So, I got into a really deep conversation with my friend Silvery Dude before Christmas about how I might mark my turning 50. This has turned into two distinct projects: Films to Watch Before I’m 51 over on Bride of the Screen God, and now the The Big Re-Read, which is about re-visiting books that have been important to me for whatever reason over the years.

It won’t come as any great surprise that it took a great deal of consideration before I settled on my final what was supposed to be 12 books (one a month until 31 January 2013) and which is now what I’m calling a Baker’s Dozen plus Two. And I’m also starting a month later than intended which also tells you how much pondering I have done, adding books right up until yesterday. Some quite important titles haven’t made the cut for various reasons which I will explain when I get there.

I will write about these books once I’ve re-read them but they won’t be reviews as such, more an explanation of why they are important to me and a little bit of metadata (when I first read it, how many times since and so on). This is meant to be a fun thing, looking back over a reading life, which sounds a bit serious but really, really isn’t intended to be so.

Finally the list (in abasolutely no order whatsoever):

The honourable non-inclusions are:

  • Lord of the Rings – well , I’ve read this so many times and it had a huge impact on me but it is so magnificent that it really needs to stand on its own; and a re-read will happen at sometime I’m sure
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark – her masterpiece but already dealt with here
  • Family Happiness by Laurie Colwin – covered here
  • Duplicate Keys by Jane Smiley – a marvelous thriller/crime novel which I talked about here
  • Espedair Street by Iain Banks – Scottish rock novel extraordinaire