Two Neurotics Try to Join the Classics Club and What They Found There

It's time to know something about us: we're more than a little neurotic. We obsess endlessly over the tiniest details. The latest manifestation of this? A couple of days ago, we thought it would be a cool idea to join the Classics Club, hosted by the awesome Jillian of A Room of One's Own. Easier said than done, because once we discovered the Classics Club, we wanted to see what everyone was reading. And once we started visiting all of the blogs, we sort of started to count the books we were seeing. And then came a spreadsheet... you see where this is going, don't you? 

Long story short, we made an infographic of the most popular authors and books from Classics Club's lists. These were the authors and books that came up again and again on every blog we visited. It was very interesting to actually weigh them against each other and see the results. So if you're curious about what other people are reading, check out the picture after the jump. (Feel free to grab it if you find it useful/entertaining.)


Interesting tidbits
  • the authors with more books had an advantage on our list due to the way we counted (by number of books rather than by number of persons who mentioned the author)
  • the Top Ten Authors is very British. As far as we can tell, Tolstoy is the only non-British author close to reaching Top Ten (with 119 mentions and the most popular book on the list).
  • Charlotte wins over her sisters. 
  • Rochester wins over any other romantic hero.
Oh yes, and after sifting through 130 lists, we still don't have our own list for the Classics Club. We're working on it though.

ETA: We now have a list and it's here.

36 comments:

  1. I love this - and admire your determination to create it!

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  2. I love it too!! Most interesting - look forward to seeing your final list.

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  3. This was awesome! Thank you for sharing! And good luck coming up with your list. I have two lists on my blog-the original set of 250 classics I am currently working through, and another 340 for The Classics Club. So many great books left to read!

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    1. Your lists are making us feel better about ours. We ended up with 200 books and right now that looks like such a daunting number.

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    2. I've been working on my list of 250 for about 2 1/2 years now. For awhile, ALL I was reading were books off my list and I made good progress. Now that I'm taking all kinds of breaks to read other things, I've slowed down. But don't let a big list scare you-it just means you have more options. :)

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  4. Love this!! Thanks for sharing.

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  5. This is amazing! Good luck for making your list, I'm sure you are going to have trouble narrowing it down after all of your research! :)

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  6. I wanted you to know I reblogged this here:

    http://jillianreadsbooks2.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/reblog-two-neurotics-try-to-join-the-classics-club-and-what-they-found-there/

    ("Reblog" is Wordpress lingo for posting the opening excerpt of a post to share the link. Cheers!)

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    1. Oh wow, thanks! We're very, very happy you like it!

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  7. You neurotic girls are amazing! Totally enjoyed this. ;-)

    Cheers.

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  8. This is awesome! I am really impressed and enjoyed reading this post! I was shocked that Persuasion was the #1 Austen book....I thought P & P would be #1 for sure!! I was also surprised to see Othello in the top three Shakespeare plays. Othello is my fav followed closely by Hamlet...I thought Romeo and Juliet would take #1 slot on that one. Anyway, this was a fantastic and fun post! Thanks for doing this! I am totally sharing over at my blog!!

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    1. Yes, we had the same ideas when we started counting, at least about Austen (I guessed Hamlet would probably be first for Shakespeare). I think that what made the difference is that Persuasion is slightly less well known, so it featured on the lists on people who didn't really include rereads, while P&P, being so popular, was more likely to be a reread.

      Oh, and thanks for commenting. We're glad you liked it :-)

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  9. This is amazing! Thank you for taking the time to figure this out and share it!

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  10. Holy moley! ...and yes, Anna Karenina is on my list! I love YOUR list btw.

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  11. Hey everyone, just wanted to say thank you for all of your comments. They made my morning and they are going to make Alexis' morning too when she wakes up :D We're very happy you liked this and, if you're in the Classics Club, good luck with your lists! (If you're not, do join so we can snoop on you.)

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  12. So cool! I had seen a lot of overlap between my list and others', but am way too lazy to explore it further than thinking, "huh, we ALL want to read middlemarch" while drinking a beer (and not reading any of the classics on my list). I guess we have all had the importance of reading "the canon" drilled into us pretty well!

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  13. Thank you for putting this together. Now I REALLY can't wait to read Anna Karenina!

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  14. You had me at spreadsheet, this is truly fabulous. :)

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  15. Brilliant! I love lists - and bookish lists make me drool.

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  16. Wow -- fantastic! I don't have a Classics Club list either but I love looking at everyone else's picks. I think I need a Classics Club: Mystery Edition to really get me motivated. Did anyone else notice that there is no mystery/horror in the Top Ten? (Fwiw, I do not consider Bleak House a mystery. Sorry Inspector Bucket.) Hmmm.... I really should get started on that list.

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  17. This is so excellent! Also, it's good to know how un-unique my own choices were... Great Expectations, Middlemarch, Vanity Fair... plus the top three authors are all on my list. Not sure whether to feel non-special, or just, you know, included :)

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  18. Got a kick out of this. Thanks!

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  19. Very cool! Dickens does have quite the advantage based on the sheer number of titles. It's nice to see so many people intending to read Anna Karenina. It's a good one!

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  20. Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your awesome comments. They've made our week. We're excited you liked the list, and we can't wait to get going with the Classics Club. Happy reading to you all!

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  21. I loved that you went to all of the trouble to make this. Very interesting to read all of the results, god luck with the project! :)

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  22. I echo the thoughts of how great this post is! Of course, most of the books you've listed here are on my list! Good luck with your list!

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  23. Yikes! I don't seem to be very "in" with the popular crowd, based on this data. But, hey, that's nothing new! Lol

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  24. This is awesome! The Classics Club is such a great idea and I love seeing what everyone else is reading.

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  25. I think your genius ! Well done :)

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  26. I've been reminded of this today by Allie - am re-reading it! You're awesome :)

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