A passion for classic books and great conversations


Classics Book Club online is run out of Melbourne, Australia by Kate Badgery-Parker (aka Kate BP),  Kate has been a long time members of an ‘in person’ classics bookclub, which has met monthly for over 10 years, usually in a pub in Melbourne’s city centre. 

Through this book club, Kate has read hundreds of books and discovered the joys of many authors (notably Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens and Fyodor Dostoevsky).   She has also enjoyed forming close ties and friendships with the members of the book club, some who have been there since the beginning.  

In forming the Classics Book Club Online, Kate hopes to share her love of the classics, using the convenience of online meetings and website technology to make it easy for everyone to participate.  

This new group is aimed to bring more people together to discover the joy of discussing classic books


If you’re over 18 and can read (or listen to audio book) in English and participate in a group discussion you’re welcome to join.

This bookclub is for:

  • People who have never read a classic book before
  • People who’ve read lots and lots of classics
  • People who have read a few classics over the years but haven’t read much lately
  • People who mostly read popular fiction but want to read more broadly  
  • People who’ve studied classics at uni – whether recently or many years ago
  • People who don’t know anything at all about the classics

Everyone is welcome.    All we ask is an open mind to participate, listen and engage in discussions (and if possible, do at least skim the book before the book discussion)


The term classic is often debated in relation to books, and will probably be the subject of much discussion within this group.  

It is typically used to describe books published pre-WWII or the 1960s, that have ‘stood the test of time’ due to their noteworthiness or seen to be of high literary merit. .  To be regarded as a classic, a book usually also needs to have some sort of relevance or appeal to the contemporary reader either through the resonance of the challenges faced by the characters; the influence of the book on other writers; or the historical significance of the book. 

In this group, we will focus mostly on novels published between 1800 and 1960, with an emphasis on Western literature, especially English, American, French, Russian and German novels.   This is not intended to discount the huge volume of amazing literature from outside the Western world, poetry or plays, nor the literature published today.   As we will certainly debate, there is an historical and political context in what we define as a classic.


The idea for Classic Book Club Online came to the founder, Kate, during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown.  She watched with interest as we were forced to adapt to to work and socialise online.  Her regular book club went online,  her friends had drinks online and her choir even rehearsed online (thanks to the innovation of her wonderful choir leader, Vicky Jacobs of Glee).

Kate also noticed that the technology made gatherings much more accessible to busy working parents, shift workers and people with disabilities.    Could the same approach be applied to Classics books as a way to deal with the huge waitlist for their book club and the people who had trouble attending? 

By day, Kate is a marketing consultant and strategist and familiar with digital marketing tools and website development.  As such, Classics Book Club Online also became a COVID project to build a website and automated membership system using non-technical digital tools (which really isn’t her day job!). 

Picture of Kate