1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Book Pdf ePub

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

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3.822,316 votes • 333 reviews
Published 07 Mar 2006
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.pdf
Format Hardcover
Pages960
Edition41
Publisher Universe Publishing(NY)
ISBN 0789313707
ISBN139780789313706
Languageen-US



For discerning bibliophiles and readers who enjoy unforgettable classic literature, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is a trove of reviews covering a century of memorable writing. Each work of literature featured here is a seminal work key to understanding and appreciating the written word.The featured works have been handpicked by a team of international critics and literary luminaries, including Derek Attridge (world expert on James Joyce), Cedric Watts (renowned authority on Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene), Laura Marcus (noted Virginia Woolf expert), and David Mariott (poet and expert on African-American literature), among some twenty others.Addictive, browsable, knowledgeable--1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die will be a boon companion for anyone who loves good writing and an inspiration for anyone who is just beginning to discover a love of books. Each entry is accompanied by an authoritative yet opinionated critical essay describing the importance and influence of the work in question. Also included are publishing history and career details about the authors, as well as reproductions of period dust jackets and book designs.

"1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" Reviews

Emily May
- The United Kingdom
4
Mon, 28 Mar 2011

I have never had a problem finding books to read.
My whole life, I've never had a problem finding books to read and love. Of all kinds. Of all genres. I would seek them out, one way or another; they couldn't hide from me. From the Goosebumps books I found lying around on the shared shelves in the classrooms of my first school, to my pretentious swanning around my local library in search of those books called "classics" which meant you were totally smart if you read them (oh yes, I was a real delight as a child). I remember being about seven years old and asking my mum to get me a library card - I checked out the maximum of twelve each time, even though I could only read about one and a half back then before it was time to return them. Once, I even came to my mum in floods of tears because I'd let my books become overdue and thought I was going to prison.
I would even find the books which people had gone to great lengths to hide from me. It's an odd memory that I doubt I'll ever forget. I must have been about eight or nine years old and my family were staying with friends in Holland. The house was beautiful. Huge. And most likely hiding a door that would lead me straight into another world if only I could find it. I stumbled through unused rooms on the third floor like a kid discovering Narnia until I found a box of books. I gravitated towards them. I can't quite tell you why, but goodreads is the sort of place where I might have a chance of finding someone who understands. I've just always read. I honestly can't remember a time before reading, when books weren't in my life. I don't know if I read as an escape or because of an interest in learning about other people or just to say I could and did. I read everything I could get my hands on. Including the books in this box, which were, shall we say, enlightening. I was appalled - appalled, I tell you! - at the things people are willing to put in their mouths. Needless to say, I read all of the book in question and instinctively never mentioned it to my parents. I'm sure some would like to think of me as a poor wee cherub whose innocence was stolen by evil books - maybe so, but I would put my money on Stine's chicken people being the real culprit rather than a bit of fellatio.
No, I have never had a problem finding books to read.
But I have had a problem finding people who understand what it's like to really LOVE reading. Maybe even need it. People who associate periods of their life with the kinds of things they were reading then, whether in school or in dusty old rooms of a house in Holland. The kind of people who take personal journeys into books and write responses that are part review, part stories in themselves. This is what goodreads has always given me. It's given me people who've loved a book so much that they've had to tell a story about a specific part of their life - that was the only way they could express the strength of their feeling. It's given me people who write poems for reviews or just post pictures because words aren't enough for what they want to say. A lot of these "reviews" don't help me decide whether I'll like a book or not. Many could be considered off-topic, not really about the book in question. And it amuses me how little the Goodreads moderators/managers/whoever actually understand: the books don't really matter.
What Goodreads doesn't seem to understand is that the vast majority of their inactive members who created accounts, rated Lord of the Flies, and then quickly left - they came here because they like books. The others, the minority, who provide thousands of reviews, check the site religiously for friend updates, and are under direct attack by the new policies - they came here for the community. For the friends. For the memes. For the poems. For the rants. For the pointlessness. For the off-topic stories. For the ability to express themselves freely.
Goodreads has done a truly fantastic job of not getting it. Of not getting why this site is successful. Goodreads thinks people come to this site for the books; they think they've reinvented the art of finding your next read. Oh, who are they kidding? There are a thousand other books like this and services and unused rooms in Holland that have been helping people find something to read for years. Most of them are quicker and more reliable, and all of them have fewer trolls. No. Goodreads is a long-forgotten URL in the internet history of millions of people but it means something important to only a few. I came to a site called "Goodreads" because I like books, but it was the people, the wonderful, off-topic people that gave me a reason to stay. You know why I'm still here after all this time? It's not the fucking books. It's the heartfelt expressions of utter delight and rage in the "reviews" of the friends I've made. Or it's the funny memes they post and the pictures of their cats. Or it's that teenage girl who emailed me after reading my pretty damn off-topic review of This Song Will Save Your Life and said she was going through the same thing but my review gave her encouragement to make it through each day.
Goodreads, I don't need your help finding books to read.
I can feel this site losing its value bit by bit. With every creative, talented and interesting person that leaves, goodreads loses more of my interest. I can honestly feel my interest waning each day. I used to keep goodreads open in a permanent tab that I would refresh a ridiculous number of times so I didn't miss anything. Now? I'm bored. This site now has more books than ever before and I'm bored. Because it was everything off-topic about Goodreads that gave the site its worth. I can find books elsewhere. Easily. Without issue. I've been doing it my whole life.
This is not a protest review. For one thing, that would imply that I expect or hope it to have some kind of effect - I don't. This is not a review at all, actually. This is just a post of my thoughts for people to take as they wish. As I've always done on Goodreads and as I will continue to do. I'd say I don't care if someone deletes this, but that would be a lie. Because every deleted "review" is another piece of something I love being chipped away.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Paul
- Nottingham, England, The United Kingdom
5
Tue, 26 May 2015

