random thoughts to oil the mind

Tag: Meme

1001 Books To Read Before You Die

This is one the larger circulars out there, of a fairly arbitrary list of books to read. The source is a title of the same name that appeared in print, edited by Peter Boxall. It’s not a particularly bad selection, and with any such list it would be impossible to please everybody, but I think it is fair to say that the more recent decades were rather over-represented (in particular 70 books from the 2000s, despite the book only being published in 2006). However, the list does make a good starting point, and it’s nice to see Miss Rowling’s works were conspicuous only by their absence — just such a shame that the price to pay was that of excluding all children’s literature.

As for getting through the list, I doubt very much if I’ll even read 1001 books before I die, let alone fiction books, or the particular ones from this list. However, I have ticked off a few titles already, and no doubt as many of them coincide with titles on my reading list I’ll be able to whittle the list down a little further. Titles I’ve read to date are in bold.

Last update: 1st January 2023

Words from the Page

Courtesy of Caro, here’s my contributory few lines from The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg, page 123, three sentences from the fifth one on:

And, indeed, the coda of the first movement, with its slippery, chromatic bass and the awesome moans above it, remains a paralyzing experience. That is the way the world ends. It is absolute music, but it clearly represents struggle, and it is hard to hear so monumentally anguished a cry without reading something into it. The trouble is that face with such music, all of us tend to become sentimentalists, reading into it the wrong message.

So he sums up the Ninth Symphony of that “Revolutionary from Bonn” as the chapter title has it. A pretty decent book on the whole. And yes I realise that was four sentences.

Now the bigger question of who to pass this on to. Let’s see if and how Steffi, Heliologue and Rob respond.

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