Classics Club Spin 19: The Chunkster Edition

ccspin spinning book

There’s another Classics Club Spin about to begin!

What’s a Spin? It’s a Classic Club thing. Participants are asked to choose 20 titles from their Classics Club list by Tuesday, November 27. On that day, a random number between 1-20 will be chosen. Whatever book corresponds to the number on your list, that’s the book you read. We’ll all have until January 31, 2019 to read and post about the classic we read. It’s a fun way to be social (or not) while reading another classic.

For this Spin — its #19 by the way — the moderators are encouraging readers to choose Chunksters. Big Books. Long Books. I like this because it’s those big books that so many of us put off reading until the mythical “someday” when we have more time.

When it comes to deciding what a chunkster is, readers have varying ideas about how to define the beast. Some say a book over 400 pages qualifies as a chunkster. I’ve heard others say 400 pages is child’s play and that only books over 700 pages rank as a chunkster.

I’m going with the 400+ page definition. The page numbers below are based on the edition I plan to read.

Here’s my list:

  1. The Odyssey 582 pages (I was trying to do a slow read of Emily Wilson’s new translation, but that isn’t working out so well. I’d rather dive in.)  *** #1 is the lucky number! ***
  2. Don Quixote 940 pages
  3. Ivanhoe 544 pages
  4. The Monk 431 pages
  5. Crime and Punishment 671 pages
  6. Anna Karenina 838 pages (I read Part I years ago and put the book down for something and never got back to it.)
  7. Middlemarch 853 pages
  8. The Bostonians 496 pages
  9. The Education of Henry Adams 560 pages
  10. The Magic Mountain 706 pages
  11. A Testament of Youth 661 pages
  12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 496 pages
  13. From Here to Eternity 816 pages
  14. The Invisible Man 581 pages
  15. Ship of Fools 512 pages
  16. Middlemarch 853 pages
  17. Middlemarch 853 pages
  18. Middlemarch 853 pages
  19. Middlemarch 853 pages
  20. Middlemarch 853 pages

The only chunkster that I did not put on this list from my primary Classics Club list is Les Miserable because its 1,463 pages long and I don’t think I could get that read by the deadline what with two holidays coming up and workload considerations. Don Quixote is also pushing it but at the moment I’m feeling motivated.*

What’s up with all the Middlemarch, you ask? Well, I ran out of 400+ page books and I really want to read Middlemarch. In fact, I was planning on reading it during Jan-Feb, but this will simply push up my plans by a month if 7 or some number between 16-20 is the lucky pick.

Good luck to all the Classic Club readers out there — I hope you get the book you most want to read.

* Motivated now but, as always, I reserve the right to bail at any time during this challenge. 😉




  1. I love the new Emily Wilson translation. I read it like it was some new YA fantasy novel. Which in a way it is! I just raced right through it. Right now that would be the one I’d pick. (Though there’s nothing wrong with Don Quixote or Middlemarch either…)

    • Love hearing it was like a new YA fantasy novel for you! That rings true — trying to read it slowly, just a few pages a day, was tough. It was hard to constrain myself and so I just stopped reading it. I’ll be diving in this weekend.

  2. Gooood luck. I originally had the Emily Wilson translation of The Odyssey as my #1, too, and then I decided I couldn’t do that one right now. Eventually, though! Best wishes.

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