B is for British Writers Since 1945

I saw this list on Books and Bicycles who  found it at Musings from the Sofa and My Porch. It’s the Sunday Times list of ‘The 50 Greatest British Writers Since 1945.‘ So I thought I’d see how many I’ve read and it would be good for ABC Wednesday – B, a good choice for a Book Lover on a Book Blog.

1. Philip Larkin – I must have read some of his poetry but right now I can’t think of any.
2. George Orwell – yes, Animal Farm.
3. William Golding – Lord of the Flies – at school.
4. Ted Hughes – some.
5. Doris Lessing – no.
6. J. R. R. Tolkien  ‘“ read The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogy.
7. V. S. Naipaul – no.
8. Muriel Spark – several novels, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
9. Kingsley Amis – no.
10. Angela Carter – no.
11. C. S. Lewis – the Narnia books, plus some of his nonfiction.
12. Iris Murdoch – yes, several including The Bell and The Sea, The Sea.
13. Salman Rushdie – No.
14. Ian Fleming – No, but I have Diamonds Are Forever in my tbr piles .
15. Jan Morris – No.
16. Roald Dahl – Yes.
17. Anthony Burgess – No.
18. Mervyn Peake – The Gormenghast trilogy.
19. Martin Amis – No.
20. Anthony Powell – started A Dance to the Music of Time, but didn’t finish.
21. Alan Sillitoe – No.
22. John Le Carré – Not yet – have Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy waiting to be read.
23. Penelope Fitzgerald – No.
24. Philippa Pearce – who?
25. Barbara Pym – read some.
26. Beryl Bainbridge – read Master Georgie and According to Queeney – preferred this one
27. J. G. Ballard -Yes, loved Empire of the Sun.
28. Alan Garner – read several years ago, most recent was The Owl Service.
29. Alasdair Gray – who?
30. John Fowles – read The French Lieutenant’s Woman and The Magus – both really good.
31. Derek Walcott – Yes, for Open University course.
32. Kazuo Ishiguro – Yes – excellent, although I thought Never Let Me Go was so chilling.
33. Anita Brookner – Yes, years ago.
34. A. S. Byatt – Yes, but still haven’t read The Children’s Book.
35. Ian McEwan -Yes, love his books
36. Geoffrey Hill – Yes, for Open University course.
37. Hanif Kureishi – who?
38. Iain Banks -No – have The Wasp waiting to be read.
39. George Mackay Brown – who?
40. A. J. P. Taylor – No.
41. Isaiah Berlin – No.
42. J. K. Rowling – Yes.
43. Philip Pullman – Yes – great books.
44. Julian Barnes – Yes,  Arthur and George.
45. Colin Thubron – No.
46. Bruce Chatwin – Not yet, have On the Black Hill waiting to be read.
47. Alice Oswald – who?
48. Benjamin Zephaniah – who?
49. Rosemary Sutcliff – Yes, as a child.
50. Michael Moorcock – who?

I’ve read books by nearly half of these authors and haven’t heard of quite a few of them! Clearly there are loads of books out there I haven’t read, so plenty to choose from if I ever get through the books I own that I still haven’t read.

17 thoughts on “B is for British Writers Since 1945”

  1. wow, I fare worse than you. who’s #42; never heard of him.

    Michael Moorcock I’ve read comic book adaptations of his work. In fact, most of the names I know are not from reading them but from TV or film

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  2. I thought I was a book reader, but I did pretty badly out of this list — just three authors out of 50 that I can say I have read! And one of those I gave up on halfway through.

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  3. This is a great list and like a walk down reading memory lane. If you ever decide to read a Kingsley Amis book, I would so highly recommend Lucky Jim. It is a great book. Doris Lessing is tough to take, but I like her. Salmon Rushdie is also a favorite, but the book I like best is Midnight’s Children.

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  4. Sorry Margaret, but you slipped up a bit, #14 is OK but that means #22 is wrong. Please let me, as John le Carré is my favourite author (together with Ian Rankin as you well know) recommend The Little Drummergirl.
    I am certain that you remember the tv-series Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and Smiley’s People with the unforgetable Alec Guinness as George Smiley.
    Happe reading

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    1. Palle you are quite right – I should have said I have still to read The Spy Who Came in from the Cold for Le Carre. I certainly do remember the TV series. Thanks for the recommendation!

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  5. I did poorly; have read only 8 on your list. Tried Doris Lessing and couldn’t get through the Golden Notebook. Last year read Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence. Admired his playing with time and the voluminous research that must have gone into this book. I’m sure I’m the last person in the world who has not read a Harry Potter book or seen any of the movies.

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  6. My goodness, what a list…. and what a reader you are. I have nothing by praise for you. I thought I was a reader…but not of this calibur. Good post.

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  7. An interesting list! I must print it out… I didn’t count how many I’ve read this time round, but there weren’t any I hadn’t heard of. Two particular points: I notice that two you didn’t know were Scottish! Tsk! (Alasdair Gray and George Mackay Brown.) And you’ve only read ‘some’ Barbara Pym? Tsk! 😀

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    1. Thanks for enlightening me!! 🙂 I obviously am lacking in education, but I’ve only moved to the Scottish Borders 18 months ago & on the English side!!

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  8. Lists like this are great for giving us new names to explore. Many of the ones you aren’t familiar with I wasn’t familiar with either. I’d like to learn more about them.

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  9. Great group…the ones I know anyway…I’ve read a good many but there are many whose works I want to read! I have a bit of a bias towards all things British so this list is really cool!

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