Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Book lists - pre-25 and 'adult'

Norm has done two lists of books - which really intrigued me.  Could I do similar?  A list of influential books that shaped me/that I loved from before 25, and books read 'as an adult'...?  Flaw one would be not yet really being very good at this 'adult' lark.  Flaw two would be this 'shaping' thing.  Important to me may have to be the definition instead.

And... well one of my downsides is that up til my mid-twenties (the cut-off for the first list) I really had pretty awful taste in reading.  I read what my mum read - tons of crappy romantic fiction a la Danielle Steel et al, the occasional 'risky' "Flowers in the Attic" type of things, and tons of pretty forgettable fantasy/science fiction.  Remember that I didn't go to University as a full-time student until I was nearly 26, and I was already 23 when I met Neil (nearly 24 in fact).

So there aren't a lot of books before 25 years old that I remember much about, let alone feel they shaped me.  So why try to do the list?

Well, I love lists, so I'm going to stretch things back a little to take in anything read before 25 years old that feels significant.  So nah, nah, nah, as these are all titles I returned to in my teenage years and after.

List one

  • Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  • The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
  • The Dark is Rising - Susan Cooper
  • The Collected Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  • A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Women's Room - Marilyn French
  • The Phantom Tollbooth - Norman Juster
  • 1984 - George Orwell
  • The Collected Dorothy Parker
  • Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers
  • Frost in May - Antonia White

I'm quite pleased to see how many women authors there are here.

List two

  • The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony - Roberto Calasso
  • The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  • House of Leaves - Mark Z Danielewski
  • The Sandman - Neil Gaiman
  • South Riding - Winifred Holtby
  • The Cheese Monkeys - Chip Kidd 
  • Les Liaisons Dangereuses - Choderlos de Laclos
  • Company of Liars - Karen Maitland
  • Beloved - Toni Morrison
  • His Dark Materials - Phillip Pullman
  • Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy

Hmm. that's an odd pair of lists.  They're all books that I have read and read again or can recall vividly. So am going with these even if my lists probably go against the grain of the original list sentiment.

1 comment:

chrissie_allen said...

Smashing lists! :)