Classics Club Spin #20

Classics Club Spin #20

It’s been awhile since I’ve participated in a Classics Club spin.  I think the last one I participated in was #14 and it was a dismal failure which made me realize that I simply don’t have time to read the way I used to.  So I stopped.  However, with my new Classics Club list up, I really need to start to focus on some of these books before it’s too late.  So here I am again, hoping for success.

That said, I’m scared.  I have quite a few huge classics on the list (please DO NOT let me spin The Faerie Queene!) and I just don’t think I can handle one of them at the moment.  So it will be a gamble.  Can I spin something shorter and slightly easier to read?

Best Classic Books

The Rules for the spin are:
  1. Go to your blog.
  2. Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club list.
  3. Post that list, numbered 1 – 20, on your blog by next Monday.
  4. Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1 – 20.  Go to the list of twenty books you posted and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  5. The challenge is to read that book by May 31st.

I used the random list organizer here to choose the 20 books from my master list.  Here is my spin list:

  1. The Prince (1513) – Niccolo Machiavelli
  2. Great Expectations (1860/61) – Charles Dickens
  3. The Decameron (1353) – Giovanni Boccaccio
  4. Tom Sawyer (1876) – Mark Twain
  5. Journey to the Centre of the Earth (1864) – Jules Verne
  6. The Lord of the Flies (1954) – William Golding
  7. Huckleberry Finn (1884) – Mark Twain
  8. Ivanhoe (1820) – Sir Walter Scott
  9. Dead Souls (1842) – Nikolai Gogol
  10. Moby Dick (1851) – Herman Melville
  11. Gargantua and Pantagruel (1532-1564) – François Rabelais
  12. On the Imitation of Christ (1418-1427) – Thomas à Kempis
  13. Mary Barton (1848) – Elizabeth Gaskell
  14. The Good Soldier Svejk (1923) – Jaroslav Hasek
  15. Pericles, Prince of Tyre (1607-1608) – William Shakespeare
  16. The City of God (426) – Augustine
  17. The Professor (1857) – Charlotte Brontë
  18. Tevye the Dairyman and Moti the Cantor’s Son (1894) – Sholem Aleichem
  19. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1775) – Samuel Johnson
  20. The Mill on the Floss (1860) – George Eliot

Well, even though there are some tomes on this list, I’m kind of liking it.  Wish me lots of spinning luck! 🙂

The Classics Club

73 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin #20

  1. Welcome back to the spins, I wish you luck!
    I’ve also tried to pick the slimmest volumes on my cc list 2 as I’m feeling time poor atm too.

    • Thanks, Brona! It’s good to be back. Well, for lack of time, you certainly seem to be reading up a storm. We don’t have any books in common on our lists this time but I hope you have an excellent spin!

  2. my goodness, that list is all over the literature universe! i hope you get something closer to earth as compared to what used to be Pluto…

    • Ha ha! It is all over. But somehow I like it. Now to pray that I don’t get Ivanhoe, Gargantua and Pantagruel, The Decameron, etc. :-Z

    • Rumour has it that you’re one of the select few who have participated in all the spins. Congratulations!

      Oh, it would be good to have a reading buddy for those two! 🙂

    • Confession: I’ve started it already, it just need a push to keep going. Ssshhh …. 😉

      I confess (ooo, another confession) that I’ve completed nothing of Twain’s. I started Life on the Mississippi ages ago but ran out of steam with it. Tom would help me get started on something perhaps more interesting.

  3. Oh! The horror of The Fairie Queen or the City of God reading attempts! But go back we must and I am so impressed in your courage in including one them in the 20. I was going to give CC a miss this time, until I read your post and like always you inspire me while landing me in trouble! I am off to post my list!! Happy Spinning!

    • Ah yes, I thought I was the only one to fail finishing those tomes but I forgot that you trailed off too. Someday, huh? 😉

      You are so right when you say that doing things in life that aren’t so pleasant shouldn’t make us abandon everything that IS pleasant. Glad to hear that we’ll be spinning together!!

      • Yeah…I did not trail off, I fell off the wagon and I am still trying to get up! But someday for sure! I know, we need to make time fore what is pleasant so yes, I am spinning with you for sure!

  4. You have some doable ones….The Prince would be perfect. It’s short and sweet. Either Twain would be nice, too. I hope you don’t get Moby Dick, so you can read it for Brona’s read-along. And you just have to “finish” City of God, right? You’ve been reading it for awhile? B/C otherwise, that’s be crazy!

    • There are a few on this list that I just have to finish, truth be told. If I get Moby Dick I would probably make notes for the read-along but I can’t see finishing it in a month. I do have enough doable ones on the list that I hope the numbers spin in my favour. We’ll see …

  5. Moby Dick has been sitting half read on my shelf since my son was born and he’s now 24. It’s been hanging over my head. I need to just knock it out of the way.

  6. Cleo,
    I thoroughly enjoyed Ivanhoe, which I read several years ago. I also read Dead Souls at about the same time, was glad to have read that one, and both were reads I co-read with Katrina of Pining for the West. I loved Mill on the Floss, just as I loved every novel I read in my English Novel class in college. I was simply fascinated.

    I also thoroughly enjoyed The Professor, which I read for my special project for the same class. I also was mesmerized by Great Expectations, which I read in the ninth grade, and again in my late 20s.
    Hmmm. Me and Moby Dick. Well reading this novel solved my problem with insomnia during my senior year of high school. I’d start reading and I would be asleep instantly. It was a great relief to be able to sleep deeply again! .

    I’m so interested to learn about Mary Barton and The Gold Soldier Svejik. Will put them on my list! Good luck with the Spin! I’ll be very interested.

