The Classics Spin


And the lucky number is 14: Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency!

Dirk Gently Douglas Adams

I have a feeling that many Classics Clubbers are going to be reading books they are neutral about. I thought about randomizing my choices, but, you know. Limited blogging time.

Anyway, I am “neutral” about Dirk G because I’ve already read the second book in the series. I really liked it, but it’s sort of weird to be reading the prequel now. On the plus side, it’s probably a short, easy read, and I should be able to finish by April 1st. AND, as if “Dirk Gently” isn’t the best character name EVER.

**Original Post**

I feel like I need to squeeze in another classic between brand-new books (which are also fabulous, seriously, Belinda’s Rings is blowing me away,) but I’m not sure what to read. So I’m going to leave it up to chance by playing The Classics Club Spin!

(What the heck is the Classics Club, you ask? Check out my list and the general idea here.)


  • Go to your blog.
  • Pick twenty books that you have left to read from your Classics Club List.
  • Try to challenge yourself: list five you are dreading/hesitant to read, five you can’t WAIT to read, five you are neutral about, and five free choice (favorite author, rereads, ancients — whatever you choose.)
  • Post that list, numbered 1-20, on your blog by next Monday (February 18).
  • Monday morning, we’ll announce a number from 1-20. Go to the list of twenty books you posted, and select the book that corresponds to the number we announce.
  • The challenge is to read that book by April 1, even if it’s an icky one you dread reading!

Okay, so, depending what book I end up with, I may or may not actually finish by April 1. That’s only two and half months, and I have a book in progress to finish. I’m going to commit to START it by April 1.

Five I’m dreading

  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville – Long. About whales. Challenged by my sister’s BF to read it.
  • Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne – Long. Abandoned years ago. Too dense. But also awesome.
  • Clarrisa by Samuel Richardson – Long. Sounds dense. But one of those “have to read it” books.
  • Stoner by John Williams – Not my sort of book at all, but added based on a rave review.
  • Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf – I’ve been poisoned against Mrs. D by 101 Books!

Five I can’t wait to read

  • Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell – I *do* give a damn. So does MM superfan Maple and a Quill.
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison – A controversial book, even today.
  • Parade’s End by Ford Maddox Ford – Downton Abbey-esque, maybe? Loving the 1920s era.
  • The Tenent of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte – it’s by a Bronte, need I say more?
  • On Beauty by Zadie Smith – never read her, and she’s still alive, as opposed to most of the authors here…

Five I’m neutral about

  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – A retelling of Jane Eyre, and I’m not crazy about Jane Eyre.
  • Dune by Frank Herbert – Not my usual genre.
  • The Monk by Matthew Lewis – Added ironically because of this awesome review.
  • Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams – I’ve read book two in this series, so it’s kind of anti-climactic to go back and read book one. But I really loved book two!
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’m curious but sort of meh about the whole HP thing.

Five free choice – Authors I love, i.e. safe bets

  • Cannery Row by John Steinbeck 
  • The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
  • The Ambassadors by Henry James
  • Nicolas Nickleby by Charles Dickens
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

This is actually really scary! I’m so worried it’s going to be Tristram. I need more time to recover from pregnancy/baby brain! Keep your fingers crossed for me, and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow.



  1. Kristilyn

    I haven’t heard of a lot of these! I really need to get into more classics. Though, I do plan to continue with Douglas Adams’s THHGTTG series … the first book was really good!

    I remember being signed up for a course that was reading Tristram Shandy, but then I bought the book and felt so intimidated by it! It’s HUGE! Good luck with your reads!

    • lauratfrey

      I went obscure on purpose with a lot of these. Luckily I ended up with a really easy one! I’ve committed to read Tristram in the next five years, and I’m still petrified 🙂

      • Miranda

        Ugh, I was not a fan of Tristram Shandy. I tried it in high school and hated it and recently finished it with the Novel 100. I have discovered I’m not a terribly big fan of farcical literature. I did join the classics club after I saw your original post. Seems like a fun group.

  2. Pingback: Reading Roundup: April 2013 and Edmonton Reading Scene | Reading in Bed
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