Thursday, April 1, 2021

The Classics Club: In Which I Finish My Second Classics Club List and Begin My Third

 "Read the best books first, 

or you may not have a chance to read them at all."

What is the Classics Club? From the blog:

  • Choose 50+ classics.
  • List them at your blog.
  • Choose a reading completion goal date up to five years in the future and note that date on your classics list of 50+ titles.
  • E-mail the moderators of this blog ( with your list link and information and it will be posted on the Members Page.
  • Write about each title on your list as you finish reading it, and link it to your main list
  • When you’ve written about every single title, let the club know.
I am now finished with my second list. I began it in May of 2019, and I finished it at the end of March of 2021. That's almost two years to complete these fifty books. 

I struggled with this list a bit. There were several books found I really didn't like. It was hard to finish these. They included classic science fiction novel We; Introduction to French Poetry; and French Fairy Tales. 

On the other hand, I read lots of great books that are now favorites. These include Moby Dick; The Girl of the Limberlost; Main Street; Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love; Tom Brown's Schooldays; and War and Peace.

Here is a list of 100+ books I plan to use to draw from to read my third Classics Club list:

Adventures of the Wishing-ChairBlyton, Enid1937Children's528 pages
Agnes GrayBronte, Emily1847Novel256 pages
All Quiet On the Western FrontRemarque, Erich Maria1929Novel200 pages
Art of EatingFisher, M.K.F.1954Cooking784 pages
BabbittLewis, Sinclair1922Novel432 pages
Baron in the Trees, TheCalvino, Italo1957Novel320 pages
Big Sleep, TheChandler, Raymond1939Mystery277 pages
Brothers Karamazov, TheDostoevsky, Fyodor1880Novel840 pages
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American WestBrown, Dee1970History487 pages
Captain FracasseGautier, Theophile1863Children's146 pages
Complete Stories: Fairy Tales of Fear and TremblingKafka, Franz1924Short stories487 pages
Country of the Pointed Firs, TheJewett, Sarah Orne1896Novel88 pages
Crime and PunishmentDostoevsky, Fyodor1866Novel576 pages
Custom of the Country, TheWharton, Edith1913Novel224 pages
Cue for TreasonTrease, Geoffrey1940Children's305 pages
David CopperfieldDickens, Charles1849Novel624 pages
Death of the Heart, TheBowen, Elizabeth1938Novel418 pages
Diary of a Provencial LadyDelafield, E. M.1930Fiction134 pages
Decameron, TheBoccaccio, Giovanni1353Short stories554 pages
Divine Comedy, TheAlighieri, Dante1320Poetry857 pages
Drowned World, TheBallard, J. G.1962Sci fiction158 pages
DublinersJoyce, James1914Short stories152 pages
Elizabeth and Her German Gardenvon Arnim, Elizabeth1898Memoir139 pages
End of the AffairGreene, Graham1951Fiction237 pages
Essays in IdlenessKenko1332Memoir120 pages
Eugene Onegin: A Novel in VersePushkin, Alexander1831Poetry288 pages
Fat and the Thin, TheZola, Emile1873Novel263 pages
Favorite Folktales from Around the WorldYolen, Jane, ed.1986Folktales514 pages
Glass Bead Game, TheHesse, Hermann1943Novel250 pages
Glimpses of the Moon, TheWharton, Edith1922Novel336 pages
Guns of August, TheTuchman, Barbara A.1962History511 pages
Heat of the Day, TheBowen, Elizabeth1948Fiction372 pages
High Wind in Jamaica, AHughes, Richard1928Novel283 pages
Hills is Lonely, TheBeckwith, Lillian1959Memoir240 pages
History of Tom Jones, A Foundling, TheFielding, Henry1749Novel700 pages
Hunchback of Notre-Dame, TheHugo, Victor1831Novel351 pages
HungerHamsun, Knut1891Novel132 pages
I Married AdventureJohnston, Osa1940Travel432 pages
