Friday, May 02, 2008

A Faulk-Full of Fancies

UK bookstore chain Waterstones is introducing a new campaign called Writer's Table as part of Waterstone's Writer's Year, which is designed to highlight the role of the author, The Bookseller reports. Top authors are given a freehand to select the 40 books which have most shaped their writing.

Critically acclaimed novelist Sebastian Faulks goes first, and you can read his hand-written review of each book here.
  • Jake’s Thing by Kingsley Amis
  • Success by Martin Amis
  • Tim All Alone by Edward Ardizzone
  • The Garden of the Finzi Continis by Giorgio Bassani
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess **
  • David Copperfield by Charles Dickens*
  • The Waste Land by T S Eliot **
  • The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald *
  • Moonraker by Ian Fleming
  • The Magus by John Fowles **
  • Quartered Safe Out Here by George MacDonald Fraser
  • Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
  • Loving. Living. Party-Going by Henry Green
  • The Last Enemy by Richard Hillary
  • The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst *
  • The Price of Glory by Alistair Horne
  • An Evil Cradling by Brian Keenan
  • The Lake by Yasunari Kawabata
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera **
  • The Whitsun Weddings by Philip Larkin *
  • The Rainbow by D H Lawrence **
  • The Adventures of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting *
  • The Scent of Dried Roses by Tim Lott
  • The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
  • The House of Elrig by Gavin Maxwell *
  • The First Day of the Somme by Martin Middlebrook
  • Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
  • The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov **
  • The World is Not Enough by Zoe Oldenbourg
  • Sabbath’s Theater by Philip Roth
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger *
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzehenitsyn **
  • The Red and The Black by Stendhal
  • A Cruel Madness by Colin Thubron
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
  • A Fringe of Leaves by Patrick White
  • Lyrical Ballads by William Wordsworth & Samuel Taylor Coleridge*
  • Germinal by Emil Zola
Of course, as with all booklists, the tendency is to meme it. I've given one star to those I've read (15 in all) and two stars to those that would probably be one my own top forty of all time.

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