Tuesday, March 28, 2006

50 Books that Shaped the World

I've just received a Blackwell promotional email. Usually I delete these things without even looking at them. Getting them is one of the joys of subscribing to Blackwell journals, having a Blackwell bookshop almost opposite the office (where I spend more of my salary than I should do), and having one of their bloody loyalty card thingies which at least allows me to get some of said salary back again in the shape of yet more books. This email is much more interesting, and offers the opportunity for you to win fifty books which shaped the world, in the unlikely event you would have space on your shelves suddenly to accommodate fifty new books all in one go. I know we don't, so don't even think about entering the competition, BondBloke. But it's worth publicising the competition with a view to getting a discussion started on the topic.

As ever with these things, there are some odd inclusions and some odd exclusions. In view of his comment on a recent post about marital bliss and (by implication) traditional values, I am sure that the keeper of the Shrine of the Blind-Winger Jones will be relieved to see that Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management is included. I wasn't actually sure that Felicity Lawrence's Not on the Label has so far had a chance truly to shape the world. But more seriously, Madry will be appalled at the failure to include Goethe's Faust, and the absence of any Nietzsche. For myself, I am saddest about the absence of War and Peace, a seminal example of the "big book" which has, I think, shaped many lives (and probably deaths...).

Well, that should be just about enough controversy to get some discussion going.


Blogger BondBloke said...

What no Terry Pratchett - CALUMNY!!!!!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006  
Blogger mądry said...

I don't think Calumy is the right word here

Tuesday, March 28, 2006  
Blogger Gordon said...

Interesting list. Quite glad some of the more "traditional" classics are missing as they are, usually, over hyped (yes I'm talking about War and Peace here).

Still, not sure about Catcher in the Rye though. Vastly overrated (mind you I last read it some 12 years ago...).

Tuesday, March 28, 2006  

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