Thursday, April 24, 2008

What about Memes, Mac or Mc?

A book meme - I guess - that I shamelessly nicked from Normski over at Normblog. It "involves going through the alphabet and picking, for each letter, a novelist and one of his or her novels that you've read."

It's a personal bugbear of mine that I'm not reading as much as I once did. No excuses at my end. Just the realisation that I can feel the brain cells bailing out of my left ear each and every day I get further and further away from picking a book off a bookshelf . . . any book . . . any bookshelf.

  • Allen, Walter All in a lifetime
  • Barker, Pat - The Eye in the Door
  • Carr, JL - A Month in the Country
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor - Notes from Underground
  • Ellroy, James - Brown's Requiem
  • Friel, George - Mr Alfred M.A.
  • Greene, Graham - Brighton Rock
  • Hamilton, Patrick - The Slaves of Solitude
  • Irving, John - The World According to Garp
  • Jones, Lewis - Cwmardy
  • Kundera, Milan - The Joke
  • Legge, Gordon - I Love Me (Who Do You Love?)
  • Mina, Denise - Garnethill
  • Nasrin, Taslima - Shame
  • Orwell, George - A Clergyman's Daughter
  • Piercy, Marge - Vida
  • Q - pass
  • Rankin, Ian - Black and Blue
  • Serge, Victor - The Case of Comrade Tulayev
  • Tressell, Robert - The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
  • Upward, Edward - The Rotten Elements
  • Vonnegut, Kurt - Slaughterhouse-Five
  • Williams, Nigel - Star Turn
  • X - pass
  • Yourcenar, Marguerite - A Coin in Nine Hands
  • Zamyatin, Yevgeny - We
  • A bit of an obvious list, though some of the usual suspects are temporarily missing. I can honestly say that I enjoyed reading all the books listed, though Edward Upward's novel was probably a bit of a struggle at the time.

    Not so much for the novel itself, but for its painful honesty. To be in the same Party branch as Alan Sebrill (Edward Upward's fictionalised self) would have been my idea of hell.

    With regards to the gaps in my alphabet, I get not reading an author with the surname beginning with X, but Q? I'll have to look out in future for an author to fill that particular gap. A David Quantick novella will suffice.

    Do people still tag people when doing these memes, or was it finally rumbled years ago that memes are just a ruse to compel people who otherwise wouldn't be caught dead looking at your blog to have to give you the blogging time of day? I think I'll have to test that hypothesis out.

    Kara; Cactus Mouth Informer's Highlander; FDTW's Stuart W; The Scottish Patient's Kevin W; Richard Curmudgeon; & Snappy Kat have been duly tagged.

    Take your time comrades . . . I'm just finishing the start of this book in my hand.


    Kara said...

    It's a bit of a rushed list and I'm missing 4 letters, but it's the best I can do at the moment.

    A- Alexie, Sherman - The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    B- Blume, Judy - Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret
    C- Cisneros, Sandra - The House on Mango Street
    D- de Pizan, Christine - The Book of the City of Ladies
    E- Easton Ellis, Bret - Less than Zero
    F- Fisher, Carrie - Postcards from the Edge
    G-Glass, Julia -Three Junes
    H- Hopkins, Jerry - No One Here Gets Out Alive
    I-Irving, John - The World According to Garp
    J-Joyce, James - A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
    K-King, Stephen - Needful Things
    L- Lamb, Wally - She's Come Undone
    M- Maguire, Gregory - Wicked
    N-Nesbit, Edith - The Railway Children
    O-Orwell, George - 1984
    P-Pamuk, Orhan - Snow
    R- Robbins, Tom - Jitterbug Perfume
    S-Spark, Muriel - The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
    T-Tolkien, J.R.R. - The Hobbit
    V-Vonnegut, Kurt - Cat's Cradle
    W-Walker, Alice - The Color Purple
    Y-Yolen, Jane - Encounter

    Kevin said...

    I'm too lazy to take part in a meme that involved so much thinking. what a cop out. if i can muster the energy though...

    i've read 8 of the novels on your list darren. loved 7 of them.

    Darren said...

    How does Orhan Pamuk's 'Snow' finish again? I forget.

    Darren said...

    That comment was for Kara.

    *Kara, why are you making that gesture with your finger at me?*

    Kara said...

    Fine. If you won't accept a book I haven't quite finished, I'll pick Choke by Chuck Palahniuk.

    Darren said...

    Oh right, so that's what the business of the middle finger was all about?

    You were pointing to your copy of 'Choke' on the bookshelf.

    Kevin said...

    I've got unfinished copies of both Snow and Choke on my bookshelf. Was enjoying them both then got distracted...

    Darren said...

    "i've read 8 of the novels on your list darren. loved 7 of them."

    Kevin, you'll have to put my out my misery and tell me which one you didn't love.

    I've already mentioned Upward's 'The Rotten Elements', so it can't be that.

    stuart said...

    Thanks Darren! I'll put my probably-not-very-interesting list up on the blog soon.

    Kevin Williamson said...

    Orwell's one.

    Darren said...


    whatever. I bet you dazzle me with books that I've never even heard of you well read bastard. ;-)


    Know what you mean about Clergyman's Daughter. Not one of his best but I still enjoyed it when I read it during my intense Orwell phase about 20 years ago.

    My favourite Orwell books are 'Down and Out in Paris and London' and 'Homage To Catalonia', but sadly neither could be used for the meme.

    Highlander said...

    I really struggled.

    I do not read enough, too busy ripping records and blogging probably, and what I do read tends towards historical or factual. So I decided, in truly anarchical style I think you will agree, not to be bound 'by the rules' and allow myself free reign. (It was either that or look like a not-very-well-read fool).

    And, with tongue firmly in cheek, here we go:

    Azerrad, Michael - Come As You Are: The Story Of Nirvana
    Beevor, Antony - Stalingrad
    Conrad, Joseph - Heart Of Darkness
    Du Maurier, Daphne - Rebecca
    Easton-Ellis, Brett - American Psycho
    Faludi, Susan - Stiffed
    Greene, Graham - Brighton Rock
    Hemingway, Ernest - For Whom The Bell Tolls
    Irving, John - The World According To Garp
    Johnston, Ian - The Wild Wild World Of The Cramps
    King, John - The Football Factory
    Levi, Primo - If This Is A Man
    Marx, Karl - The Communist Manifesto
    Newton, Kim - Anno Dracula
    Orwell, George - 1984
    Pasternak, Boris - Doctor Zhivago
    Rice, Anne - Interview With The Vampire
    Steinbeck, John - Of Mice And Men
    Tolkien, JRR - The Lord Of The Rings
    Welsh, Irvine - Trainspotting
    X - The War Poetry Of
    Yeats WB - The Works Of

    Missed 3 but I did get an X - Get In!

    Highlander said...

    Shit, I mean missed 4 :(

    Darren said...


    I've seen the meme knocking about the blogland for a few weeks now and the range is usually 2-4 missing letters. Only the brylcreem types get 1 or below.

    Sort of enjoyed John King's 'Football Factory' at the time (I read all three books in the trilogy), but after seeing the film adaptation, I wonder if it was nothing more than a fictional variation of one of those footie hoolie books that used to do the rounds a few years back.

    Us armchair types vicariously living out the aggro life via the piss stained pages of some half-memoir/half-mythology written by a bloke who we would cross a few postal codes to avoid if we saw them in real life.

    If King was trying to make a more meaningful point than that, then the film makers sold him down the river. I hope he got a few quid for his troubles.