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Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Graffiti: Vandalism or Art?

Where I live (Runcorn, Cheshire, North West of England) graffiti normally takes the form of words. Not elegantly formed, just "Baz woz ere" or "Snoddy is a grass", I'm sure you recognise the calibre?

Now, not far from us, in Liverpool, there is this rat or cat (the argument rages in poetry) by Banksy, along with his Love Plane, his locally controversial statement, his Hip-hop kitty and the kids in gas masks generally attributed to him. most of which is generally recognised to be a form of art, rather than common vandalism, especially his Christmas present to the Walker Art Gallery in the city.

Luckily, local artists have decided that this is something to be emulated, rather than continue with the normal level of badly spelled observations about other people's love lives!

I present to you Runcorn's answer to Banksy:
The Runcorn Cow & The Penguin in the Park (different artists may have been responsible)


I am keeping my eyes peeled in the hope of seeing some more, but there's been nothing else so far!

Monday, 2 September 2013

The books that everyone else thinks that I should have read...

If you read, or are interested in what other people are reading, then like me, you will receive occasional lists with snappy titles such as "100 books to read before you die!", or "The 200 Greatest Books, as voted for by [Insert random group of people here]", or even "10 Classic Books that were once BANNED!", you get the idea.

So, last year, having been sent something like 8 of these in quick succession, I decided to make the 'ultimate' list. I combined all but one of the lists (the complete published works of Jacqueline Wilson were removed, sorry), and then deleted the duplicates.

Now, I will admit, a few of these lists were a bit specialised, and had been sent to me because I enjoy historical fiction. However, for the most part, my shiny new "ultimate" list, which has been saved to my dropbox as "THE List", contains 278 books which other people think that I ought to have read.

Some, I had already read, some, I had never heard of, and some, I'll be honest, I had just been putting off. Never-the-less, I decided to embark on a challenge to read ALL of the 278 books, even those I have read previously! If I aim for one a month it should take me around 23 years... but still, I'm young & I have longer than that until I can claim a state pension, so technically (and obviously barring an early demise) it should be feasible.

If you are interested, this is "THE List"... Wish me luck!





