15 in 15

Via Anecdotal Evidence, I enjoyed a 15 minute indulgence in a tweaked literary parlour game: “name the fifteen books that have most influenced your thinking, that you have found yourself referring to most often in reflection, speech, and writing.” No apologies for for an odd mix:

  1. Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
  2. Gustave Flaubert – Sentimental Education
  3. Fyodor Dostoyevsky – Crime and Punishment
  4. Harold Bloom – The Western Canon
  5. Richard Powers – The Time of Our Singing
  6. Jean-Paul Sartre – Nausea
  7. Alberto Manguel – The Library at Night
  8. Søren Kierkegaard – Either/Or
  9. Marcel Proust – In Search of Lost Time
  10. Fyodor Dostoyevsky – The Idiot
  11. Christopher Alexander – A Pattern Language
  12. Roger Deakin – Wildwood
  13. Alan Flusser – Dressing The Man
  14. Julian Barnes –  Nothing to Be Frightened Of
  15. J. P. Donleavy – The Ginger Man

These are the first that came to mind. Sixteenth would have been Mark Helprin’s A Soldier of the Great War. Where is Philip Roth, William Gibson, Robert Heinlein? Of course, ten years ago the list would be different, as it will ten years hence. On reflection I am bemused that Nabokov and Beckett did not make the cut. In a couple more weeks, Thomas Mann’s Magic Mountain may prove an omission.

5 thoughts on “15 in 15

  1. >Howdy Anthony…Just came across your excellent blog. I tried the 15 in 15 and surprised myself what I came up with.We have in common:Fathers of one daughterLove of Beckett, Bloom, Dostoevsky and Proust.Lit Blogging (mine's fairly recent)LMK if you mind my adding your site to my blogroll.If your are ever on the World Literature Forum, I am promtbr there.Regards…Randy


  2. >Hello Randy,Thank you for your comment. You appear to read the sort of books that I enjoy. I shall try John Hawkes, whom Gass describes as 'the American master of the sentence that sees.' I've added you to my blogroll to keep an eye on your posts.Anthony


  3. >Anthony,I added your site to my blogroll as well. The statement by Gass is apt about Hawkes (what I have read of him). I am going to jump in his work with both feet when I do. I need to remedy the lack of reviews on my site, so have a bunch of novels lined up to read and review… am reading Tom McCarthy's Remainder now.Randy


  4. Pingback: The Eros of Reading | Time's Flow Stemmed

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