The Classics Club Spin #2!



The Classics Club Spin!

Well, I attempted to play the first Classics Club Spin and completely failed (didn’t even OPEN the book).  And… I’m one of the moderators of The Classics Club!  Shame on me.

Anywho – school is out for the summer, so I have much more free time.  Which means I’m going to take another crack at this and, this time, I am determined to read my Spin Book!


  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you have left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by July 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading!

My Book Spin list for the Classics Club:

Five I Am Dreading:

1.  The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole 
2.  The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
3.  Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
4.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
5.  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

Five I Am Excited About:

6.   Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
7.   The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
8.   At Swim, Two Boys by Jamie O’Neill 
9.   The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
10. Kim by Rudyard Kipling

Five I’m Neutral About:

11.  Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
12.  A Room With a View by E.M. Forster
13.  Youth by J.M. Coetzee
14.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
15.  The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

Five Free Choice: Totally Random Selections!

16. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
17. Wise Blood by Flannery O’Connor
18. Metamorphoses by Ovid
19. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
20. The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade

The Prize: A fun reading experience!

40 Comments on “The Classics Club Spin #2!

  1. I just posted my spin list today too! I hated Kim and loved Sherlock and House of Mirth. I’m a huge fan of Forster’s work too.


    • You hated Kim!? It sounds so interesting to me! Memoirs of Sherlock is next in the series (I’ve read everything up to that point – going in order!) so it’d be great to get to this one and carry on with the next. I plan to finish the complete Sherlock in the next year. I’ve only read two Wharton novels (Ethan Frome and Age of Innocence), and I loved both. Also a big fan of Forster. 🙂


    • I started it years ago but didn’t get far into it (same with Catch-22), but I know I really should read both of them. I figured I’d better throw at least one of the two on here. Lol


  2. An interesting and varied collection – good luck with the spin!!


  3. Good luck with the spin Adam 🙂 I can’t wait to see what number we get!


  4. I really love deFoe’s work – but if you can’t hack it, consider Erica Jong’s 1980, thirty+ year-old classic, ‘Fanny: Being the True History of the Adventures of Fanny Hackabout-Jones’

    Two others (over 80-90 years old) and very worth it are Elizabeth von Arnim’s The Enchanted April.
    And John Galsworthy’s The Forsyte Saga. These two writes are so ‘with-it’ about human needs, drives and emotion let alone about our true foibles it’s hard to remember you’re not reading current literature in these two books.


    • Thanks, E.J. And thanks for stopping by! I recently read your short story collection, Claming One, and really enjoyed it!


  5. It’s so much fun seeing all these lists. There’s no need to dread Madame Bovary, especially if you are reading the new Lydia Davis translation… it’s so much better. House of Mirth is very good, even though it’s not my favorite Wharton. I loved A Room with a View and The Portrait of a Lady. The Blind Assassin has been on my to read list for ages. Good luck!


    • My copy of Madame Bovary is rather old (decades old), so I’ll have to look for that Davis translation – thanks for the suggestion!


      • Oh, you definitely need the Davis version. I’m too cheap to buy books usually, but I bought that (my library didn’t have it) and it was well worth it.


  6. Don Quixote was on my first spin list and I was too chicken to keep it this time around :P. I don’t know why I’m dreading it…

    You have several titles I’ve never heard of. I’ll have to check them out!

    Good luck!


    • I plan to read Don Quixote this summer, no matter what, so if it ends up being my Spin selection… all the better!


  7. Good luck! I hope you get one of the books you’re excited about and not one that you’re dreading. I love gothic novels so I enjoyed The Mysteries of Udolpho and The Castle of Otranto, but I know they won’t be to everyone’s taste!


