Another Classics Spin

Question Mark - cover place holder

If at first you don’t succeed….

This is apparently the 16th Classics Club spin. I don’t know how many I’ve attempted, and it’s been even fewer I’ve completed successfully (maybe one?), but it seems always worth the try.

Actually, I’d been thinking just the other day that’s it’s been a while since I’ve really read any books to sink my teeth into, or even any 19th or early 20th century fiction. (Of course, then I remembered that I read Twenty-thousand Leagues Under the Sea this summer, which I keep managing to forget.) So as it happens, this spin is quite timely. Because I’m craving some 19th or early 20th century reading, my spin list is largely from the middle of my Classics Club list, and I’ve left it in chronological order. I’m rather rooting for #1, Lady Susan, as I pulled that out for a reread a few weeks ago, though I haven’t gotten to it yet. But really, anything here would be good, especially as the bulk of the books are currently on my shelves just waiting to be read!

And you, are you spinning?

  1. Austen, Jane: Lady Susan (England, c. 1794)*
  2. Austen, Jane: Emma (England, 1816)*
  3. Brontë, Anne: Agnes Grey (England, 1847)
  4. Gaskell, Elizabeth: Mary Barton (England, 1848)
  5. Gaskell, Elizabeth: Cranford (England, 1853)
  6. Trollope, Anthony: The Warden (England, 1855)
  7. Collins, Wilkie: The Woman in White (England, 1860)
  8. Hardy, Thomas: Far From the Madding Crowd (England, 1874)
  9. James, Henry: The Turn of the Screw and Other Short Fiction (U.S., 1878-1908)‡
  10. Tolstoy, Leo: The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories (Russia, 1886-1912)
  11. Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland, 1891)*
  12. Wells, H.G.: The Time Machine (England, 1895)
  13. Wharton, Edith: The House of Mirth (U.S., 1905)
  14. Cather, Willa: Death Comes for the Archbishop (U.S., 1927)
  15. Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury (U.S., 1929)
  16. Gibbons, Stella: Cold Comfort Farm (England, 1932)
  17. Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World (England, 1932)
  18. Bromfield, Louis: The Farm (U.S.-Ohio, 1933)
  19. Wright, Richard: Native Son (U.S., 1940)
  20. Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man (U.S., 1952)

Classics Spin 15

Question Mark - cover place holderHuh. It’s been a long time since I participated in a Classics Club Spin – apparently they’re on #15, and I last “spun” for number 9! So it’s about time. Especially since I have a new list from which I’ve only read one book so far. Of course, I have an abysmal record at finishing either book and/or post by the deadline, and I don’t exactly have an abundance of reading time at the moment, but ever-optimistic, I’ll try again. Per the suggestions, I selected a mix of books I’m really looking forward to/neutral about/on the slightly dreading side of neutral (I’m only truly dreading the really long books, but if I’m to be at all practical, I’d better steer clear of those at present). I’ve rounded out the list with the 5 Shakepeare titles currently on my CC list.

Without further ado:

  1. Jane Austen – Lady Susan
  2. Louis Bromfield – The Farm
  3. Homer – The Iliad
  4. William Shakespeare – The Merchant of Venice
  5. William Faulkner – The Sound and the Fury
  6. Anthony Trollope – The Warden
  7. Jonathon Swift – Gulliver’s Travels
  8. William Shakespeare – Hamlet
  9. Elizabeth Gaskell – Cranford
  10. Charles Dickens – A Tale of Two Cities
  11. William Faulkner – The Reivers
  12. William Shakespeare – Othello
  13. Stella Gibbons – Cold Comfort Farm
  14. F. Scott Fitzgerald – The Great Gatsby
  15. William Dean Howells – The Rise of Silas Lapham
  16. William Shakespeare – King Lear
  17. Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
  18. Ann Radcliffe – The Italian
  19. Joseph Conrad – The Heart of Darkness
  20. William Shakespeare – The Tempest

Good luck to those also participating and Happy Reading!

Week’s End Notes (28) – Of Summer Reading Plans

Geber Daisy

It’s been a while. With the end of April’s Children’s Classics Event, I dove into May with a focus on reading rather than writing, so now I find myself with, yet again, a backlog of posts to write—but at least a number of books are finished. I may, however, in the future have to institute a rule that I must write about one book before moving on to the next.

I have been working on some posts related to my Paul Laurence Dunbar reading, actually, but I’m not quite finished, so those will have to wait. In the meantime, I’m succumbing to temptation yet again, but I don’t think this will harm me. At worst, I will have too many books to finish in the fall; I make no promises of actually finishing anything on time, for that is unnecessary stress, when my job provides plenty of its own deadlines.

It’s only just the first week of “unofficial” summer, those June-July-August months when the school children are out of class and those of us still stuck behind a work desk long for the days of unfettered freedom, of long summers and ample reading time. The nostalgia creeps in every year, and every year I am convinced that I might read more than I do any other time of year. Foolish, of course—often work is even more busy in the summer—but an aim nonetheless.