There are so many literary awards these days but I think the following notable achievements have been TOTALLY MISSED. So here are the All Time Award winners :
Best Keith Richard impersonation : W H Auden
Award for the Best exotic dance : Colette and Diablo Cody (tie)
Most transgendered author : Gustave Flaubert
“Madame Bovary, c’est moi” - Ok, if you say so
Creepiest family portrait : The Fitzgeralds
Most ridiculous hats, if that’s what they are : Rebecca West :
Author who most looked like their own books : Jean Rhys
Author who least looked like their own books : William Burroughs
Best beard : Samuel R Delany
Craziest beard : Georges Perec
Worst dancer : Truman Capote
Most awed by his own talent : Anthony Burgess
Best fistfight between great authors : Vargas Llosa versus Gabriel Garcia Marquez. We give the award to the loser:
Best calypso singer : Maya Angelou
Most pretentious suit : Tom Wolfe
Best interviewees : Margaret Atwood and James Ellroy (tie)
- invite them on your chat show, you'll get your money's worth.
I must have missed out some awards.... any suggestions?

Paul
- Nottingham, England, The United Kingdom
4
Wed, 26 Sep 2007

Has anyone thought of this already? Surely they have....
I wonder if it would be possible here on Goodreads to have a page listing all the 1001 books and - here's the thing - links to our own reviews of them (maybe with a limit in the case of famous books with a zillion reviews). It would be an interesting resource and would encourage people to review those which haven't got any reviews at all - say, for instance, The Taebek Mountains by Jo Jung-rae or Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga. It would add to the GR fray, and that is what we are here for : the fray.
**
HISTORY OF THE THREE EDITIONS OF 1001 BOOKS, IN CASE YOU WERE WONDERING
(if you weren’t wondering then move along, nothing to see here, this is for terminal list geeks only)
The original edition came out in 2006 and got a lot of stick for its eurocentricity and eccentricity – what? 10 Coetzee novels and 8 McEwans? It looked a little like bribery and corruption, or maybe the editorial board had just gone mad. So in 2008 they rethought the whole list. 282 books were dumped and new ones added.
2008 additions
1. Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
2. Falling Man – Don DeLillo
3. Animal's People – Indra Sinha
4. Carry Me Down - M.J. Hyland
5. The Kindly Ones - Jonathan Littell
6. The Inheritance of Loss - Kiran Desai
7. The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
8. Against the Day - Thomas Pynchon
9. Mother's Milk - Edward St Aubyn
10. The Accidental - Ali Smith
11. Measuring the World - Daniel Kehlmann
12. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
13. Suite Francaise - Irene Nemirovsky
14. 2666 - Roberto Bolano
15. Small Island - Andrea Levy
16. The Swarm - Frank Schatzing
17. The Book about Blanche and Marie - Per Olov Enquist
18. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
19. The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
20. Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
21. The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
22. A Tale of Love and Darkness - Amos Oz
23. Lady Number Thirteen - Jose Carlos Somoza
24. The Successor - Ismail Kadare
25. Snow - Orhan Pamuk
26. Your Face Tomorrow - Javier Marias
27. I'm Not Scared - Niccolo Ammaniti
28. Soldiers of Salamis - Javier Cercas
29. Bartleby and Co. - Enrique Vila-Matas
30. In Search of Klingsor - Jorge Volpi
31. The Museum of Unconditional Surrender - Dubravka Ugresic
32. Pavel's Letters - Monika Moron
33. Dirty Havana Trilogy - Pedro Juan Gutierrez
34. Savage Detectives - Roberto Bolano
35. The Heretic - Miguel Delibes
36. Crossfire - Miyuki Miyabe
37. Margot and the Angels - Kristien Hemmerechts
38. Money to Burn - Ricardo Piglia
39. Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
40. A Light Comedy - Eduardo Mendoza
41. Democracy - Joan Didion
42. The Late-Night News - Petros Markaris
43. Troubling Love - Elena Ferrante
44. Santa Evita - Tomas Eloy Martinez
45. Our Lady of the Assassins - Fernando Vallejo
46. The Holder of the World - Bharati Mukherjee
47. Waiting for the Dark, Waiting for the Light - Ivan Klima
48. Remembering Babylon - David Malouf
49. The Twins - Tessa de Loo
50. Deep Rivers - Shusaku Endo
51. The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll - Alvaro Mutis
52. The Dumas Club - Arturo Perez-Reverte
53. The Triple Mirror of Self - Zulfikar Ghose
54. All the Pretty Horses - Cormac McCarthy
55. Memoirs of Rain - Sunetra Gupta
56. Uncle Petros and Goldbach's Conjecture - Apostolos Doxiadis
57. Before Night Falls - Reinaldo Arenas
58. Astradeni - Eugenia Fakinou
59. Faceless Killers - Henning Mankell
60. The Laws - Connie Palmen
61. The Daughter -Pavlos Matesis
62. The Shadow Lines - Amitav Ghosh
63. The Great Indian Novel - Shashi Tharoor
64. Gimmick! - Joost Zwagerman
65. Obabakoak - Bernardo Atxaga
66. Inland - Gerald Murnane
67. The First Garden - Anne Herbert
68. The Last World - Christoph Ransmayr
69. Paradise of the Blind - Duong Thu Huong
70. All Souls - Javier Marias
71. Black Box - Amos Oz
72. Ballad for Georg Henig - Viktor Paskov
73. Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto
74. Of Love and Shadows - Isabel Allende
75. The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman - Andrzej Szczypiorski
76. Ancestral Voices - Etienne van Heerden
77. Blood Meridian - Cormac McCarthy
78. Annie John - Jamaica Kincaid
79. Simon and the Oak Trees - Marianne Fredriksson
80. Half of Man is Woman - Zhang Xianliang
81. Professor Martens' Departure - Jaan Kross
82. The Young Man - Botho Strauss
83. Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich
84. Larva: Midsummer Night's Babel - Julian Rios
85. The Witness - Juan Jose Saer
86. The Christmas Oratorio - Goran Tunstrom
87. Fado Alexandrino - Antonio Lobo Antunes
88. The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa
89. Baltazar and Bleminda - Jose Saramago
90. Memory of Fire - Eduardo Galeano
91. Couples, Passerby - Botho Strauss
92. The House with the Blind Glass Windows - Herbjorg Wassmo
93. The War of the End of the World - Mario Vargas Llosa
94. Leaden Wings - Zhang Jie
95. Clear Light of Day - Anita Desai
96. Smell of Sadness - Alfred Kossmann
97. Southern Seas - Manuel Vazquez Montalban
98. Fool's Gold - Maro Douka
99. So Long a Letter - Mariama Ba
100. A Dry White Season - Andre Brink
101. The Back Room - Carmen Martin Gaite
102. The Beggar Maid - Alice Munro
103. Requiem for a Dream- Hubert Selby Jr.
104. The Wars - Timothy Findley
105. Quartet in Autumn – Barbara Pym
106. The Engineer of Human Souls – Josef Skvorecky
107. Blaming - Elizabeth Taylor
108. Almost Transparent Blue – Ryu Murakami
109. Kiss of the Spider Woman - Manuel Puig
110. Woman at Point Zero - Nawal El Saadawi
111. The Commandant - Jessica Anderson
112. The Year of the Hare - Arto Paasilinna
113. The Port - Antun Šoljan
114. The Dispossessed - Ursula K. Le Guin
115. The Diviners - Margaret Laurence
116. Day of the Dolphin - Robert Merle
117. The Optimist's Daughter - Eudora Welty
118. The Twilight Years - Sawako Ariyoshi
119. Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro
120. Cataract – Mykhailo Osadchyi
121. A World for Julius - Alfredo Bryce Echenique
122. Play It As It Lays - Joan Didion
123. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies
124. Jacob the Liar – Jurek Becker
125. Here's to You, Jesusa - Elena Poniatowska
126. Season of Migration to the North - Tayeb Salih
127. The Case Worker - Gyorgy Konrad
128. Moscow Stations - Venedikt Erofeyev
129. Heartbreak Tango - Manuel Puig
