Classics Spin #8!

Time for another Spin at the Classics Club!  Oh I just love these.  The rules:
  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by January 5, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)
Here's my list, arranged suitably randomly:
  1. Chaim Potok, 1972, My Name is Asher Lev.
  2.  Pensees, Pascal
  3. Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy.
  4. Divine Meditations, John Donne
  5. Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum
  6.  Mohandas Gandhi, My Experiments with Truth
  7.  Henry James, The Wings of the Dove
  8. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe,  Faust
  9.  Omar Khayyam, The Rubaiyat.
  10.  Confucius, The Analects.
  11. Moa Martinson, Women and Appletrees.
  12.  Murasaki Shikubu, The Tale of Genji (abridged).
  13. “The Crucible,” Miller
  14.  Naguib Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy
  15. Shakespeare:  Henry V
  16. Junichio Tanizaki,  The Makioka Sisters
  17.  Cesar Vallejo, Los Heraldos Negros
  18.  John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
  19. Mario Vargas Llosa, The Time of the Hero or another work. 
  20. Feodor Dostoevsky, Russia, Brothers Karamazov
Roll that D20 and pick a title!

There are a whole lot of scary titles on this list, to be honest.  Henry James--scary because really really long.  Pascal--scary because I have no idea what I'd be getting into.  Dostoevsky: scary because super-long and I'm a little full of Russian lit anyway.  Mahfouz--have you seen the Cairo Trilogy?  I've been giving serious thought to switching that title out for something by the same guy, but shorter.  Anything by anyone Spanish--just scary.  Grass--Tin Drum is long and guaranteed to be strange.

At the same time, there are some titles I'd like to put on the list but can't because I haven't yet figured out how to get them.  The Australian lit I listed doesn't seem to be held at any libraries nearby--there's got to be a way to get them, I just haven't put enough time into it yet--otherwise I would put them on and count them for the Australian lit event that I couldn't join because reality got in the way.  I thought about putting the Dream of the Red Chamber on, but I need to order it for work and I haven't actually done that yet (we have two works of criticism but not the actual text--odd).  I actually have ordered Mia Couto's Sleepwalking Land (to my great surprise, Mia Couto is not a black African woman, but a white Portuguese-African man) but I don't know if it will show up in time.  And some titles are just so extremely long and medieval or otherwise heavy-duty that there's no way I could read them in the time.


  1. Exciting! I hope you get My Name Is Asher Lev -- Chaim Potok's The Chosen is one of my all-time favorite books, and I've been too afraid of being disappointed to read anything else by him. You can be the canary in the coal mine on that! :p

  2. You're right, you do have a scary list! And won't your brain be a little fried after Le Morte?

    The Crucible, Henry V, Potok's book ...... all those would be safe. Yikes, I can't wait to see what you get. And I mean that in a good way. ;-)

    Happy Spin, Jean!

  3. OK, you inspired me to do my first Classics Spin. You're right about the problem of getting some of the books...I'm not going to worry about that at the moment though.

  4. Jenny, I both understand and laugh at your fear of reading more Potok. :)

    You're completely right, Cleo. I probably will be fried. I am probably fried right now, given that I am reading my third fluffy mystery in 4 days. But I'm sure that as soon as I finish with that dang Tristram, I'll be fine....

    Yay, Lory! I look forward to seeing your list!

  5. It is bit of a scary list - glad it's yours and not mine.

    Hope the spin will give something manageable - good luck!

  6. Some of the Aust classics can be found as ebooks on The Project Gutenberg site or other free classic download sites.

    Good luck with your list :-)

  7. Thanks, Brona, I will get on that! :)


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