Saturday, August 13, 2011

One I Promised for a Rainy Day

I first saw this at Ms. Musing's, but it can also be found at some of the other blogs I like to frequent like My Porch and Charlotte's Web. Anyway, I decided to save it for a rainy day, of which we've had something like a grand total of three here in Lancaster County this whole brutal summer. I was beginning to think I was going to have to do it on a non-rainy day, but then I hung up some laundry to dry today and lo and behold! it began to pour, so here you go.

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?


Susan said...

Once again you made me laugh with this post, because I'm not so ashamed to stand next to you and put my hand up that I haven't read half of these authors either!!! And I thought I WAS well-read! Apparently not in 'literature', ugh, most of which doesn't appeal to me anyway. Like you say, where's James Herbert? And the 50 best-selling English mystery writers? I'd score there, I would! lol

Anonymous said...

Powell, Peake and Philippa Pearce's Tom's Midnight Garden, which I'm pretty sure you will love.

litlove said...

I think you'd like Penelope Fitzgerald and also The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles, in fact, particularly the Fowles.

Dorothy W. said...

It turns out that most of the books you haven't read, I haven't either, or I'm not terribly excited about them. I think it's worth while to read a whole Ted Hughes collection; I did that last year and absolutely loved it.

Carrie#K said...

I was going to suggest The French Lieutenant's Woman also. The rest of your nopes are mine as well. I do have a couple of unread books by Angela Carter and Michael Moorcock that I'll get around to one of these days.......I think.