Books published in my lifetime

Books published 1942- [actually the list ends in 2017, but I’m not finished yet]

This was supposed to be a list featuring one book from each year of my life. The books are ones which I have read at least once, or which I still consider significant reads for me. Some of them I still keep coming back to. The trouble was, I found it really hard, for some years, to restrict myself to just one per year, so I’ve indulged myself and included several ‘extras’.
1942 Albert Camus: The Stranger
1942: D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson: On Growth and Form [I encountered this in 1970 – an amazing concept in biology]
1943 T S Eliot: Four Quartets
1944 George Polya: How to Solve It [Encountered it as an OU maths text in 1971 and learned to apply its principles and strategies in life also]
1945 Elizabeth Smart: By Grand Central Station I sat down and wept
1945: George Orwell: Animal Farm
1946: William Carlos Williams: Paterson
1946: Mervyn Peake: Titus Groan
1947: Robert Graves: I, Claudius
1947: Albert Camus: The Plague
1948 Ezra Pound: Pisan Cantos
1949: George Orwell: 1984
1950: Ernest Hemingway: Across the River and Into the Trees [actually, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a better book, but it was published in 1940]
1951: Ray Bradbury: The Illustrated Man [The Martian Chronicles is superb too]
1952: Heinrich Harrer: Seven Years in Tibet [I also like his book on the Eiger, The White Spider. Who can forget the heartbreaking and harrowing story of the Hinterstoisser Traverse?]
1952: Dylan Thomas: Collected Poems
1953: L.P. Hartley: The Go-Between
1953: Dylan Thomas: Under Milk Wood
1954: William Golding: Lord of the Flies [And The Inheritors, told in the person of a Neanderthal]
1955: Samuel Beckett: Waiting For Godot [Heard it first as a radio play]
1956: Allen Ginsberg: Howl
1957: Jack Kerouac: On the Road
1957: Alan Watts: The Way of Zen
1958: Alan Sillitoe: Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
1958: Gregory Corso: Gasoline
1959: Günter Grass: The Tin Drum
1959: Jack Kerouac: Mexico City Blues
1959: Walter M Miller: A Canticle for Leibowitz
1959: D T Suzuki: Zen and Japanese Culture
1959: Jerome Rothenberg (ed): New Young German Poets
1960: Lawrence Durrell: Clea [I actually had the temerity to write about this for my Higher English in 1960. I got the Higher.]
1960: Donald M Allen (ed): The New American Poetry, 1945-60 [This book has been a major influence on me since I first read it in 1960]
1961: Joseph Heller: Catch-22
1961: Robert Ardrey: African Genesis
1962: J G Ballard: The Drowned World
1963: Thomas Pynchon: V
1963: George Schaller: The Mountain Gorilla: Ecology and behavior
1964: Richard Brautigan: A Confederate General At Big Sur
1965: Frank Herbert: Dune
1965: Gordon Y Craig: The Geology of Scotland
1965: Jack Kerouac: Desolation Angels
1966: Tom Stoppard: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
1966: Basho: The Narrow Roads to the Deep North (Penguin edition)
1966: Robert Ardrey: The Territorial Imperative
1966: DeVore, Irven (ed): Primate behaviour; field studies of monkeys and apes
1967: Roger Zelazny: Lord of Light
1968: John Updike: Couples
1969: John Fowles: The French Lieutenant’s Woman
1970: Larry Niven: Ringworld
1970: Gass, Ian (ed): Understanding the Earth
1971: Jane Goodall: In the Shadow of Man
1972: Paul Celan: Poems
1973: Erica Jong: Fear of Flying
1973: Thomas Pynchon: Gravity’s Rainbow
1974: Robert M Pirsig: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance [I still think of this book and what I learned from it]
1975: Primo Levi: The periodic Table
1976: Richard Dawkins: The Selfish Gene
1976: Lisa Alther: Skinflicks
1976: Raymond Carver: Will You Please Be Quiet, Please
1977: Marilyn French: The Women’s Room
1978: John Irving: The World According to Garp
1979: Tom Wolfe: The Right Stuff
1980: Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose
1981: Salman Rushdie: Midnight’s Children
1982: Brian W Aldiss: Helliconia Spring
1983: Charles Olson: The Maximus Poems
1984: Iain Banks: The Wasp factory
1985: Jeanette Winterson: Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
1986: Terry Pratchett: The Light Fantastic
1986: Natalie Goldberg: Writing Down the Bones
1987: Roddy Doyle: The Commitments [And I loved the film.]
1987: D J Mabberley: The Plant Book
1988: Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time
1989: Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day
1990: Iain M Banks: Use of Weapons
1991: Angela Carter: Wise Children [And I loved Nights At the Circus]
1991: Alan Spence:  Glasgow Zen
1992: Peter Høeg: Miss Smilla’s Feeling For Snow
1993: Annie Proulx: The Shipping News
1993: Renni Browne and Dave King: Self-Editing for Fiction Writers [The best practical writing manual]
1994: Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting
1994: Donny O’Rourke (ed): Dream State
1995: Philip Pullman: Northern Lights [Plus the others in the trilogy]
1995: Kathleen Jamie: The Queen of Sheba
1996: Colin Will: Thirteen Ways of Looking At the Highlands [My first poetry book to be published, so highly influential then and now]
1996: Robert Silverberg: The Majipoor Chronicles
1997: Arundhati Roy: The God of Small Things
1997: Bernard MacLaverty: Grace Notes
1998: Ted Hughes: Birthday Letters
1999: Sena Jeter Naslund: Ahab’s Wife
2000: Stephen King: On Writing
2000: Colin Tudge: The Variety of Life
2001: Yann Martel: Life of Pi
2001: Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Shadow of the Wind
2002:  Billy Collins: Nine Horses [and many other collections by him]
2003: Mark Haddon: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
2004: Richard Dawkins: The Ancestor’s Tale
2004: Roger Penrose: The Road To Reality: A complete guide to the laws of the universe [Difficult maths but very rewarding]
2004: Christopher Booker: The Seven Basic Plots
2005: Norman MacCaig: Collected Poems (new edition)
2005: Margaret Atwood: Hag-Seed
2006: Alan Spence: The Pure Land
2007: David Hinton: Mountain Home; the wilderness poetry of ancient China
2007: Hiroshige: One hundred Famous Views of Edo (Taschen edition)
2008: Ben Goldacre: Bad Science
2009: Hilary Mantel: Wolf Hall
2010 James Robertson: And the Land Lay Still
2011: Caitlin Moran: How To Be a Woman
2012: Robert Macfarlane: The Old Ways
2013: Barry Cunliffe: Britain begins
2014: James Robertson: 365 Stories
2015: Jean Manco: Ancestral Journeys
2016: Kathleen Jamie: Findings
2017: Barry Cunliffe: On the Ocean


About sunnydunny

Poet, publisher, gardener
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