Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Classics Spin the Fourth



Another Classics Spin from the Classics Club!  If you haven't seen this before, it's pretty fun -- participants choose 20 books from their Classics Club to-read list in various categories (for example, five books you want to read, five books you're dreading, five you're neutral about, and five free choice).  Books are numbered and listed on a blog posting. Next Monday, a random number from one to twenty will be chosen, and everyone reads the book with that number.

It's getting easier to narrow down the 20 possible books for the Spin selection, because I'm nearly halfway done -- I've already finished 34 of my 75 books.  This time I decided to narrow the list to books only from my owned-and-unread shelves.  This time, I also eliminated books by Anthony Trollope from the list since I just read Orley Farm for the last Classics Spin.

To make it really random this time, I'm going to mix up the list, but I have four categories:

Titles in purple are five books I really want to read;
Titles in red are five books that make me nervous;
Titles in green are five books I'm feeling neutral about;
Titles in blue are French classics in translation.

So, here's my list:
  1. Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
  2. Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
  3. Twilight Sleep by Edith Wharton
  4. Kipps by H. G. Wells
  5. Shadows on the Rock by Willa Cather
  6. Nana by Emile Zola
  7. Liza of Lambeth by W. Somerset Maugham
  8. The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles Dickens
  9. Miss Marjoribanks by Margaret Oliphant
  10. The Earth by Emile Zola
  11. New Grub Street by George Gissing
  12. No Name by Wilkie Collins
  13. Sentimental Education by Gustav Flaubert
  14. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell 
  15. Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
  16. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  17. The Edwardians by Vita Sackville-West
  18. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
  19. Sylvia's Lovers by Elizabeth Gaskell
  20. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
My last three spin selections were really enjoyable.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the random number assigns!    Who else is participating in the spin?  And what do you think of my list -- good choices or bad?  Which did you love -- or absolutely hate?  Let me know!

Updated:  The Classics Spin Number was selected, and the lucky number is . . . 10!!!  So, I'll be reading The Earth by Emile Zola.  Great pick, I love Zola so I'm looking forward to it.  I'll be posting about it on January 1. 

28 comments:

  1. The only book I've read from your list is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which I really enjoyed, even though it had some slow passages - such as where Hugo interrupts the story to launch into chapters of historical notes about Paris. I haven't heard of those Gaskell novels. You must be reaching pretty deep into the backlist for a few of these. Good for you! I've only read Cranford by Gaskell, so it will be a while before I get into some of her more obscure titles.

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    1. I've read Cranford and also Wives and Daughters and North and South, both of which I loved. I've heard Sylvia's Lovers has a lot of dialect, which makes me a little apprehensive. I have heard good things about Mary Barton though. I haven't read any Victor Hugo though I also have a copy of Les Miserables -- I'll get to it someday. I've heard Hugo includes long asides in that one was well, like an entire chapter on the Paris sewers. Many people love it, though. Someday I'll get to it.

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  2. I haven't read any of the books on your list! I own quite a few of them, though. I am participating this time around also and have included a couple of Willa Cather books and one by Edith Wharton, though not the ones you've chosen. I love to see the variety in all the lists. Good luck on Monday - I hope you get something you love.

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    1. Thanks! Nice to see the Classics Spin has brought you back to blogging. I really enjoy this mini-challenge. I'm really hoping for Cather or Wharton, or maybe something French.

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  3. I love that your list has so many familiar authors but not their most well-known works! I've only read Moby Dick from this list, and that was some 25 years ago.

    Whew...this is a heavy-weight selection you've compiled. Best of luck with your spin pick!

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    1. I know, I do have some heavy reading, don't I? A few of them are rather short -- Liza of Lambeth is only about 100 pages. Lucky Jim is also pretty short. I do have some pretty chunky books on this list -- I'll have to start right away if it's a long one, especially with the holidays.

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  4. Lark Rise is wonderful, I think you would really enjoy that one. I've been wanting to try Bel-Ami, though I've never read Maupassant. Happy spinning!

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    1. I'm a little put off by the length of Lark Rise, also I've heard it's rather slow. I'd like to try Bel-Ami as I've only read his short stories. Most of the French lit I've read is by Zola. Flaubert would be good too.

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  5. I haven't read much Cather but what I have read, I have enjoyed. I have only read Moby Dick as well off of your list, and that was a while ago too, for me.

    Good luck, and I hope you get one that you are excited about!

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    1. I have liked most of Cather so far. Shadows on the Rock is a historical novel set in 17th century Canada, I think, so not on the prairie or the southwest, which should be interesting. I'd be very happy if I got that choice. I've been putting Moby-Dick off forever, so it might be time to read it -- I'll probably get that one since I've been dreading it.

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  6. You have some great things here! And you are very brave to put Moby-Dick on the list, good golly. I love Lark Rise to Candleford (and sadly I have yet to see the series).

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    1. I've never seen the Lark Rise series either but I know many people love it. It's on my TBR PIle Challenge and it's one of the very last, along with Kipps. It would be a good thing if I got either one.

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  7. Moby Dick would make me nervous too. But why does The Old Curiosity Shop make you quake? I thought you liked Dickens?

    I, Claudius is fantastic. I highly recommend it. It is a total soap opera, just Roman style. I think you will like it.

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    1. I do love Dickens, I only have three of his novels left. I started reading OCS a couple of years ago and didn't like the beginning. It just seemed kind of creepy, especially the Quilp character. I do want to read I, Claudius -- Roman style soap opera sounds great!

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  8. Wilkie Collin's No Name is a fantastic read! I'm sure you will find there's really nothing to be nervous about once you get started on it. :)

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    1. I think I'm just nervous about the length. I've read quite a few chunky books this year and I don't know if I'm ready to get sucked into another.

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  9. I haven't read any of the books on your list! We share several authors, but different titles, this time around. Good luck with the spin!

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    1. I'll have to look at your list! I'm really looking forward to Monday, can't wait to see what I get.

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  10. Moby Dick would make me nervous too - it's been at least in one of my spin lists before, but so far I haven't had to read it :) I really want to read Nana (and more Zola in general). Good luck!

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    1. Zola is great, I would love to get Nana or The Earth. People see to either love or hate Moby Dick. I should just give it a try, I might end up liking it.

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  11. You picked some great ones! I was nervous about Moby Dick, but I really ended up liking it.

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    1. I shouldn't be so quick to judge -- I got Lady Chatterley for my second spin and I really liked it. There's also audiobook versions available at the library. Sometimes listening to it really helps me get hooked on the story.

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  12. I also have Lark Rise on my list, the copy I have is a illustrated version with beautiful pictures. Whenever I read the book I should take a pic and put it on my blog.

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  13. Oh, I'd love to see that! If you do read it, please post photos. Now I'm really hoping that Lark Rise is my pick next week.

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  14. I've only read Lucky Jim on your list and liked it quite a lot. I have a good friend who read Moby Dick after finishing Ahab's Wife - and she loved both. I haven't read Moby Dick myself but love Melville's shorter works, especially Bartleby and Benito Cereno. I'd like to reread that last one.

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    1. I've never read anything by Melville. I did read Ahab's Wife a few years ago and really liked it. I've always wanted to read Lucky Jim, I've heard it's very funny.

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  15. I actually haven't read any of these! I am Dickens obsessed, though, so I hope you get him...but really anyone on this list would be wonderful.

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    1. I love most of Dickens too. I only have three of his novels left to finish the entire works -- OCS, Pickwick, and Edwin Drood.

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