Anyone else being lured into ticking those lists? How many places have you visited, how many books have you read, how many lists have you gone through?
Not just me is it?
Ok assuming you have, here’s MY list of books you shoulda oughta read, because if you haven’t, you still have the brain and ideas you had when you were last made to read anything, which is probably *at school*.
So here’s what you first have to take on board. All the ideas in your head, all your opinions. Where’d they come from.
Was it: out of your parents’ mouths? Your friends? The *newspapers* Or on the interweb?
You think they came out of your own observations, right, and your own life experience. Which *might* be quite a narrow area to build a whole philosophy on.
Some of my readers have barely left their place of birth, apart from holidays. How many have lived in Germany, or indeed anywhere other than English speaking, for more than 5 years? We’ll look at that another time.
Actually while I’m digressing, yesterday I was reminded that I’d dressed as Michael Jackson and danced to Thriller, for the entertainment of my then students. A huge event, of which I have NO memory.
But now: ( drumroll) my list of BOOKS. Please RSVP how many you’ve read. What would be your LIST?
#The Narnia chronicles, all seven, by C.S Lewis
#Alice in Wonderland and through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll
#Miss Pettigrew lives for a day, Winifred Watson
#Just William; all of them; Richmal Crompton
#Sherlock Holmes, all of the stories, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
#1984, George Orwell
#I, Robot, by Asimov
# H.G. Wells stories and the History of Mr Polly
#A prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
#East of Eden, by Steinbeck
#Lord of the Flies
#Chavs, by Owen Jones
#Mansfield Park, Austen
#David Copperfield and Great Expectations, Dickens
#The Railway chiuldren, E. Nesbit
#A town like Alice, Nevile Shute, and On the Beach
#To kill a mocking bird, Harper Lee
#The Miracle worker, Gibson
#Lost Horizon, James Hilton
#All Quiet on the Western front, Remarque
Now the reasons why. Apart from, if you haven’t read MOST of these, you are just not a mensch or kosher in the least; you have no framework or ‘code’ by which to measure, analyse and form opinions; you are just an egg a vacuum without a clue.
2nd reason: they are just blindingly well written and the phrasing, words, ideas and enlightenment- oh and funny, also. For which I give you : Jeeves and Wooster, Lucky Jim, S.J Perelman and James Thurber. Bill Bryson .
3rd reason: Time Travel. It is only by reading that one may see through the eyes of one who lived THEN, and think their thoughts and live in their clothes.
‘You can see back two thousand years in the light of words’.
Enjoy the trip.