Classics Club Spin #27

Spinning dancer

I’ve been reading at a very, very moderate pace but haven’t had time to post reviews. I’ve finished The Enchanted April, am almost finished Quo Vadis, am halfway through Nicholas Nickleby and have just begun Notre-Dame de Paris. Lots of books on the go but nevertheless, I’m going to participate in the Classics Club Spin #27.

Sunflower Vase

The Rules for the Classics Club Spin #27 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 Sunday.
  4. Sunday morning, the Classics Club will announce a number from 1 – 20.  Go to the list of twenty books you posted and select the book that corresponds to the number they announce.
  5. The challenge is to read that book by August 22, 2021.

What?!  I don’t remember having only a month to read and review a book before so I’m not promising anything other than to make my way through whichever book I draw.

Bicycle Meadow

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

  1. Pensées (1669) – Blaise Pascal
  2. Mary Barton (1848) – Elizabeth Gaskell
  3. Aristotle, Ethics (330 B.C.) – Aristotle
  4. On the Imitation of Christ (1418-1427) – Thomas à Kempis
  5. The City of God (426) – Augustine
  6. The Merchant of Venice (1596-1598) – William Shakespeare
  7. One Day in the LIfe of Ivan Denisovitch (1962) – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  8. Shirley (1849) – Charlotte Brontë
  9. Moll Flanders (1722) – Daniel Defoe
  10. The Twelve Ceasars (121) – Suetonius
  11. Tom Sawyer (1876) – Mark Twain
  12. Address to Young Men (363) – Saint Basil
  13. A Journey to the Western Islands of Scotland and a Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1775) – Samuel Johnson
  14. The Republic (380 B.C.) – Plato
  15. She Stoops to Conquer (1773) – Oliver Goldsmith
  16. Huckleberry Finn (1884) – Mark Twain
  17. Animal Farm (1945) – George Orwell
  18. Lives (75) – Plutarch
  19. Ecclesiastical History of the English People (731) – Bede
  20. The Good Soldier Svejk (1923) – Jaroslav Hasek

Book Camera

Hmmm ….. I’m not sure how I feel about this list.  The only book I’d be really excited to spin is Mary Barton.  There are others I need to read (City of God; Pensées) and a few I’d love to read IF I had the time to do them justice (The Republic; Plutarch’s Lives).  But I don’t have lots of time at the moment and a big 20 Books of Summer list to try to make a dent in.  Sigh!  Well, let’s see how it goes.

Butterfly Blue

And you?  Are you happy with your list?  And can you offer any good recommendations from mine?


Other Spins:

Classics Club Spin #26 Winner

Classics Club Spin #25 Winner

Classics Club Spin #24 Winner

Classics Club Spin #23 Winner


Image #2 courtesy of Yuri B at Pixabay

Image #3 courtesy of Jill Wellington at Pixabay

Image #4 courtesy of Engin Akyurt at Pixabay

Image #5 courtesy of Jill Wellington at Pixabay



42 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin #27

  1. Ooh. What a list!

    Svejk and Moll Flanders are both very good, I thought. I hate The Republic 😉 but I suppose you have to read it… Ecclesiastical History isn’t that long & I remember enjoying it. But in the usual way I want you to read something I haven’t read but am curious about, so Journal of a Voyage to the Hebrides for you!

    On the other hand Huck Finn is manageable & incredibly great. So that could be your choice.

    I need to make up my list.

    • It is a crazy list, isn’t it? Don’t know how that happened …. 😉

      I started The Republic once and enjoyed it so I hope that feeling continues. I really disliked Svejk when I started it; too much slapstick and I found him somewhat repellent. I would like to go to the Hebrides …..

      Oh yes, please make your list! I can’t wait to read it!

      • I may have more tolerance for slapstick… 😉

        Philosopher-kings…bleah. Nice if you can find them, I suppose. But The Republic is pretty readable for philosophy.

        I will need to think about making sure there’s some short books on mine!

        • I think you do have more tolerance for it although I found Svejk just kind of rude. Out of curiosity, can you think of any other classics with slapstick in them?