No
Title
Author
1
1984
George Orwell
2
A Bend in the River
VS Naipaul
3
A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
4
A Clockwork Orange
Anthony Burgess
5
A Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole
6
A Farewell to Arms
Ernest Hemingway
7
A Fine Balance
Rohinton Mistry
8
A Passage to India
EM Forster
9
A Prayer For Owen Meany
John Irving
10
A Separate Peace
John Knowles
11
A Suitable Boy
Vikram Seth
12
A Tale Of Two Cities
Charles Dickens
13
A Town Like Alice
Nevil Shute
14
Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll
15
All Quiet On The Western Front
Erich Maria Remarque
16
All the King's Men
Robert Penn Warren
17
All the Pretty Horses
Cormac McCarthy
18
American Psycho
Bret Easton Ellis
19
An American Tragedy
Theodore Dreiser
20
And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie
21
Animal Farm
George Orwell
22
Anna Karenina
Leo Tolstoy
23
Anne Boleyn
Evelyn Anthony
24
Anne of Green Gables
LM Montgomery
25
Artemis Fowl
Eoin Colfer
26
As I Lay Dying
William Faulkner
27
Atonement
Ian McEwan
28
Behind The Scenes At The Museum
Kate Atkinson
29
Beloved
Toni Morrison
30
Birdsong
Sebastian Faulks
31
Black Beauty
Anna Sewell
32
Bleak House
Charles Dickens
33
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley
34
Brideshead Revisited
Evelyn Waugh
35
Bridget Jones's Diary
Helen Fielding
36
Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer
37
Captain Corelli's Mandolin
Louis de Bernieres
38
Catch-22
Joseph Heller
39
Cat's Cradle
Kurt Vonnegut
40
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Roald Dahl
41
Charlotte's Web
E. B. White
42
Christine
Stephen King
43
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchel
44
Cold Comfort Farm
Stella Gibbons
45
Crime and Punishment
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
46
Danny The Champion Of The World
Roald Dahl
47
Darkness at Noon
Arthur Koestler
48
Daughter of York
Anne Easter Smith
49
David Copperfield
Charles Dickens
50
Don Quixote
Miguel De Cervantes
51
Dracula
Bram Stoker
52
Dune
Frank Herbert
53
East Of Eden
John Steinbeck
54
Emma
Jane Austen
55
Fantastic Mr Fox
Roald Dahl
56
Far From The Madding Crowd
Thomas Hardy
57
Farenheit 451
Ray Bradbury
58
Flowers In The Attic
Virginia Andrews
59
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Ernest Hemingway
60
Forrest Gump
Winston Groom
61
Frankenstein
Mary Shelley
62
George's Marvellous Medicine
Roald Dahl
63
Germinal
Emile Zol
64
Go Tell It on the Mountain
James Baldwin
65
Gone with the Wind
Margaret Mitchell
66
Good Omens
Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
67
Goodnight Mister Tom
Michelle Magorian
68
Goosebumps
R. L. Stine
69
Gormenghast
Mervyn Peake
70
Gravity's Rainbow
Thomas Pynchon
71
Great Expectations
Charles Dickens
72
Gulliver's Travels
Jonathan Swift
73
Harry Potter Series
JK Rowling
74
Heart of Darkness
Joseph Conrad
75
Heidi
Johanna Spyri
76
Her Highness the Traitor
Susan Higginbotham
77
Her Majesty's Will
David Blixt
78
High Fidelity
Nick Hornby
79
Holes
Louis Sachar
80
House Of Leaves
Mark Z. Danielewski
81
Howards End
EM Forster
82
I Capture The Castle
Dodie Smith
83
In Cold Blood
Truman Capote
84
In Search of Lost Time
Marcel Proust
85
Invisible Man
Ralph Ellison
86
It
Stephen King
87
James And The Giant Peach
Roald Dahl
88
Jane Eyre
Charlotte Brontë
89
Jonathan Livingstone Seagull
Richard Bach
90
Jude the Obscure
Thomas Hardy
91
Kane And Abel
Jeffrey Archer
92
Katherine
Anya Seton
93
Kim
Rudyard Kipling
94
King Hereafter
Dorothy Dunnett
95
La Reine Margot
Alexandre Dumas
96
Lady Chatterley's Lover
D.H. Lawrence
97
Les Misérables
Victor Hugo
98
Life of Pi
Yann Martel
99
Little Women
Louisa May Alcott
100
Lolita
Vladmir Nabokov
101
Lord of the Flies
William Golding
102
Lorna Doone
R. D. Blackmore
103
Love In The Time Of Cholera
Gabriel García Márquez
104
Madame Bovary
Gustave Flaubert
105
Magician
Raymond E Feist
106
Main Street
Sinclair Lewis
107
Man And Boy
Tony Parsons
108
Maria Stuart
Friedrich Schiller
109
Master And Commander
Patrick O'Brian
110
Matilda
Roald Dahl
111
Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
112
Memoir's of an Imaginary Friend
Matthew Dicks
113
Men Without Women
Ernest Hemingway
114
Middlemarch
George Eliot
115
Midnight's Children
Salman Rushdie
116
Moby Dick
Herman Melville
117
Money
Martin Amis
118
Monsieur Pamplemousse Investigates
Michael Bond
119
Naked Lunch
William S. Burroughs
120
Native Son
Richard Wright
121
Northern Lights (The Golden Compass)
Philip Pullman
122
Notes From A Small Island
Bill Bryson
123
Noughts And Crosses
Malorie Blackman
124
Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
125
Oliver Twist
Charles Dickens
126
On The Road
Jack Kerouac
127
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Ken Kesey
128
One Hundred Years Of Solitude
Gabriel García Márquez
129
Papillon
Henri Charriere
130
Perfume
Patrick Süskind
131
Persuasion
Jane Austen
132
Point Blanc
Anthony Horowitz
133
Possession
AS Byatt
134
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen
135
Queen by Right
Anne Easter Smith
136
Rabbit, Run
John Updike
137
Rebecca
Daphne Du Maurier
138
Rebecca's World
Terry Nation
139
River God
Wilbur Smith
140
Robinson Crusoe
Daniel Defoe
141
Rose Madder
Stephen King
142
Salome
Oscar Wilde
143
Sense and Sensibility
Jane Austen
144
Shogun
James Clavell
145
Silas Marner
George Eliot
146
Sister Carrie
Theodore Dreiser
147
Skeleton Key
Anthony Horowitz
148
Slaughterhouse-Five
Kurt Vonnegut
149
Song of Solomon
Toni Morrison
150
Sons and Lovers
D.H. Lawrence