130. The Cathedral – Oles Honchar
131. The Manor - Isaac Bashevis Singer
132. Z – Vassilis Vassilikos
133. Miramar – Naguib Mahfouz
134. To Each His Own - Leonardo Sciascia
135. Marks of Identity - Juan Goytisolo
136. Silence – Shusaku Endo
137. Death and the Dervish - Mesa Selimovic
138. Closely Watched Trains - Bohumil Hrabal
139. Back to Oegstgeest - Jan Wolkers
140. Gardens, Ashes – Danilo Kis
141. Three Trapped Tigers - Guillermo Cabrera Infante
142. Dog Years – Gunter Grass
143. The Third Wedding - Costas Taktsis
144. Time of Silence – Luis Martin Santos
145. The Death of Artemio Cruz - Carlos Fuentes
146. The Time of the Hero - Mario Vargas Llosa
147. Memoirs of a Peasant Boy - Xose Neira Vilas
148. No One Writes to the Colonel - Gabriel García Márquez
149. The Shipyard - Juan Carlos Onetti
150. Bebo's Girl - Carlo Cassola
151. The Magician of Lublin - Isaac Bashevis Singer
152. God's Bits of Wood - Ousmane Sembene
153. Halftime – Martin Walser
154. Down Second Avenue - Es'kia Mphahlele
155. Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon - Jorge Amado
156. Deep Rivers - Jose Maria Arguedas
157. The Guide - R.K. Narayan
158. The Deadbeats - Ward Ruyslinck
159. The Birds - Tarjei Vesaas
160. The Glass Bees - Ernst Junger
161. The Manila Rope - Veijo Meri
162. The Devil to Pay in the Backlands - Joao Guimaraes Rosa
163. The Burning Plain - Juan Rulfo
164. The Tree of Man – Patrick White
165. The Mandarins – Simone de Beauvoir
166. A Day in Spring – Ciril Kosmac
167. Death in Rome – Wolfgang Koeppen
168. The Sound of Waves - Yukio Mishima
169. The Unknown Soldier - Vaino Linna
170. The Hothouse – Wolfgang Koeppen
171. The Lost Steps – Alejo Carpentier
172. The Dark Child – Camara Laye
173. Excellent Women - Barbara Pym
174. A Thousand Cranes - Yasunari Kawabata
175. The Hive - Camilo Jose Cela
176. Barabbas – Par Lagerkvist
177. The Guiltless – Hermann Broch
178. Ashes and Diamonds - Jerzy Andrzejewski
179. Journey to the Alcarria - Camilo Jose Cela
180. In The Heart of the Sea - Shmuel Yosef Agnon
181. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen - Tadeusz Borowski
182. Froth on the Daydream - Boris Vian
183. Midaq Alley - Naguib Mahfouz
184. Zorba the Greek – Nikos Kazantzákis
185. House in the Uplands - Erskine Caldwell
186. Andrea – Carmen Laforet
187. Bosnian Chronicle - Ivo Andrić
188. The Death of Virgil - Hermann Broch
189. The Tin Flute – Gabrielle Roy
190. Pippi Longstocking - Astrid Lindgren
191. Chess Story (Royal Game) - Stefan Zweig
192. Broad and Alien is the World - Ciro Alegria
193. The Harvesters – Cesare Pavese
194. The Man Who Loved Children - Christina Stead
195. Alamut – Vladimir Bartol
196. On the Edge of Reason – Miroslav Krleza
197. The Blind Owl – Sadegh Hedayat
198. Ferdydurke – Witold Gombrowicz
199. War with the Newts – Karel Capek
200. Ricksaw Boy – Lao She
201. Untouchable - Mulk Raj Anand
202. The Bells of Basel – Louis Aragon
203. On the Heights of Despair – Emil Cioran
204. The Street of Crocodiles – Bruno Schulz
205. Man's Fate – André Malraux
206. Cheese – Willem Elsschot
207. Joseph and His Brothers – Thomas Mann
208. Viper's Tangle – Francois Mauriac
209. The Return of Philip Latinowicz – Miroslav Krleza
210. The Forbidden Realm - J. Slauerhoff
211. Insatiability - Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz
212. Monica – Saunders Lewis
213. I Thought of Daisy - Edmund Wilson
214. Retreat Without Song - Shahan Shahnur
215. Some Prefer Nettles - Junichiro Tanizaki
216. The Case of Sergeant Grischa - Arnold Zweig
217. Alberta and Jacob - Cora Sandel
218. Under Satan's Sun - Georges Bernanos
219. The New World - Henry Walda-Sellasse
220. Chaka the Zulu - Thomas Mofolo
221. The Forest and the Hanged - Liviu Rebreanu
222. Claudine's House - Colette
223. Kristin Lavransdatter - Sigrid Undset
