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Two days' worth of Guardian books

Two days’ worth of Guardian novels to report here, because of last night’s distractions. Thanks again to drasecretcampus for supplying the lists. They are two particularly odd selections.

I have read only 24 out of 145 of the Guardian’s the “Family and Self” selection, with another four started but not finished. It is interesting that they have chosen a number of comics in this section – my pick of the lot is Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home. The selection also includes Proust as a single unit.

I did far worse on the “State of the Nation” selection – presumably these are meant to be the more political novels, and I actually work in politics, but nonetheless scored a mere 17 out of 133. My picks are boringly conventional, Middlemarch, Les Miserables and Vanity Fair.

Which of these books have you read?

Kobo Abe, The Face of Another (1964)
0(0.0%)
Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995)
0(0.0%)
Margaret Atwood, Cat's Eye (1988)
0(0.0%)
David B, Epileptic (1996-2003)
0(0.0%)
Nicholson Baker, Room Temperature (1990)
0(0.0%)
Honoré de Balzac, Eugénie Grandet (1833)
0(0.0%)
Honoré de Balzac, Le Père Goriot (1835)
0(0.0%)
Iain Banks, The Crow Road (1992)
0(0.0%)
Lynne Reid Banks, The L-Shaped Room (1960)
0(0.0%)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Mandarins (1954)
0(0.0%)
Samuel Beckett, Malone Dies (1951)
0(0.0%)
Sybille Bedford, A Legacy (1956)
0(0.0%)
Saul Bellow, Herzog (1964)
0(0.0%)
Saul Bellow, Humboldt's Gift (1975)
0(0.0%)
Arnold Bennett, The Old Wives' Tale (1908)
0(0.0%)
John Berger, G. (1972)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Bernhard, Extinction (1986)
0(0.0%)
Jane Bowles, Two Serious Ladies (1943)
0(0.0%)
William Boyd, Any Human Heart (2002)
0(0.0%)
Hermann Broch, The Death of Virgil (1945)
0(0.0%)
Fanny Burney, Evelina (1778)
0(0.0%)
Samuel Butler, The Way of All Flesh (1903)
0(0.0%)
Ron Butlin, The Sound of My Voice (1987)
0(0.0%)
Albert Camus, The Outsider (1942)
0(0.0%)
Angela Carter, Wise Children (1991)
0(0.0%)
Willa Cather, The Professor's House (1925)
0(0.0%)
John Cheever, The Wapshot Chronicle (1957)
0(0.0%)
Jean Cocteau, Les Enfants Terribles (1929)
0(0.0%)
Colette, The Vagabond (1910)
0(0.0%)
Ivy Compton-Burnett, Manservant and Maidservant (1947)
0(0.0%)
Jim Crace, Being Dead (1999)
0(0.0%)
Jim Crace, Quarantine (1997)
0(0.0%)
Daniel Defoe, Roxana (1724)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861)
0(0.0%)
Julie Doucet, My New York Diary (1999)
0(0.0%)
Margaret Drabble, The Millstone (1965)
0(0.0%)
Gerald Durrell, My Family and Other Animals (1956)
0(0.0%)
Shusaku Endo, Silence (1966)
0(0.0%)
Anne Enright, The Gathering (2007)
0(0.0%)
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)
0(0.0%)
William Faulkner, As I Lay Dying (1930)
0(0.0%)
William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury (1929)
0(0.0%)
Richard Ford, The Sportswriter (1986)
0(0.0%)
EM Forster, Howards End (1910)
0(0.0%)
Michael Frayn, Spies (2002)
0(0.0%)
Esther Freud, Hideous Kinky (1992)
0(0.0%)
John Galsworthy, The Man of Property (1906)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton (1848)
0(0.0%)
André Gide, The Immoralist (1902)
0(0.0%)
André Gide, The Vatican Cellars (1914)
0(0.0%)
Oliver Goldsmith, The Vicar of Wakefield (1766)
0(0.0%)
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory (1940)
0(0.0%)
Knut Hamsun, Hunger (1890)
0(0.0%)
LP Hartley, The Shrimp and the Anemone (1944)
0(0.0%)
Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
0(0.0%)
Hermann Hesse, Narziss and Goldmund (1930)
0(0.0%)
Paul Hornschemeier, The Three Paradoxes (2006)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Hughes, Tom Brown's School Days (1857)
0(0.0%)
John Irving, A Prayer for Owen Meany (1989)
0(0.0%)
Henry James, The Ambassadors (1903)
0(0.0%)
Henry James, Washington Square (1880)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Jenkins, The Tortoise and the Hare (1954)
0(0.0%)
