Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Stephen King Books Meme

Just spotted this book meme over at A Very Public Sociologist.
I'll let AVPS Phil do the explanation bit 'cos it's going to take me at least one side of That Petrol Emotion's Chemicrazy - Sides? I'm so 1970s. It must be the Cemetery Junction effect. - to format this bastard post:
"At the back of the book, [Stephen King's 'On Writing'] King provides a bibliography of best books he read during the composition of On Writing, From a Buick Eight, Hearts in Atlantis and The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. This sounds like ideal meme fodder to me.
Of his list of 93 books how many have you read? Those in bold red are books I've read. Those in italics are books I own. And if they're bold and italicised, well. I think you can work it out."

  • A Perfect Crime by Peter Abrahams
  • Lights Out by Peter Abrahams
  • Pressure Drop by Peter Abrahams
  • Revolution #9 by Peter Abrahams
  • A Death in the Family by James Agee
  • Lives of the Monster Dogs by Kirsten Bakis
  • Regeneration by Pat Barker
  • The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker
  • The Ghost Road by Pat Barker
  • In the Night Season by Richard Bausch
  • The Intruder by Peter Blauner
  • The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
  • The Tortilla Curtain by TC Boyle
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Thank You for Smoking by Christopher Buckley
  • Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver
  • Werewolves in Their Youth by Michael Chabon
  • Latitude Zero by Windsor Chorlton
  • The Poet by Michael Connelly
  • Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • Family Values by KC Constatine
  • Underworld by Don DeLillo
  • Cathedral by Nelson DeMille
  • The Gold Coast by Nelson Demille
  • Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  • Common Carnage by Stephen Dobyns
  • The Church of Dead Girls by Stephen Dobyns
  • The Woman Who Walked into Doors by Roddy Doyle
  • The Dick Gibson Show by Stanley Elkin
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  • The Beach by Alex Garland
  • Deception on His Mind by Elizabeth George
  • Gravity by Tess Gerritsen
  • Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
  • Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
  • The Fifties by David Halberstam
  • Why Sinatra Matters by Pete Hamill
  • Hannibal by Thomas Harris
  • Plainsong by Kent Haruf
  • Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Hoeg
  • Dirty White Boys by Stephen Hunter
  • A Firing Offence by David Ignatius
  • A Widow for One Year by John Irving
  • The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
  • The Devil's Own Work by Alan Judd
  • Good Enough to Dream by Roger Kahn
  • The Liars' Club by Mary Karr
  • Survivor by Tabitha King
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Into Thin Air by Jon Kraukauer
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Our Guys by Bernard Lefkowitz
  • The Ignored by Bentley Little
  • A River Runs Through It and Other Stories by Norman Maclean
  • The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
  • Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy
  • The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy
  • Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
  • Charming Billy by Alice McDermott
  • Ancient Shores by Jack McDevitt
  • Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
  • The Cement Garden by Ian McEwan
  • Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
  • Zeke and Ned by Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller
  • Zombie by Joyce Carol Oates
  • In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien
  • The Speed Queen by Stewart O'Nan
  • The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
  • No Safe Place by Richard North Patterson
  • Freedomland by Richard Price
  • Close Range: Wyoming Stories by Annie Proulx
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • One True Thing by Anna Quindlen
  • A Sight for Sore Eyes by Ruth Rendall
  • Waiting by Frank M Robinson
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by JK Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
  • Mohawk by Richard Russo
  • Reservation Road by John Burnham Schwartz
  • A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • The Crater by Richard Slotkin
  • The Illusionist by Dinitia Smith
  • Men in Black by Scott Spencer
  • Joe Hill by Wallace Stegner
  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler
  • Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut
  • Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
  • The Ax by Donald E Westlake

  • I've read 12 13 of the books listed and I own 9. 12/93 is par for the course with me and book memes . . . until some bastard pulls their finger out and finally creates that Gordon Legge Book Meme that some of us have been waiting too long for.
    It's strangely reassuring that there is no book on the list that I own but have yet to read. And who is Peter Abrahams, btw? Surely it's not the same Peter Abrahams who co-wrote a couple of books on Orwell a few years back? I read those books during my last Orwell phase. Wiki will no doubt reveal all.
    Phil tags people with these memes but, then again, Phil has readers. I just have people who stumble across the blog because they want to know more about Kevin-Prince Boateng's tattoos. It's official: Boateng's tatts are this year's 'Kika Markham + nude'. If that footie fan in Ulan Bator wants to take time out from poring over Boateng's upper torso - and wondering what the hell Viz is - please feel free to take the meme.
    Now back to Stevie Mack singing vandal over and over and over again.


    stuart said...