It does seem that we are likely to have an uncomfortably hot summer—already we’ve hit 90 F (32 C) once—and in those temperatures I really am fit for nothing better than reading. So perhaps this year… Optimism springs eternal! With that thought in mind, and tempted by the sight of so many bloggers laying forth their summer plans, I set out mine, perhaps a week late, but a whole summer still stretches forth.

First, the next Classics Club spin. I’ve finished the reading (Pedro Páramo), but still need to write up a post for the last one—only a month or so overdue. Oops. It always gets me to read a book I might otherwise postpone, though, even if at times I finish months late. For this round I’ve only included books I already have on hand, as I’m currently trying to read off my shelves. A few I intend to read this summer, regardless of the spin outcome.

  1. Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  3. His Last Bow – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  5. The Iliad – Homer
  6. An Oresteia – as translated by Anne Carson
  7. Fables – Aesop
  8. Aeneid – Virgil
  9. The Italian – Anne Radcliff
  10. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  11. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell
  12. Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
  13. The Lusiad – Luís Vaz de Camões
  14. Three Exemplary Tales – Miguel de Cervantes
  15. The President – Miguel Ángel Asturias
  16. The Warden – Anthony Trollope
  17. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  18. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  19. Suttree – Cormac McCarthy
  20. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

Then there’s the next Spanish Lit Month coming up in July, hosted by Stu of Winstonsdad’s Books and Richard of Caravana de recuerdos. I’m not sure yet what I will read, but I’d really like to actually finish something this year, as last year I failed abominably and nor did I manage to finish anything on time for Richard’s winter/spring Mexicanos perdidos en México event (Pedro Páramo was supposed to double for that as well…maybe I should save my post on it for July! Hmm…actually, that probably is what will happen…)

15 Books of Summer Button

Finally, I see many bloggers signing up for the 20 Books of Summer hosted by Cathy of 746 Books. I initially dismissed the idea—I’ve not read 20 books in 3 months since I was in school—but there are options for 10 or 15 books as well. Surely I can read ten! My list is subject to change—I don’t wish to be strictly limited in my reading, if something catches else my eye. But these are the books I most want to read this summer, so it is likely I won’t deviate too much. Also, I’ve included an extra title in case my Classics Spin title is one I’m going to read anyway.

  1. Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  3. The Raven Boys – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  4. The Dream Thieves – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  5. Blue Lily, Lily Blue – Maggie Stiefvater [reread]
  6. The Raven King – Maggie Stiefvater
  7. His Last Bow – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  8. The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
  9. Chronicles of Avonlea – L.M. Montgomery
  10. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  11. The Grey King – Susan Cooper
  12. The Farm – Louis Bromfield
  13. Enter Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse
  14. TBD – Spanish Lit Month Book (if not Classics Spin title)
  15. TBD – Classics Spin Book (if not already listed above)
  16. Silver on the Tree – Susan Cooper (if Classics Spin Title is 1, 2, 7, 8, or 14)

I was going to stick with 10, but I realized that quite a few of my books are either YA or plays, so if I actually wanted to challenge myself I needed to bump it up to 15.

Well, I think that should  be quite enough to go on! And what are your bookish plans for the summer?

Classics Spin 9

Question Mark - cover place holder

It’s been a long while since I participated in a Classics Club spin, and I’d been thinking recently that it would be nice if they hosted another one–let someone else decide what I’m reading! As I’ve done in the past, I used a random number generator to make my picks, which led to quite an interesting–and intimidating!–list, I think. Good thing I only have to read one of these. (Fingers crossed it’s not one of the really long ones!)

1. Morrison, Toni: The Bluest Eye (1970)
2. Melville, Herman: The Piazza Tales (1856)
3. Jackson, Shirley: The Haunting of Hill House (1959)
4. Dickens, Charles: Bleak House (1853)
5. Camões, Luís Vaz de: The Lusiad (1572)
6. Ford, Ford Madox: Parade’s End (1928)
7. Swift, Jonathan: Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
8. Atwood, Margaret: The Handmaid’s Tale (1985)
9. Tomasi di Lampedusa, Giuseppe: The Leopard [Il Gattopardo] (1958)
10. Steinbeck, John: East of Eden (1952)
11. Asimov, Isaac: Foundation Trilogy (1951-53)
12. Hugo, Victor: Les Misérables (1862)
13. Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace (1869)
14. Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World (1932)
15. Marías, Javier: All Souls [Todas las almas] (1987)
16. Kafka, Franz: “Metamorphosis” (1915) and The Trial (1925)
17. Doyle, Sir Arthur Conan: The Valley of Fear (1915, Scotland)
18. Verne, Jules: Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870)
19. Collins, Wilkie: The Woman in White (1860)
20. Vargas Llosa, Mario: The Feast of the Goat [La fiesta del chivo] (2000)