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I thought there might be some Edith Wharton for you in that first decade! You've already used the best year (1905) but there's a novella, Madame de Treymes, that I liked very much, that was published in 1907. (I'm envious of your century...)


I can think of a couple from the first decade of the 1900s. For example Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (1907). The Hound of the Baskervilles is also very short.


Here are a few I have enjoyed from the missing years, but there are still some gaps!

Claudine at School Colette 1900
The Making of a Marchioness Frances Hodgson Burnett 1901
Up from Slavery Booker T Washington 1901
My Brilliant Career Miles Franklin 1901
A Little Princess Frances Hodgson Burnett 1905
Puck of Pucks Hill Rudyard Kipling 1906
Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther Elizabeth Von Arnim 1907
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame 1908
Anne of Green Gables L M Montgomery 1908
Room with a View E M Forster 1908
The Old Wives’ Tale Arnold Bennett 1908
Anne of Avonlea L M Montgomery 1909
Helen with the High Hand Arnold Bennett 1910
The History of Mr Polly H G Wells 1910
The Getting of Wisdom Henry Handel Richardson 1910
The Way of an Eagle Ethel M Dell 1911
The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett 1911
The Card Arnold Bennett 1911

You have probably read some already, but I hope some of these may help.


Definitely Elizabeth von Arnim -- she has a number in that decade. Miles Franklin's My Brilliant Career (1901) was great; Red Pottage by Mary Cholomondeley (1900) was quite interesting as well. Think they are all Viragos...


Doctor Glass does look rather lonely. Let's see, There is Henry James with Wings of the Dove (1902), The Ambassadors (1903) and The Golden Bowl (1904). Or H.G. Wells, he has a number of books published in that first decade as does Kipling, Jack London, and Somerset Maugham. There is also Gertrude Stein with Three Lives (1909) which is one of her easier books to read :)


You have some wonderful suggestions for books to read in that early decade, in the above comments. I like this idea of how you constructed your reading list. I am a librarian, writer of books, and reader so you are right if you imagine this idea appeals to me.


Here's another voice for E. Von Arnim's Fraulein Schmidt and Mr Anstruther (1907). E. Nesbit's The Railway Children is from 1906 and she may have others in that time period if children's books work for this. I think both are available online from Project Gutenberg but are also in print.


If it is House of Mirth you are referring to, I still very much want to read it! :) I do have Madame de Treymes, however, and have pulled it from my shelves as well. I still have a long way to go as you see.


I am going to get a copy of The Secret Agent by Conrad--I have always been a little intimidated by him, but the book sounds very good, so thanks for the suggestion. I have actually read The Hounds of the Baskervilles, though it has been long enough I could probably do a reread very easily!


What a great list--thanks so much. We are on the same wavelength as I was also thinking of Colette but I grabbed the Vagabond to look over. I like the idea of The Making of a Marchioness, too, as a possibility. Several titles are new to me, but I will start with those that I have on hand. I would like to give Arnold Bennett a try as well!


Yay for Viragos--I have lots by EvA and will see which ones might fit. I think Mrs Anstruthers is an epistolary novel? And I have a copy of My Brilliant Career....somewhere. I Red Pottage is a book I have heard of and now must go and investigate--thanks for the ideas!


Poor Doctor Glas--how long ago was that that we read it? A Slaves book, I think? Henry James is someone I most definitely want to read--have only tackled a few of his shorter works, but I am willing to give his longer books a try--even if I think he will be a challenging read. I was also thinking of HG Wells and have pulled Ann Veronica from my bookshelves. I wonder what Maugham might have from that decade--I want to read more of his work, too. Hadn't thought of Gertrude Stein--I am going to pick Something by the end of this weekend--will see what I have on hand... :) Thanks!


I can't accept the praise for the list as I 'borrowed' it from some other bloggers--who I think have actually completed their Century. it is a very fun idea, isn't it? I was just adding slowly to the list without giving the actual years much thought, but now I think I need to be a little more thoughtful of choices and where books might be added. It will take me a few more years to fill in the blanks but I will keep chipping away at it all.


