Jillian of A Room of One’s Own has come up with a wonderful vision or idea, that is, to host a book club, The Classics Club. The idea is for participants to set a goal to read a certain number of classics, from fifty (50) and above over a  period of five (5) years, and for review and then blogging about. Members are to compile their own lists, and to select as many classics as they want. For more information, visit http://jillianreadsbooks2.wordpress.com/join-the-classics-club/

What excited me about this club is that, though the idea of what constitutes a classic has been a point of debate over the years and particularly in relation to the Classics Club, Jillian has been flexible in her rules, urging participants to decide for themselves what constitutes a classic, within the parameters of course. For me as an African, I find this rewarding in that the ‘classics’ have been part of my growing up years, both in the home and throughout my schooling, (basic, secondary and tertiary) and books by African authors formed a major part of our reading experience. Going through the lists selected by members, I noticed that most lists lacked African origin, (the issue of the canons); however, this is not worrying since according to the rules, we could make our own lists. And so in my list, I’ve included what in my opinion constitute classics by African authors like Ama Ata Aidoo, Ayi Kwei Armah Thomas Mofolo and Kobina Sekyi.

My goal is to read the following 50+ classics over the next five years (this could be revised as and when or if I reach the goal early). Those marked in red are  re-reads of long ago, some of them I can hardly remember the details. Reading them again with age and maturity will be elating, as I can better understand and appreciate the finer details of the books.. A few of them have been entered into the Back to the Classics Challenge hosted by Sarah Reads Too Much.

I have added a new page to my blog, http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/the-classics-club/where my progress can be tracked.

Jillian recommends that after completing certain milestones, you reward yourself. Ha! maybe get myself off to a nice weekend somewhere, we’ll see. So here we go:

Start Date:       26th March 2012
Goal Date:        26th March 2017
Most Looking Forward To:  The Lost Symbol
Most scared to attempt:    Dracula
Shakespeare, William             
Julius Ceaser 
Shakespeare, William             
Austen, Jane                           
Pride and Prejudice   
Blackmore, R. D.                     
Lorna Doone    
Bronte, Charlotte                   
Jane Eyre
Dickens, Charles                    
David Copperfield    
Great Expectations                 
A Tale of Two Cities   
Dumas, Alexander                
The Count of Monte Cristo   
Eliot, George                        
Silas Marner  
Haggard, H. Rider                 
Alan Quatermain
King Solomon’s Mines
Nada the Lily
Montezuma’s Daughter
Hardy, Thomas                      
Mayor of Casterbridge           
Far From the Madding Crowd
Tess of the D’Urbervilles   
Hope, Anthony                     
Prisoner of Zenda
Ibsen, Henrik                       
Public Enemy
Spyri, Johanna                     
Stevenson, Robert Louis     
Treasure Island
Stevenson, Robert Louis     
Stoker, Bram                        
Tolstoy, Leo                         
Anna Karenina                                                –
Twain, Mark                         
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Aidoo, Ama Ata                    
Dilemma of a Ghost
Armah, Ayi Kwei                  
Beautiful Ones Are Not Yet Born
Blum, Howard                     
Gold of Exodus
Capote, Truman                  
In Cold Blood
Chekov, Anton                    
Cherry Orchard                                 
Davis, John H.                    
Mafia Kingfish: Carlos Marcelo and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
Kennedy Contract: The Mafia Plot to Assassinate the President
The Kennedys: Dynasty and Disaster          
Mafia Dynasty: The Rise and fall of the Gambino Family
Jacqueline Bouvier: An Intimate Memoir
Ferro, Marc                        
Nicholas II (The Last of the Tsars)    
Lawrence, D H                   
Lady Chatterley’s Lover        
Sons and Lovers
Morrison, Toni                   
Song of Solomon
The Bluest Eye
Mofolo, Thomas                
Chaka the Zulu
Sekyi, Kobina                    
The Blinkards
Wright, Richard                 
Native Son
Black Boy    
Brown, Dan                       
Da Vinci Code
The Lost Symbol
Hosseini, Khaled,               
The Kite Runner
Total:  51
A big thank you to Jillian for this opportunity.