          Choosing short books is a wise tact. I wish I’d re-sorted my list but too late now. I’m at the mercy of the spin-gods!

          • Svejk is kind of rude…

            But it is an interesting question.

            Rabelais, but I wasn’t overly fond of Rabelais. It’s definitely there in Don Quixote. Tom Jones, which I do love, has got some–that mock classical battle in the early part is pretty slapstick-y, or the bedroom farce scenes in the Inn at Upton.

            But I’d say you see more of it plays, right? Aristophanes is full of it, and I like him pretty well, though sometimes the gags are hard to get. Shakespeare has some: that whole cross-gaitered business with Malvolio in Twelfth Night. Feydeau’s farces.

            Slapstick is a little hard to define, I suppose. I don’t go out of my way to watch The Three Stooges, but I will admit to laughing when I do see it… 😉

          • Thanks for the examples. I really enjoyed Don Quixote and I think Tom Jones would be right up my alley. Love Aristophanes but I’m not fond of Shakespeare’s comedy. So I guess it depends with me. Glad to know I’m not a complete slapstick Neanderthal though, lol!

  2. We like to mix it up with short and long spin dates. Some people like the pressure of a quick turn around, some people stack their list with shorter. slimmer books for short spins. This is the first short one we’ve had for a while, so I hope you spin a quick (I’m looking at you Tom Sawyer and Animal Farm!)

    • Ah ok, thanks for the explanation, Brona. Definitely wishing for Animal Farm if I want to finish on time. And thanks for all the work you all do so we can enjoy these spins and other classical “stuff”. I appreciate it!

  3. I see we’ve both got Tom Sawyer on our lists, but I’d be most interested to know what you thought of Shirley if you got that—I managed a couple of discussion posts as well as a review when I read it, which I don’t do for many classics!

    • I really need to read a Twain. I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve only attempted his Life on the Mississippi which I didn’t finish. Yikes!

      Jane Eyre is one of my absolutely favourite books but Villette was a completely different experience. So I’m a little afraid to read Shirley. However, now I’m interested in your posts so if I do spin it, at least I’ll have someone else to enlighten me.

      I hope you have a great spin!

  4. Shirley gets a big fat uggh! from me. I’m currently reading it and there’s a reason it didn’t stay famous like some of the other works by the Brontes.

    Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer have always felt like a matched pair to me. While not necessary to read both, Twain does make it worth your while, imo, to read Sawyer and then Finn.

    Good luck.

    • I was afraid to hear those words about Shirley. Now only to find out if it is better or worse than Villette. I love Jane Eyre though.

      Thanks for the Sawyer/Finn order recommendation. I’d always wondered about that.

      • I loved Jane Eyre several years ago but my current read earlier this year was pretty blase. I enjoyed Villette both times, so I had hopes for Shirley. Now, the rest of the Bronte sisters’s works are going to be gone into with extreme low expectations.

        • I don’t think you’ll enjoy Agnes Grey but you might The Tenant of Wildfell Hall. I didn’t care for the anger I sensed in Villette nor the way she seemed to manipulate the reader. But I can understand it. After Shirley and The Professor I’ll have read everything Brontë …. or at least all Brontë novels.

          • Nice job on getting the Bronte’s under you literary belt. I figure I’ve got 2 more years before I’m close to being done with them.

  5. Nice list. I’ve read four of them. Still want to read the Svejk, maybe I should get that for my next classics list.

    Thank you for visiting my list earlier.

    • I did NOT like Svejk when I began it once upon a time. However with classics I like to finish what I start. I do hope you have a great spin!

  6. wow, a body-builder of a list! whatever you get, a little is as good as a lot (imo, anyhow) so i hope you don’t agonize, lol… love the lovely bicycle(I miss that blog) and the other pix as well, of course…

    • I know! Scary, huh? I will hold my breath and trudge ahead no matter what I get.

      When I saw the bicycle photo, I snapped it up to post being immediately reminded of you. I’m actually going to go out for a ride in a little while before it gets too hot. With my helmet on, of course, lol!

  7. Good luck with your list. If I didn’t lack organization, I’d love to join these, but I am one of those people that read whatever the spirit hits me with.

