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Books. And how very much I have read too damn much.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

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Books. And how very much I have read too damn much.

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mucha mosaic
Okay. The BBC did a 'what 100 books do people most recommend?' poll recently.
camwyn called my attention to the Locus SF/F poll.
They're both lurking behind the LJ cut.
First the BBC hundred important books, or whatever the list is. If it's in boldface, I've read it.

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
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
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
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 Bronte
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 Garcia Marquez
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
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 Garcia Marquez
Perfume, Patrick Soskind
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 Philanthropists, 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
The Twits, Roald Dahl
Ulysses, James Joyce
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
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte


And now, SF/Fantasy. This is Locus magazine's poll, done in 1998.

Dune, Frank Herbert
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller Jr
Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card
Hyperion, Dan Simmons
Gateway, Frederik Pohl
The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
Neuromancer, William Gibson
Startide Rising, David Brin
The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
The Dispossessed, Ursula K. Le Guin
Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
Downbelow Station, C.J. Cherryh
Ringworld, Larry Niven
2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
The War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells
Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle
Way Station, Clifford D. Simak
Star Maker, Olaf Stapledon
Dying Inside, Robert Silverberg
The City and the Stars, Arthur C. Clarke
Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
City, Clifford D. Simak
Cyteen, C.J. Cherryh
Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
Double Star, Robert A. Heinlein
Earth Abides, George R. Stewart
The Door Into Summer, Robert A. Heinlein
Last and First Men, Olaf Stapledon
Ubik, Philip K. Dick
Norstrilia, Cordwainer Smith
The Witches of Karres, James H. Schmitz
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
Have Space Suit Will Travel, Robert A. Heinlein
Time Enough for Love, Robert A. Heinlein
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
The Gods Themselves, Isaac Asimov
"Riverworld" series, Philip Jose Farmer


Fantasy Novels
The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
"Earthsea" series, Ursula K. Le Guin
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
"Gormenghast" series, Mervyn Peake
The Once and Future King, T.H. White
Little, Big, John Crowley
Nine Princes in Amber, Roger Zelazny
"The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant", Stephen R. Donaldson
Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
"The Belgariad", David Eddings
The Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis
The Anubis Gates, Tim Powers
"The Dying Earth" series, Jack Vance
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum
Dracula, Bram Stoker
The Last Unicorn, Peter S. Beagle
The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Stand, Stephen King
Watership Down, Richard Adams

The Riddle-Master of Hed, Patricia A. McKillip
The Worm Ouroboros, E.R. Eddison
Glory Road, Robert A. Heinlein
Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock
"Alvin Maker" series, Orson Scott Card
A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L'Engle
Witch World, Andre Norton
"The Fionavar Tapestry", Guy Gavriel Kay
Deryni Rising, Katherine Kurtz
"Discworld" series, Terry Pratchett
"Elric" series, Michael Moorcock
Replay, Ken Grimwood
Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury
"Fafhrd & Gray Mouser" series, Fritz Leiber
The Incomplete Enchanter, Fletcher Pratt & L. Sprague de Camp
  • So which book/series from each list is your favorite?
    • Oh Jeez.

      JUST ONE from each list??? These are like, people's recommendations of books they enjoyed. And I enjoyed many off of each list.

      Unexpected Enjoyed Book:
      BBC: Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
      SF: Cyteen, C.J. Cherryh (the covers looked so cheesy!)
      Fantasy: Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock

      'OMFG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS NOW!!!!!11' Book:
      Woman in White, Wilkie Collins (You've never heard of this woman. She rocked.)
      The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
      Little, Big, John Crowley

      First One I Read:
      The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe, CS Lewis (which is overall the first period)
      The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
      The Once and Future King, T.H. White
    • Re: Oh Jeez.

      Hee, I thought you might hate that question. But it gave me useful info on what I should read soon!
    • Re: Oh Jeez.

      SF: Cyteen, C.J. Cherryh (the covers looked so cheesy!)

      Were they? I got the UK version (which was an all-in-one, as the author insisted all future printings should be), and it wasn't too ugly. Then again, Cherryh is one of my favorite authors as of long before Cyteen's publishing. Were I asked to name SF/F authors who I would most want to be when I grow up, she might very well be first. (Forty per cent Cherryh, twenty per cent Bujold, ten per cent Heinlein, and let's just lump the whole field of "good semi-cyberpunk authors" into the remainder.)
      • Re: Oh Jeez.

        They also domestically issued it in hardcover as one book- then in paper as three massmarkets.

        The reprinting of that book in trade paper as one volume was a huge gift. And the cover didn't suck, too!
  • And here I thought I was well-read.

    Main list: I've read 33 of the 100 (you had 87).
    Locus: 23/53.
    Fantasy: 23/36.

    Some of them I simply couldn't find, like Fritz Leiber and Andre Norton. I never saw a copy of the Dying Earth until it was reprinted recently.

    The only things I've read that you haven't are Swallows and Amazons, Childhood's End and Stand on Zanzibar.
    • Leiber's in print, man. ;) I think the Norton title's in print, too.

      And you most definitely are well-read. This isn't about me being well-read, this is about how very much I have read too much. ;)
      • Well, there's lots of stuff there that almost everyone's read in school, but which was/were not used in any of my classes. Examples:

        1984
        Brave New World
        Catch-22
        the Catcher in the Rye
        the Grapes of Wrath
        the Great Gatsby
        Jane Eyre and/or Wuthering Heights
        Little Women
        Of Mice And Men
        On the Road
        a Tale of Two Cities and some other Dickens

        But there's a lot of stuff there I really want to read, like the Woman in White, which I never heard of until James Joyce referred to it somewhere (I think). And I want to read Moby Dick, which is not on the list. And I want to finish Proust and the Magic Mountain. And and and.

        I'll never read Gone With the Wind, though.

        I do have some quibbles with the list, such as books I hated that are on the list, but let's not get into it.

        The other kind of quibble, omissions, is more fun. If you haven't read it, I would strongly urge you to read Anthony Powell's "A Dance to the Music of Time" series (12 short novels, reprinted in 4 volumes). Kenneth Widmerpool is one of the great tragic/comic figures in English.
        • The list of highschoolenglish stuff, when you get email notifications, doesn't get formatted. It read very distressingly, in part:

          Little Women Of Mice
          And Men On the Road a Tale of Two Cities

          I'm imagining female forms composed of rodents.
  • Quite impressive. I think it's safe to say that you can live without reading Bridget Jones' Diary, but the His Dark Materials trilogy is a must-read in my humble estimation.
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