If This is a ManLevi, Primo1947Memoir179 pages
Invisible ManEllison, Ralph1952Novel460 pages
Jock of the BushveldFitzPatrick, J. Percy1907Children's475 pages
Jungle TalesQuiroga, Horatio1918Children's73 pages
Kristin Lavransdatter: The WreathUndset, Sigrid1920Novel338 pages
Light in AugustFaulkner, William1932Novel480 pages
Little Tour in France, AJames, Henry1885Travel255 pages
Long Day’s Journey into NightO'Neill, Eugene1956Play280 pages
Lost HorizonHilton, James1933Novel272 pages
Love in a Cold ClimateMitford, Nancy1949Novel284 pages
Lucky JimAmis, Kingsley1954Novel251 pages
Madame de TreymesWharton, Edith1906Novel90 pages
Man and SupermanShaw, George Bernard1903Play208 pages
Man's Search for MeaningFrankl, Viktor1946Philosophy192 pages
Mary BartonGaskell, Elizabeth1848Novel464 pages
Mayor of CasterbridgeHardy, Thomas1886Novel400 pages
MiddlemarchEliot, George1871Novel848 pages
Mistress Masham's ReposeWhite, T. H.1946Children's260 pages
My First Summer in the SierraMuir, John1911Travel; Nature146 pages
Mystery of the Yellow RoomLeroux, Gaston1907Mystery236 pages
NanaZola, Emile1889Novel387 pages
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American SlaveDouglass, Frederick1845Memoir160 pages
Native SonWright, Richard1940Novel544 pages
Notes from UndergroundDostoevsky, Fyodor1864Novel154 pages
Of Human BondageMaugham, W. Somerset1915Novel658 pages
OrangesMcPhee, John1967Nonfiction160 pages
Otterbury Incident, TheDay-Lewis, Cecil1948Children's160 pages
Out of the Silent PlanetLewis, C. S.1943Science fiction160 pages
Outermost House, TheBeston, Henry1928Travel222 pages
Parnassus on WheelsMorley, Christopher1917Novel108 pages
Pillow Book, TheShonagon, Sei1002Memoir416 pages
Pigeon PostRansome, Arthur1936Children's433 pages
Pony for Jean, ACannan, Joanna1937Children's156 pages
Portable Dorothy Parker, TheParker, Dorothy1944Essays656 pages
Prince and the Pauper, TheTwain, Mark1881Children's176 pages
Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of NeroSienkiewicz, Henryk1896Historical fiction282 pages
Razor's Edge, TheMaugham, W. Somerset1944Fiction314 pages
Rebecca of Sunnybrook FarmWiggin, Kate Douglas1903Children's309 pages
Scarlet Letter, TheHawthorne, Nathaniel1850Novel272 pages
Semi-Attached Couple, TheEden, Emily1860Novel208 pages
SiddharthaHesse, Hermann1922Novel152 pages
Sound of Waves, TheMishima, Yukio1954Novel192 pages
Story of My Life, TheKeller, Helen1903Memoir417 pages
Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, TheStevenson, Robert Louis1886Novel141 pages
Tale of Genji, TheAmano, Yoshitaka1008Fiction1300 pages
Tale of Two Cities, ADickens, Charles1859Fiction307 pages
Tales of OtogizoshiDazai, Osamu1392Novel123 pages
Tarka the OtterWilliamson, Henry1927Children's288 pages
Three Musketeers, TheDumas, Alexandre1844Novel700 pages
Thurber Carnival, TheThurber, James1945Humor448 pages
Tin Drum, TheGrass, Gunter1959Novel576 pages
Travels in Asia and AfricaBattuta, Ibn1340Travel270 pages
Trial, TheKafka, Franz1915Novel119 pages
Vanity FairThackeray, William Makepeace1847Novel628 pages
Washington SquareJames, Henry1881Novel248 pages
Way of All Flesh, TheButler, Samuel1903Novel360 pages
Where Angels Fear to TreadForster, E. M.1905Novel128 pages
Wind, Sand, and Starsde Saint-Exupéry, Antoine1939Memoir239 pages
Winesburg, OhioAnderson, Sherwood1919Short stories160 pages
Winter’s Tale, TheShakespeare, William1611Play160 pages
Wives and DaughtersGaskell, Elizabeth1864Novel583 pages
Woman in White, TheCollins, Wilkie1959Mystery682 pages
Yellow Wallpaper, TheGilman, Charlotte Perkins1892Novel38 pages
Zen and Zen ClassicsBlyth, R. H.1960Philosophy126 pages

