The Classics Club Spin #14

The fickle finger of fate…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 14th Spin, but it’s my first. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before next Monday 3rd October. On Monday, the Classics Club will post the winning number. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by December 1, 2016. It will certainly be a challenge to squeeze another book into my already overstuffed pile of review books and GAN books that I’ve scheduled for autumn, but hey! Who needs sleep anyway? If the worst comes to the worst, I can always bump Moby-Dick off the schedule… 😉

So here’s my list. I’ve selected it on the basis of mostly including books I already own, and have included some from all five of the categories in my CC list – American fiction, English fiction, Scottish fiction, crime fiction and science fiction. I’ve also tried to avoid some of the lengthier ones on my list…

1) Passing by Nella Larsen

2) Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

3) The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

4) Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith

5) Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

6) Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathaniel West

7) Nada The Lily by H Rider Haggard

8) The Valley of Fear by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

9) She Who Was No More by Boileau-Narcejac

10) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

11) Mildred Pierce by James M Cain

12) The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse

13) The Cone Gatherers by Robin Jenkins

14) The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

15) The Stainless Steel Rat by Harry Harrison

16) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

17) Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp

18) The House with the Green Shutters by George Douglas Brown

19) Cop Hater by Ed McBain

20) Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke

* * * * * * *

Most of these I’d be delighted to read. If I had to choose, I’d like to see Strangers on a Train come up, or Nada the Lily. There are only a couple I feel more ambivalent about, but I’m naming no names on the basis of tempting fate!

Which one would you like to see win?

69 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #14

  1. Oh, you’ve got lots of good choices there, FictionFan! There are about three or four that I’d like to see win, but any one of them would be interesting. You really do have some fine stuff on your TBR!

    • I know – that’s why I really have to stop taking more and more review books. Some of these have been on my list for literally years now… maybe the Classics Club will be the spur I need to get round to reading them…

  2. No wonder your TBR keeps growing, FF — it’s chock-full of such interesting titles!! Any of those selections would be good to win. Would you really bump that poor whale off entirely?? Even if reading it makes you so very tired you feel as if you could sleep for a solid month??!

    • Haha! Poor old Moby! I’ve had so much fun being rude about it it would be sad to see it disappear from the TBR… what book would I pick on then? 😉

      I know – so many great books on my list. This is why I must stop taking review copies so I have time to read some of them!

      • I imagine many of those “classics” we were encouraged to read when I was in high school would be as unappetizing as Mr. Moby, you know. Things like The Grapes of Wrath, The Scarlet Letter, or anything by Chaucer. *shudders*

        • Ugh! I had to learn chunks of Chaucer at school – put me off for life! The Scarlet Letter is on my list for sometime in the far future. The Grapes of Wrath I read last year – can’t say it was the best reading experience of my life, but I’m glad I’ve finally read it! I bet they put loads of people off reading altogether by forcing these classics on them…

  3. I’m having a hard time choosing. Hmmm… Perhaps Strangers on the Train. Sounds like your kind of book and you should enjoy it, not be forced to suffer through, through…well I shall not name names, even if it’s a whale of a book. 😉

    • Haha! Poor Moby – he’s probably lovely too! Yes, I’ve wanted to read Strangers on a Train for ages – it’s one of my favourite films, though they tell me the book’s a bit different…

  4. Oh you have some great ones there – these are the ones I hope for you : Passing, Rebecca, Strangers on a Train, The Jungle, Cluny Brown (actually, The Jungle followed by the antidote of Cluny Brown would be a great journey!) I have The Riddle of The Sands, which I got in the hope I would be at its stage in my Reading The Century (but am not) Suggest, if Moby swims away or expires that you go for Ulysses or Remembrance of Things Past in entirety. Or both

    • Good choices! The only one of those I’m ambivalent about is Cluny Brown since I suspect it may fall into the same category as The Blessing, which everyone loves, except me! See, that’s the joy of these challenges though – acquiring all the books! We’ll both get through our challenges one day, I’m (almost) sure! Oh, I’d love to read both of those – twice – but sadly I can’t until I read your reviews of them…

