Reading plans

Time for A Classics Club Spin

The Classics Club Spin is back. This will be the 31st outing though the first since I embarked on my second Classics Club list.

For those unfamiliar with the “spin” the idea is to make a list of 20 books from my Classics Club list. On Sunday, September 18th, a random number will be selected by the club leaders. The challenge will be to read whatever book matches that number on my spin list. The “deadline” is 30 October 2022.

Since my list is very new, I have almost 100 titles from which to select just twenty. I could simply start at the top and count down to 20 but since I’ve created my list in categories I thought I’d select a few books from each category. I’m listing only those books I already own.

Here’s my spin list:
19th Century Classics
  1. Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell (1853)
  2. The Lifted Veil by George Eliot (1859)
  3. No Name by Wilkie Collins (1862)
  4. Armadale by Wilkie Collins (1864)
  5. Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope (1865)
20th Century Classics
  1. Ambassadors by Henry James  (1903)
  2. Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennet (1908)
  3. Ethan Frome  by Edith Wharton:  (1911)
  4. O Pioneers by Willa Cather (1913)
  5. The Well of Loneliness by Radcylffe Hall (1928)
International Classics
  1. The Nose  by Nikolay Gogol(1836) — Ukrania/Russia
  2. Cousin Bette by Honoré De Balzac(1846) — France
  3. The Conquest of Plassans by Emile Zola (1874) — France
  4. Nada by Carmen Laforet (1944) — Spain
  5. Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (1947) — Germany
Welsh Classics
  1. Stranger Within The Gates by Bertha Thomas (1912) — Wales
  2. Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915) — Scotland
  3. The Citadel by A J Cronin (1937) — Scotland
  4. A Toy Epic by Emyr Humphreys (1958) — Wales
  5. The Bell by Iris Murdoch (1958) — Ireland

I’m hoping whichever one gets selected, that it will be one I’ll enjoy. So far I’ve abandoned two books from my list and finished only one. I’m hoping I get one of the 19th century classics.


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

24 thoughts on “Time for A Classics Club Spin

  • What an interesting list. I’ve read numbers 3,5,7,8,9,15,17,18. I enjoyed most of them but wasn’t impressed by Ethan Frome – as I recall. By Welsh classic I suppose you mean partly set in Wales as Buchan and Cronin were Scots, so I think of them as Scottish classics.

  • Must admit, I love anything by George Eliot. Some interesting books here. I must check out the Stranger Within The Gates. I couldn’t get a grip on Thirty Nine Steps some years ago – really should try again. Many thanks.

    • Some of the classics can be quite dull or hard to get into it. I’ve given up twice on Riddle Of The Sands for that reason.

  • I’ve only read Ethan Fromme from your list but it is amazing! Good luck with the spin. My list will go up on my blog tomorrow!

    • I’ll look at your list later. For some reason I still can’t comment via my iPad so I haven’t been commenting on your posts as much lately.

  • Some great choices here! I loved Alone in Berlin, though the content matter makes it a very challenging read in many ways, and Can You Forgive Her? is great.

    • I have been planning to read Alone in Berlin for a few years but the text in my copy is very small and off putting. I’m hoping the spin gives me the nudge I need to read it.

  • If you get Ethan Frome I’d be interested to read what you thought of it, as it happens the only Wharton I’ve read so far. I read the Buchan at least twice before I started reviewing but I may well try it again. I’ve also got an Iris Murdoch on a TBR shelf, though it’s way down the pecking order – not one of her best known titles, however – but whatever you get, good luck!

    • I’m not sure whether the Iris Murdoch is going to suit me – I’ve tried a couple of her books previously but found them very challengng

  • Good luck! I’ve read a few of those and particularly enjoyed the two Wilkie Collins books and Alone in Berlin.

    • I know I’ve read No Name before but it was so many years ago I’ve completely forgotten what its about

  • I read Ethan Frome last year for novellas in November.

    • I hadn’t realised it is a novella. That’s good – so many of my other choices are really thick books

  • I’ve read and enjoyed No Name and the Trollope, and also Old Wives Tale. Alone in Berlin is on my list to get to. Hope you enjoy whichever of these is picked

    • I did enjoy the Barsetshire Chronicles though Trollope can be very long winded at times….hoping this one isn’t

      • That he can–perhaps in part because they were serialised originally. But I do remember enjoying this one.

    • It helps sometimes to stop me dithering about what to read next

  • Liliane Ruyters

    What an endeavour! I managed to re-read Middlemarch in August which I really enjoyed, to my surprise. Maybe you’ll inspire me to (re-)read another classic and have myself surprised a second time.

    • Middlemarch is an absolute favourite of mine – I’ve read it about six times and still enjoy it.


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