I’m going to halt you right there if you’re going to say ‘there’s no such thing as books you must read’. There probably isn’t, if one wants to stretch a point. But there are authors and novels I would feel, on my deathbed, lacking from my reading life, if I were not to try them. Ok? Ok. Lovely.
So, I’m getting into the literary confessional, and letting you know some of the authors I am a little or a lot ashamed not to have read anything at all by. (Feel free to rephrase that sentence in your head, so that it doesn’t end with a preposition.) Some of these would be considered canonical – some are simply authors that people with my tastes love, and thus I feel I should have read. This is just, I think, British, Irish and American authors. If we started looking further afield than that, it would just get too embarrassing. Sorry if these authors are from elsewhere; blame my ignorance. And I’m sure I’ll think of dozens more later – these are just the ones who come to mind first.
If you spot a name and think “Wow, he hasn’t read anything by that author, he MUST read THIS RIGHT NOW” then do tell me with which title I should start.
Robert Louis Stevenson [EDIT: oops, forgot about Dr. J & Mr. H, I have read that!]
E. Arnot Robertson
W. Somerset Maugham