Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

The Books That Built Me

with 4 comments

A couple of weeks ago Larry had a post about his important childhood books. His memory is better than mine so I’ve divided my childhood into two year chunks and guessed when I’ve had to. Still it gives you a pretty good idea of the books that shaped me as a reader.


Space Ranger by Isaac Asimov
The complete works of Roald Dahl
The Hobbit by JRR Tolkein
The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe by CS Lewis
My Friend Mr Leakey by JBS Haldane


The Lord Of The Rings by JRR Tolkein
Redwall by Brian Jacques
The Dark Portal by Robin Jarvis
The Animals Of Farthing Wood by Colin Dann
Down With Skool by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle


The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
The Colour Of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Wizard Of Earthsea by Ursula LeGuin
Dead Cert by Dick Francis
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle


The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson
Crash by JG Ballard
Dispatches by Michael Herr
Use Of Weapons by Iain M Banks
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller


The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
One Hundred Years Of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Regeneration by Pat Barker
White Noise by Don DeLillo
Candide by Voltaire


London Fields by Martin Amis
The Child In Time by Ian McEwan
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Problems Of Philosophy by Bertram Russell
Oscar And Lucinda by Peter Carey

Written by Martin

29 May 2009 at 11:15

Posted in books, life

4 Responses

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  1. […] Memory Lane May 29, 2009 — Niall I got this from Martin who got it from Larry (see also Adam’s post); the idea is to list the books that shaped you […]

  2. I’m fascinated by where we overlap (or near-overlap — I tried Redwall, for example, the series just never hooked me) and where we diverge. Is your 16-18 period driven by school choices (the only school book that became really important to me is The Chrysalids), or just independent evolution of taste?


    29 May 2009 at 12:40

  3. I don’t think any of those were school books. I did Candide and Catch-22 for A Level but I’d already read them both a couple of times. One Hundred Years Of Solitude and White Noise were my dad’s, the others I bought.

    Redwall I absolutely loved as a kid and I was really disappointed to see how badly it aged. Or rather I aged; it is really only enjoyable as a young child because the writing is pretty basic. The Dark Portal, on the other hand, stands up really well.


    29 May 2009 at 13:11

  4. Christ. I’m hugely impressed you’ve managed to list all these books. Me, I tried this, but had to give up for two reasons. One, I can’t for the life of me remember how old I was when I read a given book, except for school books. And two, there are a number of books which I remember lots of – except the titles and who wrote them. Ah well.


    29 May 2009 at 14:13

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