Friday 2 October 2020

1001 Books #Update #BookList


My edition of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die is a 2009 reprint by Harper Collins Australia with a Preface by Australian journalist and book lover, Jennifer Byrne. Back in February 2016, I spent one ghastly heatwave weekend, going through this book and compiling my read and to-be -read lists with the idea that I would constantly refer back to it and update it.

Guess what?

Neither of those things happened.

I'm not even sure what I hope will happen now, by revisiting both the read and TBR lists!
Except, I love lists.

I love the idea of ticking things off a list.
I love seeing that list of things completed and what is still to be accomplished.
It makes me feel organised and like I'm making progress.

Maybe that's the key word here - progress.

There has been a lot of standing still, treading water, waiting around, and biding my time this year. You all know why. Most of us are experiencing a similar thing.

I've always read several books at once, but since Covid, I have taken this habit to the extreme! As a result, I'm not getting that lovely, satisfied feeling one gets, when a good book is finished. I'm curiously delaying this pleasure, by waylaying it with that other glorious book pleasure of starting a new book!

Which is also making it hard for me to blog regularly as I have less book reviews in the wings. Therefore, a list.

On my current TBR pile I have these books from the list of 1001 to look forward to:
  • Tale of the Genji
  • The Princess of Cleves
  • Oroonoko (ebook)
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • Moll Flanders
  • Pamela
  • Clarissa
  • The Female Quixote (ebook)
  • Candide (ebook)
  • Dream of the Red Chamber
  • Camilla (ebook)
  • Rob Roy (ebook)
  • Ivanhoe
  • Last of the Mohicans (ebook)
  • The Betrothed
  • The Red and the Black
  • Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Eugene Onegin (ebook)
  • Le Pere Goriot
  • Oliver Twist
  • Lost Illusions (ebook)
  • The Three Musketeers (ebook)
  • The Scarlet Letter (ebook)
  • Cranford
  • Walden
  • Adam Bede
  • Fathers and Sons
  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (can't believe I got through my childhood without reading this, but have seen many movie versions)
  • Journey to the Centre of the Earth (ebook)
  • Last Chronicle of Barset
  • Therese Raquin
  • Alice Through the Looking Glass
  • Around the World in Eighty Days (ebook)
  • L'Assommoir
  • Treasure Island (ebook)
  • Une Vie (ebook)
  • The Death of Ivan Illyich
  • Bel-Ami
  • La Bete Humaine
  • Picture of Dorian Gray
  • The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
  • Diary of a Nobody
  • The Time Machine
  • Dracula
  • What Maisie Knew
  • The War of the Worlds
  • The Awakening
  • Buddenbrooks
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles
  • Heart of Darkness
  • The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge
  • Death in Venice
  • Kokoro
  • The Good Soldier
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
  • The Return of the Soldier
  • Ulysses
  • Siddharta
  • Kristin Lavransdatter
  • The Magic Mountain
  • The Professor's House
  • The Trial (ebook)
  • Mrs Dalloway
  • The Good Soldier Svejk
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Remembrance of Things Past
  • Steppenwolf
  • Some Prefer Nettles
  • Parade's End
  • Orlando
  • Passing
  • The Maltese Falcon (movie version only)
  • The Waves
  • The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas
  • Tender is the Night
  • Independent People
  • Nightwood
  • Nausea (ebook)
  • Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day
  • The Big Sleep (movie version only)
  • Goodbye to Berlin
  • The Outsider | Albert Camus
  • Pippi Longstocking
  • The Heat of the Day
  • The Rebel
  • Invisible Man
  • The Tree of Man
  • The Talented Mr Ripley
  • Voss
  • Cider with Rosie
  • The Tin Drum
  • The Golden Notebook
  • A Clockwork Orange (movie only. Not sure I will ever, ever read it!)
  • The Bell Jar
  • The Graduate (movie only)
  • Silence
  • The Master and Margarita
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (the movie was enough)
  • Slaughterhouse Five
  • G
  • The Siege of Krishnapur
  • A Dance to the Music of Time
  • Quartet in Autumn
  • Delta of Venus
  • The Beggars Maid
  • The Singapore Grip
  • The Virgin in the Garden
  • The Name of the Rose
  • On the Black Hill
  • Waterland
  • Flaubert's Parrot
  • The Cider House Rules (movie only)
  • Love in the Time of Cholera
  • An Artist of the Floating World
  • Beloved
  • Regeneration (started many years ago, but never finished)
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
  • A Fine Balance
  • The Unconsoled
  • The Life of Pi (movie only, found the book hard to get into)
  • The Corrections (tedious, did not finish)
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Master
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog
  • The Reluctant Fundamentalist

