130 – Time to write?

I follow a blog called 101 Books written by a guy who’s reading his way through all of Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Books since 1923 (1923 being the date Time was founded), plus Ulysses, which was published in 1922.

It’s full of books you’ve probably read or want to read. Out of the 101, I’ve read 19½. Number 19, White Noise by Don Dilillo, I read a few weeks ago. Number 18, Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry, I finished in the summer. Number ½, I half read in Plymouth 14 years ago, leaving the other half in a bar. It was Ulysses.

Of course, I don’t totally agree with the list. But nobody would. Lists are very personal things. Take shopping lists, for instance. Most people buy milk, eggs and cheese (The Grapes of Wrath, 1984, Catch-22) but not necessarily smoked blood sausage, desiccated chicken livers, or tubs of chilli infused anchovy paste (Cannery Row, Nausea, A Confederacy of Dunces) that I do. But that’s OK. A lot of people like salads.

Talking of books, you may ask, ‘Say, Oggers, how’s your book coming along?’

‘It’s going very well thank you very much. Slow and damn hard work – harder than any job I’ve done – but I’m well into my second draft now and the 3 May deadline is looking good.’

The writer of the 101 Books blog recently posted a link to an infographic (called a diagram when I was at school) called The Wakeup Times of Famous Writers. You can view it here, or I can save you the trouble by telling you that Balzac woke at 1am to write. Sylvia Plath at 4am, Vonnegut at 6am, Hemmingway at 6am. Dickens at 7am, Burroughs at 9.30am, Joyce at 10am and Bukowski at midday – as you would expect if you’ve read Bukowski.

When I first started my book, I was waking at 7.45am and was at my desk by 8.15. However, since Christmas, I’ve been getting up later, at nine, because it’s been so bloody cold and dark. But I don’t think it really matters. The key is to start as soon as possible, before the demons take hold: Am I going to run out of money? Maybe I should get a job. Do I eat too much sausage. Is my novel any good? Will it be on a list of greatest novels one day…

Time Magazine’s 100 Greatest Books – (how many have you read?)

The Adventures of Augie March

All the King’s Men

American Pastoral

An American Tragedy

Animal Farm

Appointment in Samarra

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

The Assistant

At Swim-Two-Birds



The Berlin Stories

The Big Sleep

The Blind Assassin

Blood Meridian

Brideshead Revisited

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Call It Sleep


The Catcher in the Rye

A Clockwork Orange

The Confessions of Nat Turner

The Corrections

The Crying of Lot 49

A Dance to the Music of Time

The Day of the Locust

Death Comes for the Archbishop

A Death in the Family

The Death of the Heart


Dog Soldiers


The French Lieutenant’s Woman

The Golden Notebook

Go Tell it on the Mountain

Gone With the Wind

The Grapes of Wrath

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Great Gatsby

A Handful of Dust

The Heart is A Lonely Hunter

The Heart of the Matter



A House for Mr. Biswas

I, Claudius

Infinite Jest

Invisible Man

Light in August

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe


Lord of the Flies

The Lord of the Rings

The Moviegoer


Lucky Jim

The Man Who Loved Children

Midnight’s Children


Mrs. Dalloway

Naked Lunch

Native Son



Never Let Me Go

On the Road

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Painted Bird

Pale Fire

A Passage to India

Play It As It Lays

Portnoy’s Complaint


The Power and the Glory

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Rabbit, Run


The Recognitions

Red Harvest

Revolutionary Road

The Sheltering Sky

Slaughterhouse Five

Snow Crash

The Sot-Weed Factor

The Sound and the Fury

The Sportswriter

The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

The Sun Also Rises

Their Eyes Were Watching God

Things Fall Apart

To Kill a Mockingbird

To the Lighthouse

Tropic of Cancer


Under the Net

Under the Volcano


White Noise

White Teeth

Wide Sargasso Sea

For full article click here


5 thoughts on “130 – Time to write?

  1. A paltry 36. And I call myself a reader….
    The most recent that I’ve read is Rabbit Run just before Christmas and I hated it. White Noise is in my 746 TBR pile and I’m looking forward to it.


  2. Pingback: 217 – The Mugwump | BLOGLEY

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