    • I’ve tried to read The Mysteries of Udolpho twice, but just haven’t been able to get into it. The Castle of Otranto is short, at least. Lol


  8. I like Brave New World! It’s a great book. I did dread Madame Bovary, though, and was surprised to discover that I loved it. The writing is fantastic. Plus it helps if you yell at Emma a lot in your head. Castle of Otranto is so short that it’s easy; just imagine it as a movie, maybe with Mel Brooks in it, and you’ll enjoy it. Udolpho….well, it’s an acquired taste. 🙂


    • I tell you what though, reading Udolpho resulted in some of the most interesting and memorable dreams I’ve ever had. So there’s that.


      • Lol! I’ve heard that from some others, too!


  9. Moll Flanders isn’t that bad. I had to read it my senior year in college for my 18th Century seduction novel class, and it is actually pretty okay! Hope you get one you end up liking! =)


  10. I’m a huge Wharton, Waugh, Forster & Atwood fan – read all of the ones on your list for these authors except for Vile Bodies. I also want to read Udolpho thanks to Jane Austen and Northanger Abbey!! Good luck with this spin 🙂


  11. Fantastic list ! I’ve only read Wise Blood and Madame Bovary and they are both fantastic. Good luck with the spin !


    • I love Flannery O’Connor but I’ve never read any Flaubert (I started Madame Bovary when I was much younger – a sophomore in high school- and just could not get into it. I’m sure I’d have a different experience now).


  12. Madame Bovary is beautiful, I love Flaubert’s beautiful way of describing nature. It’s quite slow, so you’d better take it very easy if no. 4 pops-up 😉 Kim is really interesting, not only it portrays Indian’s socio-cultures, it also picks The Great Game (British and Russian political conflict for supremacy in Asia) as its setting. I also liked The Portrait of A Lady, although the story is a bit depressing. Good luck for the spin, what number are you secretly hoping to pop-up, by the way? LOL..


    • Haha! We’re all hoping for one, aren’t we!? I think I’d like to see 5, 6, 8 or 9 pop-up. I plan to read all four of these books this year anyway, so having one come up for the spin would be great impetus to get it done sooner rather than later. Don Quixote is really long, though, so I’m not sure I’d like having that strict deadline. Or maybe it would be helpful, come to think of it… Fingers Crossed!


  13. Wharton, Forster, Waugh and Atwood I’ve enjoyed. The Mysteries of Adolpho I only read half of and then got tired of it. Good luck with the spin and getting your book read this time!


  14. The Blind Assassin is amazing! I have two Atwood books on my spin list. I can’t wait to see what number comes up!


    • I really enjoyed The Handmaid’s Tale, but I hear many people say they like this one even better.


  15. Thanks for stopping by my blog and your feedback on the books on my list. Glad to see you and the classics featured on Book Bloggers International as well. Hope we get a good #! I’d like to read Sherlock Holmes and I heard that Room with a View was excellent.


  16. I don’t blame your reluctance to Radcliffe. It’s kind of amusing that even though Austen poked fun at it it’s stuck around. I often wonder if that’s because it’s mentioned in Northanger Abbey or because of it’s own merits. As I’ve not yet read it, I couldn’t say. 😉


  17. Nice list, Adam! I love Forster and Wharton and have read most of their works. I’ve also read the complete ACD Sherlck Holmes canon; they are such fun and quick reads. I was not a fan of Vile Bodies, but I am willing to try Waugh again one today with Brideshead. Similarly, I really liked the writing of Portrait of a Lady even though the ending left me dissatisfied, but I’m excited for my next James. I read Brave New World before 1984 and I think I preferred the former to the latter at the time, though Animal Farm is my Orwell favourite. Good luck!


  18. The House of Mirth is one of my all-time favorites! I remember being surprised by how much I enjoyed Moll Flanders, it was a romp. Can’t wait to see what number we get. I’ve been reading short stories all weekend to avoid getting into anything too long so I can start reading the spin book right away (as I’m prone to procrastination).


  19. I posted my comment earlier, but somehow it got lost. Just want to say that I haven’t read any of the 20 titles in your Classics Spin list >.< But I hope you will get one you're excited about. Good luck!


  20. Adam, it is good to see that your number 6 brought you Don Quixote, which you are excited about reading. 🙂 Hope you enjoy every single word 🙂


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