Classics Club

Classics club Spin #22

Classics club spin

The Classics Club Spin is making another appearance and I’m using this to give me a nudge towards finishing this project.

I have only 3 books left to read towards the target of 50. Which sounds as if I’ve done a great job with this challenge but in reality I am way behind. The intention was to read 50 classics in 5 years, a timescale that went completely out of the window for me. No member of the Classics Club police force came knocking on my door however so I suppose my crime wasn’t that heinous.

Nevertheless I’d like to finish this soon. Then I can start again but with a new list…

If this is the first time you’ve heard of this, the idea is to create a list of any twenty books remaining from your Classics Club list, numbering them 1-20. On Sunday 22nd December  the Classics Club will announce a number. This is the book I will need to read by 31st January.

When I put my original list together I included more than 50 titles to give me flexibility in case I didn’t like some of my chosen titles. Even so I don’t have 20 titles left unread so I’m having to be  creative. Numbers 16-20 are new additions.

  1. The Black Sheep  — Honore Balzac 1842
  2. Basil Wilkie Collins 1852
  3. Framley Parsonage  Anthony Trollope 1861
  4. New Grub Street George Gissing 1891
  5. O pioneers —  Willa Cather  1913
  6. Gone to Earth  — Mary Webb 1917
  7. Age of Innocence  — Edith Wharton 1920
  8. The Last September —  Elizabeth Bowen 1929
  9. Frost in May Antonia White 1933
  10. Old Soldiers Never Die Frank Richards 1933
  11. Turf or Stone  — Margiad Evans 1934
  12. The Grapes of Wrath   John Steinbeck 1939
  13. Never No More Maura Laverty 1942
  14. The Quiet American  — Graham Greene 1955
  15. Alone in Berlin Hans Fallada 1947
  16. To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf 1927
  17. No Name Wilkie Collins 1862
  18. The Lifted Veil — George Eliot 1859
  19. The Fall – Albert Camus 1953
  20. Anna of The Five Towns – Arnold Bennett 1902

I’m rather hoping for The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope or Turf or Stone by the Welsh author Margiad Evans , a dark novel about an abusive marriage. I’ve never read anything by her previously but she features in the Library of Wales collection of Welsh ‘classics.’

Keep your fingers crossed for me ..


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

35 thoughts on “Classics club Spin #22

  • Pingback: Classics Club Spin Lands On A Virago Modern Classic : BookerTalk

    • Unfortunately it seems I didn’t get either of my wishes…. sob sob

  • I hope you get Grapes of Wrath too. It’s one of my favourite books of all time. I’ve read it three times.

    • Any book that is read that many times counts as something special. My husband rated it highly when he read it but we don’t always enjoy the same books but now your comment is clearly indicating that I should get to this soon even if it doesn’t win the spin

  • Great choices! I have The Age of Innocence on my list, too. And Fallada’s Alone in Berlin is a great book, so I hope you get it 🙂 Happy Spin Reading!

    • I put Alone in Berlin onto my list for 20 books of summer but never got around to it. My copy has very small text so every time I open it i get this dread of having to struggle to read it

  • The Grapes of Wrath is very good and so is Framley Parsonage, so I hope you get your wish! I don’t know the Welsh one unsurprisingly. I think I may have read Anna of the Five Towns when I went through a Bennett phase in my youth but can’t remember much about his books now except that I though they were great at the time. He’s an author I’d like to revisit one day. Good luck with the spin!

    • My husband read the Bennett novels – struggled to find some of them because they were out of print so we trudged endless second hand stores to find a copy.

  • I’ve read nos. 3, 6, 12 and 16 – of these The Grapes of Wrath is the one I loved! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed for you for that. (That would mean my spin book would be Little Dorrit, a book I’ve been meaning to read for several years now.) But I’m also interested in reading The Falls. I hadn’t heard of it before,although I’ve read and liked a few of Camus’ books in the past.

    • Little Dorrit is an interesting one, unlike most of Dickens he didn’t seem to have gone far off the plot into one of his meanderings in this book. Enjoyed reading it hugely.

  • All these books either are, or look, really good. Have you read the previous books in Trollope’s Chronicles of Barsetshire? I highly recommend them all. I thought that the last book, appropriately titled The Last Chronicle of Barset, was also well worth it.

    • I’ve read three of them so chose Framley Parsonage because its the next one in the series. Good to know the series ends as well as it started. Then I plan to read the Palliser series at some point…

  • You’ve got some great picks there. I hope one of your preferred choices comes up. I’m really pining for the Classics, might have to join the club in the New Year.

    • I’ve read some books that I’ve been meaning to try for years. Some were duds however – just because its a classic doesn’t mean it’s interesting/enjoyable to read now (I struggle with Samuel Richardson’s era_

      • Yes, that’s also why I want to take part – and some books are referred to in others I’m reading, so it’d be good to read those, get the reference and enhance my reading of more contemporary novels, as well. I started Clarissa on a readalong a couple of years back but couldn’t finish it then.

        • Groan, Clarissa was a slog – gave up half way through

  • Good luck with the spin. I haven’t read any of them, but I do like Steinbeck. Wouldn’t object either if it ends with To the Lighthouse or The Fall, I’m quite curious about both.

    • I’ve read To The Lighthouse before but it was such a long time ago and i was rushing it just to get through the syllabus for my degree. So thought I should revisit it

    • I’ve done a few of the spins and they do push you to read something from the list

      • We’ll see what comes up in the spin. My often kills two birds with one stone–I picked most from my Kindle. I impulse buy and then forget them!

        • I did a huge amount of impulse buying in the first few years of this blog – now looking at those books and wondering why I wanted them…

        • I have my Mom (83) on my Kindle account so I’m constantly thinking “Me or Mom?” lol. Happily, more recently they’re all hers–but she’s read them all.

        • Oh boy, I would get thoroughly confused in that scenario. Still you can always blame your mum when your TBR on Kindle feels like its going out of control

  • I actually have not read any of these!

    50 classics a year is ambitious. Many of them are quite long, so that could end up being more than one book per week.

    • it’s 50 books in 5 years so far more manageable! Even then I didn’t finish within the 5 years

  • Lovely choices! There are quite a few I’ve read, and quite a few I’d like to read. Good luck with the spin!

    • I think I’ve learned through this project that I’m much more a 19th century literature fan than 18th

  • Judy Krueger

    Fingers crossed! One on your list was I think the most surprising classic I ever read: The Fall by Albert Camus.

    • I know nothing about this one – I put it on my list because it was one of the books I got from the Random book club….Good to know it will be worth reading

    • Well this is interesting – there are now two of you rooting for that book


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