Classics Spin #12: My list

The Classics Club

The Classics Club have announced another of their Classics Spins today; I wasn’t sure whether to take part as I’m already reading two classics (Mauprat by George Sand and Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray) but I’m more than halfway through both so I’m sure I’ll have time to read one more before the spin deadline!

Here is a reminder of the Spin rules:

* List any twenty books you have left to read from your Classics Club list.
* Number them from 1 to 20.
* On Monday the Classics Club will announce a number.
* This is the book you need to read by 2nd May 2016

And here is my list:

1. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
2. Louise de la Vallière by Alexandre Dumas
3. Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
5. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
6. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
7. Howards End by E.M. Forster
8. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
9. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge
10. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
11. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
12. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
13. The Red House Mystery by A.A. Milne
14. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (re-read)
16. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
17. Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
18. Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
19. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
20. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

It was easy to put this selection together because I only have 25 books left on my Classics Club list now. At this stage, I really don’t mind which one I get, but I’m particularly hoping for number 2, 3, 10, 12 or 17.

Have you read any of these books? If you’re a member of the Classics Club, will you be joining in with this spin?

Classics Spin: the number has been chosen!

Last week I decided to take part in the Classics Spin. The idea of the Spin was to list twenty books from my Classics Club list, number them 1 to 20, and the number announced today (Monday) represents the book I have to read before 1st February 2016.

The number that has been selected by the Classics Club this time is 19, which means the book I’ll be reading is:

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

This will be a re-read for me and I’m looking forward to it as it’s been such a long time since I last read it. I also have a re-read of Wuthering Heights on my Classics Club list and I’m thinking that maybe I should read it as soon as I finish Jane Eyre so that I can compare my thoughts on both. That would make an interesting post for the Women’s Classic Literature Event.

Did you take part in the Classics Spin? What will you be reading?

The Classics Spin #11: My list

The Classics Club

I was just thinking yesterday that it’s been a while since the last Classics Spin, so I’m pleased to see that another one has been announced today! It’s hard to believe that this is the eleventh Spin – I think I’ve taken part in all but one of them and have been very lucky with most of my results.

Here is a reminder of the Spin rules:

* List any twenty books you have left to read from your Classics Club list.
* Number them from 1 to 20.
* On Monday the Classics Club will announce a number.
* This is the book you need to read by 1 February 2016

And here is my list:

1. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
2. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
3. Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
4. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
5. Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
6. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
7. The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge
8. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
9. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (re-read)
10. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
11. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
12. Louise de la Valliere by Alexandre Dumas
13. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
14. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
15. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
16. I, Claudius by Robert Graves
17. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
18. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
19. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (re-read)
20. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy

I have been making good progress with my Classics Club list recently and I’ve found it much easier to choose twenty titles for the Spin now that I have fewer books left to read.

The odd numbers on my Spin list are books by women and will count towards the Women’s Classic Literature Event which I’m participating in. I would be happy to get any of those numbers, particularly one of the Brontë re-reads as I just never seem to be able to find time to re-read my favourite books anymore. The even numbers on my list are by male authors and again, I think I’d be happy with any of them. I’ve included some very long books, but I’m not too worried as I’ll have until February to read them.

Will you be taking part in the Spin? Are there any numbers you think I should be hoping for?

The Women’s Classic Literature Event

Womens Classic Literature Event

The Classics Club have announced an exciting new reading event: The Women’s Classic Literature Event! Between now and December 2016 we will be reading and writing about classic works by female authors. There are no other rules and there’s no upper or lower limit to the number of books we need to read – as long as a book is written by a woman and (preferably) published before 1960, it counts towards this event. By ‘book’ I don’t just mean novels, because letters, poetry, plays, essays, journals, short stories and biographies all count too.

I will definitely be participating, but I’m not sure how I want to approach this event. I still have a lot of classics by women left to read on my Classics Club list, which I’m listing below:

Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë (re-read)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (re-read)
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (re-read)
Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne du Maurier
Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Heir of Redclyffe by Charlotte M. Yonge

I’ll take this list as a starting point and read some of these books for the event, but I would like to do more than that. I would like to also read books by women who are not on my list, by women who are new to me, by women I’ve never thought about reading before – and maybe some children’s classics by women too.

The Classics Club have also posted an introductory survey. Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Introduce yourself. Tell us what you are most looking forward to in this event.
I’m Helen and I joined the Classics Club in 2012. I’m looking forward to discovering some new female authors through this event and I’m also hoping it will encourage me to pick up some of the books on my existing list that I’ve been putting off reading.

2. Have you read many classics by women? Why or why not?
Yes, I’ve read quite a lot of classics by women (including some of my absolute favourite classics) – but probably not as many as I’ve read by men.

3. Pick a classic female writer you can’t wait to read for the event, & list her date of birth, her place of birth, and the title of one of her most famous works.
I’m looking forward to finally reading Charlotte M. Yonge. I’ve been meaning to read The Heir of Redclyffe for such a long time, but for some reason have never got round to doing it. Yonge was born in Otterbourne, Hampshire, England on August 11, 1823. As well as the title I’ve already mentioned, her other works include The Daisy Chain and The Clever Woman of the Family.

4. Think of a female character who was represented in classic literature by a male writer. Does she seem to be a whole or complete woman? Why or why not? Tell us about her. (Without spoilers, please!)
I’ve chosen a character from a classic I read earlier this year and who I certainly didn’t consider to be a whole or complete woman: Dora Spenlow from David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. I often find Dickens’ female characters irritating (although there are a few exceptions) and Dora is probably the worst – a woman who is happy to describe herself as ‘a silly little thing’.

