Books, etc

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Books, etc

I don’t normally do these things, but here’s a book meme I nabbed from Rol.

The rules are simple: highlight in bold the books you’ve read, bold-and-italicize the books you’d like to read again and put a line through the books you started-but-never-managed-to-finish.

Whatever’s left are books you haven’t read.

Here goes:

* Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrel
* Anna Karenina
* Crime and Punishment
* Catch-22
* One Hundred Years of Solitude
* Wuthering Heights
* The Silmarillion
* Life of Pi : a novel
* The Name of the Rose
* Don Quixote
* Moby Dick
* Ulysses
* Madame Bovary
* The Odyssey
* Pride and Prejudice
* Jane Eyre
* The Tale of Two Cities
* The Brothers Karamazov
* Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
* War and Peace
* Vanity Fair
* The Time Traveler’s Wife
* The Iliad
* Emma
* The Blind Assassin
* The Kite Runner
* Mrs. Dalloway
* Great Expectations
* American Gods
* A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
* Atlas Shrugged
* Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
* Memoirs of a Geisha
* Middlesex
* Quicksilver
* Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
* The Canterbury Tales
* The Historian : a novel
* A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
* Love in the Time of Cholera
* Brave New world
* The Fountainhead
* Foucault’s Pendulum
* Middlemarch
* Frankenstein
* The Count of Monte Cristo
* Dracula
* A Clockwork Orange
* Anansi Boys
* The Once and Future King
* The Grapes of Wrath
* The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
* 1984
* Angels & Demons
* The Inferno
* The Satanic Verses
* Sense and Sensibility
* The Picture of Dorian Gray
* Mansfield Park
* One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
* To the Lighthouse
* Tess of the D’Urbervilles
* Oliver Twist
* Gulliver’s Travels
* Les Misérables
* The Corrections
* The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
* The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
* Dune
* The Prince
* The Sound and the Fury
* Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
* The God of Small Things
* A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
* Cryptonomicon
* Neverwhere
* A Confederacy of Dunces
* A Short History of Nearly Everything
* Dubliners
* The Unbearable Lightness of Being
* Beloved
* Slaughterhouse-five
* The Scarlet Letter
* Eats, Shoots & Leaves
* The Mists of Avalon
* Oryx and Crake : a novel
* Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
* Cloud Atlas
* The Confusion
* Lolita
* Persuasion

* Northanger Abbey
* The Catcher in the Rye
* On the Road
* The Hunchback of Notre Dame
* Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
* Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
* The Aeneid
* Watership Down
* Gravity’s Rainbow
* The Hobbit
* In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
* White Teeth
* Treasure Island
* David Copperfield
* The Three Musketeers

Looking at it, I can’t help but feel an initial twang of intellectual insecurity. Surely I should have read more than that? There’s certainly plenty of books in the list I’d like to read at some point. For one thing, I’d like to read more Dickens: I read Bleak House in my early 20s and Oliver Twist when I was about 11. As I approach the closing overs of my third decade I’d like to read some more.

Then I look at the list again and don’t feel so bad.

As Rol said:

The only thing that disturbs me about whoever put this list together is that it features THREE books by Neil Bloody Gaiman, yet nothing by Douglas Coupland, Haruki Marukami, Jack London, Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Chuck Palahniuk, Iain Banks, or any number of other writers I might name.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with Neil Gaiman – he’s an immensely talented and charismatic fella. But the inclusion of three of his novels (American Gods, Anansi Boys and Neverwhere) is probably a bit much. A certain James Augustine Aloysius Joyce also has three books on the list. Does that mean that the author of Ulysses, Finnegans Wake and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man had no greater an impact on literature than the author of Sandman, Violent Cases and Secret Origins Special #1?

I also thought it odd that both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged were on the list. I learnt about Ayn Rand and Objectivism via Rorschach from Watchmen and Steve Ditko comics, so I can’t help but feel that two Ayn Rand novels are two too many. If you’re an Ayn Rand fan, though, try not to judge me too harshly. I know what you guys are like.

Like Rol, though, I can’t help but notice what’s been left out of the list. As well as the authors he mentions, if the list also included – say – some Phil K Dick and some Robert Anton Wilson then there’d be a lot more bold type up there.

Probably some italics, too.

2017-05-25T14:25:07+00:00

About the Author:

My name is Tom Lennon and I'm a freelance writer who specialises in humour at the geekier end of the pop culture spectrum. I'm based in Birmingham, UK, and my work has recently appeared in BuzzFeed and Time Out.

One Comment

  1. Rol June 16, 2008 at 9:50 am

    Well done on giving up on Tess of the Bloody D’urbs though – you didn’t miss anything.

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