Classics Club Spin #18

WildmooBooks Classics Club Spin 18
This beautiful background is a photo I took while visiting my Mom in Illinois last week.

I just revised my Classics Club list last week, so this spin is coming at the perfect time for me. As I’m currently reading Middlemarch, I’ve given myself a break and tried to choose books that aren’t quite as thick or that have a reputation for being a swift read, although there are some weighty ones here. I’m old enough to know that size doesn’t matter, at least when it comes to page-count. Some short books can be just as challenging as a 500+ pager.

What is a Spin, you ask? It’s a combination of your Classics Club list and, at least in my mind, gambling. The moderators ask members to make a list of 20 of their un-read books and then on a certain date a random number between 1-20 is chosen and the corresponding number on your list is the book you read.

Here’s my 20:

  1. The Odyssey* by Homer, 8th century BC, new translation by Emily Wilson
  2. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan, 1678
  3. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 1851
  4. The Bostonians Henry James, 1886
  5. The Land of Little Rain by Mary Austin, 1903
  6. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, 1919
  7. So Big by Edna Ferber, 1924
  8. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, 1924
  9. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, 1925 👈 The book I’ll be reading by Aug 31st 
  10. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, 1943
  11. From Here to Eternity by James Jones, 1951
  12. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, 1952
  13. Lord of the Flies by William Golding, 1954
  14. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin, 1956
  15. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, 1958
  16. Ship of Fools by Katherine Anne Porter, 1962
  17. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut, 1968
  18. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, 1969
  19. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, 1970
  20. The Color Purple* by Alice Walker, 1982

* = a re-read

I’m hoping the magic number will be 1, 10, 13, or 20. I’m a bit nervous about 2, 3, and 4 because I doubt they’ll be swift reads but what’s the point of gambling without a little trepidation?

The number will be announced on August 1st and readers are asked to read and review their book by August 31st.

Wish me luck!


  1. A great list. If I hadn’t picked out mine already, I might have jusy copied yours! I hope you get #10, as that Brooklyn Tree has been on my list for ages. Good luck!

  2. I also hope you get A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. It is a little long, but it’s a fast read and just wonderful. You have some serious reads on your list but I think ATGiB would be a great summer read. Best of luck on the spin pick!

  3. Excellent spin list, Chris. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is one of my favorites, and The Bluest Eye is a powerful and heartbreaking read. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings is on my main Classics Club List and I’m very curious about Giovanni’s Room. Good luck and happy reading!

  4. Good luck on your spin! I think the only one I’ve read on your list is The House of the Seven Gables and that was years ago.

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