The Classics Club Spin #21

The fickle finger of fate…

classics club logo 2

The Classics Club is holding its 21st Spin, and my 8th. The idea is to list 20 of the books on your Classics Club list before next Monday, 23rd September. On that day, 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 31st October, 2019.

I’ll be amazed if I can meet that deadline, given my usual state of being buried under an avalanche of review copies, but I’ve included a few classics I’ve already scheduled for the next couple of months, so if one of them comes up it might be possible. (Is it me, or are these deadlines getting shorter and shorter? Anyway, even if I can’t meet the deadlines, I enjoy making the lists!) So now it all depends on the fickle finger of fate…

* * * * *

1) My Antonia by Willa Cather

2) The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

3) For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

4) East of Eden by John Steinbeck

5) One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

6) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

7) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

8) The African Queen by CS Forester

9) The Go-Between by LP Hartley

10) Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp

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

12) The New Road by Neil Munro

13) Cloud Howe by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

14) Flemington by Violet Jacob

15) No Mean City by Alexander McArthur and H. Kingsley Long

16) The Tiger in the Smoke by Margery Allingham

17) I, The Jury by Mickey Spillane

18) The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

19) Way Station by Clifford D Simak

20) Starship Troopers by Robert A Heinlein

* * * * * * *

Which one would you like to see win?

75 thoughts on “The Classics Club Spin #21

  1. FF, the only book I’ve read from your list is Mansfield Park, so I will have to say I want you to get that one – It is not my favourite Austen but it is a nice, easy read. Good luck with the Spin! 🙂


  2. You’ve got a great list here, FictionFan. I’m not surprised to see an Austen there… And the Allingham you’ve chosen is, I think, one of her better ones. I’ll be interested in what you think of the Steinbeck when you get to that, whether or not it comes up on the spin. And the Spillane…well, we’ll see if that one pops up.


    • Any of those would be excellent if it comes up. I love Mansfield Park and am seriously overdue a re-read. The Allingham I’m hoping will win me over – I’ve never loved her as much as I’d like to. I haven’t read any Spillane in decades so want to see if I can still enjoy him. And the Steinbeck… well… hmm… at least it would be off my TBR… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. No 9 please! Because I’m putting that same book in the same place on my list 😁 And like you, I make the list and hope… (I do read the chosen book, just not in time generally) But it’s all good fun!


    • Ooh, that would be great because I put it at no 9 because Rose had it on her list there too, so we could end up with a little group readalong! Ha! I do think the scheduling is too tight, especially for a chunky classic – if East of Eden comes up, I’m lost! But at least I manged to get my last winner read before this spin was announced… 😀


      • Yes, I saw your exchange with Rose and snuck in on the no. 9 slot too. Let’s see if it comes up. I shall not be including East of Eden – I know I’ll need more time than the spin allows for that one.


        • Maybe we should all try to read The Go-Between at roughly the same time even if it doesn’t win. I’m no good at buddy reads but maybe we could all aim to review it in the same week or something…

          Yes, I’m sure we used to get two months. Five weeks isn’t long enough to schedule, read, digest and review a major chunky classic. Not for me, anyway. But I just ignore the deadline now – I read for pleasure after all!


  4. You’ve got some good ones on your list, FF. Some I’ve read, but most, I confess, I’ve missed. You’ve not been given a lot of time to read one and review it though, are you? Good luck — fingers crossed you get an easier one!


    • A couple of them are re-reads for me, but most will be new to me. Ha – thank you! I’m certainly hoping one of the shorter ones comes up – if East of Eden wins there’s no chance of me meeting the deadline! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have to say there’s nothing I’d fear getting on your list so I hope you enjoy whatever the fickle finger of fate has in store. For my own part, I’ll confess the periodic spins are about the only occasion anything ever gets read from my list.


    • I like the look of this list too, so I’m reasonably relaxed about what wins – although the chunkier ones would be hard to fit in in the time available! I’ve done well with Classics Club reading this year, but I still haven’t quite caught up, so the spins always remind me of what’s still on my list…

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Mansfield Park was a more interesting, even challenging, novel than I’d been led to expect but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Heart of Darkness was also interesting and challenging, though I can’t say I found it enjoyable — disturbing and thought-provoking, definitely.

    Of the others on your list, I wouldn’t mind the Chandler. If you get No 20 I’d be curious to hear what you thought of it — I’ve only seen the movie and, like the Conrad, found it somehow left an unpleasant taste in the mouth for the attitudes it revealed — I was never clear in either case what distinguished some of the morality implicit in the narrative from the author’s own beliefs.


    • I love Mansfield Park – I always think it’s the most underrated of her books, and I’m long overdue a re-read. Heart of Darkness I actually read last year and then didn’t get around to reviewing it quickly enough, before I forgot all the things I wanted to say. I feel it’s certainly one that a second read wouldn’t hurt – I thought it was pretty great, but then I have a real predilection for colonial literature for some unknown reason.

