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

Club hashtags on Twitter:











Book review: The Girl Behind the Wall

The Girl Behind the Wall

The Girl Behind the Wall:
Edgar Allan Poe, the Girl and the Mysterious Raven Murders
by Bruce Wetterau
382 pages
Historical mystery


Buy the book on Bookshop

Words And Peace is ten years old. Among other things, it means I receive a lot of review copy offers every week. And I say no to probably 99%. When I saw the subtitle of the book Bruce Wetterau was offering me, I paid more attention. Once I had read the synopsis, I was hooked. And I am so so happy I said yes to The Girl Behind the Wall: Edgar Allan Poe, the Girl and the Mysterious Raven Murders. Click to continue reading

2019: November wrap-up


📚 It’s really unusual for me, but I had a rather meh reading month, as for quantity and content. Actually, I tend to read more slowly when the books are not that great.
But I listened to a lot of audiobook content!

📚 AND I have so far already read more books than my yearly goal of 100 books. So it’s not all that bad.

📚 PLUS, November saw my 5,000th follower! As promised, I sent a book to the lucky new follower (Shalini at Shalini’s Books & Reviews – please go and visit her). That ended up being quite an adventure. I talked about it here.
I promised another giveaway for all my current followers, I will post it in a few days.

📚 I actually did read/browse some gorgeous books published by Rockridge Press and received through The Callisto Publisher’s Club, but as they are mostly cookbooks and children activity books, I do not count them in my statistics.
Some bloggers disagree with that. I don’t mind what other bloggers do, I personally only count books what I really read from A to Z, no word skipped.

📚 Thankfully, it was #Nonficnov, so I visited lots of blogs featuring fascinating nonfiction titles.

📚 And I’m currently reading 2 great books – come back tomorrow to know more about them!

So here are the few titles I read in November:

6 books:
3 in print 
with 862 pages, an average of 28 pages/day
3 in audio
= 25H10
, an average of 50 minutes

5 in mystery:

  1. Scare Me, by Richard Jay Parker – free ebook won in a giveaway
  2. Sharko, by Franck Thilliez – French audiobook
  3. The Masque of the Red Death, by Edgar Allan Poe – audio, for The Classics Club
  4. A Noël Killing, by M.L. Longworth – received for review for Criminal Element
  5. The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, by Fergus Hume – audio, for The Classics Club

1 in nonfiction:

  1. Tom Brown’s Guide to Healing the Earth, by Tom Brown – free book won in a giveaway


  My Preschool WorkbookSad, but none of the books I completely read is worth being featured as a favorite. Let me tell you a few words about the ones I have not reviewed.

The Masque of the Red Death
I listened to this short story by Edgar Allan Poe for The Classics Club.
I was actually rather disappointed by it. I didn’t think there was much to it, probably because of the short story format. I even listened to an analysis of it, that was actually longer than the book itself, to be sure I had not missed something major. I didn’t even find suspense in it, as the end was obvious from the get go.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
And I listened to this one also for The Classics Club. I was really curious, as the author lived for a long time in New Zealand.
I was also rather disappointed. Even though it’s only 260 pages, I felt it was dragging for the resolution of the mystery. However, it was interesting to read about Melbourne in the 1880s. “A man is found dead in a hansom cab, and one of Melbourne’s leading citizens is accused of the murder. He pleads his innocence, yet refuses to give an alibi.” The reason why was also quite clear from the beginning.
I wanted to try this author, who supposedly really influenced Conan Doyle, but I don’t think I’ll read more by him.

A Noël Killing
If you want to try a Christmas mystery with a Provence setting, you may find A Noël Killing enjoyable. It was too slow for me, and as I notice the same criticism applied by other readers to the first book in this series, I don’t think I’ll stay in the company of Verlaque and Bonnet. It also contained inexact details about the region.
This is an excerpt of my review that will be published on Criminal Element mid December.


Classics Club: 6/50 (until September 2024)
2019 Calendar of Crime Challenge 20/12?
Where Are You Reading?: 21/50 – to be finished in ??
Total of books read in 2019 = 104/100 – FINISHED
Number of books added to my TBR this past month= 26


Guide to Healing the Earth  My Preschool Workbook Healing with Apple Cider Vinegar Feng Shui


The open giveaways are on my homepage


click on the cover to access my review (2013!)


Nonfiction 2019 Book Pairings


The Mommy Island
please go visit


Judy at Keep the Wisdom
Karen at Booker Talk
Silvia at Silvia Cachia


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Come back tomorrow
to see the books I plan to read in December.

Eiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower OrangeEiffel Tower Orange

How was YOUR month of November?


Nicole at Feed Your Fiction Addiction
has created a Month In Review meme
where you can link your monthly recap posts
Thanks Nicole!