Classics Club List #2 – and another Classics Spin!

I mentioned last week that I had finished my current Classics Club list and would probably be posting a second one…and here it is! I have decided to list 50 books this time rather than 100 as that will give me more flexibility and more time to read other books as well. We have five years to complete our lists, so as I’m starting from today that means my finish date will be 14th November 2022 – how far away that seems! I’ve included a mixture of books that I’m hoping will be fun to read, books that sound much more challenging and books that I know very little about but are by authors I’ve wanted to try for a while.


1. The Black Sheep by Honoré de Balzac
2. The Long Ships by Frans G Bengtsson
3. The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov
4. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather
5. Jezebel’s Daughter by Wilkie Collins
6. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
7. Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
8. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
9. La Reine Margot by Alexandre Dumas
10. Chicot the Jester by Alexandre Dumas
11. Castle Dor by Daphne du Maurier
12. Don’t Look Now and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier
13. Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
14. Moonfleet by John Meade Falkner
15. The Brontes Went to Woolworths by Rachel Ferguson
16. The Fifth Queen by Ford Madox Ford
17. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
18. Black Narcissus by Rumer Godden
19. Claudius the God by Robert Graves
20. Desperate Remedies by Thomas Hardy
21. Two on a Tower by Thomas Hardy
22. In a Dark Wood Wandering by Hella S Haasse
23. The Crowded Street by Winifred Holtby
24. Goodbye Mr Chips by James Hilton
25. The Galliard by Margaret Irwin
26. The Europeans by Henry James
27. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
28. The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
29. Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham
30. The Corn King and the Spring Queen by Naomi Mitchison
31. That Lady by Kate O’Brien
32. The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
33. I Will Repay by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
34. The Scottish Chiefs by Jane Porter
35. Jane and Prudence by Barbara Pym
36. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade
37. Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
38. Bardelys the Magnificent by Rafael Sabatini
39. Sandokan: The Tigers of Mompracem by Emilio Salgari
40. The Pirate by Sir Walter Scott
41. The Turquoise by Anya Seton
42. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
43. The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
44. A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor
45. High Rising by Angela Thirkell
46. The Prime Minister by Anthony Trollope
47. The Duke’s Children by Anthony Trollope
48. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
49. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham
50. Germinal by Emile Zola

What do you think? Have you read any of these?


I am just in time to take part in the latest Classics Club Spin! The idea of the spin is to choose twenty unread books from your Classics Club list and number them from 1-20. On Friday 17th November, the Classics Club will choose a number and that is the book you need to read before the end of the year.

As I haven’t read any of the books on my new list yet, I’m just going to use the first twenty books above as my Spin list. If I get #10 I will probably read #9 instead as they are part of a series, but otherwise I don’t mind which number comes up. Now I just need to wait until Friday to find out what I’ll be reading!

38 thoughts on “Classics Club List #2 – and another Classics Spin!

  1. Calmgrove says:

    This is some list! Very impressive; I’ve only read Moonfleet and stalled on Castle Dor so have little to comment on, but this certainly looks ambitious; for me, I’m just sticking to 20 for now and relying on what’s already on my shelves. Good luck on Friday!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you. It does seem daunting, but it only works out at ten books per year so will be achievable, I hope. I’m looking forward to reading Moonfleet; I’m not sure what to expect from Castle Dor, but I want to read it as it’s the only du Maurier novel I still haven’t read.

    • Helen says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we are still in negotiations in 2022, Margaret! And thank you – I am looking forward to making a start with my new list!

  2. Jillian says:

    I haven’t read anything on this list! I’d love to read Daniel Deronda especially! Very best wishes in the spin, & congrats on a whole new book list! I have your #27 on mine too. 🙂 🙂

  3. Sandra says:

    What a great and varied list! I’m reading Nicholas Nickleby at the moment and loving it. You have several there that I want to read: 4, 17, 18 and 42 would be top of the list for me. (I MUST take another look at my own list!)

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you’re loving Nicholas Nickleby! I still have quite a few Dickens novels left to read, so just chose that one and Dombey and Son at random, really.

  4. Jane @ Beyond Eden Rock says:

    That is such an interesting list. You have lots of books I’d love to know more about, and I can particularly recommend ‘The Fountain Overflows’, ‘That Lady’ and ‘In a Dark Wood Wandering’. Good luck second time around!

  5. Lory @ Emerald City Book Review says:

    Some wonderful books here by some of my favorite authors — Cather, Dickens, Godden, Graves, Steinbeck. I think I was the one who recommended The Corn King and the Spring Queen so I do hope you like it.

