Monday 18 November 2013

The Classics Club Spin #4


Here we go again with The Classics Club Spin #4.

I love the #ccspins.

They help me read another classic in the company of a great group of like-minded readers and bloggers.

I try to match my list to as many other bloggers as possible, to guarantee a reading companion.

The rules are simple (and meant to be broken)!

  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you’ve got left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five 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.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday.
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by January 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading! (No fair not listing any scary ones!)
My list is:
1. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier    -     Reading with Riv @Bookish Realm
2. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfe    -    Reading with Anbolyn @Gundrun's Tights
3. Midnight's Children by Salmon Rushdie    -    Reading with Athena @Aquatique
4. Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac    -    Reading with Rachael @Ranger Cookie
5  Diary of a Nobody by George & Weedon Grossmith     -     Reading with Karen @Booker Talk
6. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe    -   Reading with Margaret @Books Please
7. Ulysses (uggghhhh!)    -   Reading with CC
8. The Good Earth    -    Reading with Chrissy @A Good Stopping Point
9. Parade's End by Ford Maddox Ford    -     Reading with Ellie @Lit Nerd
10. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky   -   Shared author with Bree @The Things We Read
11. The Hobbit (reread)    -    Reading with Erin @Quixotic Magpie
12. Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte    -     Shared author with Sam @Tiny Library & Jenna @Lost Generation Reader
13. Nana by Zola       -      Reading with Katrina @Pining For the West
14. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell    -   Reading with Karen @Books and Chocolate
15. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov     -     Reading with Katrina @Katrina Reads
16. Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy    -     Reading with Athena @Aquatique
17. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust    -     Reading with Jackie @Jackiemania
18. Diary of Anne Frank (reread)    -    Reading with CC
19. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (reread)   -    Reading with @Crafts 4 Others &  Karen @Booker Talk
20. Hunchback of Notre Dame    -    Reading with Karen @Books and Chocolate & Helen @She Reads Novels

Monday night - The lucky spin is no 10 - a hefty Russian for Bree & I to tackle over the summer holidays! 

Now I just have to decide which translation. The original - Constance Garnett; the faithful, award winning combination of Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky; or David McDuff's lively version? 

Do you have a preference or opinion to help me on my way?

Random quote that has whet my appetite for this book: 

Above all, don't lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.

Dartmouth College has a webpage entirely devoted to TBK, the author, teaching notes etc which I will check out more thoroughly as I start reading.

And according to Schmoop, TBK is " generally considered one of the best novels ever written in any language." 

I'm beginning to feel a lovely sense of anticipation.

Happy spinning everyone :-)              


  1. Anonymous18/11/13

    What a great list! Of these, I've only read The Hobbit and The Master & Margarita, which is one of my favorite books.

    Best of luck with your spin pick. I hope you get a book you'll love!

  2. Anonymous18/11/13

    oh wow, got some really tough books on your list!

    I've to admit that I'm not a fan of Rebecca (*shudders*)! But you've some fun reads there too, like The Hobbit and anything by Gaskell I'd go for :)

    Good luck for the spin!

  3. I love how you align your numbers with other club members… makes the reading even more enjoyable! Good luck tomorrow.

    1. I agree - very clever idea to enjoy your books - good luck with your list!

    2. Thanks - it's a fun from start to finish.
      I enjoy visiting everyone's posts as they put them up, comparing them to my CC list to see if we have something in common and slowly putting together 20 shared titles.
      It's a good way for me to keep in touch with everyone :-)

  4. I have to agree - so clever! (Now I'm hoping we get number 1, hehe.)

    The Hobbit is an excellent autumn read, and I'm always glad to see The Master and Margarita in any list - this book needs all the love it can get.

  5. Anonymous18/11/13

    A great list, just hope they don't pick number 7!

  6. Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I have had a look around your site and am thrilled to find an introduction to Australian literature through so many of your posts. I have Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book waiting near the top of my pile, but I only recently discovered that she is Australian. I haven't participated in the Classics Spin because I prefer to read by whim, but I notice we have a few similar ones on our lists.I look forward to visiting often.

  7. I feel a little un-literate as I haven't heard of many of your choices. Here's to reading a Russian tomb. Good luck. :)

    1. I find that too as I browse other CCer's blogs :-)
      But then I get that twitchy unread book syndrome....and another book, another author gets added to my ever-growing TBR list!

  8. Wow, good luck with your Russian pick! I must say, that quote is pretty wonderful and may just whet my appetite. I still have an urge for Russian novels after Anna Karenina. I really hope you enjoy your reading :)

  9. Anonymous21/11/13

    Enjoy your spin book! I haven't read TBK yet myself, but I heard it's brilliant. Have you read any other books by Dostoyevsky?

    1. I tried Crime & Punishment during my uni years but wasn't ready for it!
      I then had a Russian phase during my early 30's but avoided Dostoyevsky. I think it's time to try again now that I'm in my 40's :-)

  10. As for translations, I read Anna Karenina, the Pevear-Volokhonsky translation and right now, I'm reading War and Peace, the Maude Alymer translation. P-V was okay ……. I found it used quite simple language so if you are someone who likes the beauty of language (like me), it might not impress you. I don't find that they have the impact of other translators. I like the Alymer translation that I'm reading now. As for Constance Garnett, I have hear that her translations are fantastic in the sense that they read well, but there are complaints that she took too much liberty with the original Russian. David McDuff I'm not sure about. I think the best read would be Garnett, but if you're a stickler for sticking to the original, then one of the others. Please let us know what you decide!

    You might be interested in this link with regard to the Pevear-Volokhonsky translations:

    Happy (long) reading! :-)

    1. Thanks for the detailed reply. I hadn't thought about checking who translated my other favourite Russians...that's a good place to start. I do like an "elegant distiller of language" where possible :-)

    2. The problem is that one person can do an excellent translation of one book but with another book by the same author, his translation may not be as good. I was bummed because I read the Lattimore translation of The Iliad and his Odyssey too; The Iliad was fantastic, The Odyssey, not so much (I think I should have gone with Fitzgerald for this one). Search the net and at least you can read why people like certain translations and then go from there. Good luck!

  11. Anonymous21/11/13

    Such a great idea about matching the list to other readers - I'll have to see if I can do that to some extent next time. Good look with the Brothers K!


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