50classics.jpgI had left this on the back burner to filter suggestions and sources before making a final call. This personal project has its roots in an earlier blog post I made called A Notso Novel Idea. Essentially, I was disappointed with how little I recalled and appreciated from the so-called core or classic works of fiction. After I had my final list, I was even more shocked at just how many I’d only read under the demands of high school or college. So without further delay (ok, maybe a couple days to dig up the first few books I plan to read), I’ve set my goal…

Fifty classics as chosen by various experts, literature courses, friends and of course, my own whim. I’d like to finish all fifty in one year’s time. Not a particularly aggressive goal, but hopefully a realistic one rather than a manic dash through the stacks. Here are my selections in alphabetical order (merely for convenience):

Title Author
1984 George Orwell
All Quiet on the Front Erich Marie Remarque
All The King’s Men Robert Penn Warren
Animal Farm George Orwell
Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
Candide Voltaire
Catch-22 Joseph Heller
Crime and Punishment Fyodor Dostoevsky
Cyrano de Bergerac Edmond Rostand
Don Quixote Miguel De Cervantes
Emma Jane Austin
Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
Great Expectations Charles Dickens
Gulliver’s Travels Jonathan Swift
Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
I, Claudius Robert Graves
Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
Les Miserables Victor Hugo
Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
Madam Bovary Gustav Flaubert
Moby Dick Herman Melville
Of Human Bondage W. Somerset Maugham
On The Road Jack Kerouac
Peter Pan J.M. Barrie
Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe
Slaughterhouse-Five Kurt Vonnegut
Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
Stranger in a Strangeland Robert Heinlein
Tales of the South Pacific James A. Michener
The Age of Innocence Edith Wharton
The Black Sheep Honore De Balzac
The Call of the Wild Jack London
The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
The Count of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
The Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Metamorphosis Franz Kafka
The Old Man and the Sea Earnest Hemmingway
The Scarlet Pimpernel Barones Emmuska Orczy
The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
The Stranger Albert Camus
The Way of All Flesh Samuel Butler
To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee
To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
Ulysses James Joyce
Watership Down Richard Adams
Wuthering Heights Emily Bronte
War and Peace Leo Tolstoy

I’ll add these to my online Bookshelf at Cafe Arcane as time allows.