23 May 2006

Books to Bragg about

Bookshops and television screens are currently plagued by Melvyn Bragg’s vanity project ’12 Books That Changed The Wolrd’. There are only so many ways in which Bragg could fail on this project; not being able to count to twelve would be one of them, not understanding what a book is the other. It is the latter which has proved a stumbling block for Bragg who has chosen speeches and declarations. There’s not a novel in sight, nor anything non-British. Read the whole sorry mess here.

So in the hope of providing a more thoughtful list, I contacted any vaguely intellectual type I could think of. Out of 93 pleas to actors, playwrights, journalists etc I got 12 positive replies. Looking in my inbox became a new source of rejection; Internet daters have it hard.
“Ms Fielding thanks you for your interest but is declining”, came the reply from Helen Fielding’s agent. Funny that, considering the debt Bridget Jones owes to Jane Austen I thought ripping off a successful book would be of great interest to her.

I even contacted Richard and Judy, overcoming my heart-stopping hatred of Richard Madeley. It seemed impossible to contact just Judy; like her vodkas, they only come as a double.

So here are the kind souls who replied, along with those that we didn't have room for. Any glaring omissions? Leave your own comments.

15 comments:

David Cameron, 21st century Tory Boy said...

'Goodbye to All That' by Robert Graves

Arabella Weir, comedienne said...

'Middlemarch' by George Eliot

Alain de Botton, TV philosopher said...

'Das Capital' by Karl Marx

Zia Sardar, author of 'Why Do People Hate America' said...

'The Analects of Confucius'

Peter Tatchell, gay rights activist said...

'Animal Liberation' by Peter Singer

Stephen Tindale, director of Greenpeace said...

'News from Nowhere' by William Morris

Andrew Murray, chairman of 'Stop the War' said...

'The Communist Manifesto' by Karl Marx

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, columnist said...

'The Satanic Verses' by Salman Rushdie

David Crow, Glasgow Guardian editor said...

'What a Carve-up' by Jonathan Coe

Johann Hari, journalist said...

'The Missionary Position' by Christopher Hitchens and 'High Tide: Dispatches from a warming world' by Mark Lynas

David Edwards, half of media watchdog Media Lens said...

'The Marvelous Companion' by Aryasura

David Cromwell, the other half of Media Lens said...

'A Search for Scotland' by R. F. Mackenzie

Hugh Miles, author of 'Al-Jazeera' said...

'Atomised' by Michel Houellebecq

Niall Ferguson, celebrity historian said...

'General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money'by John Maynard Keynes's

Kenneth Hislop said...

The Koran. I am very serious. Im not sure what edition, but as it is the source of one of the worlds biggest religions doctrine, its surely has to feature.