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Books are a load of crap - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
Books are a load of crap
Booklist (as seen on bopeepsheep's journal). Not sure where this list came from in the first place but hey, that's memes for you.


Bold = read.

1984, George Orwell
The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho
Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
Animal Farm, George Orwell
Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
The BFG, Roald Dahl
Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
Black Beauty, Anna Sewell
Bleak House, Charles Dickens [actually not sure I ever finished this]
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding
Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
Catch 22, Joseph Heller
The Catcher In The Rye, JD Salinger
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
The Clan Of The Cave Bear, Jean M Auel
Cold Comfort Farm, Stella Gibbons
The Colour Of Magic, Terry Pratchett
The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
Crime And Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
David Copperfield, Charles Dickens [can't remember if I've read this!]
Double Act, Jacqueline Wilson
Dune, Frank Herbert
Emma, Jane Austen
Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
Girls In Love, Jacqueline Wilson
The God Of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
The Godfather, Mario Puzo
Gone With The Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Good Omens, Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
Gormenghast, Mervyn Peake [oh, er, actually, no -- I've only read Titus Groan. Started Gormenghast but didn't get round to finishing it.]
The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett
Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
His Dark Materials trilogy, Philip Pullman
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
Holes, Louis Sachar
I Capture The Castle, Dodie Smith
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
Kane And Abel, Jeffrey Archer
Katherine, Anya Seton
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
Lord Of The Flies, William Golding
The Lord Of The Rings, JRR Tolkien
Love In The Time Of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
The Magic Faraway Tree, Enid Blyton
Magician, Raymond E Feist
The Magus, John Fowles
Matilda, Roald Dahl
Memoirs Of A Geisha, Arthur Golden
Middlemarch, George Eliot [in a day and a half!]
Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
Mort, Terry Pratchett
Night Watch, Terry Pratchett
Noughts And Crosses, Malorie Blackman
Of Mice And Men, John Steinbeck
On The Road, Jack Kerouac
One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Perfume, Patrick Süskind
Persuasion, Jane Austen
The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
Pride And Prejudice, Jane Austen
The Princess Diaries, Meg Cabot
The Ragged Trousered Philantrhopists, Robert Tressell
Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher
The Stand, Stephen King
The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
A Suitable Boy, Vikram Seth
Swallows And Amazons, Arthur Ransome
A Tale Of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
Tess Of The D'urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCollough
To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson [I think I've read this...]
The Twits, Roald Dahl
Ulysses, James Joyce [gah. My bugbear. I've started it more times than I can count.]
Vicky Angel, Jacqueline Wilson
War And Peace, Leo Tolstoy
Watership Down, Richard Adams
The Wind In The Willows, Kenneth Grahame
Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne
The Woman In White, Wilkie Collins[1]
Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë

[1] This will haunt me for the rest of my days. It was the book which caused our "Schools Challenge" (general knowledge quiz) team to lose in the regional finals, because nobody on our team knew who wrote it, and as the most literary one on the team I felt personally responsible for this. Ever since then I seem to keep seeing the goddamn book turning up where I least expect it. I still haven't read it, but will never forget who wrote it.

This was a really weird list of books -- bizarre combination of so-called "classics" and trashy popular stuff. And including all the Harry Potter novels to date seems a bit pointless.

I'm a bit embarrassed by some of the omissions, though -- ashamed to say I've never read "War and Peace" or "Ulysses". The latter is a particularly galling omission for an English student to have to admit to... although it does mean that I win at "Humiliation" (as played in a David Lodge novel whose name escapes me).

Actually, this list has quite a lot in common with the Waterstones Top 100 (which I shamelessly stole and turned into a clicky-box thing so you can all do it).

Current Mood: bookish

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Comments
ewx From: ewx Date: May 19th, 2003 02:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
A quick count suggests I'd get thirteen or fourteen bolds from that list (all ones that you've read, to boot).
senji From: senji Date: May 19th, 2003 02:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
44 or 45, depending on whether I lost count in the middle or not (I'm not sure).
wintrmute From: wintrmute Date: May 19th, 2003 03:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
Interesting selection.. I can't quite work out what criteria was used to pick them all.

