Waterstones is running a venture known as The Writer’s Table where a writer chooses 40 books. The first list was from Sebastian Faulks and the new list is from Philip Pullman and available here – and what a fascinating list. With le Carre, WIlkie Collins, Dawkins, Herge, Hogg, MR James, Moomins Lovecraft, Flann O’Brien, Molesworth, Spiegelman’s Maus, and Wodehouse among others. Pullman indicated in an interview with Simon Mayo last week that he did not want to choose the over-familiar in his list, and he ranges across genre fiction, classics, poetry, non-fiction, graphic novels, children’s books, and plenty in translation – in fact he’s the sort of person you’d love to be in charge of a school syllabus.
I’m tempted to give my own forty books and will ponder that before my next post – but would be really interested to see the lists of 40 books that various people on my f-list would come up with.