My Classics TBR
BOOK LIST,  CLASSICS,  TBR (TO BE READ)

FIFTY CLASSICS I want to read before I die

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Last year I made a list of 35 classics I wanted to read but my original goal was to make a list of 50 classics so I asked for some input.

Lots of comments were left on that video and I made some modifications and created a list of 50 classics that I want to read before I die.

50 Classics to Read Before You Die - Ultimate Classics TBR

I made a printable for the list of 50 but otherwise never officially shared the list, so here it is today!

In case you want the printable option, I have a blank one for you to fill in and build your own classics TBR:

Classics TBR

Or you can use the one I made for myself:

Classics TBR Printable List

Okay, let’s get on to my Classics TBR!

MY CLASSICS TBR

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice (Penguin Classics)
Author:
Of all Jane Austen's books, Pride and Prejudice has earned a special place in the hearts of the reading public as her best-loved and most intimately known novel. From its famous opening sentence the story of the Bennet family and of the novel's two protagonists, Elizabeth and Darcy, told with a wit that its author feared might prove 'rather too light and bright, and sparkling', delights its most familiar readers as thoroughly as it does…

Persuasion

Persuasion
Author:
Persuasion is Jane Austen's last completed novel. She began it soon after she had finished Emma, completing it in August 1816. She died, aged 41, in 1817; Persuasion was published in December that year (but dated 1818). Persuasion is linked to Northanger Abbey not only by the fact that the two books were originally bound up in one volume and published together, but also because both stories are set partly in Bath, a fashionable city…

Northanger Abbey

Northanger Abbey
Author:
During an eventful season at Bath, young, naïve Catherine Morland experiences the joys of fashionable society for the first time. She is delighted with her new acquaintances: flirtatious Isabella, who shares Catherine's love of Gothic romance and horror, and sophisticated Henry and Eleanor Tilney, who invite her to their father's mysterious house, Northanger Abbey. There, her imagination influenced by novels of sensation and intrigue, Catherine imagines terrible crimes committed by General Tilney. With its broad…

The Bird’s Nest

The Bird's Nest
Shirley Jackson's third novel, a chilling descent into multiple personalities Elizabeth is a demure twenty-three-year-old wiling her life away at a dull museum job, living with her neurotic aunt, and subsisting off her dead mother’s inheritance. When Elizabeth begins to suffer terrible migraines and backaches, her aunt takes her to the doctor, then to a psychiatrist. But slowly, and with Jackson’s characteristic chill, we learn that Elizabeth is not just one girl—but four separate, self-destructive…

Jane of Lantern Hill

Jane of Lantern Hill
Jane and her mother live in a gloomy old mansion, where their lives are ruled by her ovebearing grandmother. For most of her life Jane has believed that her father is dead. Then, one dull April morning, a letter comes. Not only is her father alive and well, but he wants Jane to spend the summer with him on Prince Edward Island. For a blissful summer she lives at her father's cottage on Lantern Hill,…

Pat of Silver Bush

Pat of Silver Bush
There's no place like home Do fairies really come for the dish of milk we leave them? Is Mrs. McClenahan really a witch? How is it possible to find a new baby in a bed of parsley? These are all questions Pat Gardiner wants to know. And it seems her Irish housekeeper, the incomparable Judy Plum, always has an answer... For Pat, there is no place more magical on earth than her home of Silver…

Agnes Grey

Agnes Grey
Author:
Drawing heavily from personal experience, Anne Brontë wrote Agnes Grey in an effort to represent the many 19th Century women who worked as governesses and suffered daily abuse as a result of their position. Having lost the family savings on risky investments, Richard Grey removes himself from family life and suffers a bout of depression. Feeling helpless and frustrated, his youngest daughter, Agnes, applies for a job as a governess to the children of a…

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall

Tenant of Wildfell hall
Author:
Gilbert Markham is deeply intrigued by Helen Graham, a beautiful and secretive young woman who has moved into nearby Wildfell Hall with her young son. He is quick to offer Helen his friendship, but when her reclusive behavior becomes the subject of local gossip and speculation, Gilbert begins to wonder whether his trust in her has been misplaced. It is only when she allows Gilbert to read her diary that the truth is revealed and…

Shirley

Shirley
Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Bronte vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on "something real and unromantic as Monday morning". Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-12, Shirley (1849) is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire…

Mary Barton

Mary Barton
Elizabeth Gaskell's first novel depicts nothing less than the great clashes between capital and labour, which arose from rapid industrialisation and problems of trade in the mid-nineteenth century. But these clashes are dramatized through personal struggles. John Barton has to reconcile his personal conscience with his socialist duty, risking his life and liberty in the process. His daughter Mary is caught between two lovers, from opposing classes - worker and manufacturer. And at the heart…

Wives and Daughters

Wives and Daughters
Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets.

