The Classics Club Spin #16

Place your bets…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 16th Spin, and my third. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before Friday, 17th November. On that day, 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 31, 2017. I may have to eat several extra cakes to turbo-charge my reading speed so’s I can fit another book in, but that’s a sacrifice I’ll just have to make…

So here’s my list. This time I’ve selected it on the basis mainly of the books on my list that I don’t own yet (topped up by a couple that I do), 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. Mostly I’m hoping for a short one. And not Sons and Lovers. Or The Catcher in the Rye. (What was I thinking when I put them on my list? Why didn’t you stop me???) Anyway, here’s hoping for a good spin…

(Clicking on the title will take you to the book description on Goodreads.)

1) Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

2) All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren

3) The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw

4) The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

5) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

6) Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

7) Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence

8) The African Queen by CS Forester

9) The Go-Between by LP Hartley

10) Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer

11) Annals of the Parish by John Galt

12) Children of the Dead End by Patrick MacGill

13) No Mean City by A McArthur and H Kingsley Long

14) The Bull Calves by Naomi Mitchison

15) Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie

16) The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain

17) Anatomy of a Murder by Robert Traver

18) The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester

19) On the Beach by Nevil Shute

20) The Drowned World by JG Ballard

* * * * * * *

If I had to choose, I’d like to see The Bull Calves come up, or The Postman Always Rings Twice. But it’s in the lap of the gods – my bets have all been placed and the wheel is spinning…

Which one would you like to see win?

88 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #16

  1. Okay, I want you to get #6 because I want to know what you think of that book. 😀 If you get Tess, I’ll be reading Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise. 😀


    • Tess would be a re-read for me but from decades ago in my teens. I loved it then and am quite intrigued to see if I still feel the same way about it – I’d be quite happy to get it! I haven’t read This Side of Paradise so I’d be quite happy for you to get it too, so I could hear what you think of it… 😀


  2. You’ve got some great choices there, FictionFan. I hope you’ll have a good experience no matter what the spin is. But I hope you’ll #1 or #9. I’d love to see what you think of them. Oh, and that cake looks delicious!


    • Funnily enough, I’m quite in the mood for a bit of Steinbeck – a thing I thought I might never say again after The Grapes of Wrath! ;)The Go-Between would be a re-read – I loved it when I read it several times in my teens and twenties, but haven’t read it now for many years. But nearly all of those appeal… I must be in a classics mood! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • I saw the movie with Philip Seymour Hoffman on Netflix and found it quite moving. Later, though, I read there was all kinds of controversy about Capote’s relationship with the murderers and if he actually presented them honestly.


        • I had forgotten there had been a movie – must watch it after I read the book. Yes, I don’t think it’s quite as restricted to fact as we’d expect a true crime book to be these days – in fact, I’ve included it as fiction in terms of my classics list, and suspect that’s how I’ll read it…


  3. You have some I haven’t even heard of! I didn’t realize C.S. Forester wrote African Queen… I always knew him for writing the Horatio Hornblower series. Hope you get something you’re excited about!


    • Ha! Those will be the Scottish ones. I felt obliged to put some on from my own country but a lot of them are pretty obscure… even I hadn’t heard of most of them till I started looking at lists of Scottish classics! I love the film of African Queen so I’d be happy if the book came up. Thanks – you too! 😀


  4. This is a great spin list! I like that you have such a diverse selection. I love Tess of the d’Urbervilles so much, even if it made me incredibly angry and completely shattered my heart. Heyer is always a delight, and I enjoyed The Go-Between as well. Happy reading!


  5. Lots of good ones here, but if I had to pick one, I’d go for The Drowned World. It’s one of those books which I have only read once, but which has stayed in my mind for years.


    • I’d be happy if it came up because for some reason I haven’t read many of my sci-fi choices yet, and I don’t think I’ve ever read that one, even back in my teen/twenties sci-fi phase… 😀


  6. The Naomi Mitchison (The Bull Calves historical novel) sounds really interesting, and so does she as an author. Mind you I had to look her up as I’ve never come across her before, probably because she’s not widely available in our library system (I’m not supposed to be buying books due to the heaving TBR 🙂 ).


