Must Read: Classics Challenge

UPDATED: August 2, 2010

See the original post that started this madness here!

A Christmas Carol Charles Dickens 
A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
A Confederacy of Dunces John Kennedy Toole
A Death in the Family James Agee
A Farewell to Arms Ernest Hemingway
A Man in Full Tom Wolfe
A Moveable Feast Ernest Hemingway
A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf
A Room With a View E.M. Forster
A Streetcar Named Desire Tennessee Williams
A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens
A Thousand Acres: A Novel Jane Smiley
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn Betty Smith
A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Mark Twain
Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Mark Twain
Age of Reason, The Jean-Paul Sartre
Alchemist, The Paulo Coelho
All the King’s Men Robert Penn Warren
American Pastoral Philip Roth
An American Tragedy Theodore Drieser
And Then There Were None Agatha Christie
Angela’s Ashes Frank McCourt
Angle of Repose Wallace Stevens
Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
Anne of Green Gables LM Montgomery
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
Atonement Ian McEwen
Autobiography of Malcolm X, The Malcolm X
Babbitt Sinclair Lewis
Bastard Out of Carolina Dorothy Allison
Bleak House Charles Dickens
Blind Assassin, The Margaret Atwood
Blindness José Saramago
Blood Meridian Cormac McCarthy
Bonfire of the Vanities Tom Wolfe
Bostonians, The Henry James
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Breakfast at Tiffany’s Truman Capote
Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Junot Díaz
Brothers Karamazov, The Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Cannery Row John Steinbeck
Cat’s Cradle Kurt Vonnegut
Catcher in the Rye, The  JD Salinger 
Charlotte’s Web E.B. White
Children’s Hour, The Lillian Hellman
Clan Of The Cave Bear, The Jean M Auel
Cold Mountain Charles Frazier
Cold Sassy Tree Olive Ann Burns
Complete Stories, The Flannery O’Connor
Count Of Monte Cristo, The Alexandre Dumas
Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, The F. Scott Fitzgerald
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, The Mark Haddon
Daisy Miller Henry James
David Copperfield Charles Dickens
Death of a Salesman Arthur Miller
Disgrace J.M. Coetzee
Doctor Doolittle Hugh Lofting
Doctor Zhivago Boris Pasternak
Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Drop City T.C. Boyle
Dune Frank Herbert
Earthsea Trilogy, The Ursula K. LeGuin
East of Eden John Steinbeck
Echo Maker, The Richard Powers
Emma Jane Austen
Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card
Executioner’s Song, The Norman Mailer
Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
Fall on Your Knees Ann-Marie MacDonald
Far From The Madding Crowd Thomas Hardy
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Hunter S. Thompson
Fear of Flying Erica Jong
Finnegan’s Wake James Joyce
Flowers for Algernon Daniel Keyes
Fountainhead, The Ayn Rand
Frankenstein Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey J.D. Salinger
From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E. Frankweiler E.L. Konigsburg
Gilead: A Novel Marilynne Robinson
Go Ask Alice Anonymous
God Of Small Things, The Arundhati Roy
Godfather, The Mario Puzo
Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
Good Earth, The Pearl S. Buck
Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Grapes Of Wrath, The John Steinbeck
Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Great Gatsby, The F. Scott Fitzgerald
Handmaid’s Tale, The  Margaret Atwood 
His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
Hours, The Michael Cunningham
House of Sand And Fog, The Andre Dubus III
House on Mango Street, The Sandra Cisneros
How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents Julia Alvarez
Howard’s End E.M. Forster
Human Stain Philip Roth
Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Victor Hugo
Hyperion Dan Simmons
I Claudius Robert Graves
I Know This Much is True Wally Lamb
Importance of Being Earnest, The Oscar Wilde
In America Susan Sontag
Independence Day Richard Ford
Infinite Jest: A Novel David Foster Wallace
Interview With the Vampire Anne Rice
Ironweed William Kennedy
Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
Johnny Got His Gun Dalton Trumbo
Jungle Book, The Rudyard Kipling
Jungle, The Upton Sinclair
Kafka on the Shore Haruki Murakami
Killer Angels, The Michael Shaara
Known World, The Edward P. Jones
Lady Chatterley’s Lover D.H. Lawrence
Les Misérables Victor Hugo
Little Women Louisa May Alcott
Lonesome Dove Larry McMurtry
Lord Of The Flies William Golding
Lord of the Rings, The JRR Tolkien
Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez
Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
Magic Mountain, The Thomas Mann
Magician Raymond E Feist
Mansfield Park Jane Austen
Middlemarch George Eliot
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil John Berendt
Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
Moby Dick Herman Melville
Motherless Brooklyn  Jonathan Lethem 
Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Name Is Asher Lev Chaim Potok
Never Let Me Go Kazuo Ishiguro
New York Trilogy, The Paul Auster
Night Elie Wiesel
No Country for Old Men Cormac McCarthy
Northanger Abbey Jane Austen
Notes from the Underground Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
Of Mice And Men John Steinbeck
Oil! Upton Sinclair
Old Man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway
Oliver Twist Charles Dickens
On The Road Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years Of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
Optimist’s Daughter, The Eudora Welty
Out Stealing Horses Per Petterson
Outsiders, The S.E. Hinton
Painted Bird, The Jerzy Kosiński
Pearl, The John Steinbeck
Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Stephen Chbosky
Persuasion Jane Austen
Phantom Tollbooth, The Norton Juster
Play It As It Lays: A Novel Joan Didion
Poisonwood Bible, The Barbara Kingsolver
Portnoy’s Complaint Philip Roth
Possession: A Romance A.S. Byatt
Princess Bride, The William Goldman
Prodigal Summer: A Novel Barbara Kingsolver
Pygmalion George Bernard Shaw
Quiet American, The Graham Greene
Rabbit, Run John Updike
Ragtime: A Novel E.L. Doctorow
Razor’s Edge, The W. Somerset Maugham
Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
Remains of the Day, The Kazuo Ishiguro
Revolutionary Road Richard Yates
Road, The Cormac McCarthy
Roman Holiday Edith Warton
Satanic Verses Salman Rushdie
She’s Come Undone Wally Lamb
Shell Seekers, The Rosamunde Pilcher
Shipping News, The Annie Proulx
Shogun James Clavell
Silas Marner George Eliot
Sister Carrie Theodore Drieser
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Orhan Pamuk
Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson
Sophie’s Choice William Styon
Speak Laurie Halse Anderson
Stand, The Stephen King
Stranger, The Albert Camus
Stuart Little E.B. White
Sun Also Rises, The Ernest Hemingway
Terms of Endearment Larry McMurtry
Tess Of The D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
This Boy’s Life Tobias Wolff
Thorn Birds, The Colleen McCollough
Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson
Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold C.S. Lewis
To Kill a Mockingbird  Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Travels with Charley in Search of America John Steinbeck
Treasure Island Robert Louis Stevenson
Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Milan Kundera
Valley of the Dolls Jacqueline Susann
Virgin Suicides, The Jeffrey Eugenides
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
Washington Square Henry James
Watership Down Richard Adams
We Were the Mulvaneys Joyce Carol Oates
Westing Game, The Ellen Raskin
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Edward Albee
Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, The Haruki Murakami
Witches of Eastwick, The John Updike
Woman In White, The Wilkie Collins
Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The L. Frank Baum
Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë

