Classics Club Spin #10

I wasn’t going to participate in this Classics Club Spin.  I am so behind with my reading due to various family matters that have taken up unusual amounts of time.  Add to this, a very busy fall, and common sense told to me skip the Spin this time around.  However, when have I listened to common sense when it comes to books ………??

So I went to my Classics Club list, sorted it with the random generator, and came up with my list.

  1. The Pickwick Papers (1836 – 1837) – Charles Dickens
  2. The Heart of Darkness (1899) – Joseph Conrad
  3. Moby Dick (1851) – Herman Melville
  4. The Fairie Queene (1590 – 1596) – Edmund Spenser
  5. The History of Napoleon Buonoparte (1829) – John Gibson Lockhart
  6. The Well at the World’s End (1896) – William Morris
  7. The Silver Chalice (1952) – Thomas Costain
  8. Wives and Daughters (1864/66) – Elizabeth Gaskell
  9. The Prince (1513) – Niccolo Machiavelli
  10. The Merchant of Venice (1596 – 1598) – William Shakespeare
  11. The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860) – Jacob Burckhardt
  12. The Man in the Iron Mask (1850) – Alexandre Dumas
  13. The Cloister and the Hearth (1861) – Charles Reade
  14. Tom Sawyer (1876) – Mark Twain
  15. Pensées (1669) – Blaise Pascal
  16. Murder in the Cathedral (1935) – T.S. Eliot
  17. A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (1978) – Barbara Tuchman
  18. Aristotle, Ethics (330 B.C.) – Aristotle
  19. The Good Soldier Svejk (1923) – Jaroslav Hasek
  20. Bondage of the Will (1525) – Martin Luther

Oh, help!  Seriously, there are some ENORMOUS books in this group and, if they’re not huge, they’re mentally taxing.  Why, oh why, am I doing this to myself?

Five Books I’m Dreading: (could we make it 18 books I’m dreading?):

1.  Moby Dick (because of size and content)
2.  The Fairie Queene (because of size absolutely!)
3.  The Pickwick Papers (because of size)
4.  Ethics (oh, my poor brain)
5.  The Distant Mirror  (because of size)

Five Books I’m Excited About:

1.  The Prince (because it’s short)
2.  The Heart of Darkness (because it’s short)
3.  Wives and Daughters (I love Gaskell)
4.  The History of Napoleon Buonaparte (because I’m half-way through it)
5.  The Merchant of Venice

To be honest, I really like all the books on the list and all my dread comes from lack of time.  We will see what the future holds on Monday ……

23 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin #10

  1. Well, better you than me. I could never be so ambitious as to take up such a challenge. My horizons are more limited. I think old age has forced me to think that way. Still, I wish you success in your venture, and I look forward to reading about your experiences. All the best from Beyond Eastrod.

  2. Love your list and guess what I have Pickwick Papers too, only on a different number!! I was also going for Wives and Daughters, but switched to North and South…I have a Shakespeare but a comedy…hope you get the book you want! p.s. what is the book you want?

  3. That is one daring list! The Faerie Queene?? I've tried to read that like three times. Someday I will succeed. I actually got part-way through The Well at the World's End, but I had (have!) it in a scanned version on my tablet which made it hard to stick with. I didn't so much quit reading it as get distracted and forget to go back.

    So funny that we both have Wives and Daughters as #8. Somebody else does too!

  4. You should switch back to Wives and Daughters, put it at #8, and if 8 is chosen, then there will be four of us reading it. What a coincidence!

    What book do I want? If I had all the time in the world, I'd pick Ethics. Yes, seriously. If I had a regular amount of time, I'd choose Wives and Daughters. With my reduced reading time probably The Heart of Darkness, despite Nancy's dire warnings against it. Hey, I can live on the edge sometimes! 😉

  5. If I get The Faerie Queene …….. well, I won't do something as drastic as jumping off a cliff (in spite of thinking about it) but perhaps I'll change it out. For sanity's sake.

