The Classics Club

Goin’ for a Spin

It’s been nearly a year since I first create my list for The Classics Club, but I’ve only finished two books off the list. (Plus parts of others.) Time to change that, I think and the Club has offered an excellent incentive in the form of “The Classics Spin.” That is:

Go to your blog.
Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
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.
The challenge is to read that book by April 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)

I found the simplest way to create the list was to first remove the really chunky books (which I couldn’t possibly get through in one month) and then  select 20 using a random number generator–sure enough, fast list & a good mix of books I’ve been avoiding and books I can’t wait to read. In random order:

  1. Carpentier, Alego: Kingdom of This World [El reino de este mundo] (1949)
  2. Baldwin, James: Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953)
  3. Bunyan, John: The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
  4. Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye (1970)
  5. Smith, Dodie: I Capture the Castle (1940)
  6. Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness (1902)
  7. Aeschylus (Aiskhulos): Plays
    1. Agamemnon (458 BCE)
    2. The Libation Bearers (458 BCE)
    3. The Eumenides (458 BCE)
  8. Solzhenitsyn, Aleksandr Isayev: One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (1952)
  9. Joyce, James: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  10. Spark, Muriel: The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1961)
  11. Gaskell, Elizabeth: Mary Barton (1848)
  12. Rulfo, Juan: Pedro Páramo (1955)
  13. Dick, Philip K.: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
  14. Walpole, Horace: The Castle of Otranto (1765)
  15. Trollope, Anthony: The Warden (1855)
  16. Camões, Luís Vaz de: The Lusiad (1572)
  17. Verne, Jules: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
  18. Shakespeare, William: The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1589-91)
  19. Tolkien, J. R. R.: The Lord of the Rings (1954-56)
  20. Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe: The Leopard [Il Gattopardo] (1958)

Can’t wait until Monday to find out what I’ll be reading!

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12 thoughts on “Goin’ for a Spin

  1. That’s a great approach to choosing your 20 books! I totally failed at creating a well-mixed list, but I so need this challenge as a little kick in the pants to get moving on my classics!

  2. Oooh, Capture the Castle is just wonderful. The Warden is also good, though it started out a bit slow. And then you can read Barchester Towers which is just wonderful!!

    1. I haven’t tried any Trollope yet, but I’m really looking forward to his novels. Even if The Warden doesn’t become the pick for the Spin, I might have to read it sometime this spring!

  3. The random generator certainly gave you an interesting selection. Anthony Trollope and Muriel Spark are the only ones I’ve read and liked both of them. Good luck with the spin.

    1. I like that it’s so diverse–I don’t think I could have pared my list down to such a varied 20 on my own–I’m sure I would have left in more ” really want to read” books and had fewer “I’m avoiding it” books. Thanks and good luck to you as well!

  4. I hope you get to read I Capture The Castle, as it’s one of my favorites from your list. Wondering if I dare try this ‘challenge’ from the Classics Club myself…I think you’ve encouraged me to go ahead and try. xo

    p.s. Even though your Classical Children’s Literature challenge is officially over, I want you to know I’m continuing in that vein. I’m reading my class Edith Nesbit’s Five Children and It, which they love, and I thought I’d have finished in January. But, the more important point is, we’re having a good time with it. Also, I downloaded Barrie’s Peter Pan, and I’m crazy about it! I’d only ever seen the film from Disney. So, all that to say thank you for your inspiration here, too!

    1. I will definitely have to get to I Capture the Castle sometime soonish, as I’ve read so many good things about it. I’m happy to hear you’re still reading children’s classics, especially with your class! I have two I still need to finish myself. I’m glad so many people were inspired last month to pick up some good children’s books, and to have learned about so many new ones myself.

  5. I’ve got The Pilgrim’s Progress and Mary Barton on my list too…though they’re under classics I am half way through and haven’t picked back up in awhile!! The rest sounds tough. I did the same of thing of counting out chunksters. Considering I’m struggling with time as it is, I’m pretty sure I couldn’t get a huge amount done by April 1st!

    Yay for Lord of the Rings! I did toy with the idea of putting in the first book as a re-read, but decided to cancel out re-reads as much as I possibly could, so that I was sure to try something new. 🙂

    P.S. On my list is an incomplete Black Beauty as well…the book was supposed to have finished for your january children’s classics event. 😦

    1. Lord of the Rings was the only long book I left on the list because I really want to reread it–and I was happy the random number generator put it on the short list…even if it wasn’t the final pick. It’s never too late to read/finish reading a children’s book! I still have some to finish from last month myself. I look forward to reading your thoughts on Black Beauty when you have a chance to finish it.

  6. I must do this! January and February have been absolutely crazy months for me, but March should (fingers crossed) be much more relaxed, and I should actually have time for this challenge. Looking forward to seeing what you end up reading (I rather hope it’s I Capture the Castle!).

    1. Two votes for I Capture the Castle! I really shall have to try to read it this year. A challenge is always helpful, I think, in reminding me to read more. I hope you have plenty of reading time in March!

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