My second list of books includes twenty-two novels that I sorted by title. These novels belong to American, British, German and French literature.
- 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff 84, Charing Cross Road is a 1970 epistolary book and is the first in my second list of books. This novel is about books and English literature and about twenty years of correspondence between the writer Helene, who lived in New York, and her friend Frank Doel from London. Their shared love for books and literature connected them in a long time close friendship.
1984 by George Orwell 1984 is a satirical, futuristic and dystopian novel about totalitarianism, deprivation of individuality and freedom. It is the second novel in my second list of books. The year of publication is 1949, and it takes place in a province of the superstate Oceania in the year 1984. The main character is Winston Smith, who dreams about a revolution against the totalitarian Party.
- The Aeronauts: Travels in the Air By James Glaisher
The third novel in my second list of books is The Aeronauts book about extraordinary flights and discoveries. The main character is the scientist James Glaisher, who explored the skies like no one before and the book’s author. A meteorologist and photographer with a passion for hot balloons and sky exploration. A book of discoveries during incredible travels in the air.
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
The fourth book on my list is Animal Farm, which is an allegorical story. It is a dystopian novel by the English author George Orwell, who published it in 1945. The plot is about a group of farm animals, which organises a revolution against irresponsible human farmers. The animals dream about equality, freedom and happiness.
- The Blue Castle by L.M. MontgomeryThe Blue Castle is the fifth novel in my second list of books, and it is a 1926 novel by the Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery. This romance takes place in Canada before the First World War, and the protagonist is Valancy Stirling. She is a single woman who lives unhappily with her distressful family. She escapes from reality, dreaming about a blue castle.
- Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
The sixth novel in my second list of books is Cranford, which is a well-known novel. Elizabeth Gaskell published it between 1851 and 1853. The background of this novel is a small English town in the mid-nineteenth century. The protagonists are the two spinster sisters Miss Matty and Miss Deborah, and it is a portrait of a small society of women.
The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton The seventh book on my list is The Custom of the Country, a 1913 novel and a literary masterwork by the American author Edith Wharton. It is the story of Undine Spragg, a beautiful and ambitious girl. She is a fortune seeker who uses her beauty and charm only to marry a rich man.
- The Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
The Diary of a Nobody is an 1892 English comic novel, which describes Charles Pooter’s chronicles daily in a narrow-minded society. It is the eighth novel in my second list of books, and it is a daily diary, which collects the memories of his ordinary middle-class life.
- Effie: The Passionate Lives of Effie Gray, John Ruskin and John Everett Millais by Suzanne Fagence Cooper The ninth book is Effie, which is about the beautiful and intelligent Effie Gray’s adventures, a young Scottish socialite living in the Victorian era. She was an extraordinary woman who supported her husband’s career, the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais.
The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim The Enchanted April is the tenth book in my second list of books. It is a 1922 novel about four women living in England and going to Portofino to spend a holiday in an Italian castle. In Italy, they enjoy an unforgettable period in an enchanting and beautiful place.
In my second list of books, the eleventh novel is Far from the Madding Crowd, an 1874 book, the fourth novel of Thomas Hardy and his first success. It takes place in rural Wessex in the 1860s, and the protagonist is Bathsheba Everdene, a farmer. She has an independent and fearless personality. This novel is full of turmoils, tragedies and heartbreak.
Faust is a classic German legend about the successful historian Johann Georg Faust, who finds discontent in his life. He makes a deal with the devil, exchanging his soul for indefinite knowledge and enjoyment. In the end, Faust will find destruction and redemption. It is the twelfth novel on my list.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Great Gatsby is the thirteenth novel in my second list of books, and it is the third book of F. Scott Fitzgerald, and it is a portrait of the Jazz Age ( the Roaring Twenties ). The protagonists are the millionaire Jay Gatsby and his beautiful girlfriend, Daisy Buchanan. The set is on Long Island in the summer of 1922. Decadence, excess and idealism are the themes of this 1925 novel, which is considered one of the most outstanding books of the last century.
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith The fourteenth book is I Capture the Castle, which is the first novel by the English author Dodie Smith. Dodie wrote this book during the Second World War, and she lived with her husband in California. The romance is about the Mortmains family living in a decaying castle in misery. The protagonist is Cassandra Mortmain, who is the narrator of this story.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë The fifteenth book is Jane Eyre, which is one of the most notable British novels. The English author Charlotte Brontë published this novel in 1847, and the heroine is Jane Eyre. Jane is an orphan who Edward Rochester hires as governess to his protégé. A fascinating book, as defined by W.M.Thackeray. A classic Victorian novel and one of the most extraordinary literary works in the history of British literature.
- The Last Man by Mary Shelley
The Last Man is a dystopian and apocalyptic 1826 novel where the planet Earth is devastated by a pandemic disease at the end of the 21st century. This book is the most famous novel by Mary Shelley following Frankenstein. The Last Man is the sixteenth book on my list.
- The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
The Magic Mountain is a 1912 masterwork of international literature by Thomas Mann, a German novelist and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. This novel takes place in a tuberculosis sanatorium in the Swiss Alps, where the young Hans Castorp will spend seven years. He will be in contact with different characters representing the several cultural mindsets of pre-war Europe. It is the seventeenth novel in my second list of books.
- Middlemarch by George EliotMiddlemarch is a historical novel by the English author Mary Anne Evans, whose pen name was George Eliot. It is a masterwork of English literature, and it takes place in a fictional Midlands town between 1829 and 1832. The novel is an imaginary report of the 19th century English provincial life, and the author depicts the characters with brilliance and irony. Middlemarch is the eighteenth book on the list.
- The Picture Of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
The nineteenth book is The Picture Of Dorian Gray, the only novel by the Irish author Oscar Wilde, who published the first edition in 1890. The handsome Dorian Gray is the main character, and the artist Basil Hallward draws a full-length portrait of him. Basil has an infatuation with Dorian, who has an obsession with beauty and sensuality. This classic gothic horror fiction inherited influences from Goethe’s Faust.
- Ulysses by James JoyceUlysses by the Irish author James Joyce is considered one of the most important masterworks of Modernist literature. The book narrates Leopold Bloom’s journey in Dublin on 16 June 1904, which was the day of Joyce’s first date with Nora Barnacle, his future wife. The main character takes his name from Odysseus, the hero of the legendary Greek poem Odyssey by Homer. The twentieth book but not less important than any other.
- Within A Budding Grove by Marcel Proust
Within A Budding Grove is a 1919 novel by the French author Marcel Proust and it won the Prix Goncourt in 1919. It is about adolescent relationships and the first anguishes of love. It is the second volume of Remembrance of Things Past, and the narrator experiences his early infatuations meeting a group of adolescent girls. Proust was one of the most influential authors of the 20th century. Within A Budding Grove is the penultimate and twenty-one book on my list.
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brönte
Wuthering Heights is a classic masterwork of English literature, and it is an 1847 novel by the English author Emily Brönte with the pen name Ellis Bell. It is her only finished novel, and it has features of Romantic and Gothic literature. The main characters are Catherine, Heathcliff and Edgar. Even though Catherine and Heathcliff love one another intensely, Catherine is hesitant between her passion for Heathcliff and her social ambitions. Even if Jane Eyre is the last and twenty-two book in my second list of books, it is one of my favourites!