    I saw the other Wives and Daughters at #8. That certainly must be a first. I wouldn't mind getting it, either because, in spite of the length, I love Gaskell and I think that I'd read through it rather quickly.

  6. Good luck if you get Ethics. I somehow managed to avoid that while studying Philosophy in University. The Merchant of Venice is a great play. I really enjoyed Tom Sawyer too. You have some serious books on your list!

  7. I would hope for choose books written in 20th C… top 3
    1. Murder in the Cathedral
    2. The Silver Chalice
    3. A Distant Mirror
    Good luck and I hope you do not get Moby Dick..!

  8. Serious, is right! 🙂 I am sort of resigning myself to Ethics. I mean, I'll have to get to it at some time, right? I think I dread it more because I haven't read anything of Aristotle's yet. If I had, I might be more open to it ……. or perhaps I'd be running for the hills ….. 😉

  9. I like all your picks. I'm actually so excited by the thought of reading A Distant Mirror. I just hope that I have the time to do it justice.

    And thanks for that last wish! 🙂

  10. That's a great list but I understand why you're hoping for one of the shorter books! I've been wanting to read The Faerie Queene for years but the length always puts me off. The Cloister and the Hearth is on my list too, but at a different number – I'll be interested to know what you think if you get that one!

  11. I hope you get 3, 10, or 8 — even though 3 is on your dread list. Sorry! I've read about half and it's glorious! But quite long. Which is why I have yet to finish it. 🙂 😛

  12. I considered putting Moby Dick on my spin list, but knew that now was not the right time for me to commit to such a chunkster!

    I therefore wish you any number but no. 1 🙂

    Happy Spinning – isn't it lovely to be back in classics club mode?

  13. Since this spin was announced I've been trying not to add more books to my reading pile (other than challenges, etc.) so if I get one of the bigger ones, I'll be prepared. Yikes!

    That would be fun if one of us got The Cloister and the Hearth. I don't know of anyone else who has read it.

  14. That's good to know about Moby Dick. I read a number of reviews that thought it was torture, but recent ones have been much more positive. And given that I've just had an up-close-and-personal introduction to whales (two orcas came up right beside our kayaks two days ago, so close that they were touchable), perhaps it would be an appropriate read. Ah, I'm almost looking forward to it! 🙂

  15. Yes, the Spins are so nice because they allow us to keep up connection between bloggers, among the busyness of life.

    Not #1? I wonder why …… is it because of length or because you didn't enjoy it. I've actually already read about ⅓ of it. Once I viewed it as separate stories and not a complete book with plotline, etc. it worked much better for me. But no, I don't want a book as long as that and I'm not sure if I'm in the mood for a Dickens. In any case, we'll find out soon!

  16. Oh my goodness, there are some tough ones here!

    The Well at the World's End – I've got that but no plans to read it, so it'll be interesting to see what you make of that!

    Honestly, I can't think of anything more to say because I'm stunned at the presence of the Fairy Queene. I actually hope you don't get that because selfishly I'm hoping after Canterbury Tales we can do that one together in 2016. Yes, I'm weird, I want to revisit it! Also hope you don't get Pickwick Papers because I want to do a read-along next March for it 🙂

    Wives and Daughters, by the way, is my favourite Gaskell 🙂

  17. Okay, I'm glad that you told me; I will keep it in mind for The Faerie Queene and then perhaps put it off. I'm busy for the rest of 2015 (well, at least for a book as huge as that), but 2016 would be perfect.

    And a PP read along! That would be fun. Again, I will hold off.

    I love the movie Wives and Daughters (I don't usually watch movies before reading the book) especially Michael Gambon. I can't wait to read the book!

  18. I so wanted to do the next spin but once again I somehow missed the announcement until they picked the number. Then I kicked myself. Looking forward to your reaction to Napolean Bonaparte!

  19. Yikes! You could still do it if you randomize your choices. Then you don't have the week of suffering in terror/anticipation until the number is picked. 😉

    I'm so enjoying Napoleon. Despite his faults, there is something very charming about him.

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