Unsung books & all the fun of the fair

Making it up as I go along

The recent Big Jubilee Book List is the latest in a trend that’s been around for a while now. ‘Top 100 Books to Read Before You Die!’ ‘The BBC Believes You’ve Only Read 6 of These Books!*’, ‘Most Popular Books of (any year you care to choose!)’ And my particular favourite, ‘An Editor’s Bookshelf, Not Including the Pictures of Her Dog.’

The list, so to speak, is endless.

I’m not entirely sure what purpose these lists serve. That they are informative is a given, but the implied element of competition always strikes me as slightly passive aggressive. If you haven’t read Ulysses, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, or Love in the Time of Cholera, what on earth have you been doing with your reading time?

The books on display at the forthcoming Honno Authors Book Fair are, by and large, unsung…

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