Cranford

Cranford
Mary Smith and her friends live in Cranford, a town predominantly inhabited by women. The return of a long-lost brother named Peter is the most dramatic event to occur over the course of the sixteen tales that comprise the novel. Elizabeth Gaskell's Cranford is an ironic portrayal of female life in a secluded English village.

Uncle Tom’s Cabin

Uncle Tom's Cabin
When Uncle Tom's Cabin was published in 1852, it became an international blockbuster, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United States alone in its first year. Progressive for her time, Harriet Beecher Stowe was one of the earliest writers to offer a shockingly realistic depiction of slavery. Her stirring indictment and portrait of human dignity in the most inhumane circumstances enlightened hundreds of thousands by revealing the human costs of slavery, which had until…

The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw (American Classics Edition)
Author:
By the comforts of a blazing fireplace on a cold Christmas Eve night, guests at a holiday party share stories of phantoms and ghosts of Christmases past. Yet one guest delivers a tale of sheer fright for which no one listening was prepared. As the story goes, after losing both parents, a young boy and girl move into a large wooded estate to be held under the care of their uncle. Wanting nothing to do…

Far From the Madding Crowd

Far from the Madding Crowd
Author:
In Thomas Hardy’s first major literary success, independent and spirited Bathsheba Everdene has come to Weatherbury to take up her position as a farmer on the largest estate in the area. Her bold presence draws three very different suitors: the gentleman-farmer Boldwood, the soldier-seducer Sergeant Troy, and the devoted shepherd Gabriel Oak. Each, in contrasting ways, unsettles her decisions and complicates her life, and tragedy ensues, threatening the stability of the whole community. One of…

Jude the Obscure

Jude the Obscure
Author:
"I’m an outsider to the end of my days!" Jude Fawley’s hopes of a university education are lost when he is trapped into marrying the earthy Arabella, who later abandons him. Moving to the town of Christminster where he finds work as a stonemason, Jude meets and falls in love with his cousin Sue Bridehead, a sensitive, freethinking "New Woman." Refusing to marry merely for the sake of religious convention, Jude and Sue decide instead…

The Woman in White

The Woman in White
The Woman in White famously opens with Walter Hartright's eerie encounter on a moonlit London road. Engaged as a drawing master to the beautiful Laura Fairlie, Walter is drawn into the sinister intrigues of Sir Percival Glyde and his "charming" friend Count Fosco, who has a taste for white mice, vanilla bonbons and poison. Pursuing questions of identity and insanity along the paths and corridors of English country houses and the madhouse, The Woman in White is the…

The Moonstone

The Moonstone
"When you looked down into the stone, you looked into a yellow deep that drew your eyes into it so that they saw nothing else." The Moonstone, a yellow diamond looted from an Indian temple and believed to bring bad luck to its owner, is bequeathed to Rachel Verinder on her eighteenth birthday. That very night the priceless stone is stolen again and when Sergeant Cuff is brought in to investigate the crime, he soon…

Foundation

Foundation
Author:
Series:
For twelve thousand years the Galactic Empire has ruled supreme. Now it is dying. But only Hari Seldon, creator of the revolutionary science of psychohistory, can see into the future—to a dark age of ignorance, barbarism, and warfare that will last thirty thousand years. To preserve knowledge and save humankind, Seldon gathers the best minds in the Empire—both scientists and scholars—and brings them to a bleak planet at the edge of the galaxy to serve…

Dune

Dune
Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for.... When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny…

Moby Dick

Moby Dick
Moby Dick by Herman Melville is the story of Captain Ahab's quest to avenge the whale that 'reaped' his leg. The quest is an obsession and the novel is a diabolical study of how a man becomes a fanatic. But it is also a hymn to democracy. Bent as the crew is on Ahab's appalling crusade, it is equally the image of a co-operative community at work: all hands dependent on all hands, each individual…

The Pickwick Papers

The Pickwick Papers
Few first novels have created as much popular excitement as The Pickwick Papers–-a comic masterpiece that catapulted its 24-year-old author to immediate fame. Readers were captivated by the adventures of the poet Snodgrass, the lover Tupman, the sportsman Winkle &, above all, by that quintessentially English Quixote, Mr Pickwick, & his cockney Sancho Panza, Sam Weller. From the hallowed turf of Dingley Dell Cricket Club to the unholy fracas of the Eatanswill election, via the Fleet…

The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss
Author:
Drawing on George Eliot's own childhood experiences to craft an unforgettable story of first love, sibling rivalry and regret, The Mill on the Floss is edited with an introduction and notes by A.S. Byatt, author of Possession, in Penguin Classics. Brought up at Dorlcote Mill, Maggie Tulliver worships her brother Tom and is desperate to win the approval of her parents, but her passionate, wayward nature and her fierce intelligence bring her into constant conflict…