    • Some of my Scottish choices are a bit obscure and several, including that one, are out of print, though available second-hand. But it does sound good, and so far my Scottish picks have worked out well! Haha – book buying bans are made to be broken… 😉


    • I really fancy the sound of that one – I’d be delighted if it came up. And the film of it is supposed to be very good too! I should have got a bigger cake, though – I’m not sure this one is big enough to go round… 😉


  7. What an interesting list … and an interesting take on how to choose books! Kind of like throwing darts at a board across the room, right? Well, no matter. Since these are all on your list anyway, you can’t really go wrong (though for your sake, I do hope you don’t get one that’s too long, ha!)


      • This was one I had wanted to read for ages & yet when I finally got a copy, extracted from the bowels of the library’s reserve stock collection, it just didn’t click for me. Mistakenly, I expected the sassy tone of the film, but for me the only connection between book & film was an island & a shipwreck.


        • Oh, that’s a pity! I often find humour doesn’t work for me in books nearly as well as on screen so I won’t be surprised if the book is a disappointment. But it’s one I feel I ought to have read… 😀


    • It’s amazing how many of these old films were based on books – I love to read the book and then watch the film and compare them. So I’d love to get The Postman Always Rings Twice, but I’d also love to re-read Tess… so mnay books! 😀


  8. I’ve read a few on your list. The Go Between was great, also Lawrence I read a lot as a teenager, haven’t read him for a while. Have always thought I should read Catcher in the Rye. Feels like I’m the last person left on earth that hasn’t read it.😂


  9. Oh, dear. I read “On the Beach” for high school. I recall finding it terribly, terribly dull. That I couldn’t wait for them all to die so that I’d be done with the book. Perhaps I was too young to appreciate it. Others on this list look far, far better…..


  10. A nice mixture of books to choose from here. I would love to read Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood though, I think I’d like it (which is a weird thing to say-let’s go with…I think I’d enjoy reading it?).


  11. I wish you would get ‘The Postman…’ I started reading it last year and was distracted. I am reminding myself to resume. It was fun. 🙂 I will ask my Gods to not give you ‘Sons and Lovers’. 😉


    • I’d love to get The Postman – I really want to read it and then watch the film and do a comparison. And maybe persuade you to pick it up again! Ha – thank you! I feel I need all the help I can get… 😉


  12. In Cold Blood has stuck with me since reading it. It’s well written and unsettling; Capote also goes for a nuanced/complicated ending which really impressed me.

    I hope the Ballard is picked, though. Super-Cannes will be on my blog soon, but The Drowned World is already on my shelf for Summer 2018. Ballard is a writer I like best when I let a little time go by between his books. One or two Ballard books a year seems like a good pace. 🙂


    • I really want to read In Cold Blood – it’s been on my wishlist for ages. Given my love of true crime books, it’s ridiculous I’ve never read it.

      I think I may have read some Ballard way back in my teens when I worked my way through most of the sci-fi section in the library. But this will be my first in decades, so it’s good to know you rate them highly, as does my sister who’s a huge sci-fi fan… 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ahhh so many good ones to add to my 2018 list! 🙂 What a great list! A friend of mine recently recommended Georgette Heyer to me so I’m looking forward to reading some of her books. Going to peruse through your blog a bit…love all the book reviews!


    • Ha – that’s the problem with these lists… too tempting to add more books to the TBR! I love Georgette Heyer. She’s my literary equivalent of chicken soup – comforting to read when I’ve got a cold or am tired, etc. Thank you – good to ‘meet’ you! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Either of those would work for me – and both are quite short, which is an added bonus! Hey! Why does everyone think they deserve a piece of my cake?? Did I say anything about sharing?!?! 😡


  14. I have my fingers crossed for either number 5 or 9 (although shockingly I spent ages trying to remember than name of The Go-Between the other day whilst simultaneously advising my friend to read it – the message sort of got lost due to my poor memory.


  15. Sorry to concur with the many who have said ‘On the Beach.’ In my defense, it’s the only one on your list I’ve read!

    And I read it when I was 12, a pivotal reading year for me. I do not know how the adults in my life let me read it. Scared me for weeks. 🙂


    • Ha – as good a reason as any! So many people have gone for On the Beach I think I have to boost it to the top of the list even if it doesn’t come up on the spin. My parents used to let me read all sorts of stuff too which was odd since they were very restrictive about what they allowed me to watch on TV – I think they must have felt reading anything was a good thing!


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