Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

with one comment

I wasn’t going to bother with this list after I saw it, since I haven’t even heard of a large portion of them. So I’m just going to link to a copy of the full list and post the ones I HAVE reada which will be a much shorter list.

The list comes from the book by the same name as this post. The actual list is here:

Books I HAVE read! (More than I expected!)

  1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
  4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Truman Capote
  5. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  6. The Catcher in the Rye – J. D. Salinger
  7. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  8. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  9. Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
  10. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  11. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  12. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  13. Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll
  14. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

Books I Attempted to Read (But did not, finish, mostly because they sucked.)

  1. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth (Too verbose.)
  2. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe (Wrong part of Africa, Americans are dumb.)
  3. On the Road – Jack Kerouac (Fitzgeraldian. AUGH.)
  4. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne (Ceerap.)
  5. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (I was in 8th grade, so I’ll try again later.)
  6. The Trial – Franz Kafka (BAH.)
  7. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse (Depressing.)
  8. The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton (Boring as all hell.)
  9. The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien (Couldn’t get into it.)
  10. Emma – Jane Austen (Should try again, but also couldn’t get into it.)

Would like to read:

  1. Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris – Paul Gallico
  2. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  3. Bunner Sisters – Edith Wharton
  4. After the Death of Don Juan – Sylvie Townsend Warner
  5. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
  6. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  7. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  8. The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo
  9. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  10. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  11. Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs
  12. The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
  13. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  14. The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  15. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  16. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
  17. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  18. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  19. Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison
  20. We – Yevgeny Zamyatin
  21. Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
  22. Thursbitch – Alan Garner
  23. Life: A User’s Manual – Georges Perec
  24. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D. H. Lawrence
  25. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John Le Carré
  26. The Black Prince – Iris Murdoch
  27. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  28. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke
  29. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
  30. A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
  31. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  32. Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
  33. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  34. The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
  35. The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood
  36. The Invention of Curried Sausage – Uwe Timm
  37. Cat’s Eye – Margaret Atwood
  38. Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco
  39. The Cider House Rules – John Irving
  40. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
  41. Contact – Carl Sagan
  42. White Noise – Don DeLillo
  43. Neuromancer – William Gibson
  44. Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole

I am surprised that 1984, Chaucer, and Athol Fugard are nowhere to be found on this gigantic list.  The original LJ poster mentioned the lack of Shakespeare, but those are technically plays, not books. Still no excuse, eh?

I keep a small shelf for my own collection of faves and classics. Among them not mentioned here, Good Omens by Pratchett & Gaiman, Memoirs of a Geisha, and the Narnia Chronicles. I also highly recommend The Princess Bride, Sharon Shinn’s Archangel books, and Torey Hayden’s One Child.


Written by Shen

July 21, 2006 at 12:41 am

Posted in lists

One Response

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  1. If you ever get a chance to, listen to the old audio recording of the original War of the Worlds. It’s pretty good, and people throught it was really happening when they heard it on the radio.

    mr skin

    November 9, 2006 at 11:58 pm

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