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50 Books in a Year > 50 Greatest British Writers since 1945

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message 1: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
I was browsing the web last night and came across The Times 50 greatest British writers since 1954 and thought it might interest you all! Do you agree with the list?
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.u...
1. Philip Larkin

2. George Orwell

3. William Golding

4. Ted Hughes

5. Doris Lessing

6. J. R. R. Tolkien

7. V. S. Naipaul

8. Muriel Spark

9. Kingsley Amis

10. Angela Carter

11. C. S. Lewis

12. Iris Murdoch

13. Salman Rushdie

14. Ian Fleming

15. Jan Morris

16. Roald Dahl

17. Anthony Burgess

18. Mervyn Peake

19. Martin Amis

20. Anthony Powell

21. Alan Sillitoe

22. John Le Carré

23. Penelope Fitzgerald

24. Philippa Pearce

25. Barbara Pym

26. Beryl Bainbridge

27. J. G. Ballard

28. Alan Garner

29. Alasdair Gray

30. John Fowles

31. Derek Walcott

32. Kazuo Ishiguro

33. Anita Brookner

34. A. S. Byatt

35. Ian McEwan

36. Geoffrey Hill

37. Hanif Kureishi

38. Iain Banks

39. George Mackay Brown

40. A. J. P. Taylor

41. Isaiah Berlin

42. J. K. Rowling

43. Philip Pullman

44. Julian Barnes

45. Colin Thubron

46. Bruce Chatwin

47. Alice Oswald

48. Benjamin Zephaniah

49. Rosemary Sutcliff

50. Michael Moorcock



message 2: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
I really liked Philip Pullman and Roald Dahl when I was younger, and thought JK Rowling was a good author (but not necessarily top 50). I disagree with Tolkein though as I really didn't enjoy the Hobit or the Lord of the Rings. I do think CS Lewis is a good writer though, and Angela Carter I'd be willing to give another try!


message 3: by Sam (new)

Sam (Ecowitch) | 599 comments I agree with including Tolkien for two reasons, one I think his writing although detailed is amazing and two he is pretty much solely responsible for creating the fantasy genre that is now so popular.

Not so sure about JK Rowling being included though, admittedly she has managed to write a very popular series but I don't see it as being anything particularly special.


Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3555 comments I have only read a few of these authors. I didn't like Phillip Pullman but JK Rowling I can read all the time!

Ding! Idea!

We could have a challenge to read a book from the listed authors!

Ok just a thought! I will now go and have a lie down in a darkened room till it wears off!


message 5: by Sam (new)

Sam (Ecowitch) | 599 comments That's a good idea Lynne, it could even run side by side with the 50 books for the year without too much trouble.


message 6: by Lynne - The Book Squirrel (last edited Feb 10, 2010 09:32AM) (new)

Lynne - The Book Squirrel (SquirrelsEnd) | 3555 comments As I just listed book number 37 to my 50 books in a year, I think I should add on some of these don't you!?


message 7: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
Sam wrote: "I agree with including Tolkien for two reasons, one I think his writing although detailed is amazing and two he is pretty much solely responsible for creating the fantasy genre that is now so popul..."

I guess that is true, I just didn't like how much detail there was!

And Lynne - reading a book from each of these authors would be a good challenge, who's up for it? :)
Oh, and if you're already on book 37 I think it's time you started reading books in a different language or something to slow you down!


message 8: by Sam (new)

Sam (Ecowitch) | 599 comments Now there's an idea Zoe, foreign language books for Lynne and I would recommend she starts with a language close to home, how about a bit of Welsh ;-)

And I'm up for this author challenge!


message 9: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
Perhaps we should choose these authors for group reads too? If they're the best british authors since '45 then they deserve to be discussed :)


message 10: by Sam (new)

Sam (Ecowitch) | 599 comments Good point Zoe :-)


message 11: by Jo (new)

Jo I like the idea of a reading challenge or using the authors to pick group reads.

I agree with you guys on J K Rowling. Harry Potter is great and everything but its just one series and i doubt she would have made the list if it hadn't been so sucessful. I will give her one thing though, she has an amazing imagination!


message 12: by ✿ Deni (new)

✿ Deni (denidax) Great idea for a challenge! It will be great to have a "British writers challenge" in the UK book club... I'm not British and I haven't read them in school like many of you probably had, so this will be a good "excuse" to read some of those I never did before!

