Classics Club Spin #5

How embarrassing to admit that I have not even started to read my Spin, Bleak House, from Classics Club Spin #4.  HOWEVER, I am going to be starting it at the end of this month, so I’m not too concerned about it, which is why I am joining another Spin!

For this spin, the rules are as follows:
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 in February or March.
I used the random list organizer here to choose the 20 books from my master list.  If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler, I’ve already started but I left it on the list because a situation like a Spin is the only way I’m going to be forced to finish it. 😛  So my list ended up looking like this:

  1. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch (1962) – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  2. The Robe (1942) – Lloyd C. Douglas
  3. Persuasion (1818) – Jane Austen
  4. Gulliver’s Travels (1726) – Jonathan Swift
  5. Frankenstein (1818) – Mary Shelley
  6. The Rule of St. Benedict (529)? – Saint Benedict
  7. The Praise of Folly (1509) – Erasmus
  8. Aristotle, Ethics (330 B.C.) – Aristotle
  9. Wives and Daughters (1864/66) – Elizabeth Gaskell
  10. The Heart of Darkness (1899) – Joseph Conra
  11. The Warden (1855) – Anthony Trollope
  12. East of Eden (1952) – John Steinbeck
  13. The Taming of the Shrew (1590 – 1592) – William Shakespeare
  14. The Stranger (1942) – Albert Camus
  15. Richard III (1592) – William Shakespeare
  16. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler (1979) – Italo Calvino
  17. She Stoops to Conquer (1773) – Oliver Goldsmith
  18. The Time Machine (1895) – H.G. Wells
  19. La Cur̩e (1871 Р1872) РEmile Zola
  20. Seven Story Mountain (1948) – Thomas Merton
Then I broke them into the listed categories …….

5 Books I’m Hesitant to Read:

  1. Aristotle, Ethics (330 B.C.) – Aristotle (complete terror!)
  2. The Praise of Folly (1509) – Erasmus (is Erasmus going to be over my head?)
  3. She Stoops to Conquer (1773) – Oliver Goldsmith  (don’t know what to expect)
  4. East of Eden (1952) – John Steinbeck (will I like Steinbeck?)
  5. Seven Story Mountain (1948) – Thomas Merton  (I’m excited about this but it’s very looong!)


5 Books I Can’t Wait to Read:

  1. Persuasion (1818) – Jane Austen (the only Austen I haven’t read yet)
  2. Wives and Daughters (1864/66) – Elizabeth Gaskell (love Gaskell!)
  3. The Warden (1855) – Anthony Trollope (Barsetshire series, here I come!)
  4. La Curée (1871 – 1872) – Emile Zola (it’s Zola.  What more can I say?)
  5. The Robe (1942) – Lloyd C. Douglas (looks great!)

5 Books I Am Neutral About Reading:

  1. Gulliver’s Travels (1726) – Jonathan Swift
  2. The Heart of Darkness (1899) – Joseph Conrad
  3. The Taming of the Shrew (1590 – 1592) – William Shakespeare
  4. The Stranger (1942) – Albert Camus
  5. The Time Machine (1895) – H.G. Wells

5 Free Choice:

  1. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch (1962) – Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  2. Frankenstein (1818) – Mary Shelley
  3. Richard III (1592) – William Shakespeare
  4. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler (1979) – Italo Calvino
  5. The Rule of St. Benedict (529)? – Saint Benedict
In spite of wanting to read Seven Storey Mountain, I hope I don’t get it because it will be a struggle to read such a long memoir with such a full schedule.  I am absolutely terrified of Aristotle.  I have a book by Mortimer J. Adler called Aristotle for Everybody, which I had hoped to read before tackling Aristotle, but if he is chosen there is little hope for me to fit it in beforehand.  Otherwise, I won’t mind getting any of the others listed.
Oh, I just realized that in spite of not reading my last Spin book yet, I did read two other novels from the original list, so that makes me feel much better!!
Good luck with your Spin, everyone!

28 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin #5

  1. I think I read The Stranger long, long ago but I can't remember any of it. I actually don't mind Camus, but I'm not sure if I am in the mood for a depressing existentialist novel. I read Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men in high school, of course, and I've never cared for him since. 😉 I have heard East of Eden is good though, so I wouldn't be disappointed if it came up.

  2. I read Of Mice and Men in high school as well. I liked it well enough, but it wasn't as awesome as Grapes of Wrath (my favourite so far) 🙂

  3. Saint Benedict, Erasmus, and Thomas Merton. I hope you don't mind me asking, but are you Christian? I'm asking because I love reading such classics because of my Catholic faith. I am yet to read Seven Storey Mountain, but many of my friends love Merton. I recommend G.K. Chesterton's biography of Saint Francis of Assisi, Augustine's Confessions, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Cost of Discipleship. I do need to read The Rule of Saint Benedict.

  4. I'm surprised you have She Stoops to Conquer on your list! I haven't heard of too many people reading it. I watched the play with my 18th-century British Literature class last semester and I really enjoyed it. It's very Shakespeare-comedy-esque with confused identities, pranks, etc. (But in a very 18th-century way.) It's a fun play. You have some other great ones on your list, too, though!

  5. It's interesting that you have some really early books on your list. I haven't read much that that's old. Persuasion is one of my very favorite books. I hope you'll enjoy that one when you read it. Good luck with your spin!

