The Classics Club Spin #15

Rien ne va plus…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 15th Spin, and my second. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before this Friday, 10th March. On Friday, the Classics Club will post the winning number. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by May 1, 2017. Frankly I have no idea how I’m going to fit another book into my over-stuffed schedule over that period, but I’m sure it will all work out somehow! I shall stock up on medicinal chocolate (for energy, you know) and warn my therapist to be on stand-by…

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’m in the mood for some of these more than others, in truth, so here’s hoping for a good spin…

1) The American by Henry James

2) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

3) The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett

4) The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham

5) The Island of Dr Moreau by HG Wells

6) My Antonia by Willa Cather

7) No Name by William Wilkie Collins

8) The Fair Maid of Perth by Sir Walter Scott

9) The 39 Steps by John Buchan

10) Earth Abides by George R Stewart

11) Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

12) Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore

13) The New Road by Neil Munro

14) The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

15) The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

16) Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr

17) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

18) Cloud Howe by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

19) The Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le Carré

20) Way Station by Clifford D Simak

* * * * * * *

If I had to choose, I’d like to see The Tiger in the Smoke come up, or The Spy Who Came In from the Cold. There are some I’d love to read but are quite long so will be tough to fit in, but the wheel is already spinning and my bets have all been placed…

Which one would you like to see win?

75 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #15

    • For some reason I haven’t read it before, which is odd since I went through a big HG Wells phase at one time. Just re-read The Time Machine and loved it, so I’m in the mood for more Wells…

  1. Probably Tender Is The Night, because a re-read of all Fitzgerald, whom I adored in my late teens and early twenties, is well overdue. But, more than that, I would settle for ‘any of these except the Conrad – a reef on which reading the twentieth foundered, though it was Lord Jim, rather than HOD. I have a kind of Conrad aversion now, the way some people have for Brussels sprouts

    • Yes, I’d like to re-read Tender is the Night too – I haven’t read it since my early twenties, so I’ve really pretty much forgotten everything about it except that I enjoyed it. Haha! I thought of you when I put the Conrad in! I actually have an audio version of Kenneth Branagh narrating it, so I quite fancy doing a joint read/listen – when I just listened to the audiobook I frankly couldn’t make head nor tails of it!

  2. As I was reading down the list, my first thought was The Expedition of Humphry Clinker (because – what a great name for a chap!) then I saw The Spy That Came In From The Cold – super book – and saw that this was also one of your choices! Great minds, and all that… (or is that fools seldom differ? I forget.. 😉 ) Anyway, keep the chocolate supplies well stocked and I am on hand with wine if needs be! 😀

    • Haha! My brother, who makes my taste in books look quite normal, assures me Humphry Clinker is quite fun! But then he also likes football… 😉 I’d really like The Spy to come up – I’ve never read it before, and am quite in the mood for a good spy novel. Definitely great minds! And I suspect wine will be needed whatever the result…

  3. The Tiger in the Smoke does sound good. But The Island of Doctor Moreau packs a lot of story into a slender volume. And you can never really go wrong with Raymond Chandler…

    • I’ve had The Tiger in the Smoke recommended to me a couple of times as one of Allingham’s best, so I’m hoping it would encourage me to like her more than I usually have. I don’t know why I haven’t read Dr Moreau before given how much I like Wells, and I love Chandler too, so would be quite happy to see any of these win… 🙂

    • Oh, that’s good to hear about No Name – I’ve had something of a mixed reaction to Wilkie Collins in the past. Triffids would be a re-read for me – I’m a huge Wyndham fan too, and it’s been too long since I re-read some old favourites… 🙂

    • I’d like to read it too – I’m tryng to get better acquainted with great American literature. But I’m a bit worried about it, since when I was looking up links I discovered it’s the third in a trilogy of sorts – I’ll need to find out if it’s OK to read it without reading the other two first…

  4. Oooh, Chandler, Allingham, and le Carré? You’re in for a good read with any of those, I think, FictionFan. But, actually, you’ve got a very fine list there, and any of them would probably be a good ‘un.

    • Some great stuff on the list, isn’t there? If only I could stop taking review copies for a bit and get properly into the classics! *sighs* But I’d be pleased if one of the crime choices comes up – I’m in that sort of mood… 🙂

    • D’you know, it’s so long since I stuck No Name on my Kindle, I can’t actually remember what it’s about! But I know it comes highly recommended, so I’d be quite happy if it comes up. I’m in the mood for a good spy novel though, so I’m kina hoping for The Spy Who Came in from the Cold to win…

  5. I remember being pleasantly surprised by My Antonia in high school. I don’t remember much of the plot, but it was the only summer assignment that I didn’t mind.

    I’m reading Heart of Darkness now and it irritates me to no end that the whole thing (in my edition) is in quotation marks. It’s not as vivid as I remember either. The best part is the ending so I’m pushing myself to finish…

    • Oh, that’s good to hear – usually the ones people hated in school are the ones I struggle with, so hopefully your liking for this one will be a good omen! I listened to Heart of Darkness on audio in the car at one point, and frankly never got to grips with what it was about although I liked some of the imagery. I’m hoping it’ll work better for me on paper – books usually do.

