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 1500 Shakespeare, William Julius Ceaser 1600 Shakespeare, William Coriolanus 1800 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 She Hardy, Thomas Mayor of Casterbridge Far From the Madding Crowd Tess of the D’Urbervilles Hope, Anthony Prisoner of Zenda Ibsen, Henrik Ghosts Public Enemy Spyri, Johanna Heidi Stevenson, Robert Louis Treasure Island Stevenson, Robert Louis Kidnapped Stoker, Bram Dracula Tolstoy, Leo Anna Karenina – Twain, Mark The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 1900 Aidoo, Ama Ata Dilemma of a Ghost Anowa 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 Beloved The Bluest Eye Mofolo, Thomas Chaka the Zulu Sekyi, Kobina The Blinkards Wright, Richard Native Son Black Boy 2000 Brown, Dan Da Vinci Code The Lost Symbol Hosseini, Khaled, The Kite Runner Total: 51
A big thank you to Jillian for this opportunity.