There's far more Harry Potter stuff than I think is justified. And if they saw fit to include all those Rowling books, then why did they exclude Jude the Obscure by Hardy, but include Tess and Far from the madding crowd? Or include only the hitchhikers guide, and not the restaurant at the end of the universe?

Grumble.. Personally think there should be some Stephen Donaldson (Mirror of her dreams, anyone?) in there, and probably some Iain Banks and Neil Gaiman too. What about Ursula le Guin's Wizard of Earthsea?
Definately should have had William Gibson and Neal Stephenson too, if they're trying to pick influential/important fiction.

and what about Julian May, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, et al? Surely they deserve a mention too?


Sorry Janet, not taking this out on you, I know you didn't make the list up.. Just venting a bit..
j4 From: j4 Date: May 19th, 2003 03:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just goes to show how pointless lists like this really are, eh? :-)

and what about Julian May, Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, et al? Surely they deserve a mention too?

Personally I wouldn't have said any of them were as important or influential as some (most?) of the authors represented in the list (and indeed the others you've listed above). MZB in particular I remember (from what admittedly little I've read) being fairly generic.
sion_a From: sion_a Date: May 19th, 2003 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
I make it 15 and two-halves for me. The two halves being David Copperfield which we read at least part of at school, but not, I believe, the entire work, and Magician which I gave up on. The one I have which you don't is Swallows and Amazons. I also started I Capture the Castle but didn't get around to properly borrowing the copy I'd started on....
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 19th, 2003 03:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Since nobody around here seems to know where the booklist comes from, the answer is a BBC poll (http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/bigread/) along the lines of the Great Britons exercise they did a couple of months back. So it's not a question of someone's judgement, it's just a list of books that "people" voted for.

(Janet, you have in fact met me, but I would hardly claim that you know me. I'll shut up and return to lurking now.)

- R
j4 From: j4 Date: May 20th, 2003 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)
So it's not a question of someone's judgement, it's just a list of books that "people" voted for.

Surely then it's a question of lots of people's judgement... And why "people" in inverted commas? Are they not human if they vote for Jeffrey Archer or something?

(Janet, you have in fact met me, but I would hardly claim that you know me.

Um, I'm afraid I can't work out who you are from that statement and your initial...
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 20th, 2003 07:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Lots of people were asked "What is your favourite book?", and the results compiled into a list, rather than "What 100 books do you think everybody should read?" So yes, judgement is involved, but not at the level of things like making the list balanced or morally improving or whatever.

"People" in inverted commas because it's not actually 'the British people' as the BBC like to imply, but that subset of people who vote in this type of poll. Yes, they are people (at least I have no reason to believe otherwise), but I suspect them of not being entirely representative of people in general.

I wasn't really expecting you to work out who I am, since I doubt that even my full name would mean much to you anyway. We've met on a couple of occasions in Oxford (not more recently than 2001 though), and we have a few acquaintances in common. If it helps (and you're really that curious), I used to go out with darcydodo.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 20th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC) (Link)
So yes, judgement is involved, but not at the level of things like making the list balanced or morally improving or whatever.

So, how would you go about making the list "balanced" or "morally improving"?

"People" in inverted commas because it's not actually 'the British people' as the BBC like to imply, but that subset of people who vote in this type of poll. Yes, they are people (at least I have no reason to believe otherwise), but I suspect them of not being entirely representative of people in general.

Of course they're not "entirely representative of people in general". Nobody can be. People are all different, they read different things, and get different things out of the books they read. (On the other hand, at the risk of intellectual snobbery, the sort of people who think this kind of poll is in any way meaningful will probably find themselves quite adequately represented by the sort of people who vote in it.)

