Tuesday 6 May 2014

Classic Club Spin is Coming Up

I really enjoy the classic club spin that is online now.  The rules are simple. Pick and list 20 books from your classics list or whatever list you want to choose. The Classic Club will randomly pick a number 1-20 and post it up on Monday.  Then you match that number to your list and read and review that book by July.

As I am not reading assigned classic texts I am still focusing on my TBR pile which is absolutely enormous.  So I went into my front library, closed my eyes and picked 20 books at random from my TBR shelves.  What a fun way to create a stack of 20 TBR books. So this is my list.

1. Vintage Penguin The Letters of Rachel Henning.  These letters were written between 1853 and 1882.  They give a vivid and fascinating account of life in colonial Australia as seen through the eyes of a previously sheltered young Englishwoman.

2.  Tainted Blood by Arnaldur Indridason. A man is found murdered in his Reykjavik flat. There are no obvious clues apart from a cryptic note left on the body and a photograph of a young girl's grave. An Icelandic thriller/mystery.

3.  The World's Back Doors by Max Murray. This is the story of a trip round the world. It is not so much of places as of people. The trip was begun with about enough money to buy one meal and continued for 66,000 miles. This was first published in 1927 and looks fascinating.

4. ahahaha- I picked the Tao of Pooh. How much fun (and easy) would this one be?  I love Winnie the Pooh and have not visited this book in years. Can't believe I picked it at random off the shelf.

5.  Another Penguin book. A Zoo in my Luggage by Gerald Durrell. This was written in 1960. It is about the birth of a private zoo. Journeying to the Cameroons he and his wife, helped by the renowned Fon of Bafut, managed to collect "plenty beef". Their difficulties began when they found themselves back at home, with Cholmondeley the chimpanzee, Bug-eye the bush baby, and other founder members... and nowhere to put them.

6.  Blueback by Australian author Tim Winton. A fable for all ages. Abel Jackson was 10 years old and could never remember a time when he could not dive. His mother said he was a diver before he was born; he floated and swam in the warm ocean inside her for nine months so maybe it came naturally. He had lived by the sea at Longboat Bay his whole life.

7.  An Australian classic.  Storm Boy by Colin Thiele.  This will be a reread from ages ago. The illustrations are beautiful. Storm Boy and his father, Hide-away Tom, live alone. Their home is a humpy on the long finger of sandhills between the Southern Ocean and the Coorong- the lonely, narrow stretch of the South Australian coast. The story tells of the relationship between Mr. Percival the pelican and the boy.

8.  Leo Tolstoy: A Signature on a Portrait. Highlights of Tolstoy's Thoughts. (I found some pictures I had tucked into this book of my animals. How nice.)

9.  On The Road with Charles Kuralt.  Charles Kuralt hosted the morning show on Sunday Morning American tv for years. He always featured a different spot in America and gave information about it. He had a soothing voice and I used to love watching him.  This is his biography and some tales of being on the road. How interesting.  I hope I read this soon.

10.  No One Writes to the Colonel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  I have been wanting to read something by this great author for years but am so intimidated by him.  I have the Cholera ?  book and his 100 Days of Solitude but know they can be tricky.  This is a great way to venture into the water so to speak.

11. Nevil Shute's Requiem for a Wren.  Despite hearing about Nevil Shute my whole life as an Aussie author that wrote the well known On the Beach I have never read anything by him. This was published in 1955.

12.  As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee. No idea about this book, its author or where on earth I got it. It states on the back:  It was 1934. The young man walked to London from the security of the Cotswolds to make his fortune. He was to live by playing the violin and by a year's labouring on a London building site. Then knowing one Spanish phrase he decided to see Spain.  Sounds like fun. It was published in 1971.

13. Journeying East by variety of  authors. Conversations on Aging and Dying.  Spiritual teachers share their thoughts on ageing and the end of life process. Hmmm , heavy.

14. Lewis Percy by Anita Brookner. I have ever only read one of her books and that was Hotel duLac which I enjoyed. I know many people enjoy her books so this might be a good spin.

15. Oh my gosh, Another Anita Brookner book. A Private View. It says it is "beautiful book that one in impelled to read at one sitting".  We might have to see about that.

16.  The Beautiful Years by Henry Williamson. I am not familiar with this book but it has a beautiful cover. A tender evocation of West Country childhood in the golden years before the first World War.  An English read.

17.  Birds in Art compiled by Ferdie MacDonald.  This is a little hardcover, beautiful book with many illustrations and information about birds in art. There are also some poem written throughout. A happy little book.

18.  This next one is a real classic. Germinal by Emile Zola.  I know this is a heavy going classic about mining. I have read several reviews on it and it looks really good but it might be a bit hard going. Hope I can get it read in time if it is picked.

19.  The Greek Philosophers. This is written by Rex Warner and gives examples of their work. Philosophers include Plato, Lucretius, Epicurus, Plotinus, Marcus Aurelius, Aristotle and Epictetus.

20.  Questions of Travel by Michelle de Kretser. My friend loaned me this book so I will need to have a read of it soon. It looks like a bit of a chunkster but should be interesting. However she said she couldn't get into it and has passed it on to me. I haven't seen any other reviews of this book.

Well, that is my list of 20.  What a variety and all of them from my own shelves. So many people give me books and I pick them up from op shops then toss them onto the shelf.  I really should read all of them and then pass them on through the Book Phantom.  Maybe I'll have a giveaway or something. I do want to move all of them on.  Wish me luck.


  1. What a great way to get through your TBR pile!
    Glad you could join us - I love the spins too.
    I hope you get a good Aussie book for your spin :-)

  2. The Spin is great fun. Now we just have to read the books!

  3. Wow, between you and Brona, I will be able to get exposed to some Aussie literature. Excellent!

    I have heard wonderful things about Germinal! Only Zola could write about mining and make it fascinating (although Richard Llewellyn does a great job with How Green Was My Valley). The Greek Philosophers sounds interesting --- I love Greek literature and an introduction to Plato and Aristotle is always beneficial!

    I hope you have a wonderful spin!


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