Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Blown Away, in all kinda ways

Mark Blumenthal (
Fri, 31 Dec 1999 13:14:55 -0600

> his stuff. Part of the problem with this list is that it takes into
> account not just the quality of the book, but the circumstances in
> which you've read it. How can you rush out and buy all the works of a
> first-time novelist? Or an obscure pulpster whose works are
> justifiably affordable only to collectors? >

Kevin, I don't think there is an ideal list like this without people putting their own spins on it. I stipulated 'established authors' to try to have new authors not included but some people would rather give new or little read authors other than list the obvious ones. A problem you didn't mention is that you are not able to list authors you really like but don't measure up as absolute favorites. That might have been better for someone trying to make a reading list, but these authors are mentioned on this list frequently.

I think it also depends on when you are first exposed to an author. For instance, somebody on this list once asserted Ross MacDonald appeals most to people who start reading him around the age of thiry. That's true for me, but what if you start reading him in your teens or fifties?

Of course, depending on when you first discover an author he or she may have written only one book or have written so long ago the books will be so forgotten and inaccesable or prohibitively expensive. It's the breaks of the game. Mark

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