The Classics Club 2020-2025: 3rd list recap

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The Classics Club
November 2020 – November 2025

In November 2020, I started to read my 3rd list of 50 137 titles for The Classics Club.
But I actually managed to finish 137 titles on September 1st, 2022 (instead of November 2025)
See my full 3rd list here. The post explains why on earth 137!
And as usual, I actually only read 25 of my original list.
See my 2nd list here. (50 books)
And my first list here. (50 books)
Writing short reviews for the Sunday Salon has helped me a bit, but still I haven’t reviewed them all.

📚 Here is a little recap:

From the original list of 50 titles (25 read), what is the most obvious is my discovery of fabulous old classic mysteries – some are getting republished, which is a good thing, as they stayed forgotten gem for too long.
My best discoveries are Cornell Woolrich, James M. Cain, Edna Ferber, Josephine Tey, Adolfo Bioy Casares, Rex Stout, and Eric Ambler.
I was neat to read more by Milne, Orwell, Daphne du Maurier, and Garcia Marquez.

Besides this list of 50, I finished my Bible Project (28 books), by listening to the whole Old Testament, and rereading the New Testament in a recent Orthodox translation.

I also finished my Hercule Poirot Project (34 audiobook in this list).

And I read 51 books that were not originally on my list.
Among these, my major discoveries are Sébastien Japrisot, Mahfouz, Maria Angelica Bosco, and Hansberry.
it was good rereading from Simenon (8 books read with a French student of mine), Kobo Abe, Barjavel (with another French student), Dhôtel, H. G. Wells, Verne, and my favorite Alain-Fournier.

Besides Bible books, the oldest title was published in 1842:
Les Mystères de Paris, by Eugène Sue
And the most recent in 1973:
The Box Man, by Kobo Abe

📚 Genre:

  • 1 horror
  • 3 plays
  • 4 poetry
  • 4 literary fiction
  • 5 children
  • 5 nonfiction + 28 Biblical Books
  • 6 scifi
  • 7 historical fiction
  • 16 Japanese fiction
  • 24 mysteries + 34 by Agatha Christie

In nonfiction, my favorite was

Down and Out in Paris in London

📚 Format:

  • 60 print
  • 77 audio

I only had 1 DNF, The Sleepwalkers (1932), by Hermann Broch.
Obviously, the other titles I have not read yet will be in my 4th list, that you can discover here tomorrow!

Club hashtags on Twitter:

DID YOU LIKE THE AUTHORS HIGHLIGHTED 
IN THIS POST?

COME BACK TOMORROW
TO DISCOVER MY NEWEST LIST!

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The Classics Club: My answers to the 10 Year Celebration Questionnaire

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#theclassicsclub

The Classics Club:
My answers to the 10 Year Celebration Questionnaire

The Classics Club is ten years old, so they asked their members to answer a questionnaire.

1. When did you join the Classics Club?
On 1/1/2016, as announced here

2. What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?
Between 1/1/2016 and today, 8/17/2022, I have read 233 classics, so picking a favorite is too hard.
I will just highlight my last three big discoveries:
Down and Out in Paris and London, by George Orwell (1933)
It was neat to read his nonfiction, with the same quality of details and characters as in his fiction.

The Bride Wore Black, by Cornell Woolrich (1940)
Major discovery, I so enjoyed the structure of he book and the psychology of the characters.
I like reading classics that are no longer super famous. Many of his books have been made into movies, but most people don’t even know he was the original writer, like Rear Window.

So Big, by Edna Ferber (1924)
I was very impressed by this historical portrait of Illinois, and again, great details on the evolution of characters.

3. What is the first classic you ever read?
Not too sure, maybe Les Misérables (1862) –when I was 10 in 6th grade. I know, my Mom was Hugo’s fan and she made me read classics way too early.
I remember reading Anna Karenina (1878) when I was 11, in 7th grade. Insanely too young!

4. Which classic book inspired you the most?
Not too sure about inspiration, but my favorite, which I read also in 7th grade, and again 10 years ago, and again this summer, is probably Le Grand Meaulnes, by Alain-Fournier (1913).
I read it before joining the Club, that’s why I didn’t consider it for question 2 above.

5. What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
Probably In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust (the 7 volumes, 1913-1927).
Volumes 3 and 4 were challenging for me, but all the over volumes were worth it. I’m considering rereading it all.

6. Favorite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
Not sure, I don’t watch many movies.

7. Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
Maybe Francie in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, by Betty Smith (1943) .
For her refuge in books when life was not easy

8. Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
Nothing comes to mind. I think if there’s a classic I expect to dislike, I will not even try to read it, as there are so many that attract me, from many countries.

9. Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
I’m going to try The Life and Opinions of Tristram  Shandy, Gentleman, by Laurence Stern (1767).
I put it on my list because of a video I watched where Salman Rushdie highlighted how important this book was for him.
And then the books I haven’t read yet in my 3rd list.

Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favorite memory with The Classics Club?
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to all of Sherlock Holmes, and to all of Hercule Poirot.

***

Thanks so much to all the folks at The Classics Club. Neat community.
The Classics Spins are fun incentive, and I enjoy the authors presented on a regular basis.
And to many years!

I will soon talk about my 4th list, as I’m approaching the 137th book of my 3rd list – yes, it was freeing to discover you can have as many books as you want on your list! 

📚 📚 📚 

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK?
WHAT DID YOU THINK?

IF YOU ARE MEMBER OF THE CLASSICS CLUB,
WHAT BOOK DID YOU GET FOR THIS SPIN?

MY FULL CLASSICS CLUB LIST IS HERE

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Book review: The Bride Wore Black

The Bride Wore Black

The Bride Wore Black,
by Cornell Woolrich
First published in 1940.
Read in this edition:
January 5, 2021
American Mystery Classics,
Penzler Publishers
Crime fiction / Noir fiction
288 pages
Goodreads

My tastes in literature are evolving, and right now I am really enjoying discovering old timers in mystery.
The Bride Wore Black had been on my Classics list for a while, and it turned out to be the latest Classic Spin.
I was planning to read it in July, but then I walked to the library, and the book called me from the shelf. I devoured it in a couple of days. It’s probably the very first time I tackle my classic spin so quickly!
Read on to know why. Click to continue reading