Classics Club Spin No. 15

The Classics Club has announced it is time for the 15th Spin (here). I did one early last year but have not done one since. Each blogger lists 20 books and numbers them accordingly. The book must then be read and reviewed on your blog by 1 May, 2017.

However I am going to change one little thing this time. I am only going to list 10 books. They are ten books I have had on my shelf for quite awhile. They are also quite short books. I want to get all ten of them read quite soon so I can either pass them on or sell them. They are TBR books I want to exit the house. I am trying to get the number of books off my shelves.  I know it is an impossible task as I then buy ones to replace it but believe it or not I am slowing down. I am going to concentrate on these 10 over the next few months.

I will be travelling in April and as they are short I can read them and leave them behind with the Book Phantom note in it with its email address. I think that would be fun too in order to see where they end up.

So here are the books:


1. and 11.     Fly Away Peter by David Malouf:   For three very different people brought together by their love for birds, life on the Queensland coast in 1914 is the timeless and idyllic world of sandpipers, ibises and kingfishers. But the WWI is beginning. Two of the young men are drawn to the war. It is a story of the continuities of nature vrs. the obscenities of war. I have not read this before and it does sound interesting.

2.and 12.     The Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers:  An American gothic tale of love and betrayal in the deep south of the USA. The story of Miss Amelia, a very unconventional woman. 6 feet, 2 inches, strong and self reliant, married to Marvin Macy, the meanest and most handsome man in town and then she threw him out after ten days. Her tale running a store alone when a strutting, hunchbacked dwarf, comes to town, steals her heart and transforms the store into a buzzing cafe. When her rejected husband returns a bizarre love triangle ensues and the battle of the sexes begins.  Need I say more? I hope to read this soon. Sounds like fun.


3. and 13. Mozart’s Journey to Prague by Eduard Mörikes  Mozart is on his way to Prague for the opening of Don Giovanni. He steals an orange from a Bohemian family’s garden on the way and gets caught by a furious gardener. When the gardener’s family discovers who he is he is forgiven and welcomed by the family who have adored his music. Sounds like fun.

4. and 14. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn


5. and 15.  On Listening by Martin Flanagan:  Part of the Curiosity Lecture Series, Penguin Special, non – fiction. A poetic and eloquent edition on the power of listening.

6. and 16. The Village By The Sea by Anita Desai:  A small fishing village near Bombay is still ruled by age old seasonal rhythms. Hari and Lila have lived in Thul all their lives, but their family is now desperately down on their luck. Their father drinks; their mother is seriously ill and there is no money to keep them fed and clothed. This is their tale. A tale from India.


7. and 17.   The Guilty Party and Other Stories by O. Henry:  I have always loved O. Henry so looking forward to this. A book of 11 short stories.

8. and 18.  The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin:  I have been reading a great deal in the media lately that 1984 by Orwell and this book by Baldwin are more relevant than ever regarding the political climate in the world. The blurb on the back states, “Reviewing this short but powerful study of the Negro problem in America.”  A good book to revisit.


9. and 19.   How I Came to Know Fish by Ota Pavel:  This is one of the Central European Classics published by Penguin in a set. Written in 1974, it is Ota Pavel’s magical memoir of his childhood in Czechoslovakia. Fishing with his father and his Uncle Prosek- the two finest fishermen in the world- he takes a peaceful pleasure from the rivers and ponds of his country…until the Nazi’s invade.

10. and 20. The Railway Station Man by Jennifer Johnston:  Published 1984, The railway station had been abandoned and decaying since the line was closed. But when the strange Englishman arrived, the war hero with a ruined body and scarred mind, he and young Damian Sweeney began to restore the old station with meticulous care, believing it could live again. Helen Cuffe, widowed, desultory and detached from his disapproving son, looks on…. hmmm.

Well you have the list. After writing out those descriptions I want to read all of them right away. So different from one another. I like the idea of the various countries these stories represent over a considerable span of time.

Stay tuned for Monday is the day that the Spin Number is announced.  I, for one, am looking forward to it. snip20170126_5



15 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin No. 15

  1. a great list! i remember “Denisovitch” the best; i read it when young and it’s stayed with me… it’s a great comment on survival and what makes life mean something…


    1. I am hearing very good reports on Denisovitch. We’ll see how we go when the spin happens on Monday. I will probably read it soon anyway, whether picked or not as people have urged me to read it.


  2. I hope 1/11 gets it. A special book. I’ve read 4/14 which is well worth reading. And I’m pretty sure I’ve read 8/18 but so long ago it almost doesn’t count. I could almost play this game (but I won’t partake this time).


  3. I have read numbers 1 and 10 – while neither book is my favourite of that particular author, they are both good reads. I like the idea of the spin…


    1. I feel the same about the Carson McCuller’s book. There are better books of hers but I have not read this one and it has been on the shelf quite awhile. The Spin is a lot of fun.


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