224. Life of Christ - Giovanni Papini
225. The Storm of Steel - Ernst Junger
226. The Underdogs - Mariano Azuela
227. Pallieter - Felix Timmermans
228. The Home and the World - Rabindranath Tagore
229. Platero and I - Juan Ramon Jimenez
230. The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge - Rainer Maria Rilke
231. Solitude - Victor Catala
232. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler
233. The Call of the Wild - Jack London
234. Memoirs of My Nervous Illness - Daniel Paul Schreber
235. None But the Brave - Arthur Schnitzler
236. The Tigers of Momopracem - Emilio Salgari
237. Dom Casmurro - Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
238. Eclipse of the Crescent Moon - Geza Gardonyi
239. As a Man Grows Older - Italo Svevo
240. The Child of Pleasure - Gabriele D'Annunzio
241. Pharaoh - Boleslaw Prus
242. Compassion - Benito Perez Galdos
243. The Viceroys - Federico De Roberto
244. Down There - Joris-Karl Huysmans
245. Thais - Anatole France
246. Eline Vere - Louis Couperus
247. Under the Yoke - Ivan Vazov
248. The Manors of Ulloa - Emilia Pardo Bazan
249. The Quest - Frederik van Eeden
250. The Regent's Wife - Leopoldo Alas
251. The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas - Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
252. The Crime of Father Amaro - Jose Maria Eca de Queiros
253. Pepita Jimenez - Juan Valera
254. Martin Fierro - Jose Hernandez
255. Indian Summer - Adalbert Stifter
256. Green Henry - Gottfried Keller
257. The Devil's Pool - George Sand
258. Facundo - Domingo Faustino Sarmiento
259. A Hero of Our Times - Mikhail Yurevich Lermontov
260. Camera Obscura – Hildebrand (aka Nicolaas Beets)
261. The Lion of Flanders - Hendrik Conscience
262. Eugene Onegin - Alexander Pushkin
263. A Life of a Good-for-Nothing - Joseph von Eichendorff
264. The Life and Opinions of Tomcat Murr - E.T.A. Hoffman
265. Michael Kohlhaas - Heinrich von Kleist
266. Henry von Ofterdingen - Novalis
267. A Dream of Red Mansions – Cao Xueqin
268. Anton Reiser - Karl Philipp Moritz
269. The Adventures of Simplicissimus – Hans von Grimmelshausen
270. The Conquest of New Spain – Bernal Diaz del Castillo
271. The Travels of Persiles and Sigismunda – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
272. Thomas of Reading – Thomas Deloney
273. Monkey: Journey to the West – Wu Cheng'en
274. The Lusiad – Luis Vaz de Camoes
275. The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes - Anonymous
276. Amadis of Gaul - Garci Rodriguez de Montalvo
277. Le Celestina – Fernando de Rojas
278. Tirant lo Blanc – Joanot Martorell
279. Romance of the Three Kingdoms – Luo Guanzhong
280. The Water Margin – Shi Nai'an
281. The Tale of Genji – Murasaki Shikibu
282. The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter - Anonymous
Then, only two years later, a third edition, another revamp, but only ELEVEN titles were changed … that’s weird!
IN
1. Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
2. The Children's Book - A.S. Byatt
3. Invisible - Paul Auster
4. An American Rust - Philipp Meyer
5. Cost - Roxana Robinson
6. The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga
7. Home - Marilynne Robinson
8. Kieron Smith, Boy - James Kelman
9. The Gathering - Anne Enright
10. The Blind Side of the Heart - Julia Franck
11. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
OUT
1. The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
2. Animal's People - Indra Sinha
3. The Kindly Ones - Jonathan Littell
4. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka
5. Small Island - Andrea Levy
6. The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
7. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
8. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
9. Islands - Dan Sleigh
10. The Heart of Redness - Zakes Mda
11. Small Remedies - Shashi Deshpande