Gone with the Wind

no title has been provided for this book
Widely considered The Great American Novel, and often remembered for its epic film version, Gone With the Wind explores the depth of human passions with an intensity as bold as its setting in the red hills of Georgia. A superb piece of storytelling, it vividly depicts the drama of the Civil War and Reconstruction. This is the tale of Scarlett O’Hara, the spoiled, manipulative daughter of a wealthy plantation owner, who arrives at young womanhood just…

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray
Author:
Enthralled by his own exquisite portrait, Dorian Gray makes a Faustian bargain to sell his soul in exchange for eternal youth and beauty. Under the influence of Lord Henry Wotton, he is drawn into a corrupt double life, where he is able to indulge his desires while remaining a gentleman in the eyes of polite society. Only Dorian's picture bears the traces of his decadence. A knowing account of a secret life and an analysis…

The Importance of Being Earnest

The Importance of Being Earnest
Author:
Witty and buoyant comedy of manners is brilliantly plotted from its effervescent first act to its hilarious denouement, and filled with some of literature's most famous epigrams. Widely considered Wilde's most perfect work, the play is reprinted here from an authoritative early British edition. Note to the Dover Edition.

My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin Rachel
Philip Ashley's older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose's beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear. Now Rachel…

The Doll: The Lost Short Stories

The Doll
The lost stories of Daphne du Maurier, collected in one volume for the first time. Before she wrote Rebecca, the novel that would cement her reputation as a twentieth-century literary giant, a young Daphne du Maurier penned short fiction in which she explored the images, themes, and concerns that informed her later work. Originally published in periodicals during the early 1930s, many of these stories never found their way into print again . . .…

The King’s General

The King's General
Inspired by a grisly discovery in the nineteenth century, The King's General was the first of du Maurier's novels to be written at Menabilly, the model for Manderley in Rebecca. Set in the seventeenth century, it tells the story of a country and a family riven by war, and features one of fiction's most original heroines. Honor Harris is only eighteen when she first meets Richard Grenvile, proud, reckless - and utterly captivating. But following…

All Things Bright and Beautiful

All Things Bright and Beautiful
All Things Bright and Beautiful is the beloved sequel to Herriot's first collection, All Creatures Great and Small, and picks up as Herriot, now newly married, journeys among the remote hillside farms and valley towns of the Yorkshire Dales, caring for their inhabitants―both two- and four-legged. Throughout, Herriot's deep compassion, humor, and love of life shine as we laugh, cry, and delight in the portraits of his many varied animal patients and their equally varied owners.

Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451
Author:
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to destroy the most illegal of commodities, the printed book, along with the houses in which they are hidden. Montag never questions the destruction and ruin his actions produce, returning each day to his bland life and wife, Mildred, who spends all day with her television “family.” But when he meets an eccentric young neighbor, Clarisse, who introduces him to a past where people didn’t live in…

The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo
Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantès is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure and use it to plot the destruction of the three men responsible for his incarceration. Dumas’ epic tale of suffering and retribution, inspired by a…

Les Miserables

Les Miserables
Author:
Introducing one of the most famous characters in literature, Jean Valjean—the noble peasant imprisoned for stealing a loaf of bread—Les Misérables ranks among the greatest novels of all time. In it, Victor Hugo takes readers deep into the Parisian underworld, immerses them in a battle between good and evil, and carries them to the barricades during the uprising of 1832 with a breathtaking realism that is unsurpassed in modern prose. Within his dramatic story are themes…

The Outsiders

The Outsiders
Author:
No one ever said life was easy. But Ponyboy is pretty sure that he's got things figured out. He knows that he can count on his brothers, Darry and Sodapop. And he knows that he can count on his friends—true friends who would do anything for him, like Johnny and Two-Bit. But not on much else besides trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up…

The Time Machine

The Time Machine - the Original 1895 Classic (Reader's Library Classics)
Author:
When an English Scientist, known only as the Time Traveller, invents a machine that can travel through time, the most logical outcome would be to test such a machine. After a trial run that saw him travel three hours into the future, the Time Traveller pushes further into the future to year 802,701, where he meets a mellow race of humans called the Eloi. Soon he discovers that the Eloi are not the only human…

Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway
"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." It's one of the most famous opening lines in literature, that of Virginia Woolf's beloved masterpiece of time, memory, and the city. In the wake of World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic, Clarissa Dalloway, elegant and vivacious, is preparing for a party and remembering those she once loved. In another part of London, Septimus Smith is suffering from shell-shock and on the brink of…

A Room of One’s Own

A Room of One's Own
A Room of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf. First published on the 24th of October, 1929, the essay was based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University in October 1928. While this extended essay in fact employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers and characters in fiction, the manuscript for the delivery of the series…

I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
Author:
Through six turbulent months of 1934, 17-year-old Cassandra Mortmain keeps a journal, filling three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries about her home, a ruined Suffolk castle, and her eccentric and penniless family. By the time the last diary shuts, there have been great changes in the Mortmain household, not the least of which is that Cassandra is deeply, hopelessly, in love.

