Classics Club Spin

Posted June 6, 2016 by Lory in challenges / 21 Comments


I’m getting rather behind on my Classics Club list, so I hope this little challenge will get me going again. The idea is to choose 20 books remaining on your list, and when the “spin” number is announced, read that book by August. I’ve selected an assortment from all the categories of my list, including some that I find quite intimidating (Midnight’s Children, Don Quixote, Love in the Time of Cholera), and will trust to luck to give me the perfect one that I might not have chosen for myself!

UPDATE: And the spin number is 15, so I’ll be reading Lucky Jim. A campus novel for summer reading sounds perfect.

  1. The Fledgling – Jane Langton

    Will this be my summer reading?
  2. White Peak Farm – Berlie Doherty
  3. Dubliners – James Joyce
  4. The Ghost of Thomas Kempe – Penelope Lively
  5. A Sentimental Journey – Laurence Sterne
  6. The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. LeGuin
  7. Martin Chuzzlewit – Charles Dickens
  8. Love – Elizabeth von Arnim
  9. The Makioka Sisters – Junichiro Tanizaki
  10. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  11. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  12. July’s People – Nadine Gordimer
  13. My Brilliant Career – Miles Franklin
  14. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  15. Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
  16. Three Men in a Boat – Jerome K. Jerome
  17. Excellent Women – Barbara Pym
  18. Troy Chimneys – Margaret Kennedy
  19. The Rise of Silas Lapham – William Dean Howells
  20. Looking Backward – Edward Bellamy
  21. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes

Have you read any of these? Any on your list?


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21 responses to “Classics Club Spin

  1. Chris Lovegrove

    I’ve read only two — The Left Hand of Darkness and Midnight’s Children — though I’ve not chosen to participate this year, waiting for just such a challenge in 2017. I did see the classic 1957 film of Lucky Jim with Ian Carmichael in my teens on TV but have little remembrance of what was going on. Tempted now to seek it out, if only to compare my own uni experiences a decade later!

    • Since I’m shortly leaving for my college reunion, I think it will be a perfect book to take along.

  2. jessicaboowkorm

    I haven’t heard of Lucky Jim but the title seems appropriate for the pot luck Spin event. I got Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne 🙂

    • Ha ha, you’re right – that had not occurred to me (and for spin #13 too)! I haven’t read any Verne since childhood, but that should be a fun summer read.

  3. Lark

    I should do this sometime…but first I’d have to limit my list to twenty classics. 🙂 Congrats on your spin. I hope you enjoy it.

    • Yes, picking out the twenty was somewhat challenging – but fun! I’m looking forward to this read, it’s been on my list for a long time.

  4. Ruthiella

    That is exactly why I like challenges (in moderation), they make me pick up those titles that have been languishing on my TBR, whether because I am afraid of their complexity, or length, or whatever. I work OK with a little bit of structure, but not too much.

    I hope you enjoy the book! I have an unread copy of it too, so if you like it, maybe I will give it a go.

    • I’ll be sure to share my thoughts, and I can’t wait to see what everyone else got.

  5. Chris Wolak

    Lucky you, looks like you dodged that huge Don Quixote bullet this time! 😉

  6. Silvia

    I believe people should read sparks notes for Don Quijote part 1, and read part 2, the best part not many read because of the length.

    Sad we don’t get this book in installments during the years, that would be more doable.

    I also understand it’s not for everyone. I am still preparing for The Brothers Karamazov, Les Miserables, and a few other bricks, hahaha. But now I do appreciate long books, when our time for them is ripe, the trip is epic.

    • Interesting point about Don Quixote. When I do read it I will be prepared that I need to make it through to Book 2.

      I did actually read it in high school, but in an abridged version. The Brothers Karamazov, too (unabridged) and Les Miserables. But I’ve been thinking I should revisit all these books in adulthood. The world looks a bit different now than when I was seventeen!

      • Silvia

        Lory, that to me has been the biggest reward as a non wavering reader, how much books grow as we mature, how much more they offer to me.

        If you read DQ in the abridged, you would love the tone and philosophy of the second book. Many reviews I read on DQ focus mainly on the humor and adventures, while Sancho, life, philosophy, and a beautiful and painful side to Don Quijote (plus meta novel and good modern twists to the narrative) are the trade mark of part II, and I don’t hear as much. (I love the mention of DQ in The Rosemary Tree, though, in reference to friendship, but, unlike you, that’s the only Gouge title I have read, and I owe others, so I should read more of hers -she shows up frequently in other books and blogs I read-).I agree that The Rosemary Tree is a bit contrived, a friend and I thought it reminded us of Matilda, hahaha. But I love the way she talks about children and their world in that book, -yes, I need to keep reading her books!-.

        • I think you would enjoy Elizabeth Goudge – she writes wonderfully about children (and also older people), and weaves philosophy and reflection into her stories too.

  7. Silvia

    The Makioka Sisters, as you know, it’s a big favorite of mine, and I loved My Brilliant Career.

  8. Silvia

    Love in the Time of Cholera should not intimidate you, Lory, it’s longish, but it reads fast, it’s a saga, soap opera type, Latin American love and drama, and they call it magic realism, it’s like Latin tall tale if sorts, with reflections on life, love, and death.
    Many intriguing titles.

  9. I’ve read Quixote, plus #s 13-16. My recommendation is Three Men in a Boat (followed immediately by Connie Willis’s To Say Nothing of the Dog).