My Classics Project

List edited on 15 November 2013 as I found that I have been super slack about reviewing books read that were originally on this list… oops :p  So I’ve taken off 15 books and replaced them (most with those available under the Popular Penguin collections).

The Classics Club has launched its own site the other day (1 Aug).  It looks sooo tempting and I couldn’t resist so I’m jumping in!

The challenge is to read 50+ “classics” in 5 years (if you can).  I checked my read list on Goodreads and I think the past 2 years, I’ve averaged about 20 classics a year so I’ve decided for a list of 100.  It’s do-able, yea?

My choices are based on:

1. I grew up in a non-English speaking country, so I’m going to catch up on a few children classics and some which I would’ve read in school were I schooled in an English speaking country;

2. As I currently live in Australia, I’m also playing catch up on this country’s literary world.  Approx half of the list is Aussie and mostly according to Text Classics (these covers look so gorgeous, how could you resist!).  Although, that’s not to say that I’d be purchasing all the books – my piggy bank is a bit lean these days, so I’d be relying quite a bit on my libraries and Project Gutenberg Australia.

3. The rest would be whatever caught my interest at the time of compiling this list.  I have included the Scarlet Pimpernel series as I loved the Scarlet Pimpernel (the catalyst of my reading habit) but I was never game enough to pick up the series and this is a very good opportunity.

GOAL Completion Date: 31 August 2017

My list is divided between Aussie & Worldwide-ish, alphabetically ordered by title, and each books are linked to either Goodreads or Text Classics pages.


A Fortunate Life by A.B. Facey

Café Scheherazade by Arnold Zable

Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington

Lady Bridget in the Never-Never Land by Rosa Praed

Out of the Silence by Erle Cox

Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay

Playing Beatie Bow by Ruth Park – My Blurb

Robbery Under Arms by Rolf Bolderwood

Seven Little Australians by Ethel Turner – My Blurb

Such is Life by Joseph Furphy

Tangara by Nan Chauncy

The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie by May Gibbs

The Harp in the South Trilogy by Ruth Park

The Magic Pudding by Norman Lindsay

The Man who Loved Children by Christina Stead

The Pea-Pickers  by Eve Langley

The Shiralee by D’Arcy Niland

The Thorn Birds   by Colleen McCullough

Tirra Lirra by the River by Jessica Anderson

Truth by Peter Temple – My Blurb

The Boat by Nam Le

-Text Classics style:

1788 by Watkin Tench

A Difficult Young Man by Martin Boyd

An Iron Rose by Peter Temple

Bring Larks and Heroes by Thomas Keneally

Careful, He Might Hear You by Sumner Locke Elliott – My Blurb

Cosmo Cosmolino by Helen Garner

Dark Places by Kate Grenville

Diary of a Bad Year by JM Coetzee

Homesickness by Murray Bail

Stiff by Shane Maloney

Strine by Afferbeck Lauder

Sydney Bridge Upside Down by David Ballantyne

Terra Australis by Matthew Flinders

The Commandant by Jessica Anderson

The Dig Tree by Sarah Murgatroyd

The Dying Trade by Peter Corris

The Even More Complete Book of Australian Verse by John Clarke

The Glass Canoe by David Ireland

The Jerilderie Letter by Ned Kelly

The Middle Parts of Fortune by Frederic Manning

The Plains by Gerald Murnane

The Scarecrow by Ronald Hugh Morrieson

The Watch Tower by Elizabeth Harrower

The Women in Black by Madeleine St John – My Blurb

They’re a Weird Mob by Nino Culotta – My Blurb

Wake in Fright by Kenneth Cook

-Popular Penguin style:

The Getting of Wisdom by Henry Handel Richardson

April Fool’s Day by Bryce Courtenay

I Can Jump Puddles by Alan Marshall

In the Winter Dark by Tim Winton

It’s Raining in Mango by Thea Astley

Of A Boy by Sonya Hartnett

Our Sunshine by Robert Drewe


A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith – My Blurb

Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

Cecilia by Fanny Burney

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

Clarissa, of the History of a Young Lady by Samuel Richardson

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Howard’s End by EM Forster – My Blurb