    • You’re so fortunate to have a reading buddy. It makes reading doubly enjoyable!

      I’m glad to hear a positive review for The Professor. After Villette I’m a little hesitant to read any more of Charlotte’s works (Jane Eyre though is one of my absolute favourites!). LOL, I don’t have insomnia but I’m determined to be fascinated by whaling and descriptions of the sea. I’m hoping my determination will carry me through (fingers crossed). I’m looking forward to Mary Barton but as for Svejik ….. I had started it once but became irritated with the repetition …. a soldier acting like a bumbling fool is funny for about 100 pages but the stupidity gets old quickly with nothing more to it. If I spin it, I will persevere through it but I don’t think enjoyment will be in the cards. Thanks for the wishes!

        • Ah Mudpuddle, I wondered where you were. I was getting worried …… Svejik made me want to bang my head again a wall (thankfully, I resisted. 😉 ) Another nod to The Professor! Excellent! It may redeem Charlotte in my eyes ….

  7. I’m terrible about completing spins, but I do love trying. I find it’s a great way to pick the next classics read and it’s so much fun seeing people’s lists.

    I was just recommending Mary Barton to my mom the other night. Of course, if you’re looking for a shorter read, the Shakespeare or Mark Twain would be good choices. I hope you get something you love. Happy reading!

    • When I first started, I was so diligent in finishing my spin book but lately the diligence has gone out the window. I just hope I’ll be able to finish this one. I can’t wait to read Mary Barton as I’ve loved all the other Gaskell’s I’ve read. Oh my, I hadn’t even realized Shakespeare was on the list! I had to look. But I’d rather Shakespeare than Twain. Thanks for the wishes!

    • Thanks, Fanda! I’d be happy with 2 or 6 and 13. 14 I’d started long ago and wasn’t impressed but I’m determined to get through it.

  8. Your list really has all the marks of the great classic writers! Machiaveli, Boccaccio, Shakespeare. I was not too fond of Tom Sawyer, which I read recently. It felt a little bit out of time, although you have to value it for the times it was written. The Prince and The Lord of the Flies are great classics. You even have Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel. I had to read part of it for a course, and I must admit I did not understand that much of it! Charlotte Brontë is always good.

    Good luck with this very ambitious list.

    • I’m a little bit leery of both Tom and Huck but hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised. G&P I don’t think I’m going to even try to understand …. it’s supposed to be funny so perhaps I’ll laugh alot. 😀 Thanks for your wishes, Lisbeth!

    • Oh yay! A Huck fan! I was a little apprehensive about it but now I feel more excited about getting it. I think if I start reading Twain I’ll probably really like him. Thanks for your wishes!

  9. Nice choices; we’ve only one in common, Tom Sawyer (different number though). I’ve only read a Christmas short story by Gogol…and I need to get around to more of his works.

    • I did try Dead Souls a couple of years ago and wasn’t successful but that was more due to my busyness than the quality of his writing. Perhaps it would be good to get a start on Twain but it wouldn’t be my first choice. Hope your spin goes well!

  10. I love this concept but I don’t think I could stick to it. I need broad categories for challenges to work for me. But I LOVE reading about other readers choices and spins! 😀

    Good Luck! I will be crossing my fingers you get #2 ’cause Dickens! Also, it is the only book I’ve read from your list except for the two Twain titles

    • Thanks, Ruthiella! I haven’t *finished* a Dickens in a long time, so I’d be happy with that pick even though I probably wouldn’t finish it in time.

  11. Great list! I hope you get the one you’re wishing for. 🙂

    I’m getting ready to revise my list after this spin. Many of the books on my list I can’t get to because of my current living situation so I’m going to replace those with some classic books on writing; books I’ve been meaning to read, but never find the time.

    Love your blog. Gorgeous! Thanks for visiting mine.

    • I really hope that your living situation improves and it allows you to read more! I’ve been working much more than I used to so I understand not having time to read. Thanks so much for your kind words and all the best to you, Michelle!

    • Thanks so much, Mudpuddle!! And I’m heading towards 60. So nice to be able to reach out and connect with friends both new and old!

    • Fun! I’m pondering switching it up and depending on the number, choosing one on my list to read along in common with someone else. Perhaps it will be Mary Barton! 🙂

    • Wow, it looks awesome! Thanks for the advice, Christina! I’m always looking for people and/or resources to help me appreciate a book more. And I’m glad to hear that you loved Moby Dick. I’m having high hopes for it.

  12. I came here to leave a comment and just received a notification you commented on mine…great minds! There’s a lot of great books on your list and a few heavy ones. It would be interesting to see if you like the Professor; I hated it. P.S using my WordPress account to post this comment since Google isn’t connecting.

    • Great minds, is right, lol! 😉 Yikes …. while Jane Eyre is one of my all-time favourites, I did not like Villette so I’m afraid of The Professor. Sigh! I guess I’ll be prepared for anything.

      I was having the same problem with Google when I tried to comment on other blogs. I was using Safari as a browser but when I switched to Firefox, the problem was righted and I didn’t have an issue. I’ll see if I have anything in my settings that might help.

  13. It took me over a year to read The City of God! Mary Barton is a wonderful book! And I really want to read Johnson’s Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland ever since I listened to Boswell’s Life of Johnson. Thanks for reminding me of that book!

    • I’d already started City of God but with such limited reading time, I didn’t want to devote so much time to it. Good to know about Mary Barton. Gaskell is always a wonderful read. I cannot wait to read Boswell and Johnson. Whenever I see everyone’s lists I so wish we had another 12 hours in the day just to read!

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