Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Classics Club Redux: The List

Last year I pretty much gave up on my Classics Club List -- from my original list of 75, I had six left to go which I'd been putting off forever. I'd tried reading all of them at least once and just couldn't get into them. Since I started with 75 I thought that I'd done pretty well and decided to take a break, though I had made a tentative second list.

I forgot all about it and the Classics Club, but I've been blogging a lot more lately (around the end of the year I usually get revved up again while planning the Back to the Classics Challenge). This week a lot of bloggers are signing up for the next Classics Club Spin, which is always really fun. Basically, participants pull 20 books from their list and number them, then a random number from one to twenty  is chosen, and everyone reads whichever number book corresponds. It's a really fun way to choose a book off your list and I always enjoyed it.

Well, I do love making lists, and it's always fun to have someone else choose your next read. But before I can choose a list of twenty for the spin I had to come up with another Classics Club List. Some of the titles are more obscure classics because in the past 12 years or so since I seriously started reading, I've read a lot of the major works -- I'm getting down to the less-well known titles and authors. Also, I've really stopped buying classics that I can get for free from the library or digital download. Nowadays, I usually only buy books that I can't find otherwise.

This time, I've chosen only books from my own shelves, and I didn't choose any books from the TBR Pile Challenge because I know I'm definitely going to read those -- I really want to make some progress with my owned-and-unread books and I think this will really inspire me. Without further ado:

  1. The Caravaners by Elizabeth von Arnim
  2. Imperial Palace by Arnold Bennett
  3. Alexander's Bridge by Willa Cather
  4. Bond Street Story by Norman Collins
  5. One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
  6. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  7. Alas, Poor Lady by Rachel Ferguson
  8. My American by Stella Gibbons
  9. Westwood by Stella Gibbons
  10. Living/Loving/Party Going by Henry Green
  11. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
  12. A Pair of Blue Eyes by Thomas Hardy
  13. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy
  14. The Hireling by L. P. Hartley
  15. The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer
  16. Mandoa, Mandoa! by Winifred Holtby
  17. A Pin to See the Peepshow by F. Tennyson Jesse
  18. Troy Chimneys by Margaret Kennedy
  19. Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamund Lehmann
  20. The Little Ottleys by Ada Leverson
  21. The World My Wilderness by Rose Macauley
  22. Whiskey Galore by Compton Mackenzie
  23. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
  24. The Pumpkin-Eater by Penelope Mortimer
  25. In Confidence by Irene Nemirovsky
  26. The Misunderstanding by Irene Nemirovsky
  27. One Fine Day by Mollie Panter-Downes
  28. The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  29. A Few Green Leaves by Barbara Pym
  30. Noli Me Tangere by Jose Rizal
  31. Summer Half by Angela Thirkell
  32. Pomfret Towers by Angela Thirkell
  33. Is He Popinjoy? by Anthony Trollope
  34. Kept in the Dark by Anthony Trollope
  35. Linda Tressel and Nina Balatka by Anthony Trollope
  36. An Old Man's Love by Anthony Trollope
  37. Ralph the Heir by Anthony Trollope
  38. Roughing It by Mark Twain
  39. The Children by Edith Wharton
  40. The Fruit of the Tree by Edith Wharton
  41. Hudson River Bracketed by Edith Wharton
  42. Frost in May by Antonia White
  43. Barmy in Wonderland by P. G. Wodehouse
  44. Jenny Wren by E. H. Young
  45. The Misses Mallett by E. H. Young
  46. La Debacle by Emile Zola
  47. The Fortunes of the Rougons by Emile Zola
  48. A Love Episode by Emile Zola
  49. Money by Emile Zola
  50. Beware of Pity by Stephan Zweig
Bloggers, which have you read and loved -- or hated? Should I just get rid of some of these and not waste my time? 

I'll pick out twenty of these and post my Spin list in a day or so. On Friday the Classics Club will post the number and who knows what I'll read next!


  1. An interesting list Karen. Of the books I have read, my feelings -

    One Pair of Feet (very funny)
    Frost in May (insightful)

    Bond St Story
    The Masqueraders
    The World My Wilderness
    One Fine Day
    A Few Green Leaves

    Under the Greenwood Tree (too much dialect, but I was only 16 when I attempted it)
    Invitation to the Waltz (didn't get on with the characters, I don't know why).

    We all have different responses to books, so I'm sure you will have an interesting journey whichever you choose!

    1. I've only read one other book by Rosamond Lehmann and I thought it was slow. I'll give Invitation to the Waltz a shot if it comes up. And Hardy is tough, some I've loved and some just dragged.

  2. There aren't many titles there that I recognize--as a committed classics reader, you have really gone through the classic classics already! I am curious about Under the Greenwood Tree--I've heard it's the only non-depressing Thomas Hardy novel, but I've always assumed that meant that it was dull :)

    1. Exactly, I've read a lot of classics already! I could have added more Trollope and Zola but I do want to spread them out -- I know I'll be sad when I've read all of Trollope!

      I've made some progress with Hardy and I really liked Far From the Madding Crowd. Parts are dark but I didn't find it too depressing.

  3. Super interesting list! Many I have never heard of. As Jane stated above, you have probably already read all the better known titles.

    I have read Crime and Punishment, Loving and One Fine Day and can recommend them all.

    1. Exactly, I'm getting into the more obscure titles now. I'm really hoping for One Fine Day.

  4. I liked Beware of Pity. I've thought about Noli Me Tangere but it was sort of scary looking last time I took a look at it!

    1. I loved The Post Office Girl but I haven't read anything else by Stefan Zweig. I might try and read Noli in May for Asian Pacific Heritage month.

  5. Obviously love every Zola :) I have read all but A Love Story (I think that's the title of the OWC edition). I liked Crime and Punishment too, but loved Brothers Karamazov better.

    1. I'm definitely reading some Zola in April! Probably a Love Story (I have two different editions!) but if the Spin number gives me Zola, I'll read one of the others. I've heard The Debacle is really good.

      I have been afraid of Dostoevsky but my daughter swears that Crime and Punishment is quite funny. I'll wait and see.

  6. Replies
    1. I just saw Fanda's comment. Let's say C&P is like the appetizer, but BK is the main course of Dostoyevsky.

    2. I'm slightly terrified of the Russians, they seem so dire. That's why I only added one by Dostoevsky. But I could count it as my Crime Classic for the Back to the Classics Challenge!


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