Wednesday, 22 July 2015

My List of Betterment

Having almost finished (and enjoying, might I add) A Year of Reading Dangerously, by Andy Miller, I have competed the somewhat inevitable task of composing my own list of books that I feel I should have read, and have always intended to read, but have as of yet not got around to. As a list fan, and indeed fan of books, this is something of an enjoyable cherry picking exercise (the cherries being items on many existing lists of things to read of which I have waaay too many)...and also a semi-formal solidifying of many vague thoughts and intentions.

Hopefully I can cross a couple off this year. It's all about prioritisation *deep breaths*.

I've limited my list items to "cannon" established classics and modern-ish classics, just because newer titles haven't been out long enough for me to feel bad about being a book lover that hasn't read titles (including YA and other delightful offerings) I'm working my way through in a kind of  haphazard frenzy as and when they come out (and for a few years after). There's loads of new books that I want to read but there seems more time for that...I find I'm reading more new releases than ever. Which is a total 'about face' from this time 10 years ago when I only read Victorian stuff. Funny how that happens. Also it's my list, so y'know. I get to set the criteria ;)

I just want to make a disclosure at this point too; I've never, ever pretended to have read these at all. I don't do that and the people that do do that baffle me to the point of hilarity. If someone mentions a book that sounds impressive or interesting it goes on my mental to read list, I don't pretend that I've read it, even if I've had a copy sat on a shelf for 8 years. But it goes on the 'One Day' list.

So in no order other than the order in which I thought of them, here are the books I feel sorry for my eyes and brain for never having read.

The Blind Assassin- Margaret Atwood
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter- Carson McCullers
The Border Trilogy- Cormac McCarthy
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings- Maya Angelou
The Winter of Our Discontent- John Steinbeck
The Stand- Stephen King
The Sound and the Fury- William Faulkner
Invisible Man- Ralph Ellison
Oscar and Lucinda- Peter Carey
The 39 Steps- John Buchan
Something by Dorothy Parker
The Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
1Q84- Haruki Murakami
The Sea, the Sea- Iris Murdoch
White Teeth- Zadie Smith
Catch 22- Joseph Hellier
The Colour of Magic- Terry Pratchett
Gormenghast- Mervyn Peake
The Magus- John Fowles
Middlesex- Jeffrey Euginides
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy- John la Carre
V For Vendetta- Alan Moore
The Weaker Vessel- Antonia Fraser
Hard Times- Charles Dickens
The Double- Jose Saramago
Batman: Arkham Asylum- Grant Morrison
Vilette- Charlotte Bronte
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy- Lawrence Sterne
The New York Trilogy- Paul Aster
Tripping the Velvet- Sarah Waters
American Gods- Neil Gaiman
Maus- Art Speigelman
Possession- AS Byatt
Moby Dick- Herman Melville
Cloud Atlas- David Mitchell
Sandman vol 1- Neil Gaiman

I'm in two minds about Middlemarch, Will it kill me? Is it as baffling as the first 3 pages of Daniel Deronda that I read in Uni, suffered a virtual head explosion and then switched modules?

I'll probably add stuff to the list as I think about them...and hopefully cross a couple off!

Does anybody have any titles in particular that they can't believe they've never read? Or things they've always meant to read but haven't yet?


  1. The Colour of Magic is the only Terry Pratchett I have read and it is really good!

    He's author that features on my 'One day' list, I have several Discworld novels sat on shelves at home but they always get overlooked. I have some that feature on your list such as The Blind Assassin (it is an aim to complete Atwood's back catalogue) American Gods and Cloud Atlas, I also have Anna Karenina, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird and all of Jane Austen's work on my list,

    1. Ooo you've got some of my absolute favourites to look forward to (Great Expectations is amazing but Pip is an absolute arse)
      Started Blind Assassin on Saturday and it's AMAZING!
      Can't get on with Austen at all though. Read 3/6 of her books which I thought was a respectable sample size but really, really wasn't feeling it.
      I think it's the Disc world covers that put us off *nods*
      Leanne x