Joan of Arc by Mark Twain

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo – My Blurb

Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith

The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy

The Lady of the Lake by Walter Scott

The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper

The Little Prince  by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry – My Blurb

The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

The Moonstone   by Wilkie Collins

The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe

The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

The Yellow Wallpaper and Other Stories by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

War and Peace   by Leo Tolstoy

Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne

Women in Love   by D.H. Lawrence

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

-Popular Penguin style:

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

The Scarlet Pimpernel series by Baroness Emmuska Orczy, in Chronological (book setting) order:

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Sir Percy Leads the Band

The League of the Scarlet Pimpernel

I Will Repay

The Elusive Pimpernel

Lord Tony’s Wife

The Way of the Scarlet Pimpernel

Eldorado: Further Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel

Mam’zelle Guillotine

Sir Percy Hits Back

The Adventures of the Scarlet Pimpernel

The Triumph of the Scarlet Pimpernel

A Child of the Revolution

Read & Reviewed: 10/100 As of Jan 14, 2013

23 thoughts on “My Classics Project

  1. Fanda

    Wow…there are a lot of authors I have never even heard the name, maybe because they’re Australian. If you like Dumas, you should read Twenty Years After after Three Musketeers, it’s the sequel, and I like it more than Three Musketeers. Read The Man in the Iron Mask after that because it’s the last sequel.

    1. Tien Post author

      I saw there are a few books between 20 years later & The Man in the Iron Mask… Can I just read The Man in the Iron Mask on its own?

  2. jeanlp

    Ooh, maybe I will ransack your Aussie list–I only have a few Australian titles. (I have read Seven Little Australians though! We named a chicken Judy after it. 🙂 )

    1. Tien Post author

      You’re welcome to it, Jean.

      Once I’ve read 7 Little Australians, I may understand the reference better 😉

      1. jeanlp

        Judy is one of the Little Australians, and since this chicken is an Aussie breed it seemed appropriate, that’s all. 🙂

    2. Dee

      I remember reading the seven little australians as a teen and then re-listening to it a few years later – it might have been one of the very first audiobooks I ever read…and I only remember this because I recalled what happened and kept expecting it before anything happened

  3. Pingback: Weekly Round-up for August 6, 2012. « The Classics Club

  4. aobibliophile™

    hi Tien! you have an interesting list and i look forward to your thoughts on the Aussie classics you chose. i have read The Thorn Birds and it is awesome. i saw the TV series as well and it was also very good.
    a few of your books are also on my list so it would be great to read and review them along with you.
    before i forget, i added Tien’s Blurb to the Literati list on my blog’s right sidebar. thanks for visiting aobiblioclassique™ earlier as well.

  5. Risa

    I’ve noticed, save for the Pimpernel series, you don’t repeat any authors on your list…that sure is a variety!! And it’s nice that you’re leading all that aussie lit. Personally, I’ve never heard of any of the aussie classics or writers (Colleen McCullough is an exception and a favourite :D).

    All the best! 🙂

    1. Tien Post author

      I do think that Aussie classics have been neglected long enough, hence my effort in reading & reviewing them 🙂
      thanks for visiting, Risa

  6. mademelani

    Interesting list, and those australian classics just enrich the classics club lists overall. I know very little about the australian classics, thanks for including those and providing all the links, will surely explore them. Good luck with challenge! 🙂

  7. Dee

    have you read the Billabong books by Mary Grant Bruce – those are also a childhood classic you could consider (and they are free on Amazon)

    1. Tien Post author

      NEVER heard of them!! Will have to check them out, thanks Dee 😉

      Here’s to our neverending list of TBR ;p

      1. Dee

        the first 4 IIRC are free on kindle (at least in the US) – i’m going to use the first one for my classics project I think…going to do mine in terms of themes

      2. Dee

        i’m still trying to figure them out…

        I have coming of age; female social commentary; original dystopia…other thoughts?

  8. Pingback: My Reading Week | Tien's Blurb

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