Sunday 12 August 2007


I finished reading another Persephone Books publication this week - Doreen by Barbara Noble - which Carole very kindly sent me, as a sort of reciprocal gift in BAFAB. Thanks so much Carole! Really good novel, as all of PB's books are, but I shan't say much about it now, as are soon to embark on a group discussion about it, and I don't want to forestall myself. So I haven't started talking about Barbara Noble's book to give a review, this time - Doreen makes an appearance for a subtler reason.

For my birthday last November, a friend of the family (who happens to be a vicar's wife and mother of twins, but is not Our Vicar's Wife) gave me a notebook entitled 'Books I've Read, Books I Want To Read'. Well, this was rather a perfect little gift, I'm sure you'll agree. There are pages for every letter of the alphabet, which invite you to write the author, title, date completed, and compose a comment. I'm afraid I jettisoned the comment section straight away - I need all the space I can get to include all the books I've read, and, since I've kept a record since 2001, there were plenty to include. What I didn't realise is that, from 2001 until last week, I had read nothing by an author whose surname begins with N. I, Q, U, X, Y, and Z are similarly empty, but N is now no longer virgin territory - step forward Barbara Noble. I know for a fact that I've read E Nesbit, if no other N-ers, but Noble is the first to be entered into the book.

And so I'm going to follow the advice of a particularly unpleasant article I read about 'How To Make Money From Your Blog', and present a list. Feel free to send wads of cash in the post afterwards, if it takes your fancy. It interested me, and it might interest you, to see the oldest and most recent entry for each letter of the alphabet. The first book listed is the oldest one under each letter; the second is the most recent, and probably has been mentioned on the blog at some point. If that sounds deadly dull to you, then here's a question to answer instead - do you keep a list of the books you read? If so, where? And in chronological order, or by author?

Jane AUSTEN - Pride and Prejudice
Jane AUSTEN - Lady Susan

Lynne Reid BANKS - The L-Shaped Room
A.S. BYATT - The Matisse Stories

Lewis CARROLL - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Jackie CLUNE - Extreme Motherhood: The Triplet Diaries

E.M. DELAFIELD - The Provincial Lady Goes Further
Monica DICKENS - One Pair of Feet

Mary ESSEX - Tea Is So Intoxicating
George EGERTON - Keynotes

Helen FIELDING - Bridge Jones: Edge of Reason
E.M. FORSTER - A Room With A View

Gillian GILL - Agatha Christie: the Woman & Her Mysteries
Joyce GRENFELL & Katharine MOORE - An Invisible Friendship

Anne HART - Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot
Zoe HELLER - Notes on a Scandal

Tove JANSSON - The Summer Book
Jerome K. JEROME - Three Men In A Boat

Felicity KENDAL - White Cargo
Barbara KINGSOLVER - The Bean Trees

E.V. LUCAS - Mixed Vintage
John LYLY - The Woman in the Moone (sic...)

Christopher MILNE - The Path Through The Trees
Elizabeth MYERS - A Well Full of Leaves

Michael ONDAATJE - Anil's Ghost
Maggie O'FARRELL - The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox

David PELZER - A Child Called 'It'
Margaret PELLING - Work For Four Hands

J.K. ROWLING - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
J.K. ROWLING - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Elizabeth D. SHAFER - Exploring Harry Potter
Jan STRUTHER - Mrs. Miniver

Ann THWAITE - A.A. Milne: His Life
Claire TOMALIN - Katherine Mansfield : A Secret Life

VOLTAIRE - Candide

P.G. WODEHOUSE - Quick Service
Leonard WOOLF - Hunting The Highbrow


  1. Hello Simon,
    I'm intrigued by your lists, and thank you for yours about being halfway through Speaking of Love. Please don't worry about me reading your review (although of course I will be reading it!) But what I mean is I'm quite robust about reviews, and looking forward to yours, whatever it may say.

  2. And you will be my first 'Y', Angela!

  3. I keep 2 lists at present. One is just a chronological list on the computer. The other is in a small pink "Book Journal" (very pretty)which I've only had since Jan 2006, divided into sections - A - Z of "Books I've Read"; "Books I want to Read"; "Books on loan" (not A-Z);and "Notes & Comments". There are no entries in L and U as yet.

    Before 2006 I kept note books in which I wrote about the books as I read, but didn't manage to record everything. I'm a bit more organised now.

  4. Suggest "We" by Yevgeny Ivanovich Zamyatin for your first "Z" entry.

  5. Okay--Now I see your method. I usually add a title in my journal when I have finished a book. I keep my list chronologically.

  6. My book lists only go back to 2004 but that's been plenty of time for me to get obsessive. I keep a separate text file on my computer for each year, where I divide the books by genre (including categories for re-reads and books not finished). Then I list the books alphabetically by author under each heading. One day I'd like to have a complete list of all books read pre-2004, to see how many there are, but I doubt I can remember even a fraction.

  7. I keep track on my sidebar, but just started in January. I have A-Z title and author challenges here.

    I also keep a list chronologically every year. It's on the tabs at the top of the page.


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