Monday, April 28, 2008

My Library Sucks So Bad...

110 best books: The perfect library - Telegraph

I was wondering how well my own library and reading habits stacked up.

Pretty poorly it turns out. And I consider myself widely, if not well, read.

And yet this is how my results turn out. If I've read it, it's italicized. If I've got it, it's in bold. So this means?




The Iliad and The Odyssey



The Barchester Chronicles

Anthony Trollope


Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen


Gulliver's Travels

Jonathan Swift


Jane Eyre

Charlotte Brontë


War and Peace



David Copperfield

Charles Dickens


Vanity Fair

William Makepeace Thackeray


Madame Bovary

Gustave Flaubert



George Eliot





Divine Comedy



Canterbury Tales



The Prelude


William Wordsworth



John Keats


The Waste Land

T. S. Eliot


Paradise Lost

John Milton


Songs of Innocence and Experience

William Blake


Collected Poems

W. B. Yeats


Collected Poems

Ted Hughes


The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James


A la recherche du temps perdu




James Joyce

Has anybody actually read this? Liar

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Ernest Hemingway


Sword of Honour trilogy

Evelyn Waugh


The Ballad of Peckham Rye

Muriel Spark


Rabbit series

John Updike


One Hundred Years of Solitude

Gabriel García Márquez



Toni Morrison


The Human Stain

Philip Roth

How 'bout Portnoy's Complaint instead?


Daphne du Maurier


Le Morte D'Arthur

Thomas Malory


Les Liaisons Dangereuses

Choderlos de Laclos


I, Claudius

Robert Graves


Alexander Trilogy

Mary Renault


Master and Commander

Patrick O'Brian


Gone with the Wind

Margaret Mitchell


Dr Zhivago

Boris Pasternak


Tess of the D'Urbervilles

Thomas Hardy


The Plantagenet Saga

Jean Plaidy


Swallows and Amazons

Arthur Ransome


The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

The movie blew.

The Lord of the Rings

J.R. R. Tolkien

A dozen times.

His Dark Materials

Philip Pullman



Jean de Brunhoff


The Railway Children

E. Nesbit



A.A. Milne


Harry Potter

J.K. Rowling


The Wind in the Willows

Kenneth Grahame


Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson



Mary Shelley


The Time Machine

H.G. Wells


Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Jules Verne


Brave New World

Aldous Huxley



George Orwell


The Day of the Triffids

John Wyndham



Isaac Asimov


2001: A Space Odyssey

Arthur C. Clarke


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick



William Gibson


The Talented Mr Ripley

Patricia Highsmith


The Maltese Falcon

Dashiell Hammett


The Complete Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

I've read a couple of them, but the complete?

The Big Sleep

Raymond Chandler


Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

John le Carré


Red Dragon

Thomas Harris

Manhunter is one of my favourite movies.

Murder on the Orient Express

Agatha Christie


The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Edgar Allan Poe


The Woman in White

Wilkie Collins



Elmore Leonard


Das Kapital

Karl Marx


The Rights of Man

Tom Paine


The Social Contract

Jean-Jacques Rousseau


Democracy in America

Alexis de Tocqueville


On War

Carl von Clausewitz


The Prince

Niccolo Machiavelli



Thomas Hobbes


On the Interpretation of Dreams

Sigmund Freud


On the Origin of Species

Charles Darwin



Diderot, et al


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert M. Pirsig


Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Richard Bach


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams


The Tipping Point

Malcolm Gladwell


The Beauty Myth

Naomi Wolf


How to Cook

Delia Smith


A Year in Provence

Peter Mayle


A Child Called 'It'

Dave Pelzer


Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Lynne Truss

More language mavens. That's what we all need.

Schott's Original Miscellany

Ben Schott


The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

Edward Gibbon


A History of the English-Speaking Peoples

Winston Churchill


A History of the Crusades

Steven Runciman

True classic.

The Histories



The History of the Peloponnesian War


Most of what we need to know about the modern nexus of politics and war, Thucydides said already.

Seven Pillars of Wisdom

T. E. Lawrence


The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle


A People's Tragedy

Orlando Figes


Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution

Simon Schama


The Origins of the Second World War

A.J.P. Taylor



St Augustine


Lives of the Caesars



Lives of the Artists



If This is a Man

Primo Levi


Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

Siegfried Sassoon


Eminent Victorians

Lytton Strachey


A Life of Charlotte Brontë

Elizabeth Gaskell


Goodbye to All That

Robert Graves


The Life of Dr Johnson




Alan Clark


So there you have it, a warning never to scan my bookshelves. Too bad there aren't more entries for Japanese-English dictionaries. I'd have made out a bit better.


the rev. paperboy said...

Actually my library comes off a little better than I thought, though mainly because of the "trashy" stuff on the list I own like Harry Potter and Elmore Leonard and the number of books left on my shelf back in Canada from university coursework.
That said, its a pretty crap list if it includes JK Rowling and doesn't include Kurt Vonnegut or Mordicai Richler or Mark Twain. Obviously a British list, and I'm guessing it was put together by poll since it includes fluff like "A Year in Provence" but not "Huckleberry Finn" or Proust. At least there's no Barbara Cartland.

The Eternal Gaijin said...

There's a couple of problems I have with it.
Where, I scream aloud and worry the dog, is Roberston Davies? Anything by Davies?
Ondaatje? The English Patient is one of the finest novels in a hyperbole laced time frame.
Not to mention Kazuo Ishiguro getting stiffed.
Not to mention John Keegan's treatise The Face of Battle.
I get kinda grumpy with these lists that are supposed to make you feel half-literate and omit some obvious stuff.
Plus dumping most of my university text books in the last three moves hasn't helped my score at all.
On the plus side, with the no Cartland came no Atwood.