My Second Classics Club Spin

Earlier this week the latest Classics Club spin was announced.  This will be spin number 15 for the club and my second.  Details of how it works can be found here.

I promptly drew up my list.  Here it is, in chronological order as with my previous spin and including a mixture of books I’m keen to read, books I’m wary of, and a few that I’m downright anxious to avoid!  We are asked to post the list before today, when the spin number is announced but I’ve waited so I can announce the chosen book in the same post.  (You’ll just have to trust that I didn’t cheat and write the list after the number was chosen.)

 My List:

  1. Persuasion by Jane Austen  (1818)
  2. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky  (1866)
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy  (1875)
  4. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (1877)
  5. The Awakening by Kate Chopin (1894)
  6. The Story of my Life by Helen Keller  (1902)
  7. His Family by Ernest Poole  (1918)
  8. The Lost Girl by D H Lawrence (1920)
  9. The Death of Society by Romer Wilson (1921)
  10. Tarka the Otter by Henry Williamson  (1927)
  11. Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon  (1928)
  12. The Good Companions by J B Priestley (1929)
  13. Animal Farm by George Orwell (1946)
  14. The Outsider by Albert Camus  (1946)
  15. Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada  (1947)
  16. My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell  (1956)
  17. Seize the Day by Saul Bellow  (1956)
  18. On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)
  19. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak  (1957)
  20. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe  (1958)
  21. Sophie’s Choice by William Styron  (1979)


My favourites to read from the list are numbers 1, 6, 10, 16 or 19.

I was screwing my eyes tight shut and hoping that I wouldn’t get these: 2, 3, 13, 14, 17 or 18.

And the winning number was….




So I’ll be reading J B Priestley’s ‘The Good Companions’ with the intention of finishing it by 1st May.

This book was added to my original list because it won the James Tait Black Prize in 1929 so once I’ve read it I can cross that year off my prizewinner list too.  I’ve been making extremely slow progress with that project so I’m pleased to be able cross off another year very soon.  It’s a book I know nothing about and an author I’ve never read, so it should be interesting.


17 thoughts on “My Second Classics Club Spin”

  1. Hope you enjoy the Priestley – never read it so have nothing insightful to say, I’m afraid! I’m kinda sorry you didn’t get Dr Zhivago though, since I’ll be reading it myself soon as part of my Russian Revolution centenary challenge thingy… (you should squeeze it in anyway 😉 )

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The majority of those on my list are books I already have – including Zhivago. Part of my attempts to stop spending so much on tomes I have no time to read. Typically I don’t have the Priestley. Ah well, in the interests of the prize-winning challenge I shall dig deep and spend. But I am tempted by the good Doctor.

      I already have so many books that I’m telling myself I shall read in the next couple of months….

      Maybe adding one more won’t matter that much…..

      I’ll nudge it off the shelf onto the pile deemed “Books About To Be Read”….


      And now you should assume that nothing more will happen to it for many months until I have a clear-up and replace it neatly on the shelf designated “Books That Must Be Read Before Anything Else Can Be Bought”.

      But – you never know!


  2. I usually love taking part in the spins, but didn’t have enough books left on my Classics Club list to join in with this one. I’ve read and enjoyed several of the books you’ve listed here (my favourites are Persuasion and Alone in Berlin) but I know nothing about The Good Companions. I’ll be interested to hear more about it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Helen, Alone in Berlin was one of the books I knew nothing about when I added it to the last spin list and I was reassured by your comment back then 🙂 Like you though, I know nothing about The Good Companions. It will be an interesting experience!

      (As for missing out on the spin, maybe you could assign two numbers to each of your remaining books – or however many you need to use them all. Will you be drawing up a new list when you complete this current one?)


      1. Yes, I’ll probably have a short break then put my new list together. I’ve discovered so many great authors while working through my first list that I already have plenty of ideas for the second one!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad to know of someone who has read The Good Companions, Katrina – especially as you really enjoyed it. Classics Club make a point of stressing the flexibility of the rules: maybe you could make your list up now and get Jack to assign them a number? See what you get!


  3. This Classics Spin looks like a good idea, but feels a bit like to much pressure to me at the moment. I bet your library has the Priestley though, and they need our support just as much as independent book shops!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. An interesting list! I read Good Companions in my late teens, and I remember loving it as it had a kindly warmth – a window on a different time and place. And btw, please don’t be afraid of Crime and Punishment – maybe just choose a relatively recent translation to make it more accessible. I first read that in may late teens too, and it left a lasting impression.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s encouraging to hear such things about both books. Russian literature feels formidable to me, although what I’ve read of it I have enjoyed. When I think about approaching it I feel the weight of history – much more so than if I contemplate a book from another culture. Interesting. I shall get to grips with it eventually! For now though, I’ll enjoy contemplating the kindly warmth of Good Companions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Crime and Punishment is exactly that as far as I’m concerned, though I adore Anna Karenina. I bought it when I was 17, having finished War and Peace (admittedly I’d got hold of that so I could carry it around to impress people, but loved it) and couldn’t get further than the first chapter. I picked it up again twenty years later and quickly became hooked. I wonder if it appealed to me more as a married (happily, I hasten to add), mature (….?) woman than it had as a teenager.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear, Mrs B! I now have some very polarised responses to Crime and Punishment – time which tell which camp I fall into when I finally read it. Anna Karenina will get read too – hopefully I’ll enjoy at least one of them. I also read War & Peace around the same age – for the reasons you describe. I did read it through at that time but really more as an exercise in doggedness and to be able to say that I’d read it. I’m quite sure that if I read it now I would get so much more from it. I’m just not sure there’s enough time to re-read a doorstopper such as W & P!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I went through a Russian phase from 11 to 13 years old. Mum thought I was having a mental breakdown. I read Anna Karenina, War and Peace, Dr. Zhivago and the Brothers Karamazov. I’ve never felt the need to reread any of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I read War and Peace as a teenager. It was a dutiful plod through – to be able to say that I’d read it. I’ve been rather frightened of Russian classics ever since!


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