AND NOW A REVIEW OF THE ACTUAL BOOK
This is like porn for us book-geek types, it's so pretty and it's full of sexy pix of books in all states of dress, some with their jackets on, some off, some bound, some unbound. And lotsa pix of authors too, although, you know, authors are usually not the most gorgeous of people, and if you think that's stereotypical this book is here to prove it. (Exception : Edna O'Brien, total babe.)
Anyway, this 1001 Books tome did turn my head when it was first published. It didn't, however, make me read anything I wasn't going to, which I guess is its point. Or maybe, its point is just to lie in the corner of your room and purr.
Everybody will be shouting at this book before long as they look through it along the lines of "what's this? You've got three in here by Douglas Adams, and NONE by Roddy Doyle? you arrant dunderheads!" I mean, Douglas Adams is good for one, but not three... And if Douglas Adams, then Garrison Keillor...
Each book gets about 300 words which editor Peter Boxall describes like this : "What each entry does is to respond, with the cramped urgency of a deathbed confession, to what makes each novel compelling, to what it is about each novel that makes one absolutely need to read it." But, you know, they don't actually do that. It's just another pretty lie.
1001 books - it's a lot. If you had the time and money to read every one at a rate of one per week, you'd need 19 and a quarter years, so you better get going. But unless you're in a cult, you aren't going to do that. The pre-1700 section, in particular, is strictly for students of literature - I stick my neck out and say that very few will be reading "Euphues : The Anatomy of Wit" by John Lyly or "Aithiopika" by Heliodorus for fun. And then the dogged reader will be coming up against the rarely-scaled Everests of literature such as Dorothy Richardson's "Pilgrimage" (13 vols, thousands of pages) or Proust (likewise) or "Infinite Jest" (one volume, 1100 pages). Each of which are going to take you 3-6 months solid.
Rules are broken randomly - the word "books" certainly appears to equate to "novels" in here, BUT "Like Life" by Lorrie Moore is included - a collection of short stories, not a novel. So okay - why no Raymond Carver, America's greatest short story writer? Stupid bastards. And sometimes it's hard to see that the reviewer even likes the book in question - "The Secret History" is described as "quality trash for highbrows"! Or take this: "As with his other writing `The Book of Laughter and Forgetting' raises questions about the representation of female characters, and invites accusations of latent misogyny. These are valid objections that may engender fruitful considerations of this novel as a historical document as much as a work of experimental fiction." Well, that's hardly an enthusiastic endorsement.
Some authors are wildly over-represented, such as J M Coatzee, Ian McEwan and Paul Auster, all of which have more titles in here than Henry James. It's interesting to check if the Booker Prizewinners are included - 20 are out of 37 and there are some strange omissions - no room for "Vernon God Little" (quite right too) or "The True History of the Kelly Gang", "Sacred Hunger" (nothing at all by Barry Unsworth in fact - what's wrong with him, he's great, you dunderheads!), "The Famished Road" or "Hotel du Lac". So this is a guide with enough in it to get everyone's backs up and please hardly anyone except Coatzee and McEwan fans. Therefore I recommend it for everyone, but particularly those who have just been sentenced to a long stretch of solitary confinement.
Having said that, please check out my GR friend Ellen's fantastically vitriolic review - I don't agree with her but her views are BRACING
http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...