There are 212 books on this list. Holy moly.

Obviously, it’ll take some time to work my way through all of these — like years. But at least now I have a starting point. I’d still love some feedback on this list and any additions you would make. (Or if you see any duplicates here. I was pretty careful, but just in case…)

One more fun fact for this particular list of books: because I can’t afford to keep buying books, especially this many, I’m going to reactivate my library card. And use it!! Shock of shocks! But there’s something gratifying about the crinkling plastic cover on a library book and having the time pressure of needing to return the book by a certain time to make you read something you would otherwise push aside. Blame it on the fact that I just re-read Matilda for the billionth time.


14 Responses to “Must Read: Classics Challenge”

  1. Lusty Reader December 18, 2009 at 5:47 pm #

    exqueeze me? *RE*activate your library card?! quelle horreur it was not active in the first place! i own a number of these if you want to borrow, just sayin’

    • Rachel December 18, 2009 at 5:53 pm #

      I know, I know!! But you have to understand that the library in my teeny suburban MD town is pathetic. And I didn’t live there for a year, and I live near the main DC library, but it smells like pee and sadness out front and I can’t bring myself to go in. I have my reasons. But I will make an attempt to find a good PG County library and frequent it, since my nearest one is so sad.

  2. Biblibio December 22, 2009 at 6:55 am #

    Just so you know, Dreiser’s novel is called “Sister Carrie”. “Carrie” is, if I’m not mistaken, a book by Stephen King…

    • Rachel December 22, 2009 at 9:37 am #

      Whoops! Not sure how I missed that. Thanks for the correction 🙂

  3. poodlegoose January 15, 2010 at 8:18 pm #

    As a HUGE fan of the classics, I am loving this list. I’ve been having to work my way through books that most people have already read (Lemony Snicket, Twilight, Harry Potter, Stephen King, etc… but I’m done now, hurray!) and now this list is giving me some great ideas and inspiration since I’ve read through that other list. Good luck with this… it is quite a goal!

  4. jascribbles November 6, 2011 at 11:28 am #

    Oh my – are you making much progress? Your list is VERY extensive. I started one myself here – but I have to admit, I am starting with the easy ones.

    Good luck!



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