Monday 6 March 2017

Classics Club Spin #15

It's time!
Ring the bells, spread the news far and wide!
The Classic Club Spin #15 is here!

I've managed to join in every single spin.

For details on how to play, click on the link here.
The main things you need to know though, are to compile your list of 20 books by this Friday - the 10th March.

On that day a number will be randomly selected.
That's the book you read.

You have until the 1st of May to complete your book and review it.

Join in the fun by visiting the other players and commenting on their lists.
It's a great way to meet like-minded bloggers and explode your TBR classics wishlist!

My previous spins have been mostly successful and/or enjoyable. 
I've also had fun by reading my book with other Classic Clubbers during many of the spins.

#3 My Cousin Rachel (looking forward to the movie later on this year too).

#4 The Brothers Karamazov I gave up on this chunkster about halfway through, then I lost the book when we moved last year...serendipity, I say!

#5 The Odyssey with Plethora of Books. This one was a bit of a cheat as I had started it for another readalong, but struggled to finish. I added it to my list to motivate me to finish it. When no. 20 spun up it seemed like the gods had decreed it so!

#6 No Name by Wilkie Collins with Melbourne on My Mind.

#7 Silent Spring by Rachel Carson with Karen @Booker Talk - my first classic non-fiction spin.

#8 Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh has been my one and only dud Spin read so far.

#9 The Great World by David Malouf my first Australian classic spin.

#10 A Far Cry From Kensington by Muriel Spark.

#11 So Big by Edna Ferber with Christy where we both experienced the joys of rediscovering a forgotten award winning classic.

#12 Dubliners by James Joyce was too depressing and hopeless for my current state of mind.

#13 The Catherine Wheel by Catherine Harrower - my second Aussie #ccspin classic.

#14 The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnet

#15 Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

This time around I feel the need to tackle one of those trickier books lurking on my classics list that I've been putting off reading for one reason or another. In some cases it's the size of the book; for others it's a poor review or two that has me worried and the rest I'm not too sure about whether they're my kind of book or not.

Encouragement and support always welcome!

As you know, I like to read my spins with others, so if you spot a book or author we share in common, please let me know in the comments below.

My Classic Club Spin #15

1. Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington

2. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

3. The Berlin Novels by Christopher Isherwood         (reading with Lisbeth @The Content Reader)

4. Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo

5. Fortune of the Rougon by Emile Zola                 (I will probably read this one regardless for Fanda's #Zoladdiction in April)

6. The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing

7. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes          (reading with Sara @The Steel Review)

8. Indiana by George Sand

9. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens (reading with Margaret @Books Please & Crafts4Others)

10. Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell            (reading with Tasheena @Dear Reader, Margaret @Books Please and Brittanie @A Book Lover)

11. Villette by Charlotte Bronte    (reading with Cathy @ What Cathy Read Next)

12. Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

13. A Game of Hide and Seek by Elizabeth Taylor        (reading with Juliana @The Blank Garden)

14. Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner             (reading with Emma @Words and Peace, Brittanie @A Book Lover & Anne @Head Full of Books)

15. This Side of Paradise by F Scott Fitzgerald           (reading with Jean @Howling Frog)

16. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

17. Swann's Way by Marcel Proust                  (reading with Rachelle @Fortified By Books)

18. Night and Day by Virginia Woolf

19. War of the Worlds by H G Wells              (reading with Emma @One Reader's Thoughts)

20. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope


P.S. This post is my 999th post!! I wonder what will tomorrow bring!


The spin number is #12, which means Karen Blixen and Out of Africa.

I've been dreading this one.
I remember the movie as being difficult (although I was only a teen when I watched it hoping for an exotic romance & ended up with a disintegrating marriage instead). I picked up the book once not long after and gave up on it very quickly.

I'm hoping a more mature, realistic Brona will appreciate the complex, complicated relationships now!