5. Favorite classic heroine? (Why? Who wrote her?)
I can think of lots of great heroines in classic literature, but one of my favourites is the wonderful Marian Halcombe from The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. I know Collins has been criticised for making Marian unattractive and unfeminine while the beautiful but much less interesting Laura Fairlie is the romantic interest of the novel, but I still think it’s great to see a male Victorian author create such a strong, intelligent, courageous heroine.

6. We’d love to help clubbers find great titles by classic female authors. Can you recommend any sources for building a list? (Just skip this question if you don’t have any at this point.)
This list of Virago Modern Classics should be a good place to start (be careful as there are a few male authors on there too).
http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/User:Christiguc

7. Recommend three books by classic female writers to get people started in this event. (Again, skip over this if you prefer not to answer.)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

8. Will you be joining us for this event immediately, or will you wait until the new year starts?
I’ll be joining immediately. I’m sure I’ll be reading some classics by women during the remainder of this year and I would like those to count.

9. Do you plan to read as inspiration pulls, or will you make out a preset list?
Apart from reading some of the remaining books on my current Classics Club list, I’m not planning to make any other preset lists. I never stick to them anyway, so I’m just going to read whatever I feel like reading.

10. Are you pulling to any particular genres? (Letters, journals, biographies, short stories, novels, poems, essays, etc?)
I expect that I’ll be reading mostly novels (there’s a reason why I didn’t call my blog She Reads Letters or She Reads Journals) but I would like to be adventurous and read some other formats as well, particularly short stories and poetry.

11. Are you pulling to a particular era or location in literature by women?
No, not really. I’ve already read a lot of classics from the Victorian era, though, so I’m going to try to read more books from the twentieth century for this event.

12. Do you hope to host an event or readalong for the group? No worries if you don’t have details. We’re just curious!
I don’t think so, but I haven’t ruled it out.

13. Is there an author or title you’d love to read with a group or a buddy for this event? Sharing may inspire someone to offer.
Nothing in particular, but I’ll look out for any group reads that interest me.

14. Share a quote you love by a classic female author — even if you haven’t read the book yet.
“And certainly, the mistakes that we male and female mortals make when we have our own way might fairly raise some wonder that we are so fond of it.” – George Eliot, Middlemarch

~

Will you be taking part in the Women’s Classic Literature Event?

Classics Spin Result!

On Saturday I decided to take part in the tenth Classics Club Spin. The rules were simple – list twenty books from your Classics Club list, number them 1 to 20, and the number announced today (Monday) represents the book you have to read before 23rd October 2015.

The number that has been selected this time is 5, which means the book I’ll be reading is:

The Glass-Blowers

The Glass-Blowers by Daphne du Maurier

I couldn’t be happier with this result as Daphne du Maurier is one of my favourite authors. I have been working my way through all of her novels over the last few years and this is one of only four that I still have left to read.

Here is the synopsis (taken from Goodreads):

The world of the glass-blowers has its own traditions, it’s own language – and its own rules. ‘If you marry into glass’ Pierre Labbe warns his daughter, ‘you will say goodbye to everything familiar, and enter a closed world’. But crashing into this world comes the violence and terror of the French Revolution, against which the family struggles to survive.

Years later, Sophie Duval reveals to her long-lost nephew the tragic story of a family of master craftsmen in eighteenth-century France. Drawing on her own family’s tale of tradition and sorrow, Daphne du Maurier weaves an unforgettable saga of beauty, war, and family.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it?

If you’re taking part in the spin too, I hope you’ve got a book you’re happy with!

The Classics Spin #10: My list

The Classics Club

Things have been very quiet over at the Classics Club lately, so I was pleased to see that a new Classics Spin was announced yesterday!

Here is a reminder of the rules:

* List any twenty books you have left to read from your Classics Club list.
* Number them from 1 to 20.
* On Monday the Classics Club will announce a number.
* This is the book you need to read by 23rd October.

And here is my list:

1. Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
2. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
3. The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
4. The Leopard by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
5. The Glass-Blowers by Daphne du Maurier
6. The Master of Ballantrae by Robert Louis Stevenson
7. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
8. The Romance of the Forest by Ann Radcliffe
9. Louise de la Valliere by Alexandre Dumas
10. Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
11. The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy
12. Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
13. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
14. The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset
17. Prince of Foxes by Samuel Shellabarger
18. The Cloister and the Hearth by Charles Reade
19. Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
20. Howards End by E.M. Forster

I think I’ll be happy with most of these (though I’m not sure about Steinbeck and if I get Kristin Lavransdatter I might need to forget about the deadline date). I’m particularly hoping for one of the du Maurier or Hardy novels, Prince of Foxes, The Sea-Hawk or The Leopard.

Have you read any of these books? And are you taking part in the spin?

Classics Club Spin #9: The Result

The Classics Club

Last week I decided to take part in the Classics Club Spin. The rules were simple – list twenty books from your Classics Club list, number them 1 to 20, and the number announced today (Monday) represents the book you have to read before 15th May 2015.

The number that has been selected this time is 2, which means the book I’ll be reading is:

A Country Doctors Notebook

A Country Doctor’s Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov

I added this book to my Classics Club list because I loved The Master and Margarita and wanted to read more of Bulgakov’s work. All I know about it is that it’s a collection of short stories based on Bulgakov’s experiences as a young doctor in Russia, but I’m looking forward to reading it. I’m happy with my result as I’ve managed to avoid the longer books on my list!

Did you take part in the spin? What will you be reading?