Reading plans

Time For Another Classics Club Spin

Just when I was thinking I needed to stir my stumps and actually read some of the books on my my Classics Club list, the team behind the Classics Club challenge have announced it’s time for another spin.

For those unfamiliar with the “spin” the idea is to make a list of 20 books from On Sunday, December 11th, 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 29 January 2023.

I’ve not long created my second list for this challenge so have plenty of unread titles to use for my spin list. Rather than just pick out titles at random I’ve selected 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. No Name by Wilkie Collins (1862)
  3. Armadale by Wilkie Collins (1864)
  4. Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope (1865)
  5. New Grub Street by George Gissing (1891)
20th Century Classics
  1. Old Wives Tale by Arnold Bennet (1908)
  2. Ethan Frome  by Edith Wharton:  (1911)
  3. O Pioneers by Willa Cather (1913)
  4. Tender Is The Night by Scott Fitzgerald (1934)
  5. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (1938)
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
Celtic 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 I get something that is a cracking good story — Rebecca maybe???


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

39 thoughts on “Time For Another Classics Club Spin

  • Old Wives Tale! How fun! I saw a group on Goodreads was reading it and it whetted my curiosity. I’ll be waiting to hear what you think!

  • Without hesitation, my favorite here is #10. Good luck. I don’t have time to participate this time, though I’ve been reading lots of classics recently

    • I’m really hoping the fact so many people love this book will somehow create the right vibe for it to be chosen!

  • Lots of goodies on your list – some I’ve loved and some I really want to read. Rebecca is great, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!

    • Cross your toes as well and I might be in with a good chance of getting my wish come true!

  • The only book on your list that I’ve read is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and it’s fantastic. I’ve read it twice and seen the Hitchcock movie many times. I do believe I watched The 39 Steps; I think that one is also Hitchcock?

    • The Robert Donat version of 39 Steps is indeed a Hitchcock direction. It’s far superior to the later versions I think

      • I always feel bad when I admit that the reason Rebecca is my favorite Hitchcock is likely because the producer stuck around on the set to make sure Hitchcock didn’t go fiddling with the script. The producer wanted it very close to the novel, and Hitchcock wanted to make all sorts of changes.

        • Hitchcock was very used to getting his own way so I can’t imagine he took kindly to that presence on set

  • You’ve got so many great choices on your list; for cracking good stories I’d also add: The Bell, Thirty Nine Steps, Cousin Bette, The Nose, and both Wilkie Collins books. What fun!

    • I just need to gear myself up to read The Nose – somehow having got it into my head that it could be challenging

      • Ah! Don’t worry, it’s a bit mad with plenty of humor, the dark Slavic kind of course, but it nails something about the Tsarist world in this odd little tale.

        • Well that has given me encouragement! Thank you Julé

    • I find it so hard to resist the urge to buy new – meanwhile books I bought years ago are gathering dust

  • I’ve read a couple of your list in the last couple of years- Nada (which I got from Pam, who is just above me) and O Pioneers – and they are both very good. But I actually hope the ball lands on Ruth, and you can make up for me meaning to review it these last seven years.

    • Ruth has been on my “to read” list for years too.

  • If you’re looking for a good story, then I would definitely recommend Rebecca, either of the Wilkie Collins novels or Alone in Berlin. I loved all of those. Good luck!

    • Ive read both Wilkie Collins novels but it was so so long ago I’ve forgotten everything about them

  • A great list – I haven’t read that many but Rebecca, Can You Forgive Her?, Alone in Berlin, and O Pioneers are all wonderful, so I will be rooting for you to get one of those!

  • This sounds a good challenge. But no, I’m not tempted. Failing to keep up would be something else to feel guilty about.

    • The idea is to read the list within five years – it took my eight years to get through my first list but never felt guilty about that

      • I might have a look on that basis. I tend to pass the classic reads by, with so many newer works to catch up with, and presented to the front of my mind, but I’m missing out.

  • Rebecca is a cracking good story! Wilkie Collins is also good for that, although he tends to have some parts that drag in his lesser novels. Ethan Frome is one of the most depressing stories ever, so I hope you don’t get that (save it for a time when you need to be pulled down to earth).

    • I’ve enjoyed most of the Wilkie Collins I’ve read but not one called The Haunted Hotel (I think that was the title anyway) which was so poor. It does seem as if he was struggling for plots at times

  • Hey, we both have No Name! So I wish no. 1 or 2 will get picked! 🙂
    And I also have Cather, Balzac, Wharton, Fitzgerald, but of different titles.
    Good luck, and have fun!

    • That would make me very happy – Collins can usually be relied upon to tell a good yarn

  • Good luck with this spin. I hope you get to read: Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (1915) — Scotland
    or The Citadel by A J Cronin (1937) — Scotland
    or A Toy Epic by Emyr Humphreys (1958) — Wales
    or The Bell by Iris Murdoch (1958) — Ireland
    as I have not heard of them; some of the others, I have heard and read… some time ago.

    • The Bell is probably the most challenging of these to read – I find Murdoch hard going at times

  • I hope you get Rebecca or Tender is the Night. Thanks for the reminder–I totally forgot the Spin was coming up!

    • Have you done your list yet – I’ll be on the lookout for it

    • It took me a while to decide – had several versions of it

        • A fellow blogger and I were saying exactly this a couple of days ago. We both found that we put together a pile of books we want to read next – then when the time comes to choose a new book we always choose something not in that pile!

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