I loved TLOTR and The Hobbit... can't say the same about Harry Potter though!

Btw, Lynne, I can't believe you've already read 37 books in 2 months!!!! wow, I mean... wow, I take my hat off!!





message 13: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2896 comments Mod
Sounds interesting! I wonder how they decided on the greatest? There are some writers here that I love. Doris Lessing is amazing and writes in totally diverse genres - I think she is great. Also, love Phillip Pullman, George Orwell, Kazuo Ishiguro, JRR Tolkein and CS Lewis too. Roald Dahl is one of the reasons I came to love books so much in the first place. I read An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge and absolutely hated it - couldn't understand how she's won so may awards. It has put me off reading anything else by her but maybe I should give it another go at some point.


message 14: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
I always preferred Enid Blyton to Roald Dahl and want her to be on the list!

I have no idea how they chose the greatest writers... I would find it impossible to decide on who the best writers are...


message 15: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2896 comments Mod
Absolutely - I think I must have read every single Famous Five, Mallory Towers and St Claires book when I was a kid. The Magic Faraway Tree was the first "proper" (ie. no colour pictures) book I read. Sometimes people are critical of her writing aren't they? I think she writes imaginative stories that children love and creating a love of reading is pretty "great" so Enid Byton deserves to be on the list. Did anyone see the Helena Bonham-Carter drama about her? It was a bit of an eye opener!


message 16: by Zoe, UK Book Club Creator (new)

Zoe (zobo77) | 536 comments Mod
Yep same here! And the Secret Seven :)

I've not seen the drama, but I've seen a mini model version of her house at Bekonscot Mini Village hehe


message 17: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 240 comments Hi,
Glad to see Le Carre on the list, but Rushdie!!!? oh please!! still it takes all sorts I suppose, it would be a dull world if we all had the same tastes.
All the best,
Paul Rix [oldgeezer:]


message 18: by Timothy (new)

Timothy Pilgrim (oldgeezer) | 240 comments Hi Em,
I noticed your comment about Dame Beryl, it suddenly occured to me, she is the only one on the list I've met, several times! I've never read any of her books, in fact I couldn't have named one. That said she is one of the nicest people you will ever meet,she remembers me because I always have a cigarette lighter which works in the wind, she is one of the few people I know who smokes more than I do!!
The great thing about Beryl is she has no 'aires and graces' straight forward, if a little theatrical at times and she is a great champion of new authors.
All the best,
Paul Rix [old geezer:]


message 19: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2909 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Sounds interesting! I wonder how they decided on the greatest? There are some writers here that I love. Doris Lessing is amazing and writes in totally diverse genres - I think she is great. Also..."

Hi Em,
I've heard that An Awfully Big Adventure by Beryl Bainbridge is disappointing, (having never read it myself) but I HAVE read Every Man for Himself - her novel set on board the Titanic, and The Birthday Boys - about Scott's ill-fated expedition to the Antarctic and they are both excellent - among my favourites. Give her another go.....
Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge


message 20: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2896 comments Mod
Hi Paul,
Smokers unite eh! I'm sure she is lovely and I think I'll try another of her books soon. When/if you pick up one of her books sounds like An Awfully Big Adventure may be one not to chose - it was my book group choice and 2 of the group couldn't finish and those that did couldn't follow it - glad the author wasn't a fly on the wall for that discussion.


message 21: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2896 comments Mod
Hey Liz, you're actually the second person to recommend Every Man for Himself to me so I think I'll keep an eye out for it at the library. I was told that it took a few chapters to get into but was really gripping from there on in - is that what you found? When I get hold of a copy, I'll let you know how I get on.


message 22: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2909 comments Mod
Yes, I really enjoyed it - it's a bit like being a fly on the wall (of the Titanic). A slim novel, but she manages to fit plenty in!

(and luckily there's no-one to shout 'I'm the King of the World!'....cue Celine Dione)


message 23: by Em, Moderator (new)

Em (EmmaP) | 2896 comments Mod
Leo and Kate not in it then???! Shame.


message 24: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 2909 comments Mod
Em wrote: "Leo and Kate not in it then???! Shame."
LOL!



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