The Classics Club Strikes Back

Since 2015, I’ve been participating in the “Classics Club” challenge, in which readers take on the task of reading 50 classics in five years. I posted my first list in September 2015 and completed it in 2020.  I shared some thoughts about my favorite from the original list here.  In January 2021,  I started a second Classics Club list, which I call “The Classics Club Strikes Back” as a nod to The Empire Strikes Back,    and am hoping to be finished with it by January 1st, 2024.


Classic, Medieval, and Renaissance
Plutarch’s Heroes, volume 1
Plutarch’s Heroes, volume 2
Purgatorio, Dante. Trans. Anthony Esolen (3/27/2023)
Paradiso, Dante. Trans. Anthony Esolen.
Paradise Lost, Milton
On the Nature of Things, Lucretius, trans. Anthony Esolen

World Lit

The Shahnameh, Ferdowsi

European Literature
Elizabeth, Sigrid Unset
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Alekandr Solzhenitsyn (9/12/2021)
Cancer Ward, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
The Death of Ivan Ilyich, Leo Tolstoy (10/19/2021)
Resurrection,  Leo Tolstoy
Mephisto, Klaus Mann (10/2/2021)
The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka. (11/01/2021)

British Literature
Rebecca, Daphne de Maurier
My Cousin Rachel, Daphne de Maurier
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell (4/23/2021)
*Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll.  (1/3/2021)
Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
Northanger Abby, Jane Austen (10/11/2021)
Persuasion, Jane Austen (09/06/2022)
Captains Courageous, Rudyard Kipling (4/16/2021)
Watership Down, Richard Adams (11/19/2021)

American Literature
Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
My Antonia, Willa Cather  (2/6/2023)
Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
All the Little Live Things, Wallace Stegner
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (11/02/2021)
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck (6/20/2021)
The Moon is Down, John Steinbeck (8/31/2021)
The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger (6/19/2021)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,  Betty Smith
My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
Davida’s Harp, Chaim Potok (3/19/2021)
Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin (2/12/2023)

Southern Literature
Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell (3/15/2022)
The Mind of the South, W.J. Cash
Cold Sassy Tree, Olivia Ann Burns. (2/24/2021)
All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Flannery O’Connor
*The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman,  Ernest J. Gaines (1/12/2021)
A Gathering of Old Men, Ernest J. Gaines (5/6/2021)
Traveller,  Richard Adams (4/26/2021)
The Old Man and the Boy, Robert Ruark  (1/10/2021)

Classic SF
Dune, Frank Herbert
Neuromancer, William Gibson
The Shockwave Rider, John Brunner
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe, Douglas Adams (8/18/2022)
The First Men in the Moon, H.G. Wells (07/20/2020)

4 Responses to The Classics Club Strikes Back

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is very cool!

  2. Sarah says:

    This is an interesting challenge, I may have to partake if/when I ever get my president goal done!

  3. Stephen says:

    One nice thing about it is that it's a community challenge — and not just because a mass of people have agreed to do it, but because they keep their blog active, and encourage people to stay active and meet other classics readers. It adds motivation, I think. Also, people are constantly finishing challenges, or just starting it, so there's always new faces. Of course, a lot of people fall off the bus completely!

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