Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Beach Reading They're Not

Recently, I've been paging through the demanding 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. It's a hefty volume, one that's difficult to balance on your chest while lying in bed. After a few minutes last night, I was experiencing shortness of breath.

As you can see from the titles highlighted in boldface below -- entries from of the year I was born and the year I graduated from high school -- I'm a bit derelict in scheduling quality reading time. (Lately, I've been too busy listening to all of the Myron Bolitar "private-eye" novels.)

In a later post, I'm going to make it much easier for everyone and offer up the 11 books you must read before you die. (I don't think any of us is in the mood for zeros right now anyway.) And since they'll be books I've already read, I won't have to worry about a guilt trip. That will be directed at you.

Books published in 1949 among the 1001.
I've noted the current holdings and activity of LINK libraries.

1984 (George Orwell)
75 copies in LinkCat.

The Man with the Golden Arm (Nelson Algren) Saw the movie.
6 copies linked to 3 records in LinkCat; none is checked out.

Kingdom of this World (Alego Carpentier)
Madison Public Library owns the only copy; not checked out.

The Heat of the Day (Elizabeth Bowen)
8 copies in LinkCat; 1 checked out.

The Case of Comrade Tulayev (Victor Serge)
No copies in LinkCat.

Love in a Cold Climate (Nancy Mitford)
5 copies in LinkCat; 2 are checked out.

Books published in 1968

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (Tom Wolfe)
4 in LinkCat, 3 owned by Madison; 2 checked out.

Chocky (John Wyndham)
No copies in LinkCat.

The Quest for Christa T. (Christa Wolf)
Madison owns the only copy, and it's in storage.

A Kestrel for a Knave (Barry Hines)
No copies in LinkCat.

In Watermelon Sugar (Richard Brautigan)
1 copy + 7 anthologies in LinkCat, all but 2 owned by Madison; none is checked out.

The German Lesson (Siegfried Lenz)
3 copies in LinkCat; 2 checked out.

Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend is Laid (Malcolm Lowry)
No copies in LinkCat.

Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? (Philip K. Dick)
10 copies linked to 2 records in LinkCat + 3 anthologies; 5 are checked out.

2001: A Space Odyssey (Arthur C. Clarke) Seen the movie multiple times.
32 copies linked to 4 records in LinkCat; 1 checked out.

And the winner is.......Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

In addition to my list of 11, I'll let you know if I find a 1001 Books year in which I have a respectable track record.

1 comment:

Arukiyomi said...

From this post it seems you might be interested in heading over to Arukiyomi for a copy of the new version of Arukiyomi's 1001 books spreadsheet .

Along with calculating how many books you need to read a year before you die, there's all the 2008 edition books, all those removed from the 2006 edition, links to wikipedia , amazon.com and .co.uk and Google books.