The Alphabet Meme

Okay, I give in, I cannot resist this meme that’s doing the rounds. I do believe that the young and charming Simon from Stuck in a Book is responsible for the invitation to list our favourite books in alphabetical order:

ARAGON, Louis – Aurélien
BARNES, Julian – Flaubert’s Parrot
DARRIEUSSECQ, Marie – My Phantom Husband
ELLIS, Alice Thomas – The Summerhouse Trilogy
FITZGERALD, Scott – The Great Gatsby
GERMAIN, Sylvie – The Book of Nights
HESSE, Hermann – Steppenwolf
IRVING, John – A Prayer for Owen Meaney
JOSIPOVICI, Gabriel – Everything Passes
KAFKA, Frantz – Collected Short Stories
LESSING, Doris – The Golden Notebooks
MAXWELL, William – The Chateau
NDIAYE, Marie – Rosie Carpe
O’FARRELL, Maggie – The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
PAMUK, Orhan – The Black Book
QUENEAU, Raymond – Zazie in the Metro
RILKE, Rainer Maria – The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
SMILEY, Jane – A Thousand Acres
TRAPIDO, Barbara – The Travelling Hornplayer
UPDIKE, John – Marry Me
VICKERS, Salley – The Other Side of You
WINTERSON, Jeanette – Sexing the Cherry
X – no, sorry;  presume you need a Chinese author to fit in here.
YALOM, Irvin D. – Love’s Executioner and other Tales of Psychotherapy
ZELDIN, Theodore – An Intimate History of Humanity

I had to cheat a little with Y and Z using non-fiction authors, but they are both excellent books. Isn’t it funny how some letters of the alphabet attract lots of marvelous authors whilst others are sparse on the ground. I could have filled the spot for A, B, C, M, S, T and W many times over. Do you think that people born with surnames beginning with such letters have a little magical fairy dust sprinkled on them that encourages them to write?

In other news I am off to a conference tomorrow on motherhood – very exciting, and I hope to have some good tales to bring back from it on the weekend.


17 thoughts on “The Alphabet Meme

  1. Enjoy the conference. I do so agree about the Barnes, Smiley, Trapido and Vickers. I used to drive the students to distraction declaring ‘it’s the mistakes that let the light in’, but it is absolutely my credo.

  2. Like the list, nice to see some shared likes, although makes me feel underread as usual, most so when it’s a book or even author I’ve never heard of before. The letters least common are surely linked to the paucity of names beginning with them and their infrequency in English usage. Perhaps we could create a meta-narrative (whatever that is). Aurelien took Faubert’s Parrot (confused by being part of two novelists’ narratives) to the psychiatrist, Cheri, who was out tracking down Marie, out searching for her phantom husband among the three summerhouses which stood in the grounds of the Great Gatsby mansion. This was very dangerous as the Book of Hours had reached the Night and Steppenwolf was lurking in the shrubbery.It was time to offer up A Prayer for Owen Meaney and all those others in danger keeping in mind that Everything Passes, especially Short Stories even when written in Golden Notebooks at the Chateau by Rosie Carpe, just like Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, noted in his Black Book, by Zazie in the Metro and duplicated in the The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge….Sorry in crazy mood tonight! Do enjoy your conference.

  3. *Blushes*
    I’ve only read two of your list – The Great Gatsby and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox – so lots more to look out for there!
    Will go and add your name to the list of people who’ve done this fun little game… and have just realised I only know you as ‘litlove’! Do you stay under an internet alias, or do you have another name?!

  4. I noticed that about the alphebet and authors’ names – ‘N’ is a bit thin on the ground, so I was interested to see your choice. I haven’t heard of Marie Ndiaye. I have to admit that she’s not the only one of your list who is unknown to me, so I’ll be checking out a few of these.

  5. Wonderful selection of books here and many I don’t know which makes the whole thing even more delightful. I just picked up Flaubert’s Parrot from the library and can’t wait to dive in. I think whoever makes up these lists should also magically grant us all the extra hours we need to read the books listed on them 🙂

  6. I’m loving these lists! I see we share a love for A Prayer for Owen Meany 🙂
    Of course now I have to look for some of the other books you mentioned which I’ve not heard of. Enjoy your conference!

  7. Happy to see that Yalom made your list – he’s a real inspiration. And look forward to hearing about the motherhood conference.

  8. Dear BL – thank you so much – I wish you could have been there with me! I’d have enjoyed that. Ann – and what a magnificent credo that is. I have just borrowed it for my own! Bookboxed – as ever you amaze me with what you can do to/with one of my posts! Most amusing! But I think, if you don’t mind, I’ll stick with the romance of the fairy-godmother dust, as I’m sure loads of people have names beginning with D and R and they haven’t written books I possess. Or perhaps I should just buy more books…? Simon – I’ve been Litlove for so long here, and anonymous up until about Christmas 2007, but you may call me Victoria if you like. I’m loving the lists going around and adding a whole host of books I long to read to the tbr wish list…. Stefanie – lol! Please, please don’t do this meme. I’m in enough trouble with my own TBR pile as it is 🙂 Harriet – thank you! I take that as a real compliment coming from you and I will come and have a look at your list which will undoubtedly be full of gems. Booksplease – wasn’t N difficult! I had Andrea Newman’s A gift of poison down at first (or was it A Sense of Guilt, I can’t remember, both are good) and then I remembered the Ndiaye. It’s weird but I loved it. Jean – thank you and you are most welcome! I do hope you find some there that you’ll love. Dorothy – thank you! I’d love to know what you think of any that you do read. iliana – thank you! Aren’t these lists great? Although it gives me terrible book lust to read them! Bluepete – it’s a treat to come across someone who also likes Yalom. Have you read ‘When Nietzsche wept’? I have it on my shelves and have yet to get to it – soon, soon, I hope. Courtney – thank you! I’m back and it was… interesting. You know how conferences are!

  9. I was almost going to choose both Colette and Barbara Trapido! Both are wonderful authors (and I still love Chéri!–I need to read more of Colette’s work). The thing with these lists–I keep seeing more books I should have read and books I want to read. It’s a never ending process, isn’t it. And I hope you enjoyed your conference–perfect timing for your research!

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