    • Passing does sound good – there was a little flurry of people reviewing it when it was re-released a couple of years ago and I’ve been meaning to read it ever since. The ones you haven’t heard of are probably the Scottish ones – I hadn’t heard of some of them either till I started looking at Great Scottish Novels lists! I’m hoping they ARE great… 😉

  5. Top 3 for me:
    Mildred Pierce ( character study)
    The Jungle (satire)
    Cluny Brown (forgotten British author….but was an NYT best seller list 1950’s for Britainnia Mews!)
    Many books are ‘blind dates’ for me on your list…but that’s always fun.
    Good luck!

    • I really want to read both Mildred Pierce and The Jungle, but I’m not so sure that Cluny Brown is my kind of thing really – it’s one of the ones I’m a bit ambivalent about. Yes, I went for quite a lot of classic crime and sci-fi, and Scottish classics, along with some of the more familiar books. Should be fun…

  6. I’ve always wanted to read a book by H Rider Haggard but haven’t yet. I’ve heard so many modern negative reviews of his works but he was popular at some point so there must be something interesting about his writing. At some point, I’ll have to investigate.

    Rebecca made me want to scream and tear at my hair so I’d be fascinated to hear what you think of it. 😉

    Have a great spin!

    • I love H Rider Haggard, but like many of his generation you do have to make allowances for some out-dated attitudes in race and gender. Personally I find he talks about the Africans with considerably more respect than many of his contemporaries though. They’re great adventure stories!

      Haha! Ooh, I kinda hope it has that effect on me too! Hope I get it now… 😀

  7. I’d like you to get one of the books I’ve never heard of – there are quite a few!
    This always looks like fun, but I’ve never done it. I think I prefer to see what everyone else gets – no pressure on me! 🙂

    • Rebecca would be a re-read for me but from many years ago – I loved it too. Cluny Brown would be new to me though. Can’t wait now to see what one comes up! Good luck to you too. 🙂

    • Rebecca would be great – I love du Maurier! I’ve heard good things about the Upton too – it’s been on my Great American Novels list for a while. Hope we all get good things on Monday! 🙂

    • Yes, they do… but looks can be deceiving *sharpens red pencil* 😉 Love PG Wodehouse! Always happy to have an excuse to read one of his books! Should be fun whichever comes up though…

  8. Great choices! I think I would like to reread Rebecca and Mildred Pierce the most (of the ones I have read thus far). And Sherlock Holmes is always fun. The Jungle is intense, and well worth reading.

    • Rebecca would be a re-read for me too, but I’ve never read Mildred Pierce or even seen the film. Definitely can’t go wrong with Holmes (plus it’s short!). The Jungle is one I’d really like to read – it’s on my list for possible Great American Novels too. But actually I’d be happy whatever comes up – the benefit of being at the start of my CC list is that I could pick all the ones I most want to read… 🙂

  9. Your list is so interesting! I’d recommend three: Rebecca, The Code of the Woosters, and Mildred Pierce. They’re all totally different but also wonderful. Mildred Pierce is fascinating in its dysfunction, Code of the Woosters is hilarious, and Rebecca is just a great gothic tale. I look forward to reading about your spin pick.

    • Thank you! I do like a lot of varity in my reading plus (ahem!) being of a certain age means I’ve read loads of the best-known classics already. Rebecca and The Code of the Woosters would both be re-reads for me – both from long ago though. I haven’t read Mildred Pierce and would really like to and then compare it with the film, which has been sitting on my shelf for years waiting for me to read the book first! Hope we all get books we enjoy! 😀

    • Haha! I’d never have put it on my list except that I fell in love with his Barsoom books over the last couple of years and have to now count myself as a fan! Gorillas are always a plus but he’ll have to go some to match Woola the Calot from Barsoom – my all-time favourite alien creature… 😀

    • I’d love to get Rebecca! It would be a re-read for me but from so long ago it would feel like reading it for the first time. Can’t wait to see what Monday brings… 😀

  10. Mildred Pierce or Rebecca 🙂 They are both so great with Rebecca being a book I absolutely loved, and Mildred Pierce being a book that I loved to hate (the characters that is). We read Mildred Pierce in my book club, and had a really wonderful discussion about it.

