Ed’s Punkass Three Foot Shelf

Mark compiled a three foot shelf reading list, based on books he’s seen written up by James Wood. I think this is great idea and that it can also be applied to litbloggers. Here then is my Punkass Three Foot Shelf, a guide to titles that have been great sources of literary inspiration over the past few years:

Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye (for perspective)
James Baldwin, Giovanni’s Room (for grit and pain)
John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor (for satire and voice)
T.C. Boyle, World’s End (for ambitious narrative juggling)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from Underground (for perspective)
William Gaddis, The Recognitions (for amibition)
Allen Ginsberg, Collected Poems (for prose and voice)
Knut Hamsun, Hunger (for voice)
David Lodge, Small World (for comic clarity)
David Markson, This Is Not a Novel (for experimentalism and minimalism)
John P. Marquand, Sincerely, Willis Wayde (for perspective and clarity)
Don Marquis, archy and mehitabel (for the heart)
Ian McEwan, Atonement (for sumptuous subterfuge)
Henry Miller, The Rosy Crucifixion (for honesty)
David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas (for accessible ambition)
George Orwell, Collected Journalism (for clarity)
Mervyn Peake, Gormenghast Trilogy (for description)
Richard Powers, The Gold Bug Variations (for ambition)
Carol Shields, The Stone Diaries (for giddiness)
Gilbert Sorrentino, Mulligan Stew (for experimental narrative)
William T. Vollmann, The Rainbow Stories (for perspective, courage and honesty)
Colson Whitehead, John Henry Days (for perspective)
Richard Yates, Revolutionary Road (for prose, minimalism and editing)

One Comment

  1. In the interest of accuracy, I should point out that the shelf isn’t mine, per se, it’s James Wood’s. I’m merely the scribe.

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