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1001 books you must read before you die.

Discussion in 'General Book Discussion' started by disconnected, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. tartan_skirt

    tartan_skirt New Member

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    I know what you mean in some respect, but just about every book by authors such as Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen and Philip Roth does not need to mentioned on the same list. Maybe they could solve both our problems and mention more books by some of the lesser known authors? ;)
     
  2. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Like: Acker, Adams, Amado, Andric, Arlen, Ballard, Banks, Barbusse, Barrico, Barker, Barnes, Bassani, Battaile, Behn, Berger, Bernhard, Blanchot, Bowen, Abreton, Buchan, Byatt, Cain, Canetti, Carey, Chang, Chartwell, Chatwith, Childers, Coe, Crace, Cummings, Dabbydeen, Dangarembga, Desani, Dewsponde, Dillon, Dodge, Drakulic, Dunker, Edgeworth, Equiano, Farrell, Faulks, Frisch, Garner, Gary, Gemmel, Gaskell, Gissing, Godwin, Gordimer, Gracq, Green, Greene, Hemon, Herr, Hoigg, Jameson, Jansson, Kelman, Kennealy, Kennedy, King, Kotzwinkle, Kraznahorkai, Lagerlof, Leavit, Lee, Lem, Lispector, Manning, Manson, Marias, Maturin, McCabe, McGahern, Mcgowan, Mishra, Multatuli, Oe, Ozdamar, Pagnol, Peake, Plunkett, Radiguet, Rose, Seghers, Selvon, Svevo, Thornburg, Timm, Toomer, Tressell, Verga, Warner, Wolf, Wright or Yourcenar?

    If there is some author you like that you think is under-represented in the list I'd be glad to look. :flowers:
     
  3. tartan_skirt

    tartan_skirt New Member

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    :lol: Just give me more of the Scots and I'll be happy. Iain Banks, Irvine Welsh and Alasdair Gray were all there, but sorely skimped on.
     
  4. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Then it sounds like we are looking at the same list, just differently. Hope I don't offend you by saying those would be examples of names that mean nothing to me and haven't made it to my short list. Nor Dickens either, for that matter, for different reasons.
     
  5. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    Usually one fiction/novel and one nonfiction.
    Many names here that I don't know and many represent other cultures/languages than the American English/English English I have spent most of my time with.

    Exceptions: the names bolded are English/English and first class and should be on anyone's list.
     
  6. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Many thanks for the bolded recommendations. I'll go check my short list.
    /returns/
    No Bowen, Byatt or Gaskell on my short list. But Greene is definitely there, with The Quiet American(read), The Third Man(read) and The Power and the Glory.
    I put the two greens in to see if anyone was paying attention. Couldn't resist. :lol: :flowers:
     
  7. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    Usually one fiction/novel and one nonfiction.
    Peder, I'm impressed by your flexibility. Recommendations follow.

    Gaskell, The Life of Charlotte Bronte (She knew Bronte and wrote this bio using her letters and family stories.)
    Byatt, Possession (a literary mystery, ignore the movie which was awful)
    Bowe, The Death of the Heart or The Heat of the Day or The House in Paris.
     
  8. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Silverseason, Recommendations and browsing bookstores and forums are the ways I find titles and authors, so I especially appreciate your recommendations.
    Many thanks for your consideration. I'll have to look into the Scotsmen whom Tartan Skirt mentioned also.
     
  9. pontalba

    pontalba Well-Known Member

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    dithering...
    I've just gone through the list and according to my calculations I have only read 58 of them, and have 107 in my TBR stack.
    Oh, and thanks to silverseason :) I have a Gaskell in the stack, Cranford.
     
  10. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    For those interested, my short list of 300 books is now up in my blog. As the general disclaimer says, the list impllies no recommendations one way or the other.
     
  11. Ronny

    Ronny Well-Known Member

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    I have read 65 of those books and I have about twice that many on my TBR shelf from the list, I also started maybe 10 of the list and didn't like or finish them.
     
  12. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    I can definitely identify with that feeling, now that I have put the list together and can view it as a whole. Looking at the books I have read I can certainly agree the quality is very variable, and some of the best books I have read don't appear.
     
  13. silverseason

    silverseason New Member

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    Usually one fiction/novel and one nonfiction.
    The quality is variable, but so the length. Short stories by Poe - The Fall of the House of Usher, The Pit and the Pendulum - as listed as are entire "collections" of books - Remembrance of Things Past, Dance to the Music of Time.

    That said, I intend to mine the list for authors I have missed until now.
     
