My First Classics Club spin

This may be spin no. 14 but it will be my first.  The way it works is detailed here.

Whichever number is selected tomorrow will determine which book from the list I’ll get to read before December 1st.  I had lots of fun deciding on my list of 20 titles.  Following CC advice, I chose a mix from my grand list: books I’m really looking forward to; books that I’m rather wary of; books I don’t really know much about, and a few from my prize-winner challenge which are also on the CC list.  On the list below they are in chronological order – so suitably mixed up in terms of their reasons for inclusion.  I’m slightly wary – but perhaps I’ll get one that I’m really looking forward to!

  1. White Nights                                               Fyodor Dostoevsky                      1848
  2. Lady Susan                                                   Jane Austen                                    1871
  3. Black Beauty                                                Anna Sewell                                   1877
  4. The Story of my Life                                  Helen Keller                                   1902
  5. His Family                                                     Ernest Poole                                   1918
  6. The Lost Girl                                                 D H Lawrence                                 1920
  7. The Death of Society                                  Romer Wilson                                1921
  8. Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man             Siegfried Sassoon                         1928
  9. The Good Companions                              J B Priestly                                       1929
  10. The Loving Spirit                                         Daphne du Maurier                      1931
  11. The Red Pony                                                John Steinbeck                               1933
  12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn                         Betty Smith                                     1943
  13. The Outsider                                                 Albert Camus                                  1946
  14. Alone in Berlin                                             Hans Fallada                                   1947
  15. Seize the Day                                                Saul Bellow                                      1956
  16. On the Road                                                  Jack Kerouac                                    1957
  17. Things Fall Apart                                       Chinua Achebe                                 1958
  18. The Bell Jar                                                   Sylvia Plath                                       1963
  19. 84 Charing Cross Road                              Helene Hanff                                    1970
  20. Sophie’s Choice                                          William Styron                                  1979

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And the number selected is 1.  Which means I shall be reading:

White Nights by Fyodor Dostoevsky  

This is the oldest of the works I included on my selection list, and one of those that I’m not really looking forward to.  On the plus side, it’s relatively short and may hopefully get me into the right frame of mind to tackle Crime and Punishment!

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13 thoughts on “My First Classics Club spin”

  1. Great list! I think my picks would be Lady Susan – I have no idea why I haven’t read it yet since I’m a huge Austen fan – or Sophie’s Choice, which to my shame I hadn’t realised was a book before it was a film. I’d have to avoid Black Beauty and The Red Pony – can put up with any amount of (fictional) human suffering, but can’t deal with animal stories… not sure what that says about me! 😉 Hope you get one you enjoy!

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    1. Thanks, FictionFan. The Red Pony is a small tweak to my original list – just swapped one Steinbeck for another. And Black Beauty – I’ve just never read it and feel that I should. Sophie’s Choice is one that I’m wary of, and Lady Susan is one I’m really hoping to get. Having recently seen the film with Kate Beckinsale, I can’t wait to read the original!

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    2. Welcome to your first ever CC spin – I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

      Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man is a wonderful wonderful read, but so is Black Beauty (once you get into the old style language.)
      We share The Bell Jar at 18 – which, by all accounts, would be a good one to have a reading partner for 🙂

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      1. Brona, I think a reading partner for The Bell Jar may be essential! Your comments re Fox-Hunting Man are really encouraging; it’s a book I’ve been a bit wary of (along with The Bell Jar) so it helps a lot to know I may have real treat in store 🙂

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  2. What an intriguing list! Do you have a list of Pulitzer winners? I read Poole’s “His Family” because of that. “Sophie’s Choice” just ravaged me (which is a recommendation). I think Plath’s poetry is generally better than “The Bell Jar”. Whatever number is chosen, you have a great reading list.

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    1. Natalie, I plan on reading a prize-winning book from each year since literary awards began, drawing initially from the oldest awards which (as far as I’ve discovered) were the Pulitzer (from 1918), the James Tait Black and the Hawthornden (both from 1919). I’m giving myself a few choices each year by selecting from several awards but I do want to enjoy it, as well as get a taste for what was considered prize-worthy at the time. Here’s my list up to 1930: https://acornerofcornwall.com/reading/the-prizewinner-challenge/

      Both Sophie’s Choice and The Bell Jar are books that worry me somewhat. I’m wary of them both!

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  3. Good luck with your first spin. I haven’t read many from your list, but I loved Alone in Berlin, so I would be hoping for that one. Black Beauty was a childhood favourite – I’ll have to re-read it one day!

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  4. I like how you organized your Spin list, I’ll have to remember that for the future (though I’m getting close to the end of my list, I’ve already started a second list). I’ve never heard of Alone in Berlin but it sounds intriguing. Good luck with your Spin pick!

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