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Tony Grist

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Before You Die [Jun. 24th, 2019|11:31 am]
Tony Grist
A bookseller has sent me a list of 55 books I ought to read before I die.

And the question is why?

Not why did they send me the list but why are these particular books so essential?

I gave it a quick once over and my heart sank. Nothing quirky, non-obvious, outside the canon. The first title was To Kill A Mockingbird.

I was watching an interview with Patrick DeWitt yesterday and he was saying you've got to find the books that speak to you. He was largely self-educated, he says, which meant he dodged the canon.

It doesn't seem to have hobbled his writing skills.

I'm on his team, totally...
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: mexpatriot
2019-06-24 04:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I don't think anyone has to read To Kill A Mockingbird. That's more of a political thing than a literary thing. I don't like when those two things become conflated. A great overlooked (also because of politics) book is Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-06-24 05:00 pm (UTC)
There are so many great overlooked books.

I guess Mockingbird is the Bible of American liberalism.

I haven't read it but I've seen the movie- and that's enough, surely.
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[User Picture]From: davesmusictank
2019-06-25 03:38 am (UTC)
What was once canonical may no longer be so these days. Tastes do change.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2019-06-25 07:09 am (UTC)
Yes indeed. This list contains Game of Thrones but unaccountably omits Charles Kingsley's Westward Ho!
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