      I’m almost sure I’ll like the Chandler. Starship Troopers I know nothing about – I must have just picked it from some list of SF classics. I have read other Heinlein, though, and have had a mixed reaction, so we’ll see. It’s actually on my schedule, so I’ll be reading it quite soon whether it wins the spin or not…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hopefully the spin lands on something short, as you don’t seem to have much time to read it. What is your bet number 4 will come up? It would be just like the thing for you to have ended up reading Steinbeck twice in three months. Hopefully fate has other plans.
    I am curious about Cloud Howe, as it is on my own TBR. You also can’t really go far wrong with austen of course. MP was the least enjoyable reading experience for me the first time around, but I have got more from it in subsequent reads, and in a round-about kind of way, it has become my favorite. Good luck.


    • Yes, I feel these short deadlines make me stuff my lists with all the shorties, and then the longer reads keep getting put off. Haha – the Steinbeck is actually on my schedule anyway to read before the end of the year – these pesky challenges I keep setting myself! Maybe this will be the one that makes me love him at last! I did read Cloud Howe and Grey Granite many years ago, and seem to remember feeling they were a bit disappointing after the wonderful Sunset Song, but, like the heroine, I’m older now so maybe I’ll appreciate them more. I also love Mansfield Park and feel it’s her most underrated work. I always find it hard to pick an Austen favourite, but it’s certainly in amongst them, and I’m long overdue a re-read… 😀


  8. I’ve read some of these books and of those I enjoyed East of Eden the most, but it is quite long! So on balance I think no. 6 would be a good number, I did like Mansfield Park – and then I could read Smallbone Deceased.


    • I’ve decided not to worry about the deadline so I don’t mind if East of Eden comes up – I’m kinda hoping it’ll be the one that finally makes me love Steinbeck as much as I’d like to. But a re-read of Mansfield Park would be wonderful and I loved Smallbone Deceased, so no. 6 would definitely be a good result!


  9. Looking at another blogger’s list, I said I’d read along with her if #10 came up (Tarzan of the Apes). As for your list… let’s hope for #20. I’ll pull my copy off the shelf, too!


    • Tarzan of the Apes is great – I’m sure you’ll love it! I’ve only recently become a Burroughs fan, and his books have given me so much sheer entertainment! Starship Troopers is one of the ones I’ve actually scheduled for sometime in the next few weeks, so I’ll be reading it soonish whether it wins the spin or not – so dust off that copy! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. You haven’t quite given up on Steinbeck I see 😉. As far as I remember, I quite liked East of Eden, but of course I don’t have the same issues with Steinbeck as you have. Mansfield Park is a good one as well, but actually I will root for 18. Good luck, in any case, I hope you will enjoy whatever comes up!


    • Haha – he’s part of my 5 x 5 Challenge, to read 5 books from each of 5 authors I felt I should know better. Secretly, I’m clearly a masochist! 😉 I’m hoping East of Eden might be the one that finally wins me over – I really would like to love Steinbeck. I do love Mansfield Park, however, and a re-read is long overdue, so I’d be happy if it comes up. The Chandler – interesting choice! I’ve only ever read The Big Sleep and I enjoyed it but not quite enough to say I loved it, so I’m kinda intrigued to see how I get on with this one…


  11. I’ve only read numbers 1, 4, 6, 12, 13 and 16. I loved East of Eden but it’s quite a chunkster. I’m planning to join in too.


    • I’ve decided to ignore the deadline so I don’t mind if East of Eden comes up – I have a very mixed reaction to Steinbeck and I’m hoping it might be the one that finally wins me over! But I’m kinda hoping it might spin me a short one. 😀 I shall keep an eye out for your list…


    • I do remember enjoying Mickey Spillane when I was very young and wonder what I’d think of him now, so I’d be happy to get I, the Jury. East of Eden will be coming up soon whether it wins the spin or not… 😀


    • The Go-Between would be a re-read of a book I loved long ago, so I’d be delighted to get it. I actually read Heart of Darkness last year and then didn’t get around to reviewing it but I feel it’s a book that might benefit from a second reading anyway… I loved it, but then I’m strangely drawn to colonial-era fiction.


    • I’ve wanted to try the McCullers book for ages, so I’ll be happy if it comes up! Yes, the deadline is very short – I’m sure we used to get over two months. I’ve decided just to ignore it – I’ll see what comes up and prioritise it for as soon as I can fit it in, but I very much doubt I’ll have it read and reviewed by the end of October.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. That’s an interesting list – I’ve read a few of them – but like you, I’ve not really warmed to Allingham. Somehow her characters don’t grip me enough to really care what happens to them, but the period details are fun & they are a quick read. I’m now off to look up some of the other authors on your list as I’ve not come across them before – hopefully I won’t want to add them to my TBR 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to like Allingham more but her Campion has never won me over the way Poirot or Miss Marple has. Maybe this one will do it! The authors you don’t know are probably all my Scottish classics – and I don’t really know them either! But I feel I should… 😂


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