    I have the Brothers Karamazov on my list too, with a bit of trepidation, but also hoping for a push to read it.

    • Helen says:

      Yes, I think it was you who recommended the Naomi Mitchison book. I really like the sound of it, so I’m looking forward to reading it. I hope we both enjoy The Brothers Karamazov!

  6. Café Society says:

    Daniel Deronda is my favourite Eliot. I don’t think it gets anything like the attention it deserves. And The Crysalids is my favourite Wyndham. I read it as a teenager and it terrified me, not because of what has happened to the people but because of the psychological reality of the way in which the main characters are treated by society.

    • Helen says:

      I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read so far by Eliot, so I have high hopes for Daniel Deronda. The Crysalids sounds intriguing; I hope it will become my favourite Wyndham too.

  7. cirtnecce says:

    Such a wonderful list. I love Brother Karamazov and How Green was my Valley. I also have very very high admiration for The Grapes of Wrath, Of Human Bondage and The Passage to India. Interestingly Dombey and Sons and Daniel Deronda are on my must finish list for 2017. All the very best with your list. 2022 seems far, but it will be hear before you know it!

  8. Judy Krueger says:

    Great list! I have read seven of them and you made me realize how much I have enjoyed My Big Fat Reading Project for leading me to many wonderful authors. What I have read: Castle Dor, Goodbye Mr Chips, How Green Was My Valley (one of my favorites), Of Human Bondage (I loved it the first time, couldn’t abide it the second time and DNF), Grapes of Wrath (good to see you will read more Steinbeck!), The Fountain Overflows (one of my all time favorites), and The Chrysalids.
    Last night I finished Shadow of the Moon. It was well worth the time to read 799 pages! Thank you so much for leading me to it. I read on the web that M M Kaye hated E M Forester’s A Passage to India for the way he portrayed the country, but I am on an India kick now so I will read it anyway.
    I also saw the recent movie adaptation of My Cousin Rachel this week and thought it was excellent. Have you seen it? I think it is a must for Du Maurier fans.

    • Helen says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed How Green Was My Valley and The Fountain Overflows. I don’t know much about either of those books so I’m looking forward to reading them now. Shadow of the Moon is great, isn’t it? I’m so pleased you liked it, especially as it’s such a long book! That’s interesting that MM Kaye hated Forster’s portrayal of India. I’ll see what I think when I get round to reading it.
      And no, I haven’t seen the My Cousin Rachel adaptation yet, although I did love the book.

  9. piningforthewest says:

    What an interesting list! I’ve read 21 of them, but most of them pre-blogging days. I always dodge Dickens, partly because I think he was a horrible person – daft I know but I just can’t help it!

    • Helen says:

      I know what you mean about Dickens. I have read a biography of him and he certainly didn’t come across well, although it hasn’t put me off reading his books. I’m glad you think my list looks interesting!

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! I’ve enjoyed everything else I’ve read by Winifred Holtby and The Crowded Street sounds like a good one. I’m looking forward to reading High Rising too as I’ve been curious about Angela Thirkell for a long time!

  10. Lark says:

    I love James’ The Europeans and Pym’s Jane and Prudence, and thought both Two on a Tower and Death Comes for the Archbishop were good reads. Haven’t read any of the rest. What a great list! Good luck…and happy reading. 🙂

  11. FictionFan says:

    Ooh, what an appealing list! I’d be quite happy to have it as my own list. I’ve read ten of them, loved eight, – the two Dickens, the Wyndham, The White Guard (wow!), Don’t Look Now, Passage to India, Black Narcissus (you must watch the film too!), and Goodbye, Mr Chips – loved and hated one at the same time (The Grapes of Wrath), and the tenth nearly killed me through boredom, but I’m not saying which that was. 😉 So glad you’re in again – good luck with the spin. I hope you get Nicholas Nickleby, since I’ll be re-reading it over Christmas. 😀

    • Helen says:

      Thanks! I would be happy to get Nicholas Nickleby in the spin, as Dickens is always perfect for the Christmas period. Now I’m wondering which book on my list nearly killed you, but at least you loved eight of the others, which is good to know!

  12. Jo says:

    Well done for doing this all again – i thought that I wouldn’t have read any of the books on your list, but I have. Jane and Prudence and High Rising. I have seen a lot more on film, The Grapes of Wrath I watched at school and I had to do Black Narcissus at university. I think because of that, I have never attempted to read the books, but will be interested in how you get on.

    Good Luck!

    • Helen says:

      Thank you, Jo. I’ve tried to include a good mixture of books on my list, including some which are maybe not considered traditional classics but which I’ve wanted to read for ages. I’m glad you’ve read or seen a few of them.

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