The Sunday Times 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945
The idea for this meme is to note those I've read.
1. Philip Larkin -- not read, but I keep meaning to do so.
2. George Orwell -- read so long ago, for school, and I wasn't into him at the time, so I can't remember a damn thing, except things that have made it into the vernacular.
3. William Golding -- started to, but didn't get very far. Must try again.
4. Ted Hughes -- I've read at him, but never read an entire collection of his.
5. Doris Lessing -- another on the "meaning to read for ages" list. I think I did read something of hers in college, but I don't remember what it was.
6. J. R. R. Tolkien -- had The Hobbit read to me. That counts, right? Even if I wasn't paying a bit of attention.
7. V. S. Naipaul -- yes. Loved him and really ought to read more.
8. Muriel Spark -- yes. I love her, too.
9. Kingsley Amis -- only The Green Man, which I gather is quite different from what he typically writes, but it was great, despite it's "bit too much" ending. I have to admit I've got a bias against him, as he's always struck me as someone who thinks he's superior. Why I pick on him, lord knows, because you could probably say that about a good number of these authors.
10. Angela Carter -- no, but I want to read The Bloody Chamber.
11. C. S. Lewis -- yes. Am I the only person in the world who wasn't in love with the Narnia books when she was a kid? I read them all, faithfully, to see what all the fuss was about and never could.
12. Iris Murdoch -- nope.
13. Salman Rushdie -- nope. And I never planned to do so until I read a recent blog post of Litlove's that was quite convincing. But who am I kidding? I'm sure I never will.
14. Ian Fleming -- oh, how can anyone watch the movies without reading any of the books? (Oh yeah, and I read Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, too, when I was a kid. Of course, that was a movie, too...)
15. Jan Morris -- okay, my ignorance is on bright display: I've never even heard of Jan Morris.
16. Roald Dahl -- of course. How could you be a kid raised in the seventies and not read Dahl? I also love his Tales of the Unexpected for adults.
17. Anthony Burgess -- it's probably terribly old-fashioned of me, but I love him.
18. Mervyn Peake -- no, but I'm playing a game with the copy of The Gormanghast Novels which was still on the shelves at our liquidating Borders last time I checked. I'm convinced no one else in Lancaster County will want it and am waiting to see if it lasts until it goes to 50% off (right now, it's at 30%). If it does, I'll buy it.
19. Martin Amis -- no. The poor guy suffers from being associated in my mind with his dad.
20. Anthony Powell -- nope, but plenty of bloggers have convinced me I need to do so.
21. Alan Sillitoe -- who?
22. John LeCarré -- yep, thanks to the CT mystery book club.
23. Penelope Fitzgerald -- nope.
24. Phillipa Pearce -- nope.
25. Barbara Pym -- just seeing her name makes me want to pour a glass of sherry and pick up one of her books.
26. Beryl Bainbridge -- nope.
27. J.G. Ballard -- yet again: no.
28. Alan Garner -- a personal favorite.
29. Alasdar Gray -- nope.
30. John Fowles -- can you believe: no? Neither can I, but there you have it.
31. Derek Wolcott -- tried. Might try again. Might not.
32. Kazuo Ishiguro -- another personal favorite.
33. Anita Brookner -- not until this summer, when I read one book by her, but I will be reading more.
34. A. S. Byatt -- was dying to read her when she came out with Possession, but not dying enough, apparently, because I never did, and I eventually lost all interest.
35. Ian McEwan -- totally overrated, and I can't believe I feel that way and still have read three books by him.
36. Geoffrey Hill -- nope.
37. Hanif Kureishi -- no.
38. Iain Banks -- nope.
39. George Mackay Brown -- nope.
40. A. J. P. Taylor -- nope.
41. Isaiah Berlin -- nope.
42. J. K. Rowling -- how embarrassing that I break all those "nopes" with a "yes" to this one.
43. Philip Pullman -- like him much better than Rowling.
44. Julian Barnes -- I have a reader's crush on the man. Still remember the first time we met: History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters. There was no hope for me. I was smitten from the get-go.
45. Colin Thubron -- back to "nope" again.
46. Bruce Chatwin -- should have by now, but I haven't.
47. Alice Oswald -- nope.
48. Benjamin Zephaniah -- who?
49. Rosemary Sutcliff -- finally, another one I've read.
50. Michael Moorcock -- and another one I haven't.
Okay, everyone, please tell me: of those I haven't read, which ones should I? Meanwhile, I can't believe J. K. Rowling made the list. I mean, if she can make it, where's James Herbert?