    I normally can't resist a book meme, but I've heard of and read so few of those books, I can't be arsed! And I'm not excited about a single one of them, apart from Oliver Twist, which is coming up in my completist Dickens-reading marathon, and Underworld, which I've read, but can't remember, and I suspect might be better than I realised while I was reading it....

    Darren said...

    I like the fact that I've not heard of most of the books on the list. Gives me the opportunity to discover some new authors.

    You've not read Pat Barker's Regeneration trilogy? I'd really recommend them. The film of the first book is also worth seeking out.

    "my completist Dickens-reading marathon"

    Tried to pick up Tale of Two Cities a wee while back but the length of the paragraphs scared the hell out of me. By the fourth page I was muttering to myself, 'where's the bastard dialogue to break up the text?'

    Btw, I think I'm being incredibly brave here in admitting in public my literary faux pas. Please don't judge me too harshly and take into consideration that I once read Nicholas Nickleby and it wasn't for school, uni or a book meme.

    Finally, I have to ask: What are you doing in Ulan Bator and why are you surfing the net for pictures of Kevin-Prince Boateng's tattoos?

    stuart said...

    I take it the last question is not for me?!

    Lynn has been trying to force Pat Barker on me for years. I'm not resistant: will get round to it one day. I know what you mean about Dickens, but there's something about him I just adore. Unlike almost everyone else I read, I don't read him to get anything out of the experience or learn anything – just the sheer joy of reading, like when I was a kid reading the Famous Five. Try Sketches by Boz – they're all dead short!

    Darren said...

    In fairness, I have read Oliver Twist, (most of) Great Expectations, The Christmas Books collection and Nicholas Nickleby. I'm sure I also read a chunk of Pickwick Papers years ago, as well.

    I'm just not great when it comes to 19th century literature unless it's Russian.

    I will return to Dickens again in the future, but I'll probably cheat a bit by watching the BBC tv adaption of the book before reading it.

    Do you know John Irving is a Dickens obsessive? I remember watching an interview with him years ago where he said that he loves Dickens so much that he's deliberately left one Dickens novel unread so he can look forward to it in the future.

    I can't remember which Dickens novel it was, and, as this interview was over 15 years ago, he's probably since read the book but I love that story all the same.

    robert said...

    Feck, only 7, inc. the Barker trilogy.
    Dickens sure kicks ass, as them LitCrits say, but it's true that most novelists have written books the same length as his average paragraph. But I might yet join Stuart in his task ... (I've already read 9 or 10, so why not!)
    Grand Irving anecdote, b.t.w.

    Darren said...


    Stuart won't listen to Lynn or me about Barker. Have a word.

    Don't worry if he doesn't immediately respond to your overtures. They still have dial-up in Ulan Bator.

    robert said...

    ;>) I'll have a go!
    Come to think of it, I'm sure that Kevin-Prince Boateng features in one or more of the trilogy, which might help.

    stuart said...

    I did know Irving was a fan, and I was a fan of Irving once upon a time. Must go back to him one day. I like his anecdote. I'm doing the same with the only Rush album I don't yet have! (Power Windows, like anyone's interested!)

    I'll get straight onto Barker just as soon as I've read the complete works of Dickens. And all four volumes of Capital. And the Grundrisse. But then! I'll be right on to it!

    Darren said...

    "I'll get straight onto Barker just as soon as I've read the complete works of Dickens. And all four volumes of Capital. And the Grundrisse. But then! I'll be right on to it!"


    You're probably too young to remember Geoffrey Palmer in 'Fairly Secret Army' but the above reminds of the scene where, after his character infiltrates a left-wing group, he promises that he'll start on studying the collected works of Lenin that are lined up on the shelf in their secret hideout . . . but only after he's finished his Dick Francis novel.

    I guess you had to be there . . .

    stuart said...

    Too young, I thought we were the same age! But no, never heard of that programme. Sounds brilliant!

    Darren said...

    Written by the wonderful David Nobbs and a spin-off of sorts from Reggie Perrin.

    What's weird is that it was on Channel 4 around about '84 before I got all schoolboy political and yet for some reason I best remember the Dick Francis/Lenin joke.

    How's that for early 80s Channel 4 subliminal political indoctrination shocker?