Tom over at Wuthering Expectations recently posted about authors he hasn’t read yet–narrowing it down to ones he feels he should have read by now, rather than just anything. (It both delights and boggles the mind to consider the many categories one could fill re: authors thus far unread: “Found in the drug store,” “In garbage bags outside the public library,” or “Authors who died in bizarre gardening accidents,” to name just a few tantalizing possibilities. (I would go with the third option because anyone who dies in a gardening misadventure must have penned something crazed and compelling.))
I think this little exercise might actually be a thing; but I can’t be sure as I have so little time to surf teh interwebs (to which, incidentally, I would like to wish a very happy 25th birthday.) Tom mentions having gotten the idea to do his list from another blogger (a blogger that my computer won’t let me look at, because it thinks it’s porn). A “meme.” The scare quotes signify irritation rather than fear; I wish I liked that word better. Never mind. I’m all a-jumble here; let me focus.
Here’s my list; I’ve decided to narrow my ten choices by combining Tom’s “I should have by now” with my own “Especially because I already own one or more books by this author.” Shining a light on my poor impulse control when it comes to book-shopping and finding a way to reference an ’80s horror film that will be incomprehensible to damned kids these days, who all own smartphones and may never have seen an actual land line. It’s a win. Except for the fact that I haven’t read any of the following authors.
1. Arthur Rimbaud. I don’t know what to say; I think I hate poetry written after 1667, but that just proves I’m not very smart. I’ll try. One of these days.
2. Moliere. I’ve seen The Breakfast Club probably 18-24 times; there’s really no excuse for this.
3. Patricia Wentworth. There are just so many of them here (I raided the laundry room in my old building). My bestie likes her and I suspect that if I don’t read PW soon, I’ll have to begin interviewing for a new bestie.
4. Georges Simenon. See number 3. Also, French.
5. Victor Hugo. It’s hard to claim to be a fan of French lit and not have read Hugo. Still, now’s not the time; if I began Les Miserables now, I’d be lucky to finish it before August and that would cause a different sort of embarrassment.
6. Vera Brittain. This gap is symptomatic of a larger sinkhole in my reading: the first half of the 21st century (Waugh and Sayers excepted).
7. John Galsworthy. See 6. Also, novels in a series. About society. And English.
8. Dorothy Dunnett. Because Rohan Maitzen says so. Literally because she says so: I’ve got a stack of Dunnett novels here because my favourite Victorianist once said, somewhere, that she was into Dunnett. I’m very susceptible to peer pressure.
9. Frances Trollope. Tony’s mom was one tough lady: she cared for her sprogs and slacker husband all day and then wrote books all night.
10. Boris Pasternak. I still have not read Doctor Zhivago!! No one should ever again take me seriously as a book-reader.
Book shame. I’ve shown you mine; now show me yours.