Tuesday, August 19, 2008

1001 books you must read before you die

Thanks to Kelly over at MyUtopia who inspired me to post something.

From this list

Books I have read
The Sea - John Banville
The Corrections - Jonathan Frantzen
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
Veronika decides to Die - Paulo Coelho
Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
Enduring Love - Ian McEwan
Underworld - Don DeLillo
Jack Maggs - Peter Carey
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis de Bernieres
The Robber Bride - Margaret Atwood
Smilla's Sense of Snow - Peter Hoeg (or as I read it, Miss Smilla's feeling for Snow)
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood
Oranges are not the only fruit - Jeanette Winterson
The Handmaids Tale - Margaret Atwood
The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
The World According to Garp - John Irving
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John Le Carre
Do Androids dream of Electric Sheep - Philip K Dick
The Spy who came in from the cold - John Le Carre
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie - Muriel Spark
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Cider with Rosie - Laurie Lee
Mememto Mori - Muriel Spark
The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
The Talented Mr Ripley - Patricia Highsmith
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (in both French and English!)
The Outsider - Albert Camus (in both French and English)
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
The Nine Tailors - Dorothy L Sayers
Thank you Jeeves - PG Wodehouse
Murder Must Advertise - Dorothy L Sayers
All Quiet on the Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
Lady Chatterley's Lover - DH Lawrence
Tarka the Otter - Henry Williamson
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd - Agatha Christie
The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
Women in Love - DH Lawrence
The Thirty Nine Steps - John Buchan
Sons and Lovers - DH Lawrence
The War of the Worlds - HG Wells
Dracula - Bram Stoker
The Picture of Dorian Grey - Oscar Wilde
Kidnapped - Robert Louis Stevenson
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
Through the Looking Glass, and what Alice found there - Lewis Carroll
Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
Ivanhoe - Sir Walter Scott
Emma - Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Aesop's Fables - Aesopus

It was really interesting to go through this list. When I got to Lord of the Flies, I felt myself getting really angry and disgusted, feeling the same way I felt when I read it. It isn't often that a book inspires such loathing in me. I remembered the bleakness of The Handmaids Tale, and my disquiet at The Bell Jar. I found myself with a huge smile on my face when I got to To Kill a Mockingbird - a book I reread at least once a year. I remembered the March family, and my continuing love of them as I read the sequels to Little Women. I can still picture in my mind some of the scenes from The World According to Garp - I read it probably halfway through high school and I was fascinated. Horrified, scandalised, but fascinated. Cider with Rosie was such a gentle read, ideal when I was convalescing from my hip surgery. Murder Must Advertise is one of my favourite Dorothy L Sayers books - it holds a special place in my heart and I revisit it at least once a year. The Nine Tailors was the first of her books that I read, and I remember being fascinated by the all the bell information, as well as completely engrossed in the mystery. Jane Eyre was so dark and gothic, but I wanted to know more. Having reread it recently, I got really frustrated with Jane.

Going through this list has been a lovely trip down memory lane for me. So much of my life has involved books, and they have been conduits to emotions and experiences I haven't had.

Which ones have you read?


MyUtopia said...

Wow! You have read a lot!

aart hilal said...


I'm a big fan of Paulo Coelho! You will love this! He's the first best-selling
author to be distributing for free his works on his blog:

Have a nice day!


Queenie said...

Arr! To kill a Mocking Bird, one of my all time favourites (did it in my O levels at school). I was thinking what books I could take to the hospital to keep my mind busy you have help me out here Ta!!!

In_spired said...

awww, gee, tim! I've always prided myself of having been a big reader. But looking through that list of 1001 books to read before I die, I think I need to GET BUSY and start reading!! I *have* read many of them but the one that jumped out at me was "Empire of the Sun" – J.G. Ballard. I can remember that it was such a disturbing story...but I couldn't put the book down until I had finished it. If you haven't read it, go online and get a synopsis of it. It's a great book and if I remember correctly, turns out o.k. in the end...but, my, oh my, what that little boy endured!!

velvet said...

Ooooh, books books books!

Great list! What a great lot that you've read. I absolutely love reading and have read quite a few of the books on your list (around twenty, if I've counted correctly).

It's tempting to do a list, but I remember it being a particularly big job when I put my virtual bookshelf together on Facebook. I've not quite recovered from that, yet. ;-)

Arukiyomi said...

If you're interested, there's a new version of Arukiyomi's 1001 books spreadsheet. Along with some cool new features, there are lists of both the revised 1001 books and those that were removed from the new 2008 list. That's right, the list has changed!

If you want a free copy of the spreadsheet, head over to Arukiyomi's blog.

Happy reading!