The Classics Club Spin #18

The fickle finger of fate…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 18th Spin, and my 5th. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before next Wednesday, 1st August. On Wednesday, the Classics Club will post the winning number. The challenge is to read and review whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by August 31st. A tight timetable and it will be difficult to squeeze another book into a month already filled to overflowing with review books but I’ll have a bash. I hope the punishment for failure isn’t too severe!

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 kinda hoping number 20 comes up, since that means Laila will be reading The Gowk Storm, Margaret will be reading Three Men in a Boat and Chronolit will be reviewing the Kama Sutra, so I’ve juggled mine to put a goodie in that slot just in case…

1) The Jungle by Upton Sinclair

2) Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

3) The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett

4) The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

5) Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs

6) My Antonia by Willa Cather

7) Nada The Lily by H Rider Haggard

8) The Fair Maid of Perth by Sir Walter Scott

9) The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain

10) Childhood’s End by Arthur C Clarke

11) Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

12) The African Queen by CS Forester

13) The New Road by Neil Munro

14) The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

15) On the Beach by Nevil Shute

16) Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr

17) Way Station by Clifford D Simak

18) No Mean City by Alexander MacArthur and H Kingsley Long

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

20) Bath Tangle by Georgette Heyer

* * * * * * *

I’d be delighted to read most of these. The Fair Maid of Perth might be a bit long to fit in, and The Jungle might be a bit depressing… so with my track record in these spins, I’ve no doubt one of them will come up! Wish for a short, cheerful one for me – Bath Tangle or Nada the Lily!

Which one would you like to see win?

60 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #18

    • I’ve seen lots of positive comments about it too, so I’m hopeful, although my recent track record with American classics has been less than stellar… 😉

  1. Oh, you have some good ones, FictionFan! I’d like to see The Postman…, The Long Goodbye, or The Spy…, as far as crime fiction goes. The Jungle was a hard-hitting, uncompromising book in its day, and I wonder what you’ll think of that one if that’s the winner. Whichever it is, I hope you enjoy it.

    • All good choices that I’d be happy to see come up! I must admit I’ve kind of gone off the idea of The Jungle since I put it on my list – it does sound a bit grim in my current mood of reading for fun! But that’s the good thing about the spin – sometimes it forces me to pick up a book I’ve become reluctant about…

  2. I haven’t read 1,6,9 or 11, so I’ll try for one of these in the same timescale.
    Sorry to disappoint you – Nada is short, but it’s a three hanky job!

    • Ha! I realised after I’d said that about Nada that cheerful might not be quite the right word! But sometimes the three hanky jobs are the most enjoyable… The Jungle sounds grim, I’ve gone off Cain after Mildred Pierce, My Antonia might be good, and I think Miss Lonelyhearts sounds great and it’ll be coming up soon on my own TBR whether it wins or not – enjoy whichever one you pick! 😀

  3. Antonia is good – I liked it nearly as much as A Lost Lady – and it came up in a Spin for me a few years ago. I’ll be happy if Three Men in a Boat comes up as it really is time I read it. I’ve got too many books already I ‘should’ be reading in August so even fitting in a short one won’t be easy. I enjoyed The Spy Who Came in from the Cold more than I expected – if you ge that I’ll be reading Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday – I’m OK with that.

    Not long to wait for the result now! 🙂

    • I haven’t read any Willa Cather before so My Antonia would be my introduction to her. I’m the same – August is jam-packed with review copies that I really must try to get through, so I’m mostly hoping for something quick and short! I’d quite like to get The Spy Who Came in from the Cold… 😀

  4. I haven’t read any of these, but I know about The Jungle. Maybe not in summer. Too hot for a book about the meat industry. I’d wish for My Antonia, which is shorter. Now, I know that short is not a prerequisite, but sometimes short is good. Good luck!

    • Ha – yeah, I’m kinda hoping The Jungle doesn’t come up – I’m definitely in the mood for lighter reads during the summer months. Short is good! I have so many review copies for August I have no idea how I’m going to fit a classic in…! 😀

    • Ha! Yes, you don’t have much time left to get it done! I’d be quite happy if Tess comes up – I really want to read it soon anyway. Or listen – I’ve acquired the audiobook read by Peter Firth who played Angel in the gorgeous film version from the 1970s…

      • I have the list just about done except I read one of the books on the list yesterday so I need to just add one more to replace that one.