    • I’d be delighted if either of them come up! I loved Rebecca but it’s so long since I read it it’d be like reading it again for the first time. And I’ve never read Mildred Pierce – I’ve had the film sitting on my shelf for ages waiting for me to read the book first before I watch it! Glad to hear you loved to hate it – sounds like my kind of thing… 😀

  11. Great list! It’s Rebecca for me too as a much-loved re-read. And Mildred Pierce as the one that I’d most like to read. A lot of people seem to have picked put those two!

    • Thanks! Yes, I have a feeling I’m going to have to read these two soon whether they win or not. I know I’ll enjoy re-reading Rebecca, and I’m so pleased so many people are recommending Mildred Pierce, ‘cos I wasn’t sure about it when I put it on the list – it mainly got on because I really want to watch the film and always prefer to read the book first. Can’t wait to see what number comes up!

  12. Rebecca and Code of the Woosters I think. I just watched a documentary on Daphne du Maurier on the BBC iplayer. There was quite a funny moment when her interviewer was handed her first manuscript of Rebecca. I’m not sure what I made of her – hearty and fairly impenetrable. But what a book!

    • Excellent choices! There’s nothing like Wodehouse for brightening up a grey day, and it’s so long since I read Rebecca it’ll be like reading it for the first time again. The good thing is that even though neither of these “won”, they’re still sneakily working their way up my TBR… 😉

  13. That’s a tough one. You have a good list here. I reread Rebecca some months back. And Wodehouse is always hilarious. I’d have to go with the ones you chose, plus Cluny Brown. I saw the movie version of Strangers on a Train years ago.

    • I’ve been meaning to re-read Rebecca for ages, and I must fit in some Wodehouse soon – I’m getting withdrawal symptoms! I’m not so sure about Cluny Brown – I feel it might be one of those ones I feel I should love but perhaps won’t, based on reviews of it I’ve seen. Strangers on a Train is up there in my top 5 movies – love it, and watch it often. They tell me the book is a bit different though…

  14. Hello fellow ‘first time spinner’! So—are you happy with your book? I have Dr. Zchivago, which I really do want to read–have owned the book for a while now–but the names are going to kill me!
    Happy Reading.

    • Hello! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂 I ended up with Passing by Nella Larsen, which has been in my TBR for ages since a couple of other bloggers raved about it in reviews, so I’m really looking forward to it. Plus it’s short! I haven’t read Dr Zhivago but I did read a book all about how it was published outside Russia and then smuggled back in by the CIA to annoy the government- it’s an interesting story. Haha! Yes, those Russian names are a killer! Hope you enjoy it – look forward to hearing what you think of it…

    • A couple of bloggers reviewed it a year or so ago and it’s been on my TBR ever since. So I’m glad the Classics Club has given me the push to finally read it… 😀

    • It’s been great fun just reading everyone else’s lists and joining in the chit-chat – and I’m really pleased with my winner, Passing by Nella Larsen. Hopefully you’ll be back in the next spin! 😀

  15. I haven’t done a CC spin in a long time. It’s fun to have the challenge of reading something that’s randomly chosen – it gives me the feeling that I’m getting to books I would otherwise ignore. Herland is the only of those books that I’ve read. It wasn’t a favorite, despite loving her short stories.

    • This is my first, and I really enjoyed it – for meeting new people as much as for the spin itself. 🙂 I’ve only read The Yellow Wallpaper so I’m not altogether sure what to expect from Herland, so I’ll bear in mind that if it doesn’t thrill me it may not be her best…

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