Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Classics Spin for the Classics Club



So, The Classics Club has come up with a fun idea for choosing a classic book to read:  participants choose twenty unread books off their Classics Club to-read list, numbered one to twenty.  Then, next Monday, the club posts a random number, and that's the book off the list we have to choose, to be finished by April 1. Sounds fun!

Updated:  the selection for the Classics Spin was #14.  So I'm reading The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow by Margaret Oliphant.  I'm looking forward to it!

I have selected the following books for my possible read:

Five books that scare me a little:

1.  The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hacek
2.  Kipps by H. G. Wells
3.  Giants in the Earth by A. E. Rolvaag
4.  I, Claudius by Robert Graves
5.  Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence

Five books I can't wait to read:

6.  The Masterpiece by Emile Zola
7.  Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
8.  The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West
9.  Sweet Thursday by John Steinbeck
10.  Rachel Ray by Anthony Trollope

Five books I'm neutral about:

11.  Bel Ami by Guy de Maupassant
12.  One of Ours by Willa Cather
13.  Theater by W. Somerset Maugham
14.  The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow by Margaret Oliphant
15.  The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West

Five big fat books I'd love to cross off the list:

16.  Orley Farm by Anthony Trollope
17.  Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
18.  The Earth by Emile Zola
19.  A Dance to the Music of Time (First Movement)  by Anthony Powell
20.  Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant

I want to read all of them, so I think no matter what I'll be happy (unless I end up hating it, especially if it's a long book!) And almost every one of them is from my TBR bookcase, so I'll probably have another of those crossed off the list -- or one that's been on my to-read list for a long time.

Which books are the best?  And has anyone else signed up for this?  Send me a link so I can look at your Classics Spin list!

24 comments:

  1. I'll be posting my link tomorrow!
    Good luck :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ah, I was thinking of adding "Lady Chatterley's Lover" as well, since just yesterday I purchased a nice copy, but after reading the first section in the book I decided I will probably be not able to stay away from it until Monday anyway ;)

    And Svejk - wow, the copy that I have is huge, so that would be some challenge to tackle.

    I've just put up my own list here:

    http://bookishrealm.blogspot.fi/2013/02/spinning-around-classics-spin.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, Svejk is pretty long, so it scares me. But it has funny illustrations, so that should make it shorter. I think it's sort of a WWI version Catch-22.

      I'm also tempted to buy the beautiful Penguin clothbound edition of Lady Chatterley, but I already have a copy I've never read!! Maybe if I read it, the HC will be my reward.

      Delete
  3. Thanks for the comment! I have read Anna Karenina and War and Peace by Tolstoy, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this third work compares with the other two. I LOVED War and Peace! However, I have had experiences before with liking one book of an author and severely disliking another by the same person. I hope this doesn't happen with The Death of Ivan Ilyich.

    The only book I've heard of on your list is Lark Rise to Candleford! I have it myself (and loved the miniseries) but have yet to read it. I started a couple of chapters and enjoyed them, but it is a daunting book!

    I was having trouble picking my next book for the Classics Club, so I'm excited about this little game!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I actually read Ilyich first and loved it, for a college seminar. I liked it so much I signed up for an entire quarter of Tolstoy the following year, which basically consisted of War & Peace. . . which I never finished! I liked most of it except the final 50 pages which is a long essay about the nature of history . . . I did read all the parts with war and peace.

      At least the print in Lark Rise isn't too small!!

      Delete
  4. Don't be intimidated by I, Claudius, it is immensely readable and a real page turner (and one more off the Modern Library's 20th century 100 best list!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep hearing good things about it -- now I want to read ALL the books on this posting!

      Delete
  5. This sounds like fun, but I think I am too chicken to do it! I am so picky about my reading - I can only read things that match my mood. I'll be interested to see what you get, though!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, we have about six weeks to finish it, so hopefully the mood for that book will strike me sometime. I'm off work Monday so maybe I'll even start it right away.

      Delete
  6. You're gonna love I, Claudius! It's sometimes a bit tedious with the history facts, but the writing is good, that you'll feel you're listening to Claudius himself telling you his story.

    Lady Chatterley is rather boring I think, the story is ordinary, maybe the sex scenes (for a book of that era) that made it different.

    I've never realised that The Earth is a "big-fat" book, Zola's are usually quite moderate in thickness. This book is also in my CC list, hopefully I can get the copy soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I need to read I, Claudius because my daughter is taking Latin and they also cover some Roman history, of which I know nothing.

      I've started Chatterley a couple of times in the past and it never grabbed me. But I got a free copy from Penguin a couple of years ago so I feel as if I should give it a good try (plus there is that beautiful clothbound copy but I mostly just want it for the cover!)

      The Earth is a little more than 500 pages, so for me, that's a Big Fat Book. It's one of the longest of the Rougon Macquarts. The Debacle is also sort of long, but I think Germinal is the longest. That's one of the best things about Zola, many of his books aren't that long and they tend to be fast reads.

      Delete
  7. I'm definitely going to be posting as well. It's such a fun idea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm really looking forward to Monday so I can find out what I'll be reading.

      Delete
  8. I read I,Claudius years ago and really enjoyed it. Lark Rise is easy reading but I read that in separate books so it didn't appear daunting at all. Whatever you draw I hope you'll love it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I want to read all of them now, even the scary ones. I feel like I should read I, Claudius and start quoting Latin to my daughter so she'll be all impressed.

      Delete
  9. Eep my comment was eaten! Mrs Blencarrow is bundled with another tale in the Persephone edition and the second tale is much better than the first, they're a quick read though and a nicely contrasting pair.

    Also Svejk is lovely, only the names to be scared by in that one. He's all bumbling humour one moment and dark sarcasm the next but very loveable. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Svejk looks like a fairly easy read (plus I love the illustrations). I think it's just the length that's putting me off. I also have Miss Marjoriebanks, so if I end up reading Mrs. Blencarrow maybe I'll tackle that one next.

      Delete
  10. Some lovely books and some scary books. If I was to pick a number for you it would be 15. The Return of the Soldier was one of the first Virago Modern Classics I read, years ago, and it is a little gem.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really want to read that -- I loved The Fountain Overflows last year and really enjoyed it. Also I'm really into that whole era since I started watching Downton Abbey.

      Delete
  11. I think you will love Lark Rise, it brings a small 19th-century country village to life - I was drawn in from the first page. I haven't heard of that Oliphant title, so I'll have to look for it - but if you have Miss Marjoribanks, then you have one of her best & funniest books. I look forward to see what you'll be reading!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I keep hearing good things about Lark Rise, so I think I'll be reading it soon, whether or not it comes up in the Classics Spin. I still haven't seen the TV series but I've heard it was excellent also.

      Delete
  12. Your neutral list has some great stuff on it. The Lost Soldier is a brilliant book. You won't be neutral about it once you have read it. The Oliphant is a quick, enjoyable read. And Cather and Maugham rarely disappoint. I haven't read Theatre yet, but the film version (which was called something else) was pretty enjoyable.

    I really have come to loathe Lawrence so I feel like you should chuck Chatterly out the window.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did get Oliphant, The Mystery of Mrs. Blencarrow!

      And I laughed when I read your comment about Lawrence, I actually liked Sons and Lovers so I'll give it a go. If I hate it, I'll find a nice window from which to chuck it.

      Delete