Little Miss Giles and the 1000 Novel Challenge…

Back in the day, I didn’t earn the Little Miss Giles nickname by watching tv (although I did do that too). Having a ‘real’ job instead of academia, getting a cat (that somehow became three cats), commuting sagas and living with a partner and hence losing my iron grip over sound and lighting levels in the bedroom are all factors in reading less than I used to, but I have noticed an enormous dip in volume of digested reads. I have become that creature I could never fathom – I have a build up of books I own and haven’t read! To be fair, the majority of these are Christmas gifts that I haven’t been able to read thanks to a near apocalyptic combination of swine flu/pneumonia/ear infection/trigeminal neuralgia/copious and freakishly strong amounts of medication to deal with same – but it still rankles. Literally watching television as I couldn’t hear what was going on, and too sick and drugged to read, I realised just how much I missed books. Having not really registered New Year at all thanks to the dreaded swine, I made a belated resolution to get back on the reading horse (if you will excuse me turns of phrase that don’t work on still being a pharmaceutical guinea-pig grounds).

In early 2009, The Guardian published ‘1000 novels everyone must read: the definitive list’ causing the stir that only labeling something ‘definitive’ can. The Guardian website was flooded with comments demanding to know why their preferred tomes were not included, querying the selection process, and questioning the gender imbalances in terms of author selection, and the ensuing debates, justifications, articles and trivia are well worth your time. Nonetheless, I was interested to find that as formerly voracious reader I was not able to cross as many as I would like off the list, and found precious few of my own most enjoyed on there. I did find the dreaded Pamela, which makes me worried about how much I am going to enjoy this challenge… Granted, it is not the list of the most loved novels, but still… Ian Fleming novels? More McEwan than Murakami? Six PG Wodehouses? Only one volume of the Gormenghast trilogy? Continue reading “Little Miss Giles and the 1000 Novel Challenge…”