live.  So far I only have about twenty possibilies, but I’m shopping and adding.

*I stay more or less because I created it in late ’19, in anticipation of finishing Brothers K in December. For that graph to have remained accurate, I would have needed to add an extremely long tail to account for my farting around throughout all of 2020.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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7 Responses to Classics Club….FINALE!

  1. Jillian says:

    I love that graph! Congratulations on finishing!! I have The Gulag Archipelago on my eventually list, but right now I am intimidated. 🙂

  2. Cyberkitten says:

    There should definitely be more Classics in my life! I’m trying…. [lol] My next one will most likely be ‘The Plague’ by Albert Camus (for obvious reasons!). So many though… SO… MANY…..

    BTW – You mentioned ‘Non-Fiction’ classics….. Such as…???

    • From this list, chiefly Caesar’s history, Henry Adams’; psuedo-biography, and arguably Gibbon and Herodotus. I say arguably because they ARE classics, and I’m glad to have finally experienced them, but I didn’t enjoy them nearly as much as I did the fictional classics. Despite this, a couple of nonfiction books are on the possibles-list for round 2, chiefly Tocqueville in America. I’m still debating “Mind of the South”.

  3. I love the idea of a wrap-up when our lists are completely read.

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