  6. Oooh, great list! I’ve only read My Antonia and Frankenstein but there’s several I’d love to get to someday, including The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and No Name. I hope you enjoy whatever you get!

    • Thank you! Frankenstein would be a re-read for me, but I’ve never read My Antonia before so that would be fun. But I’m secretly hoping for one of the lighter reads – my schedule is so over-full already! Oh, well, who needs sleep anyway… 😉

  7. What a great list, FF! I don’t know where you find time to do all these challenges, though. I’m waiting with fingers crossed the number falls on something you really want to read … right now!

    • Haha – nor me! I must admit sometimes I think it would be easier to take up juggling! 😉 I’m hoping one of the lighter ones shows up… but we’ll see!

  8. Some great books on that list! I loved No Name and Lorna Doone, so I would be hoping for one of those. I always enjoy taking part in the spins but I’m not joining in this time as I’m down to the last few books on my list.

    • Oh, I’m glad to hear you like Lorna Doone – my Dad always said it was his favourite books and I’m sure one of the reasons I’ve never read it is fear I won’t like it. That’s great in one way, but a shame in another – you’d have time to prepare a new list of fifty between now and Friday though… 😉

  9. If it was my list I’d be going for Tiger in the Smoke and desperately hoping Lorna Doone didn’t come up – I’d forgotten this one, another book that I detested but slogged my way to the end of!

    • Oh no! I’ve been putting Lorna Doone off for years, but was hoping I was wrong and in for a pleasant surprise! Oh well, suffering is good for the soul, I suppose… 😉

  10. Let’s do hope you come up with a good result via the list. There are some above I wouldn’t want to land on…….but several I wouldn’t mind either. Chocolate will help you…

  11. If I can still place a bet, I’ll go with Resh and My Antonia. I can’t recall ever hearing about this story before I added it on my TBR. Medicinal chocolate huh? I’ll need to get me some 🙂

    • My Antonia seems to be becoming the popular choice! I’ve heard lots of good stuff about Willa Cather, so I wouldn’t mind too much if it comes up, though I’m still hoping for one of the short, lighter reads. Haha! I couldn’t live without my regular doses of medicinal chocolate… 😉

    • Thanks! 🙂 My Antonia seems to be becoming the people’s choice – I’ve heard lots of good things about it too, so I won’t grumble too much if it comes up…

    • My Antonia seems to be becoming the people’s choice, so I’ll be quite happy if it comes up. I’ve never read any Calvino… been meaning to for years, though. Here’s hoping we both get good ones! 🙂

  12. From what I dimly recall, My Antonia is very good, and I don’t think you need to have read others to appreciate it. I’d vote for the Chandler or the Allingham, as I’ve never read either and I’m in a mystery phase right now! Hoping you get a good spin! Good thing you have a steady supply of chocolates at hand. That makes an excellent excuse for me to buy some – reading induced stress. 🙂

    • My Antonia certainly seems to be the popualr choice, so I’d be quite happy if it turns up. I’m in the mood for Chandler so that would be good. Allingham I’m not so keen on, but a couple of people have recommended this one as one of her best, so I’d be hoping it would change my mind… Haha! I don’t see how anyone can contemplate their TBR without having some reviving chocolate close to hand… 😉

  13. I haven’t read any of these! But I was just reading about Raymond Chandler in my most recent novel (which has nothing to do with Raymond Chandler), so my vote is for him! Is he as good as his ratings on GR claim?

    • I’ve actually only read one Chandler – The Big Sleep – but have seen other films based on his books. He’s definitely one of the best of the ‘hard-boiled’ school and considered very influential on the crime genre – I’ve been meaning to read more of him for ages, so I’d be quite happy if he comes up. 🙂

  14. We share Frankenstein on our spin lists! I think it would be great if you got the Island of Dr. Moreau since you have been talking about The War of the Worlds. But it’s a horrifying and uncomfortable book. And it is also important. I really like Wells! Good luck tomorrow!

    • Funnily enough, I just got offered a review copy of a new edition of Dr Moreau, complete with a new introduction and notes – the same series as the excellent version of The Time Machine that I’ve just read, but not yet reviewed. So I’ll be reading it soon even if it doesn’t win! I’m hoping they might do The War of the Worlds too, and that I might be lucky enough to snaffle a copy… I’d really like an excuse to re-read it!

      It’d be fun if Frankenstein came up though – a great excuse to watch some of the old films again too and see if they’re really as bad as I remember… 😉

        • I’m wondering if the classics in general are making a comeback – there certainly seems to be more people blogging about them these days. I’m looking forward to reading it… and Lorna Doone which won the spin!

    • Ooh, I think I’m quite pleased about that – I’ll know for sure once I start reading it (though how I’m going to fit it in still has to be worked out!) I hadn’t heard of The Last Man, but on looking it up it sounds intriguing. I always enjoy books from the past that look forward in time – it’s interesting to see what they got right and what they got wrong. Hope you enjoy it – looking forward to your review!

  15. Lorna Doone is on my list, too. It’s one of the books I always felt I should read, but others always pull me in instead. I will look forward to your review!

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