The Three Musketeers

Classic Victorian & Edwardian Ghost Stories
Alexandre Dumas’s most famous tale— and possibly the most famous historical novel of all time— in a handsome hardcover volume. This swashbuckling epic of chivalry, honor, and derring-do, set in France during the 1620s, is richly populated with romantic heroes, unattainable heroines, kings, queens, cavaliers, and criminals in a whirl of adventure, espionage, conspiracy, murder, vengeance, love, scandal, and suspense. Dumas transforms minor historical figures into larger- than-life characters: the Comte d’Artagnan, an impetuous young…

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
It’s an ordinary Thursday morning for Arthur Dent . . . until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly after to make way for a new hyperspace express route, and Arthur’s best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. After that, things get much, much worse. With just a towel, a small yellow fish, and a book, Arthur has to navigate through a very hostile universe in the company of a gang of…

Crime and Punishment

Crime and Punishment
Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student, wanders through the slums of St Petersburg and commits a random murder without remorse or regret. He imagines himself to be a great man, a Napoleon: acting for a higher purpose beyond conventional moral law. But as he embarks on a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a suspicious police investigator, Raskolnikov is pursued by the growing voice of his conscience and finds the noose of his…

Eight Cousins

no title has been provided for this book
When Rose Campbell, a shy orphan, arrives at "The Aunt Hill" to live with her six aunts and seven boisterous male cousins, she is quite overwhelmed. How could such a delicate young lady, used to the quiet hallways of a girls' boarding school, exist in such a spirited home? It is the arrival of Uncle Alec that changes everything. Much to the horror of her aunts, Rose's forward-thinking uncle insists that the child get out…

The Phantom of the Opera

The Phantom of the Opera
First published in French as a serial in 1909, The Phantom of the Opera is a riveting story that revolves around the young, Swedish Christine Daaé. Her father, a famous musician, dies, and she is raised in the Paris Opera House with his dying promise of a protective angel of music to guide her. After a time at the opera house, she begins hearing a voice, who eventually teaches her how to sing beautifully. All goes well…

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Notre-Dame of Paris
Author:
In the vaulted Gothic towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral lives Quasimodo, the hunchbacked bellringer. Mocked and shunned for his appearance, he is pitied only by Esmerelda, a beautiful gypsy dancer to whom he becomes completely devoted. Esmerelda, however, has also attracted the attention of the sinister archdeacon Claude Frollo, and when she rejects his lecherous approaches, Frollo hatches a plot to destroy her, that only Quasimodo can prevent. Victor Hugo's sensational, evocative novel brings life to…

Anna Karenina

Anna Karenina
Acclaimed by many as the world's greatest novel, Anna Karenina provides a vast panorama of contemporary life in Russia and of humanity in general. In it Tolstoy uses his intense imaginative insight to create some of the most memorable characters in all of literature. Anna is a sophisticated woman who abandons her empty existence as the wife of Karenin and turns to Count Vronsky to fulfil her passionate nature - with tragic consequences. Levin is a reflection…

Emily of Deep Valley

Emily of Deep Valley
Welcome back to Deep Valley! Emily Webster, an orphan living with her grandfather, is not like the other girls her age in Deep Valley, Minnesota. The gulf between Emily and her classmates widens even more when they graduate from Deep Valley High School in 1912. Emily longs to go off to college with everyone else, but she can't leave her grandfather. Emily resigns herself to facing a lost winter, but soon decides to stop feeling…

East of Eden

East of Eden
In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Adam Trask came to California from…

Kidnapped

Kidnapped
Tricked by the uncle who has stolen his inheritance, young David Balfour is kidnapped and bound for America. Or at least that was the plan, until the ship runs into trouble and David is rescued by Alan Breck Stewart, fugitive Jacobite and, by his own admission, a ‘bonny fighter’. Balfour, a canny lowlander, finds an echo of some wilder and more romantic self in the willful and courageous Highland spirit of Alan Breck. A strange…

For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from “the good fight” and one of the foremost classics of war literature. For Whom the Bell Tolls tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades, is attached to an antifascist…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Author:
From the moment she entered the world, Francie Nolan needed to be made of stern stuff, for growing up in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn, New York demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior―such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce―no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns…

Do you have a classic TBR? I would love to hear what is on your list!

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