First Classics Challenge Complete

Within this last week of 2021, I have completely the challenge I set out for myself of finishing 50 classics within five years, starting from April 22, 2017. If I were to include dates, it would be clear that there were vast stretches of time without any books finished, and certain intense periods when I read a number of titles quickly.

It is also apparent from the lack of hyperlinks after #30 that I no longer took time to write about the books I finished. The benefit didn’t seem to justify the time spent on them. All in all, participating in this challenge probably helped me read more than I otherwise would have in the last five years, so it was worth it over all. My next post will contain a proposal for renewing this challenge.

The list of books I completed:

  1. The Qur’an.
  2. Romola. George Eliot.
  3. Rosmersholm. Henrik Ibsen.
  4. Helena. Evelyn Waugh. (*)
  5. My Disillusionment in Russia. Emma Goldman.
  6. Metamorphoses. Ovid.
  7. Sense and Sensibility. Jane Austen.
  8. The Trial. Franz Kafka.
  9. Anna Karenina. Leo Tolstoy.
  10. Out of the Silent Planet. C.S. Lewis.
  11. Apologia Pro Vita Sua. John Henry Newman.
  12. Felix Holt, A Radical. George Eliot.
  13. Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf.
  14. Eugénie Grandet. Honoré de Balzac.
  15. Kristen Lavransdatter. Sigrid Undset.
  16. Decline and Fall. Evelyn Waugh.
  17. O Pioneers!. Willa Cather.
  18. Three Elegies for Kosovo. Ismail Kadare.
  19. Adam Bede. George Eliot.
  20. My Name is Asher Lev. Chaim Potok.
  21. Remains of the Day. Kazuo Ishiguro.
  22. Thérèse Raquin. Émile Zola.
  23. Pale Fire. Vladimir Nabokov.
  24. The Frogs. Aristophanes.
  25. Letters to a Young Poet. Rainer Maria Rilke.
  26. Lady Susan, The Watsons, Sanditon. Jane Austen.
  27. The Cyberiad. Stanislaw Lem.
  28. The Wild Ass’s Skin. Honoré de Balzac.
  29. Colonel Chabert. Honoré de Balzac.
  30. Comedy of Errors. William Shakespeare.
  31. Collected Novellas. Stefan Zweig.
  32. Democracy. Henry Adams.
  33. Washington Square. Henry James.
  34. Cyrano de Bergerac. Edmond Rostand.
  35. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Muriel Spark.
  36. The Master and Margarita. Mikhail Bulgakov.
  37. Omer Pasha Latas. Ivo Andric.
  38. Alcibiades. Plato.
  39. Gorgias. Plato.
  40. Perelandra. C.S. Lewis.
  41. That Hideous Strength. C.S. Lewis.
  42. A Moveable Feast. Ernest Hemingway.
  43. The World of Yesterday. Stefan Zweig.
  44. Ubik. Philip K. Dick.
  45. A Confederacy of Dunces. John Kennedy Toole.
  46. Dune. Frank Herbert.
  47. Waiting for Godot. Samuel Beckett.
  48. Matilda. Roald Dahl.
  49. The Periodic Table. Primo Levi.
  50. The Vicar of Wakefield. Oliver Goldsmith.

Books from my original list that I’ve yet to finish:

  • The Vulgate.
  • Out of Africa. Karen Blixen.
  • The Master of Hestviken. Sigrid Undset.
  • Barchester Towers. Anthony Trollope.
  • Doctor Thorne. Anthony Trollope.
  • North and South. Elizabeth Gaskell.
  • Ivanhoe. Walter Scott.
  • Loss and Gain. John Henry Newman.
  • Death Comes for the Archbishop. Willa Cather.
  • Brighton Rock. Graham Greene.
  • Nine Stories. J.D. Salinger.
  • To the Lighthouse. Virginia Woolf.
  • Waiting for Godot. Samuel Beckett.
  • Tenant of Wildfell Hall. Anne Bronte.
  • David Copperfield. Charles Dickens.
  • The Idiot. Fyodor Dostoevsky.
  • Demons. Fyodor Dostoevsky.
  • Absalom! Absalom!. William Faulkner.
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther. Goethe.
  • Italian Journey. Goethe.
  • The Portrait of a Lady. Henry James.
  • Life of Johnson. James Boswell.
  • Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Edward Gibbon. (*)
  • The Dubliners. James Joyce.
  • Moby Dick. Herman Melville.
  • Swann’s Way. Marcel Proust.
  • Grapes of Wrath. John Steinbeck.
  • Il fu Mattia Pascal. Luigi Pirandello.
  • Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore. Luigi Pirandello.
  • Il Gattopardo. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.
  • Delta Wedding. Eudora Welty.
  • Pilgrim’s Progress. John Bunyan.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo. Alexandre Dumas.
  • A Train of Powder. Rebecca West.

Books I added to the list, that I am currently reading:

  • A Little Larger than the Entire Universe. Fernando Pessoa.
  • Ulysses. James Joyce.

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