Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A New Book List: Have you got any Wimsey?

A Lord Peter Wimsey Mystery

I've had another wave of book lists in - following the idea being picked up by the Big Issue.
But it's not enough. I want more.
The ones I have seen are really interesting and have left me feeling justified for launching the idea in the first place.
There are, quite simply, a lot of books out there. And there are a lot of people. Not sure what you get if you divide one number by the other, or what it would mean. But even my relatively small example illustrates just how redundant any idea of a literary canon is.
The 'BBC' book list was so safe, you wondered if it was compiled by readers or by people who once walked past a bookshop. This new list is going to be very different.
For instance, this came in just the other day from a woman called Pat, via Facebook (and many thanks to her for taking the time):

Diana Gabaldon - Cross Stitch (US- Outlander)
Baroness Orczy - Scarlet Pimpernel
Dorothy L Sayers - Gaudy Night
Nicholas Evans - The Smoke Jumper
Richard Bach - The Bridge Across Forever

I had to look twice at this sadly quite short list because, I have to be honest, to my shame, I haven't read one of these novels. Indeed, with the exception of Nicholas Evans' highly entertaining debut, The Horse Whisperer, I haven't read any of these authors.
This really cheered me, because essentially, isn't that what what a book list should be about? Call it, the shock of the new and overlooked. It should be about people arguing passionately for work that even other bibliophiles haven't come across yet.
I'm not sure what shape the list will take. And please take the time to share the idea with your friends so we can get more lists in. But whatever the end product will be, it won't be dull.

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