The Classics Spin #16

I’ve been a member of the Classics Club for 4 years now. That means that, in theory, I have 38 books to read in the next year, if I want to get my list done as suggested. (Of course my list has grown from 51 to 95 since I first made it up.) So what better way to get moving than to participate in the Spin. You can read the details here, but basically, I list 20 books, next Friday a number is picked, and then I read whichever book is listed in that spot before the end of the year.

As usual, I think I feel like reading a few books that are not on my list at the moment and I also don’t exactly feel like reading a book I am not so enthusiastic about today. So I am fudging the rules a little bit, but whatever. Here’s my list:

  1. Watership Down, Richard Adams
  2. The Land of Little Rain, Mary Austin
  3. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgarov
  4. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett (WINNER)
  5. The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
  6. The Black Tulip, Alexandre Dumas
  7. Where Angels Fear to Tread, E. M. Forster
  8. Alexander’s Bridge, Willa Cather
  9. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  10. Death in Venice, Thomas Mann
  11. Purple Springs, Nellie L. McClung
  12. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  13. Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
  14. Winter Wheat, Mildred Walker
  15. Summer Will Show, Sylvia Townsend Warner
  16. Enchanted April, Elizabeth von Arnim
  17. The Living Is Easy, Dorothy West
  18. So Big, Edna Ferber
  19. The Gowk Storm, Nancy Brysson Morrison
  20. The Country of the Pointed Firs, Sarah Orne Jewett


  1. Middlemarch—perhaps the the best novel ever? I read 4 more Eliot novels in succession right after it, and wondered how it was that no one ever recommended Eliot before.

    Master and the Margarita is sitting on my shelf, patiently waiting its turn. I think Trollope will probably be the next novel I pick up…

  2. This is a good list – I can’t choose a favourite. I was going to say The Black Tulip until I saw The Gowk Storm, which FF introduced me to. But I own Enchanted April and would be tempted to read it with you if you got that one!

      • No, I haven’t read it. FF’s review was the first I had heard of it… it sounds good, doesn’t it? (No thanks to the title.) I’d read that one with you, too, but I’m afraid it might be as hard for me to find as A Lady and Her Husband. 😉

  3. I made a list for Classics Club too. But I am not sure how much I will be able to finish. Good luck to you. I have not read Black Tulip but I heard a review that says it is an under rated classic. I hope to read it soon as well (in five years. :D)

  4. I’m so excited to see The Gowk Storm on your list! I hope it comes up!! Though I think you should read it anyway even if it doesn’t… 😉 Otherwise my pick from your list would be Cannery Row, which is on my list too but on a different number. Hope you get a great one, whichever you end up with!

  5. Lots of my favorites in there, especially 3, 4, and 10. If we get #3, be sure to choose an edition with lots of notes, I can give you more info, otherwise you will miss most of it. Really special, but awesome

  6. Lots of great books on your list! I particularly love Watership Down, The Master and Margarita, The Moonstone and The Black Tulip. I usually take part in the spins too but I’ve finished my Classics Club list and haven’t put a second one together yet.

      • When you’ve read The Secret Garden then read Maggie O’Farrell’s The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, which is what it was really like to come back to Britain after a tragic childhood in India. I love The Secret Garden but the O’Farrell is superb.

      • I did read Esme Lennox, and you are right, it’s a wonderful book. Unfortunately, I read it after O’Farrell’s brilliant The Hand That First Held Mine, and the fact that they have a similar twist at the end made me like Esme a little less. But now I will definitely HAVE to read The Secret Garden soon.

  7. Fantastic list! Many there I’d like to read. I’m not part of the Classics Club but I do so enjoy reading posts about it. And I am always going to be a cheerleader for Middlemarch (Rah rah rah!) I absolutely love it. Also, The Secret Garden. 🙂

  8. If you’re going to fudge the rules, I’m going to fudge the rules 🙂 I have books on my TBR I want to get to that are classics but are not on my club list. Who cares! I’m going to make my list and do this spin.

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