This classics club list is the idea of The Classics Club blog which is to encourage the reading of classic literature  – definitions can be broad but books should have been published more than 25 years ago.   We choose 50 books (or more, but not fewer) to read and review on our blogs within a five year period.

So here is my chosen list.  Some of these I have read before, some not.  I have tried to find as many women writers as possible.

Here are my 50 classic books to read from July 2022 to July 2027


1     Earthsea Chronicles, Ursula K. Le Guin

Absolutely love all things Le Guin.  This is my comfort reading.


2     The Moonspinners, Mary Stewart

I was reminded of this book quite recently by KarenPopeWrites.  I read it when I was a teenager, so we shall see.


3     Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier

Far better than any of the films, the original book.


4    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain

Can’t believe I haven’t read this one, but hey!


5     A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith

I know I love this book because I’ve read it – but am really looking forward to reading it again.


6     The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri

Glug! Scared of this one, but you have to try these difficult reads.


7     Siddharta, Herman Hesse

Appropriate for someone who practises buddhism, a book about Shakyamuni, the original buddha.


8     The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

I’ve read a lot of her poetry and biographies about her but never Plath’s own novel.  Time to rectify this.


9     Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Thurston

Heard a lot about this one.


10     Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf

Old favourite.


11     Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman

This one’s on my shelf but it doesn’t get looked at terribly often.


12     And Then There were None, Agatha Christie

This will be my first venture into Christie territory.


13     Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton

Another one I read as a teenager.


14     My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok

Don’t know anything about this but it sounds fascinating.


15     How Green was My Valley, Richard Llewellyn

I grew up with Welsh valley books. That’s because I grew up in the Welsh valleys. Have read them all but will read them again


16     Cannery Row, John Steinbeck

Not only have I read this book but I actually visited Cannery Row on a trip to San Francisco which was very exciting.


17     The Wasteland and Other Poems, T. S. Eliot

One of our greatest poets, even if you don’t want to look too closely at his ideology.


18     The Turn of the Screw, Henry James

Looking forward to this one.


19     King Solomon’s Mines, H. Rider Haggard

I remember reading She when I was a kid.


20     The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkein

Tales of Middle Earth before the time span of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.


21     Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

No-one knows who wrote this.  I wil probably read the Simon Armitage one.


22     Childhood’s End, Arthur C. Clarke

My mother’s favourite book.


23     A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

Never read any Joyce.  Time to do so.


24     If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Italo Calvino

Mysterious and unclassifiable.  Wonderful.


25     A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Dylan Thomas

If its Wales it has to be Dylan Thomas.


26     Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurty

This will be my very first Western novel.


27     Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome

Another of my mother’s favourite books.


28    Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather

I don’t know this book but I have read Song of the Lark and My Antonia by the same author and loved those.


29     Agnes Grey, Ann Bronte

Perhaps the least famous sister.


30     The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark

A coming of age tale par excellence.


31     The Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio

10 Young people escape plague ridden  Florence for the relative safety of nearby Fiesole.  They challenge each other to tell stories every day for 10 days, thus 100 stories.


32    The Borrowers, Mary Norton

Still one of the best children’s books ever in my opinion.


33     The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa


34   Saint Joan, George Bernard Shaw


35     The Crystal Cave, Mary Stewart

My second Mary stewart book on this list.  There are three books in this trilogy and I may try and read them all but probably won’t have time.


36    The Castle of Otranto, Horace Walpole

The original gothic guy.


37     The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood

For when Gilead seems a bit too real to read about – this one is preferable.


38     Gilgamesh


39     The Celtic Twilight: Faerie & Folklore, W.B. Yeats


40     The Moon & Sixpence, W. Somerset Maugham

Based on the life of Paul Gauguin.


41     The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin


42     The Secret of the Old Clock (A Nancy Drew Mystery) Carolyn Kenne

Another childhood favourite.


43     Ronia, The Robber’s Daughter, Astrid Lindgren


44     My Summer in a Garden, Charles Dudley Warner


45     The Tale of Tom Kitten, Beatrix Potter


46     The Gadfly, Ethel Lilian Voynich


47     As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams, Lady Sarashima


48 Night and Day, Virginia Woolf


I have read a number of Virginia Woolf’s books but never this one.

49     The Mandarins, Simone de Beauvoir

A novel based around her life in Paris with Jean Paul Sartre from the author of The Second Sex.


50     The Bluest Eye, Toni Morrison