        Oh Tess…I have it on audio with my FAVORITE narrator (Ralph Cosham) so if it’s picked let’s read and discuss it together? If not, let’s read and discuss it together? 😉

        • Well, I didn’t get Tess either, but I’d still like to listen to it soon. When were you thinking of listening to yours? It takes me ages to listen to audiobooks, I should warn you, so any discussion will be slooooooow… 😉

          • I have a few books I need to start this month so maybe middle of the month?

            I love audiobooks and always have a few going along with hard copies. And my narrator for this one is my favorite so I will hardly be able to control myself. 😊

  5. I was going to say Tess of the D’Urbervilles but then I realised I have Chocky at my number 2 spot – so I’m going with On the Beach a book I’d almost forgotten about although I borrowed it many years ago from my mother’s bookshelf.

    • Hahaha – I’m now seriously hoping for number 2! I shall perform an ancient rite under the blasted oak at midnight tonight. You’ll LOVE Chocky!!! On the Beach is another of those ones I think I read in my teens but am not quite sure…

  6. Definitely I’d be hoping for My Antonia as I’ve enjoyed all Willa Cather’s books I’ve read. As a John Le Carre fan, I’d be jealous if you got The Spy Who Came In From The Cold as I think it’s one of his best.

    • My Antonia is definitely the People’s Choice today, so I may have to bung it up the list even if it doesn’t win! I’m ashamed to admit I’ve never read any John Le Carré so I’d be delighted if it comes up…

  7. I enjoyed Miss Lonelyhearts AND it’s a novella, so it would fit in more easily this month if you are booked (haha, get it?). I would love to read your review of Tarzan, though, because I remember what fun your Barsoom reviews were.

    • I got The Postman Always Rings Twice in the end, but I’m still looking forward to getting to My Antonia and Tarzan when I can – ha! I bet those books don’t appear in lists together too often… 😉

  8. I love Tess of the D’Urbervilles, but it’s not short and cheerful so I hope you get number 20 this time instead! I haven’t read Bath Tangle, but Heyer is always fun.

    • I loved Tess too though it’s decades since I read it. I have an audio version of it read by Peter Firth who played Angel in the 1970s film version, so that should be fun! I ended up with The Postman Always Rings Twice – it may not be cheerful but at least it’s short!

  9. Yikes, it’s going to take me AGES to catch up this time! I’ve been AWOL for two whole days so I feel like I’m coming into the theater while the movie’s credits are rolling. Ugh, I hate that feeling! This is a great list, FF — I’ll keep my fingers crossed you don’t end up with a really LONG one though!

    • Haha – I hate when I get behind, but sometimes life just has to come before blogging! I ended up with The Postman Always Rings Tice, so it may not be cheerful but at least it’s short… 😀

  10. Nice list! I liked My Antonia, the only Cather I’ve read. I haven’t read any Haggard, so I’d like to see a review of Nada. Same with Tobias Smollett; I have The Expedition of Humphry Clinker but have not started it. Shouldn’t be too long before our fates are sealed, in a bookish sort of way.

    • I haven’t read any Cather, so My Antonia will be my introduction to her. I also have never read Smollett but my brother assures me it’s good (not that his recommendations are always to be depended on… 😉 ) Haggard I love, so I’m looking forward to Nada – one I haven’t read before. But in the end I got The Postman Always Rings Twice… hope you got a goodie!

  11. Great list – lots of books I haven’t read. My Antonia and The Jungle are the only ones I’ve read, both AGES ago. Guess which one I liked better? 😉

    I see which one you ended up with – are you happy with that?

    • Haha – easy! My Antonia! I am soooo glad The Jungle didn’t come up, and suspect I may swap it off my list sometime – I’ve realised it doesn’t appeal to me at all!

      I’m happy-ish – it’s short and I love the film version, but I recently read another book of his and really didn’t rate his writing style, so we’ll see… Hope you got something good?

  12. Ok well I haven’t read a single one of these books so I can’t say I have any favs to win! I’m interested to know if read a lot of John Le Carre-Random House sent me his latest a few months ago, and I thought it was a strange thing for them to send me, but maybe I’m missing something?

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