In the High Peaks

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Classics Club Spin #20

It's been so long since I've participated in a Classics Club Spin that I'll bet  many of you didn't know I have a Classics Club List, which I began in 2016. Of course I'll never finish it by December 31, 2020. But I would like to join in for this Spin. A few of the listed books I'm reading for the Back to the Classics Challenge this year, which is hosted by Karen of Books and Chocolate (see sidebar). (This is acceptable for the BCC Challenge, but if it's not legal for The Classics Club, would you please give me a head's up?)

I'm going to be unusually busy in May, but I set aside time each day and in each week to read no matter what, so I hope I'll make it. Another of my concerns is that I think the Somerset Maugham books may be less than full novel length. If they are too, too short, I'll read both of them.

  1. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  3. Flush: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
  4. Home of the Gentry by Ivan Turgenev
  5. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
  6. The Things They Carried and Other Stories by Tim O’Brien
  7. Greengage Summer by Rumer Godden
  8. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  9. Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath (Book One) by Sigrid Undset (re-read)
  10. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
  11. The Razor’s Edge by Somerset Maugham
  12. Pilgrim at Tinker’s Creek by Annie Dillard
  13. The Emigrants (Book One) by Vilhelm Moberg (Swedish classic)
  14. The Professor’s House by Charlotte Bronte (re-read from 43 years ago)
  15. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
  16. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  17. The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
  18. Snow by Orhan Pamuk
  19. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  20. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens


  1. Hope you get something you want to read. I loved The House of Mirth, I love Edith Wharton's writing but need to read more. Still have not read The Age of Innocence for instance.

    Romping my way through Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear... unputdownable. My speed is helped by my catching a cold and not feeling like doing much. Will have to pull my finger out tomorrow though as we are seven for lunch. LOL

    Happy Easter, Judith!

    1. Hi Cath,
      And a very happy Easter to you!
      I'm so glad you're loving Pardonable Lies--in fact, I'm quite sure I'll be reading that one again because it moved me so.
      Although I despise colds and any illness, there is always that silver lining...
      And I finished The Crossing Places, the first Ruth Galloway Mystery. I will be blogging about it very soon, but I loved it and zoomed through it.
      I do wonder what you are fixing for Easter Lunch. ?? Ken and I are having an Easter Brunch together. I'm going to mastermind (ha! I hope!) an eggs and bacon casserole kind of thing, bread, and some coffee, and??? maybe a wee spot of champagne while we watch the Monte Carlo Men's Tennis Final. That's what I hope.

  2. This is a very impressive list of books. The concept behind The Classics Club is so interesting. I am curious as to what book you will spin.

    1. Hi Brian,
      I'm on pins and needles about which book it will be.
      Funny, I was examining the books I have yet to read for the Classics Club. There are a few I dearly want to permanently eliminate. Maybe they seemed like a good idea in 2016, but they don't now. It is possible to make changes, but I need to check the rules for doing so before I go ahead. But as for that list of 20 I posted, I'd like to read them all.
      Then I think of all the classics I want to read that I haven't read--yikes!

  3. Well, we're having roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, roast potatos and masses of veggies for our Easter lunch today. I've put the beef in already as it's 'huge'. Taking a breather as my cold has robbed me of my energy, luckily Peter, my husband, is as useful as I am in the kitchen so me not firing on all cylinders is not a problem. The family all pitch in when they arrive too. Family lunches are always a joint effort... and lively. Your brunch sounds absolutely delightful. I hope it all works and am intrigued by your description of what you have planned...

    Enjoy your tennis, a friend of mine in Scotland is hooked on it too (think it's the same tournament) and was disappointed that Rafa got knocked out yesterday.

    As I said before I'm so pleased that you're loving the 1st. Ruth Galloway. I always zoom through those books, and it looks like Maisie is the same for me. Zooming through Pardonable Lies, nearly at the end. Your description of it as 'moving' is spot on. I love how intelligent and thoughtful these books are.

    Have a great day.

    1. How scrumptious! I can almost picture the preparations and the meal laid on the table. Makes you seem not all that far away.
      You must have the incorrigible cold that I had in March--talk about an energy robber! It was so hard for me to cook a good meal while I had it.
      I'm still gaining back strength, by the way. Today was the first time I walked 3 miles (up and down) without being all done in when I got home.
      We didn't do our Easter Brunch today, but we will tomorrow for Earth Day. We stayed up until midnight last night watching a film from the 1960s starring Peter O'Toole, Omar Sharif, and Tom Courtenay--The Night of the Generals. We both thought it was good, but a big part of it was seeing the old stars doing their thing. Peter O'Toole was quite scary in it, as a Nazi general. Anyway, we enjoyed our blast from the past.
      And tennis--I watched that match. Fabio Fognini is an unusual player. He's good enough, but when he's hot he can beat anyone--Nadal, Federer, Djokovic. Everyone is happy that he doesn't catch fire very often! But is he ever fun to watch when he does.
      So, I hope you're in bed by now, perhaps reading a few pages before turning out the light.
      Wishing you some sun, so you can "bake" in it, to kill your cold, of course. Take good care of yourself.

  4. I love reading these lists! I’ve not read too many from your 20 but the one that I think I recall most fondly is The Fountain Overflows. I had no expectations, knew nothing about Rebecca West and I really loved it.

    BTW: I think it is OK to double up on the Classics Club Challenge and any other reading challenge.

    1. Ruthiella,
      I'm so glad that you really liked The Fountain Overflows. I now will look forward to reading it. Like you, I've never read Rebecca West and know nothing about her, so I will look forward.
      And thank you about the permission to double up. (I need all the help I can get this year, because I've got a lot of challenges going--they have made my reading so much more fun, really. Thanks!

  5. I am coming to comment after the number was announced, so I know you will be reading #19, The House of Mirth. I will be interested in your review of that. I have not read anything by Edith Wharton.

    1. Oh, Tracy,
      I'm so happy that the Classic Spin landed on a book I was hoping against hope it would land on!
      I enjoyed Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence. You may be curious to check out the movie starring Daniel Day-Lewis. I thought the photography and costumes and the interior roomscapes were perfect for the Gilded Age in New York City. So interesting. But I wasn't as keen on the female lead. I thought Michelle Pheiffer was not cast well, yet Winona Ryder earned a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Worth seeing.

    2. Tracy--
      And your #19 is one of my all-time favorite books. I have read On the Beach a minimum of 3 times, but I truly believe I've read it 4 times. Such a poignant, great novel, I think. Oh, and the movie starring Gregory Peck! Equally well done, in my estimation. You know, I first devoured the book when I was fourteen. Made a huge impression on me, growing up in that Cold War as you did as well.

  6. Oh, I meant to tell you, I am at around page 460 (out of 668 pages) in The woman in White. The story really does pull you in.

    1. Tracy!
      You are amazing to have read this so quickly. I'm so glad that you've felt urged to keep turning the pages.

  7. I think you'll really enjoy The House of Mirth, I did anyway. We also saw the film of it in 2000 and that's good. Part of it was filmed in Glasgow too, in the wonderful Victorian City Chambers.

    1. Katrina,
      I'm so happy to hear that you really liked The House of Mirth. And I didn't know there is a film. I will look for that after I've read the book. Thank you! And good luck with your Russian.

  8. Goodness, I missed this post but you're now on my blogroll (on my old blog because I haven't yet figured out how to get it on my new one! :-Z ) But my vote would have been for The House of Mirth. How farseeing of me, lol!