Monday, December 6, 2010

booky memes and me

 (up close and personal with 'orbis floris - world flower II'  ..... what goes around comes around....)

I've been bemused and befuddled (it doesn't take much) by the recent rounds of the BBC book list (you know the one that goes  'The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books listed here....' and of course that's where the 100 books are then listed and peoples everywhere are frantic to prove that THEY score somewhere above average....) now here's the funny thing - this list goes around and around and around (I've seen this go around facebook twice now in about an 18 month period....) the list changes just a weeeee little bit as it goes (just like the game chinese whispers ) -  but no one ever links to an actual BBC site where you can find the original list.....

today I stumbled over this site that talked a little about how the BBC book meme supposedly operates.....

But still this doesn't stop me from wondering about what I might have read on the different listings.... or indeed on alternate book lists (like this one from TIME - its top 100 novels since 1923.... I score much the same here as with the 'BBC' mob and a whole lot better than I did with ampersand duckies oztralyan books list ) Anyway - I like reading about what everyone else has read (just as I like peeking at the library shelves at my friend's house..... or any house for that matter! Beware - I'm a shocking bookshelves snoop!)

And as I've filled in the lists (in my head mind you...) I noticed something so obvious I can't believe  that it hasn't registered until now....

I haven't read a 'new' (new to me that is) novel/ work of fiction in more than 15 years.... no wonder I was scratching my head trying to recall if I had read 'The Little Prince' or 'The Three Musketeers' etc.

Yet I'm an insanely booky girlie (I'm actually known by my uni as 'that lady with all the books'.... and they know nothing of my shed load of encyclopaedias!) I usually have about 20 books out on loan from them at any given moment.... and I'm usually reading about 5-9 books sorta simultaneously.


They're all Non-Fiction....

hrumpf! fancy that  - I haven't noticed this before....

And when I looked back (admittedly, mostly via my research bibliographies) I noticed that I read in clusters (does that happen to you too?)..... in the late 1990s I was mostly reading education theory (no surprises here - I was completing a Grad Dip Ed back then...) In recent times there's been my 'craft theory' cluster, 'sewing feminists' cluster, 'biblioclasm' cluster, 'new agriculture' cluster, and most importantly, my ongoing 'permaculture' cluster (actually this one has been a constant since the 1980s)

so I'm wondering - has anyone spied a 'non-fiction best-reads-of-all-time' list? (or something of that ilk)

Maybe I should create one.....

1. David Holmgren - 'Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability'


phworrrrr soooo many to choose from!

this list-making is exhausting (and I've only put down one!)

maybe I'll leave it to someone else to make and then I'll get to criticise everything that I think is missing!



  1. Oh, yes! With you on this meme thing.
    I didn't read any (or not much!) fiction for ages. Most of my reading was ag-science,apiarist,junior literature (ok-that included a lot of fiction!)gardening, art...
    But I think the last time I read a "hot" new novel was "Satanic Verses."

  2. Oh yes, leave it to someone else. I've been in our new house for nearly two years and surprisingly I find I'm almost unable to read a novel. This from reading 2-4 a week before. I think it's a sign of how much time I had on my hands back then in that other life. However, I've read dozens and dozens of non-fiction books in the past two years. Books on gardens and gardening, book binding and artists' books, natural history and art. Nothing very intellectual but very satisfying. Yay! for the non-fiction book!

  3. yay for non fiction!!!

    (yes I forgot to add my 'kiddies picture books' cluster, 'artists books, booky arts' cluster and just plain ole 'artyness' cluster - maybe we have all been reading the same non-fiction clusters!)

    maybe I WILL construct a list: fantastic non-fiction books I have read (in no particular order...)

  4. Hey, I'd love to see what we've got on our shelves that has been inspirational for BOA members... that could be an interesting list! I might hop over there now and ask the question!

  5. yay for lists!

    yay for inspirational tomes!


thanks for all your lovely comments - your words are greatly appreciated xx