.

.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Joining the Classics Club, but...tweaking it to fit me...



I've noticed over the years that several of my blogging friends are members of The Classics Club.  And I have never or certainly rarely thought of myself as a 'Classics' reader.  There were a couple of things - a truly obnoxious high school English teacher (that man....), a bad and very tiresome experience with a William Faulkner book (ah, the endless length of the sentences), and having the same teacher tell me that I basically couldn't write my way out of a paper bag.  Seriously?  In any case, despite the fact that I loved books by Louisa May Alcott and Jane Austen and the Brontes, I thought that 'Classics' just weren't for me.  Mysteries, crime, thrillers, suspense, horror and also romance, a bit of fantasy/sci fi, Gothic historicals - you know, the genres, those were my places.

However, I have decided, after reading some of those same blogging friends' updates and posts on their 'Classics Club' experience and after checking out the website here, yes, I've decided to join in.  With some special 'kay' tweaks.  The books I'm putting on my list of 50 to read in the next 5 years or sooner are all mysteries, crime, horror, Gothics - my kind of books.  All were published before 1990, so are at least 27 years old.  Some I got from the list at The Classics Club, some are on my shelves now, some I read in the past and loved and want to reread, and some are new to me - many gleaned from Mystery Book Award lists.  I'm really excited about this and hope you'll come around and check out my posts about the special 'kay's Classics Club' offerings.

OK, what are the books?  They are listed below - not with links, but are easy to find.  The publication year is detailed and they are in date order.  My aim is to read these in some manner, still working on a random thing, in the next 5 years or basically before the end of 2022 (my word, I'm old).

kay's Classics Club List

Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen (1817)
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (1847)
Collected Stories and Poems – Edgar Allan Poe (before 1849)
The House of the Seven Gables – Nathaniel Hawthorne (1851)
The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins (1859)
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow – Washington Irving (1875)
Turn of the Screw – Henry James (1898)
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
The Circular Staircase – Mary Roberts Rinehart (1908)
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie (1926)
The Secret of the Old Clock – Carolyn Keene (1930)
Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie (1934)  - finished 4/12/18
Death on the Nile – Agatha Christie (1937)
Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier (1938)
The Red Carnelian – Phyllis A. Whitney (1943)
The Crucible – Arthur Miller (1953)
Death in Kashmir – M.M. Kaye (1953)
A Kiss Before Dying – Ira Levin (1954)
Wildfire at Midnight – Mary Stewart (1956) - finished 1/22/18
The Haunting of Hill House – Shirley Jackson (1959)
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (1960)
Mystery of the Haunted Pool – Phyllis A Whitney (1960)
Bride of Pendorric – Victoria Holt (1963)
This Rough Magic – Mary Stewart (1965)
In Cold Blood – Truman Capote (1966)
Ammie Come Home – Barbara Michaels (1968)
Waiting for Willa – Dorothy Eden (1970)
The Blessing Way – Tony Hillerman (1970)
A Clubbable Woman – Reginald Hill (1970)
Last Bus to Woodstock – Collin Dexter (1975)
Crocodile on a Sandbank – Elizabeth Peters (1975)
Where Are the Children? – Mary Higgins Clark (1975)
Sleeping Murder – Agatha Christie (1976) - finished 1/30/18
A Judgment in Stone – Ruth Rendell (1977)
The Stand – Stephen King (1978)
The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin (1978)
The Mirror – Marlys Milhiser (1979)
The Cater Street Hangman – Anne Perry (1979)
The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco (1980)
A is for Alibi – Sue Grafton (1982)
Indemnity Only – Sara Paretsky (1982)
When the Bough Breaks – Jonathan Kellerman (1985)
The Dark-Adapted Eye – Barbara Vine (1986)
Presumed Innocent – Scott Turow (1986)
The Ritual Bath – Faye Kellerman (1986)
Strangled Prose – Joan Hess (1986)
Death on Demand – Carolyn Hart (1987)
Gallows View – Peter Robinson (1987)
A Great Deliverance – Elizabeth George (1988)
The Killings at Badger’s Drift – Caroline Graham (1988)

42 comments:

  1. That really is a fab list, Kay. Some wonderful books on there. I've had The Woman in White on my tbr pile for 'years'... one of these days I'll shock myself and read it. LOL Oh and I have The Dark Adapted Eye on my current library pile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be curious to ear what you think about both of those.

      Delete
  2. Great list, Kay. I've only read a few on your list. Have fun reading your way :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've read 20 of these and maybe more as I can't remember some of the titles of authors I've read. As an adolescent, I devoured Victoria Holt, Barbara Michaels, and Mary Stuart, but can't remember titles. It is amusing to see the contrast: I loved The Name of the Rose which was very long and The Westing Game which is for middle grade kids. I can't recommend A Clubbable Woman for itself, but was the first in Reginald Hill's remarkable series featuring Dalziel and Pascoe which is perhaps my all time favorite after the first few books! From what I can see, you can't go wrong with your choices and have given me a few titles to consider!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, some of the later books on the list are the first books in long-running or well-known mystery series. They may not be the best book in the series, but I thought they would be a good place to begin. I read THE WESTING GAME when my daughter was young, but remember very little about it. And I've never read THE NAME OF THE ROSE, though I have seen the movie.

