Classics Club Challenge – taking a gamble

Classics club logoThis is rather like Russian roulette with none of the blood and guts. While for some all this avid list-compiling would no doubt be like having teeth pulled, it is of course totally up my persnickety compulsive alley.

Having embarked upon the marvellous “Classic Club Challenge” earlier in the year in the hopes of finally reading more of those timeless works that have oft heard of and even know the plot of but shamefully have never opened, am now on tenterhooks to see which tome am going to be diving into next.

Early this week the Classics Club Spin masterminds are going to throw a number at us between 1 and 20, and that will be the masterpiece we collectively pledge to read by February of next year.

Feels like Christmas has come early, sigh.

Post Script : Ooh, just in the nick of time, crack went the pistol… and the wheel span to N° 19. John Steinbeck and Henry Fonda, here we come… 

Update 8th March – having failed miserably to read “The Grapes of Wrath” in time, the next challenge has already come around and this morning the die landed on N° 8 so am adding “A Prayer for Owen Meany” to the mix. Hoping to do better this time around.

Simply can’t wait to read:

  • Austen, Jane: Persuasion (#7)
  • Collins, Wilkie: The Woman in White (#3)
  • Eliot, George: The Mill on the Floss (#16)
  • Hardy, Thomas : Tess of the D’Urbervilles (#13) –sneaky re-read I
  • Lawrence, D.H.: The Rainbow (#20)

Somewhat in trepidation:

  • Dickens, Charles: Hard Times (#11)
  • Galsworthy, John: The Forsyte Saga (#4)
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth: Wives and Daughters (#18)
  • Proust, Marcel: À la Recherche du Temps Perdu, Du Côté de chez Swann (#9) – sneaky re-read II
  • Thackeray, William Makepeace: Vanity Fair (#15)

‘Thoroughly modern Millies’, time-wise :

  • Gibbons, Stella: Cold Comfort Farm (#17)
  • Greene, Graham: Brighton Rock (#6)
  • Proulx, Annie: The Shipping News (#10)
  • Rushdie, Salman: Midnight’s Children (#1)
  • Waugh, Evelyn: Brideshead Revisited (#5)

And bringing up the rear, as it were :

  • Dickens, Charles: Tale of Two Cities (#14)
  • Eco, Umberto: The Name of the Rose (#2)
  • Eliot, George: Silas Marner (#12)
  • Irving, John: A Prayer for Owen Meany (#8) – second on the Spin List
  • Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath (#19) – was last on the list but is clearly now first…
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15 Responses to Classics Club Challenge – taking a gamble

  1. Some great titles here! What lovely treats to look forward to 🙂 I absolutely love Wives and Daughters so I would say no need for trepidation! Even though it’s unfinished it’s a total joy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, am wondering now why the trepidation on my part – size maybe? I did “North and South” at school and did enjoy that. Well, one in 20 chance of it being ‘spun’, and even if it doesn’t come up now should really dust it down for 2016. Francesca Annis on the cover of my copy so am presuming there is a BBC adaptation somewhere out there too …


  3. Brona says:

    Several of my favourite books ever, are on your list – Persuasion, The Woman in White, Midnight’s Children, Brideshead Revisited, The Forsyte Saga and A Tale of Two Cities!
    I also read my first Gaskell this year & hope to spin up another one 🙂

    Happy spin

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, thank you, this augurs so well!
      I see that you are classic club spinning too and we are both gunning for “Tess” – except if your number comes up mine doesn’t, and vice versa… not that that’s any reason to put off putting it to the top of the TBR pile anyway – on the contrary in fact x


  4. An impressive and seductive list, Nicola. The Woman in White – save it for Christmas week! It’s fantastic.
    I’m on the final roll now – absolutely determined to be sitting with a glass of champagne in my hand at 5 to midnight on Dec 31st with 52 reviews posted! 10 more to go!

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Woman in White” over Xmas it is then. Thanks for the recommendation.
      Good luck with your final roll – but please tell me that once these 10 are written you will be setting yourself a brand new 52/challenge for the New Year??? And will the impetus still be on films français? Do you get as carried away as our Bafta/Oscar obsessed group do this end? Please don’t stop.


  5. You have some wonderful possibilities there. The Women in White, Wives and Daughters and The Mill on the Floss are books I could happily read over and over again. I do hope that the spin will bring you a book to love.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. whatmeread says:

    I got Night by Elie Wiesel.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, my N° 19 is “The Grapes of Wrath”, didn’t see that marked as “read” on your blog? I did read “Night” a couple of years ago, it is harrowing and beautiful and very memorable. Hope you enjoy it, although it deals with such difficult times. x


  8. What a fantastic list, I look forward to following your progress

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Can’t wait to get cracking. Terrible to have confessed not to having read them before in the majority of cases. Will be great. x


  10. alison41 says:

    I have finally caught up with this post. Hmmmm – you are a brave woman. I’ve read 3 of the Modern Millies – Gibbons, Rushdie & Proulx – can never type or pronounce her name. As for the rest … I think, on the whole, ‘rather you than me’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • !! hope I haven’t bitten off more than I can chew. As all these books are sitting here purchased over the years from various second hand book sale “hauls” etc it’s easy enough to write them down, now for the actual reading of them… we will see!
      Hope you are enjoying whatever you are reading at the moment and it is giving much pleasure. I am part way through “A Little Life”, a big book but very readable, although as every review mentions the word “harrowing” I can feel I am headed into very troubled waters. Then it will have to be the Steinbeck or I’ll be behind even as the New Year begins. Always have the best intentions, it’s just the distractions that get in the way! x

      Liked by 1 person

      • alison41 says:

        I’m keen to read “A Little Life” but don’t want to buy it – am hoping my excellent local Library will acquire it. Tell me about the distractions/chores/to-do lists …. sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

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