Manny
- Geneva, Switzerland
2
Thu, 07 May 2015

Inder
- Oakland, CA
3
Sat, 19 Apr 2008

I joined the 1001 Books group here on Goodreads, thinking, "What a great way to get exposed to a ton of books!" so I thought I better take a look at the actual list.
Pros: Little descriptions of a lot of classic books. Lots of books described here that I have never heard of, and that I might not have known about otherwise. In fact, I may discover some new favorites through this list. Also, it appeals to my 12-year-old self, who loved to write lists of books I wanted to read. Overall, inspiring, if seriously intimidating.
Cons: 1001 books is actually a lot to read in a lifetime. You'd have to average about 25 books a year, if you start at my age and live according to actuarial projections, and keep in mind, there are books like Gravity's Rainbow and Ulysses lurking in there to seriously slow you down. I fancy myself quite well read (basically because I have read Middlemarch - ever since then, I've been quite full of myself), but I've read less than 5% of the books on this list - I have a ways to go.
Also, since the list (naturally, because the book had to be published at some point) terminates in 2005, you'd be pretty behind the times if you decided to ONLY read books on this list, until you die.
Also, many would argue with the actual list itself: Why so much contemporary (and thus, not tried and true) fiction? Why is it almost all fiction, for that matter? Shouldn't you read some nonfiction before you die?
Also, three Burroughs novels? Doesn't that violate the Geneva Convention? Certainly the 8th Amendment.
What I'm saying is that the premise of the book is obviously ridiculous. Plainly, this is not really a list of books you must read before you die - that was probably the publishers' catchy title, anyway. But if you don't take it too seriously, this is fun to read, fun to disagree with, and fun to ignore.
I'm inspired to try to pry my psyche out of the pre-modern era, however painful, at least long enough to read one or two novels written post-1930. (I'm sure my psyche will scuttle back into its 19th century hole directly afterwards, but I really should try to participate in the 21st century at least now and then.)
In short - a rolicking nerd-fest for bookish people.

Related Books of "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"