I tried to include a mix of adult fiction with children's fiction as well as plays, philosophy, travel, humor, mystery, science fiction, short stories, poetry, memoir, and historical fiction. The oldest book on my list is The Divine Comedy, published in 1320. I tried to include some diverse works as well as books from the traditional classics canon. Many of these books were recommendations from other bloggers, and I thank you for those.



  1. Oh my goodness!

    I had no idea there was a whole book blogging site devoted to the classics, I shall be stopping by to check it out for myself shortly.

    The classics, along with memoirs and other non-fiction, are books which I don't typically read, not because I have no interest in the genres, but simply because there are not enough hours in the day (or even a lifetime) to fit in all the reading I would like to do!

    I have a whole list of 'classic' books and authors I would like to check out, but it just keeps growing and I never get to any of them. I so agree with the 'Thoreau' quote about reading your best book form a list first, so I wonder if your list is in the order you want to read, and if not, which would be your favourite book to begin with?

    I shall look forward to following your progress with this challenge, particularly the Enid Blyton book, which I don't think I have ever read, although I did think I was familiar with all her work.

    Thanks for sharing and have a lovely Easter :)

    1. Yvonne, it makes me feel so happy that I have introduced you to a blogging site which has brought me so much joy. I love the idea of choosing your own list of classics, and setting a goal of reading fifty or more in the next five years. (You can always extend the date, if you wish.) This will be my third list and I have learned it is great to have a large list to choose from. If a book doesn't work for me, I strike it from the list and go on to something else (life is too short). I choose a book that strikes my fancy (and when I am able to find a copy).

      If you would like any more information about my experiences with The Classics Club, please take a look at my tab at the top of my blog or email me. I'll be happy to help in any way I can.

  2. Lots of memories there. I have read several of those books and need to read several more. It makes me particularly happy to hear that you liked Moby Dick which often gets a bad rap from many. I first read it for a college class long ago and it has become one of my all-time favorite books.

    1. I never thought I'd read Moby Dick, but I joined a group readalong, and it turned out that I loved it.

  3. Congratulations on finishing your second list! Definitely see some of my favorites on your third: Tom Jones, The Baron In The Trees, The Woman in White. I liked Babbitt even better than Main Street. Enjoy! And I'm looking forward to your thoughts.

  4. congrats. i echo dorothy about moby dick. it is one of the few from your list i have read

    sherry @


  5. Wow! What an accomplishment. I need to refresh my list and make a more concerted effort. I do better at small year-long challenges. But I love following along. I've got a few on my list from yours as well. I look forward to seeing your reviews. Good luck!

  6. Both the Yellow Wallpaper and Tin Drum bring back vivid memories of when I read them in college. I love that your list has such a great variety.

  7. All I can say is wow. I am incredibly impressed!

  8. So many great classics on your list: Middlemarch, Glimpses of the Moon, Washington Square and The Portable Dorothy Parker! And I LOVE Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White. Happy reading! :D

    1. I am happy to see your positive comments about some on my list.

  9. Congrats on your 2nd list!! I went so fast on my 2nd list, that I realized I could make a longer list, so my 3rd list has 137 titles:
    I have read 26 in your list here, with lots of great titles! You will love The Woman i White I think. I didn't remember it being that long. I listened to it, and it went fast

    1. I have an audiobook of Woman in White. It doesn't look that long to me.

  10. Wow, congratulations on completing your list! I don't read a lot of classics but have always enjoyed those that I've read. But most of all, I loved how you were able to complete the list in 2 years!

    1. The more classics I read, the more I want to read classics.

  11. Congratulations and I will be going to have a look.

  12. Interesting list. I will keep the list as a reference for my 2nd classic list. It only covers 50 books and I am still on the first one, after several years. Your speed is impressive.
    I have read 18 of them. I have given up on Dickens and James Joyce, but love a lot of the other authors. Middlemarch is written by George Eliot.
    Good luck with the new list.

    1. I'm a fast, but not a thorough reader. I wish I read slower and more carefully.

  13. Wow! Congratulations, Deb! Are you the first member to start on a third list? I'm still plugging away at my second... the past year has really knocked me off my classics game. Nancy Mitford's books are on my list, so am glad to know you enjoyed them.

    1. I enjoyed the first book so much that I put the second book on this list.

  14. That's a great list of books. I don't read a lot of classics so I didn't see any books in that list that I've read.

  15. Congratulations for finishing your list! Looks like you have an ambitious third list ready. I think I'm going to miss my deadline for my second list, which is coming right up. I should have read everything by then, but I won't have time to post all my reviews.

  16. Congratulations on finishing your second list of classics. That is impressive! I love that you do have a mix of genres. I don't think I would have thought of adding children's books but why not? They are just as important. Can't wait to see what you end up reading.

  17. Congratulations! That's a huge accomplishment!

    I'm so happy to see The Country of the Pointed Firs on your list. It's such a beautiful novella. Have you been to Maine? I re-read it when we went there on vacation and appreciated it even more.

    I've read several others from your list, mostly because of required reading for school. We were supposed to read Moby Dick but our teacher let us get away with watching the movie starring Patrick Stewart in class and work from there. She must not have been a fan herself. Or maybe she didn't want to deal with whiny teens! 😂

    Good luck with your new list!

  18. Deb, that is a great list. I always say I want to read more classics but, then I never seem to follow through. East of Eden, Mice and Men, A Separate Peace, Les Miserables are some of my favorites.

    Have a great week!

  19. That is commitment to get all of that reading done. I have vowed to do a 24 hour read a thon at least once and post the results on my youtube channel. we will see. Still thinking not this year, lol

  20. I'm so impressed you've already completed two classic club lists. It took me more than five years to complete just one. I kept finding other books I wanted to read more than the ones on my list :). Your mix of genres is a good strategy; it means you are more likely to find something to suit your mood....


I hope you will leave a comment so I know you have visited. If you stop by my blog, I will always stop by yours.

Note: Disqus commenting is only available on the web version of the blog. Please switch to the web version if you are using a mobile device.