If it helps (and you're really that curious)

Don't you get curious when people come and speak to you but won't tell you their name?
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 20th, 2003 10:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Don't you get curious when people come and speak to you but won't tell you their name?
Sorry. I was attempting to be a modest little lurker, thinking, 'I have information which would make things clearer in this discussion, so I should share it, but without taking any particular credit for my knowledge'. Only I've ended up drawing more attention to myself by being anonymous than otherwise.

A major part of the reason why I'm anonymous is that I don't have a livejournal account to identify myself by. And part of the reason for that is that I'm still deciding how much I want to reveal my identity if I do ever get a lj / blog / webpage.

The 'R' stands for Rachel; I met you a couple of times in Oxford, where some of my circles overlapped yours. I found your lj because I was trying to force a game of sixdegrees which wasn't working out too well. I started reading it initially because I know you slightly, and then because you have lots of interesting stuff here.

Anyway, um, sorry if I was annoying.

- R (see, I'm not hiding my identity, I've included a pic)

rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: May 20th, 2003 02:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, so that's who you are.

My reaction is about equal parts divided between "Hi ! Good to see you ! *hugs*", "What an idiot I am !", and "I guess this business of not guessing mysteries isn't as apt in real life as it is in Nero Wolfe."
j4 From: j4 Date: May 21st, 2003 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Only I've ended up drawing more attention to myself by being anonymous than otherwise.

Often the way, actually!

A major part of the reason why I'm anonymous is that I don't have a livejournal account to identify myself by. And part of the reason for that is that I'm still deciding how much I want to reveal my identity if I do ever get a lj / blog / webpage.

Fair enough. In that case I'm sorry if I've forced your hand. I do know who you are, & look forward to seeing your LJ if you do get one -- & I'm glad (if surprised) that you find something of interest in mine!

Cute pic, too. :-)
livredor From: livredor Date: May 22nd, 2003 04:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, thank you, I'm most flattered. And I now have an account so I can identify myself properly. Though it's in a fairly rough-and-ready state as yet.

- R
j4 From: j4 Date: May 23rd, 2003 03:23 am (UTC) (Link)
Welcome to the infinite time-sink that is LiveJournal! :-)
darcydodo From: darcydodo Date: May 19th, 2003 04:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
62 to go, which is an improvement over my "score" on the Waterstones list, of which I have only read 25. I think I'm aided here quite a bit by the individual inclusion of the Harry Potter books and several Pratchett books. (Strange: the Philip Pullman trilogy is listed as a unit. Whatever.)

There are lots of books on there that I really should have read but haven't. I'm currently taking flak for not having read The Great Gatsby. ;) But at least I have now proceeded to go out and buy it, so I figure that's a start!
j4 From: j4 Date: May 20th, 2003 07:44 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm currently taking flak for not having read The Great Gatsby.

Don't know why, it's not that great... I mean, I quite enjoyed it when I read it but so far haven't felt any great urge to go and re-read it.
rysmiel From: rysmiel Date: May 20th, 2003 02:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
The green light on the end of the pier is one of Wells' Martians ! Mwahahaha !
addedentry From: addedentry Date: May 20th, 2003 01:45 am (UTC) (Link)
this list has quite a lot in common with the Waterstones Top 100

Coincidentally I've read 34 items from each list.

Life's too short to read bad books, but it's also too short to read every good book.
bopeepsheep From: bopeepsheep Date: May 20th, 2003 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, as noted by Anonymous up there, this is the BBC Big Read list. I swiped it from ailbhe's journal where she gave the URL, but I was feeling lazy and didn't copy it across! I have read 9 more on the Waterstone's list than I have on this, factoring in the half-read ones.
lnr From: lnr Date: May 20th, 2003 02:55 am (UTC) (Link)
I think this is the Grauniad's version, though I could be wrong. Intended to be favourite books rather than "best", which is probably why it's an odd mix. I get 42 of these, but only 24 of the Waterstones ones.
From: kaet Date: May 20th, 2003 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)

Completely unrelated, but,

A man on the radio has just said that Patricia has been working hard recently on reforming the common agricultural policy. I guess that's why she's not had much of a chance to update recently.
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