A Glutton for Punishment: Classics Spin

I’ve not participated in a Classics Club Spin before, but now that The History of England, Volume V is done (DONE!), I’m feeling bold and ready to take on another reading challenge…in addition to the Ulysses read-along.

No, bold isn’t the right word. Crazy? Unrealistic? Masochistic? Any of those is probably more accurate.

Whatever the adjective, here are the rules for the Spin from The Classics Club:

List your choice of any twenty books you’ve left to read from your Classics Club list – in a separate post.

This is your Spin List. You have to read one of these twenty books in November & December. So, try to challenge yourself. For example, you could list five Classics Club books 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.)

Next Monday, we’ll post a number from 1 through 20. The challenge is to read whatever book falls under that number on your Spin List, by January 1.

My 20 from my Cavalcade of Classics list, in fairly random order since I discovered that after the Hume and with Ulysses on deck, I’m basically dreading all of the books on my list:

  1. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte
  2. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  4. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  5. The Confessions by Augustine
  6. Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
  7. Confessions by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  8. The Histories by Herodotus
  9. The Social Contract by Jean-Jeacques Rousseau
  10. The City of God by Augustine
  11. Lives by Plutarch
  12. The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn
  13. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein
  14. The Castle by Franz Kafka
  15. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
  16. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  17. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
  18. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  19. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  20. Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Monday’s the day. I’m hoping for a Bronte. Or one of the two by Rousseau. Stay tuned!

8 Replies to “A Glutton for Punishment: Classics Spin”

  1. You’re one of the few people I’ve seen with Herodotus on their list.
    I read it in my high school as i was studying Ancient History – I Loved it and hope to reread it one day soon.

    Good luck


    1. We read a section of it as part of my daughter’s writing curriculum, and she really wanted to read it, so I put it on the list. I’m not sure if she and I will read it together or not, especially if it comes up in this Classics Spin, but that’s how it got there. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it!


  2. I find reading the classics means that I have to shift my usual 21st century brain. I applaud you for taking this challenge. I have a BA in Literature and don’t know if I would have it in me to do it right now. 🙂


    1. I was an English major, too (although with a writing concentration rather than a literature concentration), and it took me a good 10+ years before I felt ready to tackle classics again. It helped to find a few that I really loved and found surprisingly contemporary, like Madame Bovary. I wonder if getting translations helps because it modernizes the language a bit. Pilgrim’s Progress and even Gulliver’s Travels were challenging just because the archaic language made them a bit of a slog to get through.


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