(My First) Classic Club Spin

Following on from Friday’s post, tomorrow is the Classic Club Spin…my first chance to start making good on my plan to read more classic novels. To take part, you list 20 books from your full list and then on Monday they post a number between 1 and 20. You have to read that book by 6th October and (ideally, I guess) post a review.

After just picking 50 books, I was a bit hesitant about now cutting it down to 20 so I chose a bit of a haphazard approach and asked my daughter to keep giving me numbers until I had enough (not very scientific but it worked) and so, here it is, my spin list.

1. 1984 – George Orwell
2. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
3. Under Milk Wood – Dylan Thomas
4. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Path
5. A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway
6. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
7. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
8. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – John le Carre
9. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith
10. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne
11. The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
12. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
13. The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien
14. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
15. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
16. Romeo and Juliet – William Shakespeare
17. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Wolf
18. Carrie – Stephen King
19. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
20. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

I’ll let you know how I get on Monday by updating this post. There are a few I’m dreading but maybe it’s best to get it out of the way – what do you think, are there any I should be hoping I get, or don’t?


Update: the number was 17 so I get to read my first ever work by Virginia Wolf. Feeling pleased and relieved.


    • Thanks. Am really looking forward to it. I read The Secret History years ago but realised when reading The Goldfinch I don’t remember a thing about it. The others I’ve always wanted to read – glad to hear they are recommended.


  1. I’m curious to know which ones you’re dreading.

    I’m in a Wharton mood, but The Hobbit looks really good too. I’m not sure if Tart, Boyne and King have passed the test of time to be classics, but heck, if you want to read them, it’s good to see that you’ve thrown them on your list! Have you read Little Women before? If not, you’re in for a treat!

    The best of luck with your spin! 🙂


    • I have to say The Hobbit is the big dread. I have tried and failed before with Tolkien. The other I have never succeeded in reading is Wuthering Heights. I don’t know why but I always find myself putting it down to never pick it back up again. I’ve never read Little Women but have cried over the movie so would like to read it.

      I put Donna Tartt on my list because I remember it as one of those books I always say was great and it must come up every other book club in conversation but I think I need to read it again because I can’t remember it at all. I went with Carrie because I’ve never read a modern horror and figured King was the best to go with, Boyne because the book is listed on a few best of lists and always caught my eye. I felt I needed some that were a bit more modern but know what you mean. It’s hard when books aren’t that old to say what makes a classic. I guess I’ll see when I read them. Emma


      • I think with Tolkien you have to open yourself up to the story ~~ you know …… be willing to completely leave earth and enter a different realm. I personally like The Lord of the Rings better than The Hobbit, so don’t ditch the former if you’re put off by the latter. I really didn’t like Wuthering Heights at all, so I understand your dread, but I am glad that I read it.

        I know what you mean about popular modern books. To make myself read some, I put the Guardian’s 1000 Books list on my blog, and I’m sure that both King and Tartt are on the list. I plan to read Tartt at some point but when, I’m not sure. So many books and so little time!


  2. Good luck with your first spin – they’re a lot of fun 🙂

    We share quite a few titles & authors in common, so I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever is pun your way today.


  3. Looks like you got a good one for the spin. I got The Republic by Plato. Oh well. Now I have that extra push to get it read. I love your list. The ones I haven’t read I want to add to my list, especially #20. A few months ago I read Donna Tartt’s latest book, “The Goldfinch” and found it amazing, but so far that is the only thing I’ve read by her.


    • Thank you (and for reminding me I need to update my post). I am rather pleased. Not sure I would have dared put Plato on my list (though I am reading a book on Greek and roman political ideals so maybe). I loved The Goldfinch. One of those I need to read again though because I’m sure I missed things. Emma


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