      Delete
  4. I've read 24 of these and still think the Haunting of Hill House is one of the scariest books I've ever read.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow! 24 of them. I've seen at least one movie adaptation of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE, but never read it. Love the fact that it scared you. LOL

      Delete
  5. You have some excellent books on your list! There are a couple that I am hoping you get to read (or potentially re-read) this year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OK, Michelle, which ones? Inquiring minds want to know! ;-)

      Delete
    2. Let's see - Northanger Abbey, Jane Eyre, The Woman in White, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, Rebecca, The Crucible, The Haunting of Hill House, To Kill a Mockingbird, In Cold Blood, The Stand, and The Westing Game. I loved all of these!

      Delete
    3. So noted. I've already read 7 of the books you listed and they will be rereads. I suspect that I'll do THE STAND this year. I've been wanting to read that again for a while.

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. He was a yucky little man with bad hair - too long and rather creepy.

      Delete
  7. Oh Kay, I'm so sorry to hear about that horrible teacher you had. Who does that?! Anyway, so glad you are taking up the classics project with your own tweaks. I've been meaning to join as well but haven't quite made up my mind on this one. I think you're going to have a great time reading some of these classics on your list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think he was sad that he was 'only' a high school English teacher and took it out on the students. I think I'm going to have a great time.

      Delete
  8. You've got some great books on your list, Kay! I've been taking part in the classics club for a few years and never thought of including Agatha Christie. But of course you're right - classic crime fiction!!

    I meant to visit you before now when I saw that you've started blogging again - great to have you back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, AC is definitely class crime, in my book anyway. And thanks for the kind words!

      Delete
  9. Happy New Year!!
    May this New Year be special in every way ... bringing you the gift of love and excitement.
    I will introduce Japanese New Year's customs.
    In Japan, there is a New Year holiday where family and relatives get together.
    On New Year, Japanese children receive gifts of money known as "Otoshidama".
    Otoshidama is given to children by adult relatives such as uncles, aunts and grandparents.
    The amount of Otoshidama grows as the child older, for example, 1000 yen for children under 10, and 3000 yen for children over 10.
    Otoshidama is one of the exciting traditions of New Year, which children look forward to very much.
    Ryoma.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very interesting. Thanks for sharing about the Japanese New Year customs. :-)

      Delete
  10. THE STAND, I would say please do not read that book in the wintertime...when someone sneezes around you, you want to run away from them! HA!
    By the way, as a teenager, I read every Victoria Holt book I could find!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kay, THE STAND is one of my favorite books ever. I first read it when I was a senior in college, right after it came out. I've reread a time or two since. And yes, I understand about the 'flu' storyline. LOL

      I read all of the Holt books too. Loved them.

      Delete
  11. I like your twist! I've read a number of the books on your list and many of the others are on my TBR list somewhere. I'll be interested to see what you think of all these. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great list and good idea to make sure the books are ones you think you'll enjoy. I think people often set themselves lists of books they think they 'ought' to read rather than ones they want to read. I have some classic crime on my list too, and also some classic sci-fi, to break up the heavier lit-fic reads. Hope you enjoy being in the Club - I'm loving it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I will like it - especially with the tweaking I did. LOL

      Delete
  13. I've read 10 from your list (I loved The Mirror!) and am thinking about doing this as well. I have several classics on my shelves that I keep ignoring.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been years since I read THE MIRROR, so I'm looking forward to picking it up for a reread before long.

      Delete
  14. I love your take on the classics! I've read the Agatha Christies and of course loved them and I read The Woman in White and loved it as well though the writing was so rich I read it a chapter at a time. The Westing Game is one of my all time favorite reads and my daughter's as well. It's amazing how well it holds up and how good of a read it is for adults as well as children. Enjoy your reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will enjoy it, I believe. Yes, many of these are rereads for me, but several are in the 'always meant to read it' category. I'm looking forward to THE WESTING GAME. It's been a long time.

      Delete
  15. You should have been my mother's child. These books were my mom's favorites; she was a huge fan of what was called at the time (not sure if it still is thriving) gothic novels.

    I love the idea of the Classics Club. I will look into this further.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I had a mother who didn't read at all - she wrote letters. Ha! Yes, I think they are still called Gothics or at least that's what I call them. I loved them when I was in my teens and 20's. I bet you'd like the Classics Club.

      Delete
  16. Yay, Kay! Welcome to the club. :-) I have a lot of mysteries on my list as well. I hope you enjoy all your selections!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the welcome, Wendy! I noticed your list had several mysteries. I'm sure I'll like almost all of these.

      Delete
  17. great list! I have read only 7 here. The Woman in White is really cool and of course Rebecca! My list is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2016/01/01/the-classics-club-2016-2020/
    2018 is my 3rd year at it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll take a look at your list. Bet there are some good ones!

      Delete
  18. Welcome to the club, Kay, and I love the way you've tailored this list to your interests. I've read ten of these and see several others I'd like to read. Good luck with you list.... and what an awful teacher!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, JoAnn! I'm glad I could figure out what would work for me. Now to read them all. LOL

      Delete
  19. A great list Kay and some familiar titles there which will be added to my currently being compiled list - As we'll be starting at similar times we will hopefully gee each other along.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a plan, Cleo! 'Geeing' each other along - is that like a horse - geeing a horse and getting it to go? Sorry, I'm laughing!

      Delete
  20. I would like the Classics Club too but no time. I know what you mean about high school English. I was so excited to find out that Freshman English meant reading books. My excitement was quickly zapped when we had to tear apart words, sentences blah blah blah. It was pretty awful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you, Gayle. Wasn't nearly as much as I thought it would be.

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!