No, not those sorts of confessions. Not that I have any of those sorts of confessions, you understand, having led a pure and blameless life. This meme dares you to reveal the dark secrets of your literary life, and as a meme from the Queen it is ignored at one’s peril!
The rules: Think of ten books it seems you should have read by now but never have. Post them. Feel free to say anything you want about why you haven’t read them. Tag others when you’re done.
[I’m having a few problems with ‘should’. There is nothing I ‘should’ have read. There are only books I’d like to read, and books I don’t want to read, and if I don’t want to read them there is no reason why I should. So I suppose this is down to the things I want to read and haven’t gotten around to yet.]
- Marcel Proust, The Guermantes Way – because I have started it three times and am some way in, but I keep putting it down to read other stuff. But I must buy the rest of the series too, before Penguin reissue it in a different edition and I have an unmatched series.
- Sun Tzu, The Art of War – Really? I made it through all those years at Osprey and didn’t get to this? I’ve read Clausewitz. I like reading about strategy. I just haven’t made the move to buy it yet.
- Colum McCann, Let the Great World Spin – got it for Christmas and still haven’t opened it. Generally, I’m not a fan of novels set in NY, or indeed of NY itself. I’m also a bit worried that this will be right down there with the pretentious pile of crap that was Netherland. And yet, I do want to read it because it was a gift from someone whose judgment I trust.
- Jacqueline Sheehan, Now and Then – which an author sent me for free on behalf of Sheehan (who is a friend of his) and which I promised I’d read and have not. I haven’t been in the right mood for it yet.
- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations – well, obviously. I’ll get there.
- Leonard Sciascia, The Wine Dark Sea – I used to be able to read Sciascia in Italian, and I’d like to be able to do that again. Which means I have to re-learn Italian.
- David Kynaston, Family Britain – I got an Early Reviewer’s copy from LibraryThing months ago but the damn thing was too heavy to carry with me on the train and read while standing up.
- Piers Brandon, The Decline and Fall of the British Empire – which I bought in hb and which has been decorating the shelf for about a year. Again, it was too heavy to carry on the train, which was where most of my reading happened. And then, of course, 2010 (aka the year of not reading) came along.
- Louis MacNeice, The Agamemnon of Aeschylus – I’ve been looking for this ever since early on in my MA when I wrote a paper comparing various translations of parts of Aeschylus. It’s been on my wishlist forever, but was impossible to get hold of. I see that Faber Finds have put it back in print! Nice one.
- Martin Windrow, The Last Valley: Dien Bien Phu and the French Defeat in Vietnam – I have a signed copy and good intentions. Not that Martin has any expectations that I’ll read it, when I told him I hadn’t got around to it yet, he said ‘Of course you haven’t’. The unspoken ending to that sentence was ‘… little girl’, but it’s Martin so I can’t be offended.