Category: The Classics Club

Don’t call Cheat!!! The Classics Club Spin March/April 2018

The Classics Club ( ) has announced their new spin number for the months of March and April.

For those unfamiliar, the concept is that you create a list of twenty classics (before the spin number is decided), and then read the title on your list which matches the number they announce aiming to finish the book by the deadline, in this case April 30th. This is the seventeenth time they have run this spin challenge.

As I read my classics in as close to chronological order as I can, I make my challenge to read all the titles on my list down to the chosen number e.g. if the spin number is thirteen, I try to read books 1 through to 13 on my list. Since I am traveling throughout April, I wasn’t confident I could participate this time given the vagaries of travel.

The announcement of the spin number being 3 however, means I only have to read the next three books on my list, which are

  • The Early History of Rome by Livy
  • Chaireas and Kallirhoe by Chariton
  • The Love Poetry (Elegies) of Propertius

This seems manageable so I will add my hat to the ring. After all I already had the list created so its not really cheating …..     😉


Spinning Aristotle

So the Classics Club spin number is 12. And I have all 12 remaining works by Aristotle fronting my list. Seems like Destiny.

It was my goal to be finished with Aristotle by May 1st anyway, but now I have that added incentive. Here we go.



Another Classics Club spin

Another Classics Club spin

Yes, the Classics Club have announced another spin. The challenge for classics lovers is to create a list of 20 titles and when the random spin is announced next Friday, the challenge is to read the correspondingly numbered title by May 1.   See more at

Since my readings for this blog are in roughly chronological order, I am loathe to skip titles to get to the one matching the number, so what I have tried in the past is to read all titles up to the one matching the number by the deadline, and have been mostly successful so far.

I was going to give it a miss this time, as I have a few things on my plate right now, but what the heck – I happen to have twenty titles left of the 4th century (most of them Aristotle) so maybe this will help push me through. Here goes…wish me luck.

1 Historia animalium (History of animals) Aristotle
2 De partibus animalium  (On parts of animals) Aristotle
3 De motu animalium (On motion of animals) Aristotle
4 De generatione animalium (On generation of animals) Aristotle
5 Organon  (logic) Aristotle
6 Metaphysics Aristotle
7 Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle
8 Poetics Aristotle
9 Politics Aristotle
10 Rhetoric Aristotle
11 The Athenian Constitution Aristotle
12 Physics Aristotle
13 speeches Demosthenes
14 Enquiry into plants Theophrastus
15 Characters Theophrastus
16 Dyskolos Menander
17 Elements of Geometry (c. 300 BC) Euclid
18 Writings Zhuangzi
19 Writings Mencius
20 The Old Testament : the Prophets
Classics Club meme question #47

Classics Club meme question #47

Each month The Classics Club website for lovers of reading classics asks their members a question to ponder. I don’t usually post but I often read other bloggers’ replies. This month the question is:

What is the best book you’ve read so far for The Classics Club — and why?

A fairly straightforward question, especially as I have given them each my personal rating. So far, after 92 books in 17 months, I have given no book 10/10 but two plays by Aristophanes The Wasps and The Thesmophoriazusae were given 9/10.  I suspect many bloggers will  have difficulty narrowing their choice down to one book, so if I had to urge a friend which one to read, I would choose The Wasps as the mental pictures created by the old man trying to escape his house, and the chorus of old men singing and dancing dressed as wasps is delightful.

Interestingly, when I read the Classics Club question, my initial thoughts went to the Ramayana which is also an excellent read, and I gave 8/10 at the time, If Ancient Greek comedy is not your thing, or you are  open to trying something outside the Western canon, you could do a lot worse than this excellent fantasy. I am sure the version will make a big difference too, so I recommend the modern English translation by Ramesh Menon. You can read my review at

So I guess I can’t choose just one either 🙂

Another Classics Club spin

Twice I have participated in the Classics Club spin, where readers create a list of twenty classics from their reading list, and number them 1-20. The Club selects a number (to be announced on Monday) and all the ‘spinners’ attempt to read the corresponding title on their individual lists before December 1.

Because I am trying to read my titles in approximately chronological order, in my previous two spin efforts I kept my titles in order, and read all the titles up to and including the matching title. The first time was a bit of a struggle as I had to mail order one of the books and it took longer to arrive than I expected, ( I guess I could have bought it as an ebook), but both times I was successful.
This time I am facing a long list of Plato’s philosophy and politics (most of which seem to be short but very convoluted), and Xenophon’s histories (which are much longer), so I am not sure how successful my version of the spin will be. But it may help push me a little harder to finish the Greeks, so what’s the worst that can happen?? 🙂
My list is
1   Plato        Hippias Major and Minor    ♥
2   Aristophanes    Wealth    ♥
3   Plato          Euthydemus     ♥
4   Plato           Euthyphro    ♥
5   Plato           Apology  
6   Plato           Crito   ♥
7   Plato           Phaedo   ♥
8   Plato          Gorgias  ♥
9   Plato          Menexenus   ♥
10  Plato        Protagorus   ♥
11   Plato         Meno   ♥
12   Plato         Cratylus   ♥
13   Xenophon   Memoribilia
14   Xenophon   Apology (defence of Socrates)
15   Xenophon    Economics 
16   Xenophon   Symposium (Banquet)
17   Xenophon   Miscellaneous writings  Horsemanship, Cavalry, Dogs, Ways and Means
18   Xenophon  Anabasis    ♥
19   Xenophon  Agesilaus
20   Plato           The Republic

To many observers, this is not a particularly tasty or tempting list, but I am committed now, so on I go, and will read some scifi and murder mysteries in the background. Roll on Monday!

Fifteen by August 1st

Fifteen by August 1st

So  thanks to the Classics Club spin (see earlier post) I’ll be aiming to read 15 Greek plays through the months of June and July, reaching Electra by Sophocles by August 1st. If this past weekend’s weather here is anything close to what to expect from winter, I’ll be indoors a lot anyway. I read two last weekend, so only thirteen to go – easssssy  😉

Another Classics Club spin!

Another Classics Club spin!

The meta-literary bloggers website Classics Club ( is running another spin starting Monday June 6 and finishing August 1. The idea is to pick 20 of your to-read books, and when the spin number (1-20) is announced on Monday, to read your corresponding book before the August deadline.

My spin on their spin (which I achieved – just – last time) is to read up to their number before the deadline e.g. if the number is 14, I have to read all books 1-14 on my list. Since I have at least 20 Greek plays in order to read next before striking out into the more intellectual forests of Plato and Aristotle, this seems a good way of pushing through. Wish me luck!

So my next twenty books are, in order,

1 Electra Euripides
2 Heracles Euripides
3 The women of Troy Euripides
4 The Birds Aristophanes
5 Ion Euripides
6 Iphigenia among the Taurians Euripides
7 Helen Euripides
8 The Thesmophoriazusae Aristophanes
9 Lysistrata Aristophanes
10 The Phonecian Women Euripides
11 Philoctetes Sophocles
12 The Cyclops Euripides
13 Orestes Euripides
14 Oedipus at Colonus Sophocles
15 Electra Sophocles
16 The Bacchae Euripides
17 Iphigenia at Aulis Euripides
18 The Frogs Aristophanes
19 The Ecclesiazusae (Assemblywomen) Aristophanes
20 Wealth Aristophanes