BS Johnson, The Unfortunates (1969)
0(0.0%)
James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
0(0.0%)
James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)
0(0.0%)
Molly Keane, Good Behaviour (1981)
0(0.0%)
Yashar Kemal, Memed, My Hawk (1955)
0(0.0%)
Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1962)
0(0.0%)
Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia (1990)
0(0.0%)
DH Lawrence, Sons and Lovers (1913)
0(0.0%)
Laurie Lee, Cider with Rosie (1959)
0(0.0%)
Rosamond Lehmann, Invitation to the Waltz (1932)
0(0.0%)
Doris Lessing, The Golden Notebook (1962)
0(0.0%)
Richard Llewellyn, How Green Was My Valley (1939)
0(0.0%)
Jack London, Martin Eden (1909)
0(0.0%)
Malcolm Lowry, Under the Volcano (1947)
0(0.0%)
Carson McCullers, The Member of the Wedding (1946)
0(0.0%)
Bernard Malamud, The Assistant (1957)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Mann, Buddenbrooks (1901)
0(0.0%)
William Maxwell, Chateau (1961)
0(0.0%)
FM Mayor, The Rector's Daughter (1924)
0(0.0%)
George Meredith, The Ordeal of Richard Feverel (1859)
0(0.0%)
Rohinton Mistry, Family Matters (2002)
0(0.0%)
Timothy Mo, Sour Sweet (1982)
0(0.0%)
Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne (1955)
0(0.0%)
Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye (1970)
0(0.0%)
Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon (1977)
0(0.0%)
Alice Munro, Who Do You Think You Are? (1978)
0(0.0%)
Iris Murdoch, The Black Prince (1973)
0(0.0%)
Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities (1930-32)
0(0.0%)
VS Naipaul, A House for Mr Biswas (1961)
0(0.0%)
Kenzaburo Oe, Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness (1969)
0(0.0%)
Walker Percy, The Moviegoer (1961)
0(0.0%)
Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar (1963)
0(0.0%)
Chaim Potok, My Name is Asher Lev (1972)
0(0.0%)
JB Priestley, The Good Companions (1929)
0(0.0%)
Annie Proulx, The Shipping News (1993)
0(0.0%)
Piers Paul Read, A Married Man (1979)
0(0.0%)
Dorothy Richardson, Pointed Roofs (1915)
0(0.0%)
Henry Handel Richardson, The Fortunes of Richard Mahony (1930)
0(0.0%)
Henry Roth, Call It Sleep (1934)
0(0.0%)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Julie, ou la Nouvelle Héloïse (1761)
0(0.0%)
Cora Sandel, Alberta and Jacob (1926)
0(0.0%)
Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy (1993)
0(0.0%)
Carol Shields, Unless (2002)
0(0.0%)
Lionel Shriver, We Need to Talk About Kevin (2003)
0(0.0%)
May Sinclair, The Three Sisters (1914)
0(0.0%)
Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Family Moskat (1950)
0(0.0%)
Jane Smiley, A Thousand Acres (1991)
0(0.0%)
Zadie Smith, On Beauty (2005)
0(0.0%)
Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children (1940)
0(0.0%)
John Steinbeck, East of Eden (1952)
0(0.0%)
Noel Streatfeild, Ballet Shoes (1936)
0(0.0%)
Italo Svevo, Confessions of Zeno (1923)
0(0.0%)
Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons (1918)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Taylor, Angel (1957)
0(0.0%)
Flora Thompson, Lark Rise to Candleford (1945)
0(0.0%)
Colm Tóibín, The Blackwater Lightship (1999)
0(0.0%)
Sue Townsend, The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 (1982)
1(2.0%)
William Trevor, Death in Summer (1998)
0(0.0%)
Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons (1862)
0(0.0%)
Miguel de Unamuno, Peace in War (1897)
0(0.0%)
John Updike, The Rabbit Omnibus (1960-90)
0(0.0%)
Chris Ware, Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Kid on Earth (2000)
0(0.0%)
Alan Warner, Morvern Callar (1995)
0(0.0%)
HG Wells, The History of Mr Polly (1910)
0(0.0%)
Rebecca West, The Fountain Overflows (1957)
0(0.0%)
Antonia White, Frost in May (1933)
0(0.0%)
Patrick White, The Tree of Man (1955)
0(0.0%)
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
1(2.0%)
Jeanette Winterson, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit (1985)
0(0.0%)
Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse (1927)
0(0.0%)
Johann David Wyss, The Swiss Family Robinson (1812)
0(0.0%)

