Spent a little time last night and (inspired by Book World, who was in turn inspired by Francine Prose) made up a couple of new lists which you can see at bottom right, after the LibraryThing widget and my list of books read so far this year.

The first is a list of authors whom (to my shame) I have never read (not a single work, be it a short story, book, poem, play...). I am baring all my weaknesses to you, kind readers, so... be kind. The second is a list of authors of whose work (because I enjoyed what I have read so far or because their work is so gosh darn canonical) I would like to read more. I put these lists up in the hope that, at some distant point in the future when I am seeking out a new book, I will be inspired to take up one of the authors I have never read, or to expand my knowledge of those I have already sampled. [Both lists are somewhat foolishly organized in alphabetical order by the author's first name. This is a silly organizational method, but I am now quite fond of it, since it is, in essence, a sort of organized shuffle that puts authors out of the order in which I am used to seeing them.]

I must admit that this second list is also inspired by a LibraryThing discussion about what encounters with authors have inspired you to read everything that author wrote. Although from time to time I get this urge when I read new authors (most recently with Pat Barker and Paul Auster), I almost never follow through in any kind of exhaustive way. As I say on LibraryThing, Jane Austen (and, for that matter, Tom Stoppard) is the rare author about whom I can claim any kind of extensive knowledge. Maybe a few other authors I covered for my orals would also count, like Shakespeare or Congreve, but even with the kind of enforced devotion to single authors that qualifying exams evoke, I only managed to cover parts of these writers' canons.

Are there egregious gaps in your reading? Authors you have always meant to try but haven't yet gotten around to? Tell me about them....

[Loose Baggy Monster's comment has inspired the possibility of a challenge relating to these lists, and the gaps in all of our reading. Go here for more details.]