The Classics Club 2019-2024: 2nd list recap



The Classics Club
September 7, 2019 – September 7, 2024

You read it right: I had five years to read my 2nd list of 50 titles for The Classics Club.
But I actually managed to read/listen to them between September 2019 and November 2020!
See my 2nd list here. As usual, 34 titles were added to my original list!
And my first list here.
Alas, I’m so so far behind as for reviews.

📚 Here is a little recap:

Besides Bible books, the oldest title was published in 1824:
The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe
And the most recent in 1953:
Childhood’s End, by Arthur C. Clarke

📚 Genre:

  • 2 scifi
  • 3 nonfiction
  • 4 fiction
  • 15 Bible
  • 22 mysteries

Both scifi were super disappointing.
In nonfiction, my favorite was

Travels with a Donkey in the Cévennes

In  fiction, I so loved

Parnassus on Wheels

In mystery, this one was a big revelation:

The Lodger

I read the first 9 Maigret mysteries by Georges Simenon.
I really liked the ambiance, as explained for instance in this post.

And I’m really thrilled by my current project or listening to all of Hercule Poirot, as the first story with him was published one hundred years ago.
I enjoy this experience as much I enjoyed listening to all of Sherlock Holmes in 2017. I am more and more discovering all the intricacies of the main character.
And Agatha Christie’s plots are so genially put together, with not two alike, even if several are the type of closed room mystery.

So far, I have listened to 8 and read 1, which is actually a play!
Most of these were narrated by the amazing Hugh Fraser. I did watch the BBc series, so it’s really neat to find his voice again. He is so so good at doing all kinds of different characters.
And a couple were with David Suchet, who’s really dedicated all his life to Hercule Poirot.

As I haven’t written any review of these, I’d like to share here something I have discovered, thanks to the audio format. It never struck me when I was reading them (I did read a few Hercule Poirot books in the past).
We all know Hercule is a francophone Belgian, and his English is not perfect.
When you read/hear him, you may notice some awkward phrases and think, well, he’s not a native English speaker and not think more about it.
But there’s actually more to the story. I realized that his mistakes are based on French constructions. The latest most obvious example I encountered is in Lord Edgware Dies. At one point, Hercule tells Captain Hastings, “You mock yourself at me.”
In French, the verb ‘to mock’ is indeed not a transitive verb, but a pronominal verb (se moquer de), so to say: you mock me, we do literally say “you mock yourself at me” (vous vous moquez de moi).
There are many similar examples like this in all the Hercule Poirot stories I have listened to so far, which shows that either Agatha Christie was fluent in French, or she did extensive research to make Hercule very real. Her family spent a year in France, that probably helped, though I don’t know how old she was then. I so need to read her biography!

📚 Format:

  • 18 print
  • 32 audio

📚 Authors:

  • 5 by a Japanese author
  • 6 by an American author
  • 10 by a French author

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Book reviews: classic science-fiction

Among the 50 classics I read these past four years, a few were science-fiction.
I like a good scifi novel, and I realize I usually  enjoy the classic ones. Except maybe
Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? which left me a bit disappointed.
I have also reviewed The Martian Chronicles, so today I’ll focus on the others:
We, Solaris, and Childhood’s End, actually my first classic for my 2nd list of 50 classics.

Click to continue reading

WWW Wednesday September 18, 2019

  WWW Wednesdays 2

 WWW Wednesdays

Wow, I haven’t done this for a while. I plan to do it again, at least mid-month


click on the covers to know more about them




Spirited Away 3


Childhoods End

Quichotte: superb, come back tomorrow to read my review!

Spirited Away: I just fell in love with the work of Hayao Miyazaki. I recently read:
– The Secret World of Arrietty ( 2 volumes), sad, but gorgeous art, so detailed, so good with nature, colors. Totally my cup of tea!
Spirited Away (3 volumes so far) – not sure I like the way the story is evolving, we’ll see
– My Neighbor Totoro (1 volume so far). I am curious to see where this is going!
This artist knows how to draw/paint, it’s really gorgeous. Technically, these are more film comic adaptations than manga, and they are all in color.

Childhood’s End:
I listened to it – found on youtube! Fascinating, though I want to read more about it, to get more to the message. And I definitely want to read more by this author!
Incidentally, this is my first classic towards my 2nd list of 50 classics!





Into The Night


Tender is the Night

I usually really enjoy this French author. I am at 20% so far, and it’s dragging, but sounds like things are soon going to make more sense. I hope.

Into the Night:
I recently discovered Sarah Bailey and her Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock. I like her style, so I decided to jump right away in book 2. And book 3 is coming soon!

Tender is the Night:
Another audio classic I found on youtube.
So far, I really like Fitzgerald’s style. I hate The Great Gatsby, but this is very good, so far, about 1 hour into the book.



La grande escapade


The Vexations


Avalanche hotel

La grande escapade
The latest novel by a French author I like a lot.

The Vexations
Recent historical novel on Erik Satie! Lent to me by a friend. It sounds really good.

Avalanche hôtel
I’m curious to try this big name of French thrillers, that will be my first book by him.


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