  14. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    That's wonderful! :flowers:
    I assume you are meaning the longer list of 1001. There you will definitely meet authors you haven't heard of (I think). On my list they may be mostly familiar, because name-recognition was my purpose.
    I also think it is great that you seek out unfamiliar authors to broaden your reading, again not specifically a purpose of my condensation.
    One of these days I'm going to have to get hold of Boxall's book and see how the synopses sound. Just for the moment, I am restraining my clicking finger. :sad:
     
  15. Heteronym

    Heteronym New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    Small G - Patricia Highsmith
    From the list I've read:

    8 The Plot Against America – Philip Roth
    25 The Double – José Saramago
    37 The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster
    57 Ignorance – Milan Kundera
    62 The Human Stain – Philip Roth
    99 American Pastoral – Philip Roth
    114 Sabbath’s Theater – Philip Roth
    137 Operation Shylock – Philip Roth
    188 Moon Palace – Paul Auster
    194 The History of the Siege of Lisbon – José Saramago
    206 Libra – Don DeLillo
    213 The Black Dahlia – James Ellroy
    227 Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons
    236 Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel García Márquez
    245 White Noise – Don DeLillo
    251 The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis – José Saramago
    293 The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
    294 The Book of Laughter and Forgetting – Milan Kundera
    312 The Shining – Stephen King
    315 Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
    324 Autumn of the Patriarch – Gabriel García Márquez
    338 The Lost Honor of Katharina Blum – Heinrich Böll
    350 Invisible Cities – Italo Calvino
    371 The Atrocity Exhibition – J.G. Ballard
    375 Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr
    376 The French Lieutenant’s Woman – John Fowles
    389 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
    399 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel García Márquez
    434 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
    441 Labyrinths – Jorg Luis Borges
    449 Cat and Mouse – Günter Grass
    462 The Tin Drum – Günter Grass
    464 Henderson the Rain King – Saul Bellow
    494 The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
    508 Lord of the Flies – William Golding
    526 Day of the Triffids – John Wyndham
    529 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
    547 Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
    572 Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges
    649 Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
    675 Orlando – Virginia Woolf
    695 The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie
    701 The Trial – Franz Kafka
    706 The Magic Mountain – Thomas Mann
    716 Jacob’s Room – Virginia Woolf
    723 Ulysses – James Joyce
    736 A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
    741 Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham
    750 Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
    778 The Immoralist – André Gide
    781 The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    783 Kim – Rudyard Kipling
    789 The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
    790 The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
    791 The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
    794 Dracula – Bram Stoker
    796 The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells
    797 The Time Machine – H.G. Wells
    803 Diary of a Nobody – George & Weedon Grossmith
    804 The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
    809 The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
    820 The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
    823 King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard
    848 Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
    850 The Devils – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    854 Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
    862 The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
    866 Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne
    887 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    888 Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
    871 Notes from the Underground – Fyodor Dostoevsky
    874 Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev
    880 The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
    900 Mary Barton – Elizabeth Gaskell
    902 Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
    904 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
    909 The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe
    911 The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
    913 A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens
    916 The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe
    923 The Red and the Black – Stendhal
    931 Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
    959 The Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    965 The Castle of Otranto – Horace Walpole
    970 Candide – Voltaire
    983 Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
    987 Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe

    I'm such an erudite, well-read person :D

    The omissions are more than glaring; it's actually painful to browse it. I noticed that, in spite of the list being about books and not specifically novels or prose, not a single poem made it. I guess poetry is dead and let's not talk about it anymore. Also, once they left the 1800s they began grasping at straws to reach their magical number; the list gives the impression that between NOW and that ominious day when our forefathers left the trees there was a big void (or avoid?) in literature.

    It's a list as funny and pointless as any other I've seen.
     
  16. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    One can certainly say that with justification!

    Oddly enough, Boxall's lists are by no means unique. There are huge anthologies of American Literature, and English Literature and almost any other kind of collection, selection, anthology, best-of, etc, that one can imagine (or can't) on the shelves at Borders and I am not sure how many readers pay much attention to them either. Maybe as gifts for other people.

    Anyway, for amazement or amusement, the final updated list of 300 is up. :flowers:
     
  17. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    I hate to rain on everyone's parade, but...

    1001 books to read before I die? Based on what - or whose - criteria? I really don't see the point of these lists and 'TBR piles'. And I rarely take anyone's recommendation for a book, except for my wife's and she knows me and my taste in literature well enough to make recommendations.

    Seems to me like a lot of people are putting themselves under some kind of pressure - "oh no, got 437 books on my TBR list, how am I ever going to get through them?". Read what you like when you like and at a pace that suits you - why does it have to be any more complicated than that?
     
  18. Heteronym

    Heteronym New Member

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    I doubt you'll be raining on anyone's parade. No one seems to be taking this list too seriously. Sure, it's amusing to see how many books we've read off the list, but apart from crazies, I doubt anyone will be making it a life mission to complete it.
     
  19. PhilW

    PhilW New Member

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    Oh I don't know...I think there may be a few who do. "Competitive reading" I like to call it! Still, each to his/her own.
     
  20. impalpable

    impalpable New Member

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    Currently Reading:
    White Teeth - Smith & American Psycho- Ellis
    My TBR pile is just a stack of stuff that I want to read but haven't gotten to yet, and not necessarily because someone thinks it is something i should read. However, I like taking recommendations from people who have enjoyed books similar to those I enjoy because I end up reading a lot of things I may not have known about otherwise. Also, it seems to be the general concensus in this thread that the 1001 books (etc, etc) is a great way to read a bio for books from authors you may not have known about otherwise. I guess this book is definitely more beneficial to people who take recommendations though...
     

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