And which would you recommend?

Which of these books have you read?

Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah (1987)
0(0.0%)
Martin Amis, London Fields (1989)
0(0.0%)
Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable (1935)
0(0.0%)
James Baldwin, Go Tell It On the Mountain (1953)
0(0.0%)
Honoré de Balzac, La Comédie Humaine (1830-1848)
0(0.0%)
Miklos Banffy, They Were Counted (1934)
0(0.0%)
Stan Barstow, A Kind of Loving (1960)
0(0.0%)
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin (1852)
0(0.0%)
Aphra Behn, Oroonoko or The Royal Slave (1688)
0(0.0%)
Arnold Bennett, Clayhanger (1910)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September (1929)
0(0.0%)
John Braine, Room at the Top (1957)
0(0.0%)
André Brink, A Dry White Season (1979)
0(0.0%)
Charlotte Brontë, Shirley (1849)
0(0.0%)
Anthony Burgess, Earthly Powers (1980)
0(0.0%)
AS Byatt, The Virgin in the Garden (1978)
0(0.0%)
Erskine Caldwell, Tobacco Road (1932)
0(0.0%)
Albert Camus, The Plague (1947)
0(0.0%)
Alejo Carpentier, The Kingdom of This World (1949)
0(0.0%)
Jonathan Coe, What a Carve Up! (1994)
0(0.0%)
JM Coetzee, Disgrace (1999)
0(0.0%)
JM Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (1980)
0(0.0%)
Douglas Coupland, Microserfs (1995)
0(0.0%)
Daniel Defoe, Moll Flanders (1722)
0(0.0%)
Don DeLillo, Underworld (1997)
0(0.0%)
Don DeLillo, White Noise (1985)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Bleak House (1852-53)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Dombey and Son (1848)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Hard Times (1854)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Little Dorrit (1855-57)
0(0.0%)
Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist (1838)
1(2.0%)
Joan Didion, Play It As It Lays (1970)
0(0.0%)
Benjamin Disraeli, Sybil or The Two Nations (1845)
0(0.0%)
Alfred Döblin, Berlin Alexanderplatz (1929)
0(0.0%)
EL Doctorow, The Book of Daniel (1971)
0(0.0%)
John Dos Passos, U.S.A. (1930-36)
0(0.0%)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (1864)
0(0.0%)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot (1868)
0(0.0%)
Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (1900)
0(0.0%)
Maria Edgeworth, Castle Rackrent (1800)
0(0.0%)
George Eliot, Middlemarch (1872)
0(0.0%)
George Eliot, Silas Marner (1861)
0(0.0%)
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man (1953)
0(0.0%)
Gustave Flaubert, Sentimental Education (1869)
0(0.0%)
Theodor Fontane, Effi Briest (1896)
0(0.0%)
Richard Ford, Independence Day (1996)
0(0.0%)
EM Forster, A Passage to India (1924)
0(0.0%)
Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (2001)
0(0.0%)
William Gaddis, The Recognitions (1955)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Gaskell, Cranford (1853)
0(0.0%)
Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1855)
0(0.0%)
André Gide, The Counterfeiters (1925)
0(0.0%)
George Gissing, The Odd Women (1893)
0(0.0%)
George Gissing, New Grub Street (1891)
0(0.0%)
Nadine Gordimer, July's People (1981)
0(0.0%)
Maxim Gorky, Mother (1906)
0(0.0%)
Alasdair Gray, Lanark (1981)
0(0.0%)
Walter Greenwood, Love on the Dole (1933)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Hardy, The Mayor of Casterbridge (1886)
0(0.0%)
Barry Hines, A Kestrel for a Knave (1968)
0(0.0%)
Alan Hollinghurst, The Line of Beauty (2004)
0(0.0%)