  6. Yes! But my reading tastes are quite vast so it's a coincidence that those particular ones turned up! In fact (and embarrassingly) I didn't know that Erasmus was a theologian (among other things) until I looked him up after reading your comment! Yikes!

    I took a Medieval Lit course a couple of years ago and realized that I needed to learn something about Catholicism to be able to get into the characters' heads to understand their motivations and actions. So I've been trying to include books like The Rule of Saint Benedict, etc. You'll see Saint Basil on my list as well, but that was only added when my daughter's writing course assigned one of his works for a study on essay structure. I really liked his writing, so I added him, but he's not usually a regular on classics lists. 🙂

    I've read Augustine's Confessions but the other two, not yet. Ah, Chesterton ……… I keep meaning to get to him. I read his Orthodoxy but it kind of lost me ….. I think he's an acquired taste.

    Good luck on your Spin!

  7. I think I might have a couple of "weird" choices on my list! 😉 I really loved Oliver Goldsmith's The Vicar of Wakefield. In spite of it playing out like a soap opera, he did a brilliant job of being completely convincing. I wanted to add another work by him and this was the first I could think of. I knew nothing about it, however so thanks for the positive review. I'd be very happy if it came up as my Spin!

  8. I avoided older books until I forced myself to read The Iliad, expecting to hate it, and ended up loving it. Since then I've gladly read older works and found that I really love this period. It's fascinating.

    I am so tempted to pick up Persuasion, but I am pretty swamped in my reading schedule until April, so I will have to wait until then.

    Thanks for the wishes …… you too! 🙂

  9. I studied both Frankenstein and The Stranger at college and found them both fascinating so they're both good ones that hopefully you'll like if you get them.

    Persuasion is on my general list but didn't make it onto my spin list this time. I got a lovely edition for Christmas too so I can't wait to read it. I've only read Pride and Prejudice and Emma so I have Northanger Abbey on my overall list too.

    I'll definitely be interested to see how you get on with Aristotle and Erasmus if they get picked – I haven't put either on my general list because I'm a total wimp so I hope you like them!

  10. Welcome! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    I'm really looking forward to reading Frankenstein; I'm going to read it regardless of if it comes up in the Spin or not.

    Austen's books are comfort books; it's so nice to just cuddle up for a long period of time and get immersed in her stories.

    Yes, I am fairly wimpy too but I've learned to take it slowly and not to expect to understand everything they write. If I end up understanding only 30% of the book, I'm better off than never having read it at all, right? Even so, I'm still terrified of Aristotle, however I am somewhat intrigued by Erasmus. Well, we shall see what happens ………. 🙂

  11. I read East of Eden last year and loved it, but then I also loved Wuthering Heights 😉 I'm also quite intimidated by older works but maybe I should consider them more seriously. Good luck on your spin!

    (Thanks for stopping by my blog earlier today :-))

  12. I think I will like East of Eden if I get it on the Spin. There are many older works that are short: Plato's Apology, the Greek plays etc. You can get a taste but not get too overwhelmed.

    Thanks for the wishes and you're very welcome! 🙂

  13. Well, it is short, so sometimes that is a plus.

    Oh, wow! Are you close to finishing 50?! If so, congratulations! I'm impressed. 50 seems a long time away for me.

  14. I'm very impressed, this is a very scholarly list and a lot of these titles scare me. Erasmus? Zola? Merton? Not exactly beach reads. You can't go wrong with Taming of the Shrew. A lovely blog you have here, consider me a new follower.

  15. That's good to hear, Loni, because I know very little about it. The fact that it is short is appealing because I'm pretty loaded up right now. Good luck on your Spin, as well!

  16. Thanks so much for your kind comments about my blog! I was really excited to find yours as well, and am looking forward to reading through your reviews, so count me a regular visitor! 🙂

    I've read through quite a few of the "popular" classics and eventually found I was re-reading many of them, which is rewarding in itself, but I thought I needed to branch out. Erasmus is a shot in the dark, but I've scanned Merton and really like him. Zola is a treasure of a find and I need to get to Balzac too, at some point.

    Thanks so much for stopping in!

  17. Hello and welcome! Thanks for your wishes! I can't wait until Monday. I'm going to make a wild guess and say the number is going to be 18. Now let's see how close I am! 😉

  18. I would be happy with both of those. In fact, I think the only ones that would really make me go, "oh no!", would be Aristotle's Ethics & If On A Winter's Night A Traveler (I started this recently and we did not seem like we'd get along 😉 ).

    Good luck to you, too! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  19. So you get ~ Seven Story Mountain (1948) – Thomas Merton (I'm excited about this but it's very looong!).

    As for my #20 I'm going on a Odyssey with Homer. ;0

  20. Yes. I am at present unenthusiastic but hopefully that will change. This book is supposed to be excellent so I'm sure once I get going I will feel better about it. I just might have to "hermitize" myself to keep up with my reading schedule.

    Fortunately it's not necessary to read The Iliad before The Odyssey although the Odyssey does have the last bit of the Trojan War at the beginning. It would be interesting to read about how these oral stories were split into books because if Homer wrote both of them, the division doesn't seem completely sensible.

Thanks for visiting. I'd love to hear from you and have you join in the discussion!