Tuesday, December 14, 2010

1001 Books to Read Before You Die

What Red Read has put up an interesting post about the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list and challenge. Like her, I don't plan on doing the challenge ("What?!" I hear you say, "Bev can actually pass up a challenge?" Yeppee. Most of the books on that list have very little appeal for me). But I was curious to see how I've done on reading books off the list. I've read 105 of them. Most we can chalk up to my English major in college (you can bet that I would NOT have read near as many Hemingways if I hadn't been forced by the English Department). There are probably about 50 or so that are on my long TBR list--but beyond that, I probably won't get around to the rest of the list before I die. There are too many books that I want to read to set myself up for reading 800-900 more books that somebody else thinks are so important. If you want to see how you've done with the list, just click on the 1001 link above.

Here's what I've done by period (I borrowed the set-up from Red):

Aesop's Fables by Aesopus #

(What, no Dante? No Shakespeare?? What kind of list is this, anyway?)

Don Quixote by Cervantes $

A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift $
Candide by Voltaire $
A Sentimental Journey by Laurence Sterne $

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen #
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley #
The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allen Poe #
The Pit & the Pendulum by Edgar Allen Poe #
The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas #
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas #
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte #
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte *
Moby Dick by Herman Melville *
Walden by Henry Thoreau $
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert $
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins #
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens *
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo #
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll #
Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne #
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins #
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott #
Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll #
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne #
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy $
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain #
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson #
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde #
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle #
The Time Machine by H G Wells #
The Island of Dr. Moreau by H G Wells #
Dracula by Bram Stoker #
The War of the Worlds by H G Wells #
The Awakening by Kate Chopin $

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad $
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle #
The Call of the Wild by Jack London #
A Room with a View by E M Forster $
Sons & Lovers by D H Lawrence $
The Rainbow by D H Lawrence $
Women in Love by D H Lawrence $
Siddhartha by Herman Hesse *
Ulysses by James Joyce # (although it wasn't exactly fun)
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin #
The Professor's House by Willa Cather #
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie #
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway $
Lady Chatterly's Lover by D H Lawrence #
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett #
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway $
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett #
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley #
A Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain #
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers #
The Nine Tailors by Dorothy L Sayers #
Absalom, Absalom by William Faulkner $
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell #
Of Mice & Men by John Steinbeck *
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien *
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier #
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck #
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway $
The Little Prince by Antione de Saint-Exupery #
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren #
Animal Farm by George Orwell *
Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton $
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell *
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov #
The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger #
The Old Man & the Sea by Ernest Hemingway *
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming #
Lord of the Flies by William Golding #
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov #
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee #
Rabbit, Run by John Updike $
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein #
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller $
Labyrinths by Jorges Luis Borges #
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess #
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey *
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov $
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut #
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote $
The Magus by John Fowles #
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys #
2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke #
Ada by Vladimir Nabokov #
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou #
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles $
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth #
Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut #
Dispatches by Michael Herr $
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams #
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco #
Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams #
July's People by Nadine Gordimer $
The Color Purple by Alice Walker #
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood $
Perfume by Patrick Suskind #
Contact by Carl Sagan #
Foucoult's Pendulum by Umbero Eco #
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro #
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje #

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon #

$ =Read for college
* =Read for high school
# =Read for pleasure


Red said...

It is weird that there's no Dante or Shakespeare on here. I mean, they have Watchmen which is a comic book.

There were a couple other books on the list I'd like to read, but like you there are a lot I won't mind if I never get to.

Roof Beam Reader said...

I own a copy of one of the first editions of the 1,001 Books to Read Before you Die - they update it (and change the list) every once in a while, so I've just decided to go off of my original - and, so far, I've read 100. I, too, read many for college/graduate school, but quite a few I chose on my own (I actually read the entire anthology - all the summaries for 1,001 books) after deciding which ones sounded appealing or interesting. I have plans to read them all, some day, but will only be able to do so if I go off the original list; otherwise, there will be new books on top of new books on top of..etc. It's a great, long-term challenge, I think and, actually, quite a few (like The House in Paris by Elizabeth Bowen; The Wasp Factory by Ian Banks; Nip the buds, shoot the Kids by Kenzaburo Oe) were books I had never heard of -and probably never would have - but which were rather enjoyable and particularly interesting as being historical and/or non-American. So, it's been a good adventure for me, so far!

Glad you shared your list - here's mine, if you're interested.


Bev Hankins said...

Missed two when I did this originally...have added 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C Clarke & Ada by Nabokov.

Found them when I was going back through to see how many more are on my TBR list: only 33