Winifred Holtby, South Riding (1936)
0(0.0%)
Victor Hugo, Les Misérables (1862)
0(0.0%)
Christopher Isherwood, Goodbye to Berlin (1939)
0(0.0%)
Ismail Kadare, Chronicle in Stone (1971)
0(0.0%)
James Kelman, How Late It Was, How Late (1994)
0(0.0%)
Giuseppe di Lampedusa, The Leopard (1958)
0(0.0%)
Philip Larkin, A Girl in Winter (1947)
0(0.0%)
Nella Larsen, Passing (1929)
0(0.0%)
Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing (1950)
0(0.0%)
Sinclair Lewis, Elmer Gantry (1927)
0(0.0%)
Colin MacInnes, Absolute Beginners (1959)
0(0.0%)
Mary McCarthy, The Group (1963)
0(0.0%)
John McGahern, Amongst Women (1990)
0(0.0%)
Joaquim Maria, Machado de Assis
0(0.0%)
Julian Maclaren-Ross, Of Love and Hunger (1947)
0(0.0%)
David Malouf, Remembering Babylon (1993)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain (1924)
0(0.0%)
Alessandro Manzoni, The Betrothed (1827)
0(0.0%)
Guy de Maupassant, Bel-Ami (1885)
0(0.0%)
Rohinton Mistry, A Fine Balance (1995)
0(0.0%)
Alberto Moravia, The Time of Indifference (1929)
0(0.0%)
VS Naipaul, A Bend in the River (1979)
0(0.0%)
Frank Norris, McTeague (1899)
0(0.0%)
Andrew O'Hagan, Personality (2003)
0(0.0%)
George Orwell, Animal Farm (1945)
0(0.0%)
Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Ragazzi (1955)
0(0.0%)
Alan Paton, Cry, The Beloved Country (1948)
0(0.0%)
Cesare Pavese, The Moon and the Bonfire (1949)
0(0.0%)
Thomas Love Peacock, Headlong Hall (1816)
0(0.0%)
David Peace, GB84 (2004)
0(0.0%)
Anthony Powell, Afternoon Men (1931)
0(0.0%)
Joseph Roth, The Radetzky March (1932)
0(0.0%)
Philip Roth, American Pastoral (1997)
0(0.0%)
Philip Roth, The Human Stain (2000)
0(0.0%)
Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children (1981)
0(0.0%)
Salman Rushdie, Shame (1983)
0(0.0%)
Leonardo Sciascia, To Each His Own (1966)
0(0.0%)
Paul Scott, Staying On (1977)
0(0.0%)
Hubert Selby Jr, Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964)
0(0.0%)
Samuel Selvon, The Lonely Londoners (1956)
0(0.0%)
Ousmane Sembène, God's Bit of Wood (1960)
0(0.0%)
Victor Serge, The Case of Comrade Tulayev (1950)
0(0.0%)
Lao She, Rickshaw Boy (1936)
0(0.0%)
Alan Sillitoe, Saturday Night & Sunday Morning (1958)
0(0.0%)
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)
0(0.0%)
Stevie Smith, Novel on Yellow Paper (1936)
0(0.0%)
Zadie Smith, White Teeth (2000)
0(0.0%)
John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
0(0.0%)
Stendhal:The Red and the Black (1830)
0(0.0%)
David Storey, This Sporting Life (1960)
0(0.0%)
August Strindberg, The Red Room (1879)
0(0.0%)
Rabindranath Tagore, The Home and the World (1916)
0(0.0%)
Robert Tressell, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (1914)
0(0.0%)
Anthony Trollope, The Last Chronicle of Barset (1867)
0(0.0%)
Anthony Trollope, The Way We Live Now (1875)
0(0.0%)
Mark Twain, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876)
0(0.0%)
John Updike, Couples (1968)
0(0.0%)
Vassilis Vassilikos, Z (1967)
0(0.0%)
Keith Waterhouse, Billy Liar (1959)
0(0.0%)
Irvine Welsh, Trainspotting (1993)
0(0.0%)
Nathanael West, The Day of the Locust (1939)
0(0.0%)
Rebecca West, The Return of the Soldier (1918)
0(0.0%)
Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth (1905)
0(0.0%)
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987)
0(0.0%)
Émile Zola, Germinal (1885)
0(0.0%)
Émile Zola, La Bête Humaine (1890)
0(0.0%)

