Classics Club Spin # 20 – The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov

I’m going to be reading The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov for The Classics Club Spin # 20 as the number that came up in the spin is 19, and I have to read it by the 31st of May. I’m particularly pleased to get this one in the spin as the setting is Revolutionary Russia and amazingly I’m going to be in St Petersburg in May. Jack is insisting on calling it Leningrad as when he visited in the 1970s that was what it was called! I had been wondering which books I could take with me on my trip as it’s always good to read books that are set in places as you actually visit them, even if it’s now a historical book.

Otherwise, I had a lovely Easter Sunday, it was a gorgeous day here in Scotland, we were on the north east coast of Fife, so basically on the edge of the North Sea – not that I dipped any part of me in there, I left that to others. I did see a pod of four dolphins in the distance though. I took photos but I suspect that a magnifying glass will be required to see anything resembling a dolphin.

If you are doing the CC spin – are you happy with the book you got?

12 thoughts on “Classics Club Spin # 20 – The White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov

  1. Katrina!!
    Utter and total shock and rapture! You’re going to St. Petersburg! Wow! Unbelievable! I am so, so happy for you and so wish I were going with you! (Hmmm…Is that a primal scream in the background!) So excited for you! I don’t know where to begin, so I’ll spend the next few days gathering my thoughts before I blather anything more.
    And I’m so glad that you’ve spun this one for May. Extremely interested to hear what you think!! (oh, you lucky girl.)

    • Judith,
      We’re going on a Baltic cruise and visiting lots of other places including Copenhagen, Stockholm and Helsinki so we only have two days in St Petersburg but it’s the easiest and most relaxing way of doing it I think. We’ve been thinking about doing this for years so I’m a bit amazed that we bit the bullet and actually booked up!

      • Katrina,
        I do feel in sync with Jack about calling the city Leningrad. When I think of all the books I read in childhood and my teen years and twenties about the Siege of Leningrad and WWII and after the revolution and all.
        I think you should second-guess Jack and insist on calling it Petrograd, which is how the city was known during a good part of WWI. (1916-1918).!
        I’m excited about your spin book as well. I haven’t read anything by him, and I’m adding him to my list of authors to consider for the future.

        • Judith,
          I might just do that and call it Petrograd! Jack rates Bulgakov so I’m fairly confident that it’ll be a good read. In fact I might even take another of his books, but maybe you could recommend something even more apt for a visit to Petrograd.

  2. Wow, going to St. Petersburg, that does sound very exciting. I don’t know much about Mikhail Bulgakov but I do have The Master and Margarita on my Classics list. So I look forward to your review.

    • tracybham,
      I haven’t read anything by him either but Jack has and rates him so it sounds like an ideal read for a Baltic trip. Fingers crossed.

  3. What an experience, Katrina, I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. Perfect timing for your spin choice. I’m glad you had a good Easter; it’s so rare that the weather is kind over this long weekend. As for my spin choice – the only book on my list that I didn’t really want: The Sun Also Rises. At least it’s short and I already have it here. So no excuses for not reading it by the end of May!

    • Sandra,
      We fairly often have snow at Easter so it was a lovely surprise to have great weather. I haven’t read The Sun Also Rises but I hope you are agreeably surprised by it!

  4. I’m envious that you’re going to St Petersburg! It’s somewhere that I’ve always wanted to visit. That’s a great spin result. I haven’t read The White Guard but I have loved two of Bulgakov’s other books, The Master and Margarita and A Country Doctor’s Notebook.

    • Helen,
      I’ve always been interested in Russian history so I’ve wanted to go there for years. I’ve read quite a lot of Russian lit. but nothing by Bulgakov. I have The Master and Margarita but not A Country Doctor’s Notebook.

  5. I did a Baltic trip last winter, and though it was only three capitals (Tallinn, Stockholm and Helsinki) I absolutely loved it! All three were very different and wonderful in their own way, and I was sorry to leave all of them. I’m sure you’ll have a very different experience in May rather than December! And how nice that you’ll have such an appropriate book to read on your trip. I hope you have a wonderful time and that you post all about it.

    • Karen K,
      I’m really looking forward to the trip although I think we might need another holiday to recuperate from the busy cruise. I had just been thinking that maybe we should have waited and gone away at the end of May – you’re brave going in December! I’ll definitely post about each of the places – eventually.

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