'I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills . . . Up in this high air you breathed easily . . . you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.' 
From the moment Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya in 1914 to manage a coffee plantation, her heart belonged to Africa. Drawn to the intense colours and ravishing landscapes, Blixen spent her happiest years on the farm, and her experiences and friendships with the people around her are vividly recalled in these memoirs. 
Out of Africa is the story of a remarkable and unconventional woman, and of a way of life that has vanished for ever.

My edition is part of the 2011 Penguin Essential range with a lovely watercolour cover by David Gentleman.

(Isak Dineson was Blixen's pen name when she wrote in English).


  1. Hey, I'll do This Side of Paradise with you. Make it #15? I can move it around to wherever if you fill that slot.

    1. Lucky 15 for spin #15 it is Jean :-)

  2. congrats on your 999th post!! and so many good things to love on that list! good luck

  3. Great list! I just read "Swann's Way" and also recently reread "The Way We Live Now". I'll be interested to see what number is spun.

    1. What did you think of Swann's Way? I'm pretty nervous about it.

  4. I have really been pestering Classics Club to set a new SPIN date so I am delighted they finally got it up. Here is my list:

    1. That makes two of us then Anne :-D

  5. No crossovers on our lists, but I hope you get The War of the Worlds, 'cos I'm hoping to re-read it soon myself. Good luck with the spin!

  6. Great list, Brona! So challenging :) From your list I've only read he Master and Margarita, Out of Africa and Sound and the Fury, and I enjoyed all of them. Good luck with your spin! :)
    Juliana @theblankgarden

  7. Anonymous7/3/17

    Very nice list, Brona. You have some big books here! We don't have any cross-overs, unfortunately.

  8. Lots of good books. Several of which are on my big list. :)

  9. Yay for Zola!
    Hopefully the winner is #5, so that you might be able to join me in #Zoladdiction.
    Haha... just kidding :)
    Good luck anyway with any number that might win, you have a lot of good books there.

    1. I'd like to read the first Rougon-Macquart book, since with your encouragent I've already read two of the others (out of sequence!)

    2. Wahoo - you weren't kidding! Zoladdiction2017 here we come.
      With or without the spin I'll read Fortune of the Rougon in April with you.

  10. I always chicken out and take Swann's Way off the spin list! You have some great books here: Master and Margarita and Out of Africa are both excellent. Don Quixote is a pain or a pleasure depending on the translator.

    1. I've been doing that for the last 4 yrs Mary!! I'm hoping the spin gods are kind on Friday :-)

  11. I have two of the same books - Mary Barton (which I already had st no. 10) and Little Dorrit, which I moved to no. 9.

    I wonder what we'll get?

    Here's my list -

    1. Thanks Margaret, I've added your links above.

      I do love the idea of a potential reading buddy or two for some of these books!

  12. So many good picks! Crossing fingers we both get Mary Barton.

  13. A good choice and lots of variety. I would like to read Master and Margarita as well. Have seen the play once, but can't remember too much. I somehow limit myself to what I have on my shelves, but have to venture out of them when it comes to classics.
    Villette I have read. It is about Brussels so a must here. I am not that enthusiastic about it, but it is a rather different book. But Charlotte is always good! Out of Africa is interesting, a tough bird Karen Blixen. Virginia Woolf high on my list after reading my fist book by her; To the Lighthouse. Fitzgerald is always interesting. Looking forward reading Goodby to Berlin with you, if this hits the number!

  14. I moved Swann's Way to #17 on my list :)

  15. I see that you will be reading Out of Africa for this spin. That's one of my favorite books! The writing is so beautiful. Enjoy!

    1. I'm glad to hear that Robin - I've been a little nervous about Out of Africa as I had trouble getting into first attempt (but I was only about 20 at the time, so hopefully I've matured as a reader since then!)

  16. I hope Out of Africa works for you this time around. I've been wanting to read it for a while myself, but somehow never manage to get around to it. Enjoy!


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