And which would you recommend?


Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
deborah_c
Jan. 21st, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
Gosh. There are even a few of these that I've read and you haven't, which surprises me. (Many more the other way round, of course.)

One of these is Camus' The Plague. I read this sitting in a hotel in Algiers, expecting to go to Oran the following day (until the youth orchestra staff put their collective foot down and said they weren't moving -- that was an interesting tour). This may not have been the most sensible of reading material, given the subject matter!
drasecretcampus
Jan. 22nd, 2009 01:09 am (UTC)
I'm trying desperately not to see these as a to-read pile (although there are plenty on that pile on the list, and plenty I do want to read). Again the mixture of books which are part of series and entire series annoys me. Not clear either why graphic novels occurred in the Self and Family listing, save for the nagging thought they came up with the lists then the categories (I don't think I've omitted any but why only 133?)
lasultrix
Jan. 22nd, 2009 01:56 am (UTC)
I read Shame when I was bored, 14 and couldn't have told you anything about Pakistan other than, "it's in Asia". I didn't like it, partly because it was my first experience with magical realism and partly because I had no idea what the hell was going on. Much later, I learned some stuff about Pakistan's recent history, remembered Shame, and realised was about. The Benazir Bhutto character and the General Zia character are central to the book.

I still strongly dislike magic realism. I'm fairly certain I would have done so anyway, but I wonder if encountering it for the first time in Shame influenced that.

cassave
Jan. 22nd, 2009 08:01 am (UTC)
Honoré de Balzac, La Comédie Humaine???
That means... um... everything?
I'm alright with that, I love Balzac, but I wonder if there's anyone who has read the complete Comédie Humaine. (It's one of my life projects.)
There's a complete (and very beautiful) edition of it in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade (the most prestigious French collection): 12 volumes of (more or less) 1500 pages at €50 to €60 per volume...
cassave
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:09 am (UTC)
P.S.: "La Comédie Humaine" consists of THESE titles.
nwhyte
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:40 am (UTC)
Blimey!
cassave
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:57 am (UTC)
To be fair, each of those titles can be read independently of the others, but they gain an extra dimension as part of a whole (many characters return, each with their individual history, often described elsewhere).
Perhaps Balzac should be (re)considered as the inventor of the "spin-off"?
raycun
Jan. 22nd, 2009 08:26 am (UTC)
25 from each list
inulro
Jan. 22nd, 2009 09:24 am (UTC)
Interesting again. Fewer books that I've actually read, but also fewer books that I really hate, or hate the idea of. Lots of authors that I've read but not those particular novels.
redfiona99
Jan. 22nd, 2009 10:40 am (UTC)
Of the top set I've read two, and started four others. Of the second set, I've read one and started maybe a couple of the others. The only disrecommendation I'd have is Oliver Twist, but I might be alone in that.
(Deleted comment)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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