151
Sophie's Choice
William Styron
152
Sophie's World
Jostein Gaarder
153
Stormbreaker
Anthony Horowitz
154
Stranger in a Strange Land
Robert Heinlein
155
Sunset Song
Lewis Grassic Gibbon
156
Swallows And Amazons
Arthur Ransome
157
Tess Of The D'Urbervilles
Thomas Hardy
158
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Mark Twain
159
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
160
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Mark Twain
161
The Alchemist
Paulo Coelho
162
The Ambassadors
Henry James
163
The Awakening
Kate Chopin
164
The Beach
Alex Garland
165
The Bell Jar
Sylvia Plath
166
The BFG
Roald Dahl
167
The Bible
Various
168
The Call of the Wild
Jack London
169
The Catcher in the Rye
JD Salinger
170
The Clan Of The Cave Bear
Jean M Auel
171
The Colour Purple
Alice Walker
172
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare
173
The Concubine
Norah Lofts
174
The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas
175
The Cruel Sea
Nicholas Monsarrat
176
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
Mark Haddon
177
The Da Vinci Code
Dan Brown
178
The Day Of The Jackal
Frederick Forsyth
179
The Day Of The Triffids
John Wyndham
180
The Diary Of A Nobody
George and Weedon Grossmith
181
The Diary of Anne Frank
Anne Frank
182
The Discworld Series
Terry Pratchett
183
The Divine Comedy
Alighieri Dante
184
The Eagle of the Ninth
Rosemary Sutcliffe
185
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
Tom Wolde
186
The Far Pavilions
M. M. Kaye
187
The Five People You Meet In Heaven
Mitch Albom
188
The Flight of Gemma Hardy
Margot Livesey
189
The Forsyte Saga
John Galsworthy
190
The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck
Mary Shelley
191
The God Of Small Things
Arundhati Roy
192
The Godfather
Mario Puzo
193
The Golden Notebook
Doris Lessing
194
The Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck
195
The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
196
The Green Mile
Stephen King
197
The Handmaid's Tale
Margaret Atwood
198
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Carson McCullers
199
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Douglas Adams
200
The Hobbit
JRR Tolkien
201
The Horse Whisperer
Nicholas Evans
202
The Hound Of The Baskervilles
Arthur Conan Doyle
203
The Importance of Being Ernest
Oscar Wilde
204
The Inferno
Dante
205
The Jungle
Upton Sinclair
206
The Jungle Book
Rudyard Kipling
207
The Kite Runner
Khaled Hosseini
208
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
CS Lewis
209
The Little Prince
Antoine De Saint-Exupery
210
The Lord of the Flies
William Golding
211
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
JRR Tolkein
212
The Lovely Bones
Alice Sebold
213
The Magic Faraway Tree
Enid Blyton
214
The Magus
John Fowles
215
The Maltese Falcon
Dashiell Hammett
216
The Marriage of Margotta
Edith Pargeter
217
The Master And Margarita
Mikhail Bulgakov
218
The Mayor Of Casterbridge
Thomas Hardy
219
The Naked and the Dead
Norman Mailer
220
The Name Of The Rose
Umberto Eco
221
The Old Man And The Sea
Ernest Hemingway
222
The Once And Future King
T. H. White
223
The Outsider
Albert Camus
224
The Paper Girl
Guillame Muso
225
The Pickwick Papers
Charles Dickens
226
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Oscar Wilde
227
The Pillars Of The Earth
Ken Follett
228
The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver
229
The Power Of One
Bryce Courtenay
230
The Princess Diaries
Meg Cabot
231
The Quiet American
Graham Greene
232
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Robert Tressell
233
The Remains of the Day
Kazuo Ishiguro
234
The Satanic Verses
Salman Rushdie
235
The Scarlet Letter
Nathaniel Hawthorne
236
The Scarlett Pimpernel
Baronness Orczy
237
The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13¾
Sue Townsend
238
The Secret Garden
Frances Hodgson Burnett
239
The Secret History
Donna Tartt
240
The Shadow of the Wind
Carlos Ruiz Zafon
241
The Shell Seekers
Rosamunde Pilcher
242
The Shipping News
Annie Proulx
243
The Silver Sword
Ian Serraillier
244
The Sound and the Fury
William Faulkner
245
The Stand
Stephen King
246
The Sun Also Rises
Ernest Hemingway
247
The Thirty-Nine Steps
John Buchan
248
The Thorn Birds
Colleen McCollough
249
The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas
250
The Time Traveler’s Wife
Audrey Niffenegger
251
The Turn of the Screw
Henry James
252
The Twits
Roald Dahl
253
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Milan Kundera
254
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Eric Carle
255
The War of the Worlds
HG Wells
256
The Wasp Factory
Iain Banks
257
The Way of All Flesh
Samuel Butler
258
The Way We Live Now
Anthony Trollope
259
The Wind in the Willows
Kenneth Grahame
260
The Witches
Roald Dahl
261
The Woman in White
Wilkie Collins
262
The World According To Garp
John Irving
263
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Zora Neale Hurston
264
They Used To Play On Grass
Terry Venables and Gordon Williams
265
Three Men In A Boat
Jerome K. Jerome
266
To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee
267
To the Lighthouse
Virginia Woolfe
268
Trainspotting
Irvine Welsh
269
Treasure Island
Robert Louis Stevenson
270
Tropic of Cancer
Henry Miller
271
Ulysses
James Joyce
272
Under the Volcano
Malcolm Lowry
273
Vanity Fair
William Makepeace Thackeray
274
War and Peace
Leo Tolstoy
275
Watership Down
Richard Adams
276
Winnie the Pooh
AA Milne
277
Women in Love
D.H. Lawrence
278
Wuthering Heights
Emily Brontë