I follow a blog called 101 Books written by a guy who’s reading his way through all of Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Books since 1923 (1923 being the date Time was founded), plus Ulysses, which was published in 1922.
It’s full of books you’ve probably read or want to read. Out of the 101, I’ve read 19½. Number 19, White Noise by Don Dilillo, I read a few weeks ago. Number 18, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, I finished in the summer. Number ½, I half read in Plymouth 14 years ago, leaving the other half in a bar. It was Ulysses.
Of course, I don’t totally agree with the list. But nobody would. Lists are very personal things. Take shopping lists, for instance. Most people buy milk, eggs and cheese (The Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Catch-22) but not necessarily smoked blood sausage, desiccated chicken livers, or tubs of chilli infused anchovy paste (Cannery Row, Nausea, A Confederacy of Dunces) that I do. But that’s OK. A lot of people like salads.
Talking of books, you may ask, ‘Say, Oggers, how’s your book coming along?’
‘It’s going very well thank you very much. Slow and damn hard work – harder than any job I’ve done – but I’m well into my second draft now and the 3 May deadline is looking good.’
The writer of the 101 Books blog recently posted a link to an infographic (called a diagram when I was at school) called The Wakeup Times of Famous Writers. You can view it here, or I can save you the trouble by telling you that Balzac woke at 1am to write. Sylvia Plath at 4am, Vonnegut at 6am, Hemmingway at 6am. Dickens at 7am, Burroughs at 9.30am, Joyce at 10am and Bukowski at midday – as you would expect if you’ve read Bukowski.
When I first started my book, I was waking at 7.45am and was at my desk by 8.15. However, since Christmas, I’ve been getting up later, at nine, because it’s been so bloody cold and dark. But I don’t think it really matters. The key is to start as soon as possible, before the demons take hold: Am I going to run out of money? Maybe I should get a job. Do I eat too much sausage. Is my novel any good? Will it be on a list of greatest novels one day…
Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Books – (how many have you read?)
For full article click here