Classics Club

Classics 1 down, 49 to go

A momentous week – I just finished reading the first book on my Classics Club list. It was North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell which I picked because she is an author I have limited experience of – I read Cranford earlier in the year and was underwhelmed. But a few other bloggers said I should give her another go. And I am really glad I listened to their advice. You can read my review here. (astonishingly for me, I managed to get the review done within a month of finishing the book).

Anyway, so one done, but there are still 49 more to be completed to meet the challenge. I keep changing my mind about what should be on the list – I took out most of the children’s books this week to give space for Trollope, Gaskell and George Eliot. I also added in a very old text indeed – the play Medea by Euripedes that was written 400 years BC. It was on the syllabus for a humanities course I did several years ago but I never got around to reading it. Feels like I should have a go. Maybe I will learn that Greek tragedy isn’t my thing.

I have less than 5 years to read the remaining 49 texts so it will be a stretch, particularly as I’m also trying to read all the Booker prize winners. I did a quick count today and was surprised to find I’ve read 12 of them so far this year which feels like very good progress.

I’m just starting the 13th book – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie. I enjoy books set in India or by Indian authors and have read a few this year (Staying OnSarawasti Park, for example) so the subject interests me .But – and it’s a big but – I also know this is not going to be an easy read.  I chose it really because the film version was released recently so it felt the time was right to give it a go. It’s a pretty long book so I might need to read something else in parallel to give the brain a rest. At the moment it’s a toss up between I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou and The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas which multiple colleagues in work tell me is great.

Any thoughts on The Slap anyone?


Postcript: had to make a quick edit to this post when an astute blogger pointed out I had written Margaret Gaskell, not Elizabeth!. Oops


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

5 thoughts on “Classics 1 down, 49 to go

  • swright9

    I think your read-the-classics project is a great idea and I need to start one too. I have not heard of The Slap. What is that about?

  • “Margaret” Gaskell? Or perhaps Elizabeth Gaskell? 🙂

    • Oh dear, you should see how pink my cheeks are now Mabel!. Thank you for spotting this and alerting me. Duly corrected.


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