    Love your new blog. I’ve changed as well. My new address is:

    I hope you’ll visit. I’m starting off with a book giveaway. If you’ll email me and leave your address and a promise you’ll review it on your blog and on Amazon, I’ll mail it to you directly from Amazon.

    All homeschoolers will like this book, it’s a well written mystery by a seventeen year old homeschooler.

    • Thanks, Sharon. Perhaps you can try the spin once. I’d love to see what your list would look like.

      I’m so glad you’ve changed to WordPress. On certain Blogger blogs I was having such a hard time commenting and yours was one. Glad to know it will be easier now. I’ll definitely check it out!

  8. Those are some pretty hefty tomes you‘ve still got going at the moment! So on those grounds alone, I‘d probably want to go for something shorter next time around …

  9. P.S. Would second „Hebrides“ — both Johnson’s and Boswell’s texts, actually (there’s a Penguin edition combining them both). They complement each other nicely without covering much of the same ground.

    • I do love the Greeks so I view it as a pleasurable read but yes, it’s long. I definitely won’t finish it in time if I get it. So while I’d like to read it, I am hoping for a shorter book this time.

    • Why am I not surprised you’ve read so many of them? You are one well-read blogger! I haven’t finished my own last few spins but I did read books from other people’s so I’m going to go for it and we’ll see what happens!

  10. Wow, some of those are pretty intimidating for such a short Spin time! I therefore wish for Animal Farm or Tom Sawyer (very fun!) for you, though you’ve got some great other stuff on there.

  11. You’ve got a lot of really good books on the go!

    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich is pretty short and actually kind of hopeful (in my opinion at least) for a book set in a Siberian labor camp. I think if you get it, you will read it within a month, easily.

    • I really want to get One Day in the Life as I’ve had it on my TBR for ages. I’m so glad to hear that it’s uplifting in an odd way. Looking forward to it!

  12. Hello!! Hello! I see thou got Merchant of Venice. Have you read it before? I had to go through it in High School and if you decide to read it , I will join you 🙂 How did you find Nicolas Nicklebe and Enchanted April??

    • Ah, my dear friend! It’s so good to hear from you! I haven’t read The Merchant of Venice and I would be honoured if you’d join me. I was REALLY enjoying Nicholas Nickleby until he joined the theatre troupe which is were I’m reading now. The Enchanted April was good for the most part but I did find an aspect of it somewhat unbelievable. So I was a little disappointed because I had high expectations. I would say my favourite von Arnim so far is Elizabeth and Her German Garden.

  13. Ooops, I missed that one, I’m afraid. But I see you still now haven’t read Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell : I read that novel earlier this year and absolutely loved it, it’s underestimated in my modest opinion 😉

    • Mary Barton is my last Gaskell major work, so I feel like I’m saving it. Gaskell is definitely one of my favourite authors!

      BTW, just so you know, sometimes I’m having trouble posting comments on your blog. It seems like sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Might be a problem with WordPress/Blogger interface, I’m not sure …..

  14. Oh my Cleo. I feel like I really dropped the ball on The Enchanted April! I’m so sorry! 🙁 What did you think? Also, I love, love, love Les Mis and want to read Hunchback of Notre Dame at some point. Have you finished it? If so, what did you think?

    • You finished your TEA posts, didn’t you? In any case, it’s only thanks to you that it was moved up in my TBR and I FINALLY read it! Some parts I liked. Lottie’s character is delightful and surprisingly I liked Mellersh. But I didn’t like that Rose seemed like she would have had a flirtation with Mr. Briggs (was that his name?) before she’d had a conversation with her husband as to the state of their marriage. That plot-line made it much less enjoyable for me. But all-in-all it was a good read although Elizabeth and Her German Garden is still my favourite by a slight margin.

      I’m only about 10% of the way through Notre Dame de Paris. So far it is very verbose. Normally I love Hugo’s digressions but here he seems to think he has to set the scene using the maximum amount of desciptions possible. We have not moved from one place in about 50 + pages. So far it’s interesting though.

      Glad to see you back!

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