I have fond memories of the Railway Children, though now that I think of it, maybe it was The Boxcar Children (a spin-off?) that I recall an elementary teacher reading to my class one year. I think I most definitely need to go explore my little stack of books by Elizabeth von Arnim!


What a great reading project--I've been thinking about doing this for the 1800s since I read so much from that time period myself.

How about The Virginian, by Owen Wister, published in 1902? I read it a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it.


I haven't made much progress on this project lately as I seem to be reading a lot of books that have been recently published. Not a bad thing, just not advancing the goal of finishing the Century of Books! I'm like you in that I have very few from the 1900s--the ones I have are Elizabeth von Arnim, who I love. I've noticed that most of the older books on my list are vintage mysteries!


Love reading about how your reading project is going. I do enjoy reading challenges but every once in a while I toy with the idea of my own reading project and then I just get overwhelmed :) Who knows, maybe one day!

Liz F

I really admire anyone who takes on a project like this because it's not something that I should even contemplate!
I know full well that I don't have the staying power to do it - I would start out well and with the best of intentions but rapidly fall by the wayside as I got distracted! Such limited self-discipline that it's shameful!
However there are some very interesting reading ideas there and a number of books which have made their way onto my list so thank you for that!


That would be so cool to do it for an earlier century. It has crossed my mind, but one project at a time! I actually read The Virginian a number of years ago but maybe in a squeeze I could reread it. I was surprised as I liked it, too, and I am not a fan normally of westerns. It's always good to read outside the comfort zone!


I haven't been looking for books specifically to fit in, but then I will find if I don't pay attention for a few months and then start matching things up I will have read several that I can fit in! And then I get all gung ho and think it is time to fill in blanks (and then usually get distracted), which is what I am doing now. I think I need to read more of Elizabeth von Arnim, too. I really liked what I have read by her so far. And vintage mysteries are great--I have a few mysteries in my list, too!


I told myself I would try and avoid any sort of reading challenge, but as this is ongoing and not something I really spend too much time on, I will keep going. Of course at the rate I am reading, I might finish it in another five years or so! ;)


I haven't really been giving it much attention. As long as it fits in with whatever else I am reading anyway, I will keep going with it. I do need to actually start looking to see what years need to be 'read' though or I will never finish! I probably could be further along if I did give it more attention, but like you I get easily distracted! ;) And you know in the end, it is just another excuse to make book lists and start ever more books.


Danielle, this is an interesting project. Do you try to read a book from each year, if you are able to get hold of books published between 1900 and 1910 for instance? I gathered from your post that this is an ongoing project, not bound by a deadline. Do correct me if I got it wrong.

Pam J.

Inspired by your blog, in November 2013 I created a list of the 20th century books I've read. I now need to read just six more novels to complete the century, all of them in that first difficult decade. Here's what I plan to read:


It was so much fun to create the list. But not quite as much fun as facing the fact that I've read so many books basically because I'm old.


Oh, very impressive indeed! I am glad I am not the only one to have problems filling in that difficult first decade. I love Howards End--it is maybe my favorite by him, though I also love A Room with a View. Good choice there. I also read Call of the Wild years ago but the rest I have not read and I am not familiar with the William Dean Howells--must check it out. It is fun to create the list and to fill in the gaps. Don't ever think of it as being old, but as being well read! :) If I can find my copy of My Brilliant Career--I might read that one myself! Happy reading.


I have been working on this for maybe three years now? Or, this will be my third year...anyway, when I first started I didn't pay any attention to choice, but as I read books filled them into slots as they came along. Now I need to think a little more about the years left open and try and tailor things a bit more so I can fill in years. I am not reading them in order, but I do want to try and concentrate on that first decade for a while. Which reminds me I need to go and pick up Making of a Marchioness who is going into one of those slots! No deadline and no rules here. All meant to be fun!

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