Saturday, January 24, 2009

Typical bloody Guardian

The Guardian has been publishing this past week a series called 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read. I am a sucker for anything like that : Albums One Must Own; Films One Must See Before One Dies; Men One Must Shag* etc etc. I like pouring over these lists, ticking off those I have read/heard/seen/shagged - and I have this week been doing just that with the Guardian lists.

Last Saturday was comedy novels, Sunday with the Observer was books on crime and so on and so forth.

Well as I do keep mentioning I am currently reading War and Peace. I have about 200 pages to go and it will count as a major life time achievement when I actually reach the end.

All week I have been looking out for My Book in The Guardian list. I needed to see it there so I could have that lovely smug feeling that this enormously long novel is one absolutely everyone HAS to read - and I have very nearly done just that. The only thing was I wasn't quite sure which category W&P would fall into so I have looked for it everyday - except the science fiction day - I really did not think it would feature in that section. The last day of the series dawned without me having seen My Book but oh yes! The section on Friday was entitled 'War and Travel'. This Was It.

Only it wasn't.

Alphabetically listed I turn the page where the last book mentioned was Sophie's Choice by William Styron to see the next entry - The Adventure's of Hucklebury Finn by Mark Twain. 'Huh?' I turn back a page - Styron. I turn forward a page - Twain. 'Ha! Probably got a special feature on My Book.' So I searched for the special feature. Only it did not exist.

I was forced to the conclusion that this enormously long book that I thought I just HAD to read was not in fact a book I had to read at all. Clearly I have been wasting valuable reading time this past two months when there are all these other essential novels which I simply HAVE to read.**

But as I was saying - typical bloody Guardian. I just went on their web site to find a link for this waffle and lo - what do I see listed inbetween Styron and Twain?

Tolstoy - Leo 'War and Peace'.

What is it with the Guardian and printing errors??? Only The Guardian could compile a list of war novels we simply have to read and manage to omit the most famous one of them all by mistake!

* Joking. Am not really a sucker for a list like that Reidski dearest!

** Joking again. Time not remotely wasted reading it - it is I have to say a joy to read.


Jay said...

Haha! They don't call it the Grauniad for nothing you know!

But I would hope you are reading War and Peace for the enjoyment of reading, rather than because you feel you have to. I've given up reading things that people think I should read, and now I read just what I like. I recently finished the third novel in the Twilight series and I won't ever see my teenage years again! ;)

Gill said...

I'm terrible about those lists, I tend to think that they are books that I shouldn't read just because I've been told to, so I've probably missed out on some good ones.

J.J said...

Jay - by coincidence I have my eye on my daughter's Twilight books just as soon as I have finished W&P.

Gill - true you may have missed out on some good stuff - but you have also been spared any exhortation to read Ulysses which is definitely a bonus as far as I am concerned!

Gill said...

I quite liked Ulysses but I was a prentitious 'literary' 6th former when I read it and now I can't remember anything about it!!

Karen said...

I loved the book Twilight and enjoyed the film too (helped by the lovely Robert Pattinson) and I am about 12 years older than the target age.

Reidski said...

Ulysses is rubbish - nuff said!

J.J said...

Gill - I am impressed that you ever gave it a go.

Hi Karen - I do keep hearing how good both the book and the film is - I am sure my household will in due course be obtaining the DVD so I shall see it eventually.

Reidski - don't let Messalina hear you say that!

marc said...

>>Ulysses is rubbish - nuff said!<<

The wind up & the pitch.....

J.J said...

Marc - sparks will fly.