This originated on Facebook, and I had it from Helga Tawil-Souri.
Rules: In your status line, list 10 books that have stayed with you. Don’t take more than a few minutes; don’t think too hard. They don’t have to be great works, just the ones that have touched you. Tag 10 friends, including me so I’ll see your list.
So, doing it quickly, and without a huge amount of thought, I went for a couple of novels that I regularly re-read, books by the three most important thinkers to me, one on territory, a broad-scale history book, the book that (for all its flaws) inspired me to become whatever kind of geographer I am, and two research tools I couldn’t do without.
- Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose
- Herman Melville, Moby Dick
- Martin Heidegger, Being and Time
- Michel Foucault, History of Madness (tricky to chose just one though) [update: I’ve since realised it should have been the four volume Dits et Écrits, which has been incredibly important to how I read Foucault, and is rarely back on the shelf these days.]
- Henri Lefebvre, De l’Etat
- Jean Gottmann, The Significance of Territory
- Perry Anderson, Passages from Antiquity to Feudalism and Lineages of the Absolutist State (bit of a cheat, but they are really two volumes of the same study)
- Edward Soja, Postmodern Geographies
- The Oxford English Dictionary – the full, multi-volume one, or at a pinch, The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on Historical Principles
- The Ordnance Survey Map of Great Britain – for planning cycle routes as much as anything else
So many left off, but that’s not a bad list, and fairly representative of my interests. In Desert Island Discs you get the complete works of Shakespeare as a matter of course. If I had to pick just one play, it would be King Lear.