I have now read all of these:
  • Don Quixote (once will be more than enough with this one)
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther (ugh! hard work. Read during my pre-blogging days)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (book & movie several times)
  • Sense and Sensibility (book & movie oodles of times)
  • Pride and Prejudice (lost count of how many rereads I've had. No movie or tv series has even come close to capturing this story to date imo)
  • Mansfield Park (book only)
  • Emma (book & movie)
  • Frankenstein
  • Eugenie Grandet
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (book & old tv movie starring Richard Chamberlain)
  • Jane Eyre (numerous rereads & movies)
  • Vanity Fair (didn't finish the book, but watched the 1998 BBC production instead)
  • Wuthering Heights (ugh! Probably should reread)
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • David Copperfield (probably my favourite Dickens to date)
  • Moby-Dick (I am now one of those Moby-Dick fanatics)
  • Bleak House
  • North and South (great readalong book that introduced me to Gaskell)
  • Madame Bovary (another ugh! Not sure I finished it either. Read during my pre-blogging days)
  • The Woman in White (book and the old B&W movie)
  • The Mill on the Floss (read a long time ago - can't remember much about it)
  • Les Miserables (my first year-long chapter-a-day readalong book)
  • The Moonstone (the book that turned me onto Wilkie Collins many moons ago)
  • Little Women (numerous rereads and viewings)
  • War and Peace (rereading this year a chapter-a-day)
  • Middlemarch (read so long ago & I feel it's due for a reread sooner rather than later)
  • Far From the Madding Crowd
  • Anna Karenina
  • Nana
  • Portrait of a Lady (book & movie)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (surprised myself by how much I enjoyed this book)
  • Germinal (my favourite Zola to date)
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (underwhelmed)
  • Tess of the D'Urbervilles (makes me angry every time I read it)
  • Jude the Obscure
  • The Wings of the Dove (movie and book)
  • The Ambassadors (watched the tv series way back when)
  • The House of Mirth
  • The Forsyte Saga (books and BBC series)
  • A Room With a View (numerous reads and viewings of the Ivory Merchant movie)
  • Howards End (movie and book)
  • Ethan Frome
  • Sons and Lovers (made to read this at school! Scarred me for life!)
  • The Thirty Nine Steps (book & movie, both a long time ago)
  • The Home and the World
  • Women in Love (made to read this at school!)
  • The Age of Innocence (several times, book and movie)
  • A Passage to India (movie and book)
  • The Great Gatsby (movie and book)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (read during my Agatha Christie binge in Yr 7-8)
  • Lady Chatterley's Lover (all the various versions of it plus a live outdoor performance)
  • Cold Comfort Farm (didn't see what all the fuss was about)
  • Brave New World (a favourite of Mr Books that he made me read 30 yrs ago)
  • Testament of Youth (love, love, love)
  • Gone With the Wind (relationship status: complicated)
  • Out of Africa (underwhelmed. The movie was better)
  • The Hobbit (just the book. Tried to watch the first movie but just couldn't)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (thank you to the Classics Club for introducing this booka nd author to me)
  • Of Mice and Men (book and movies)
  • Rebecca (preferred My Cousin Rachel)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (underwhelmed)
  • The Little Prince
  • Animal Farm
  • Brideshead Revisited (three times plus numerous viewings of the BBC series)
  • If This is a Man
  • The Plague
  • 1984 (book and theatre production)
  • Love in a Cold Climate
  • A Town Like Alice (book and TV series)
  • The End of the Affair (book & movie)
  • Day of the Triffids (book and m0vie)
  • Excellent Women
  • The Story of O
  • Under the Net
  • Lord of the Flies (ugh!)
  • The Quiet American (twice plus movie)
  • The Lord of the Rings (book and movies)
  • Doctor Zhivago (book & movie, of course!)
  • The Midwich Cuckoos
  • The Leopard
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's (movie, of course, and book)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (several rereads & movie)
  • Catch 22 (don't get me started!)
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (twice)
  • The Godfather (movie and book)
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman (book & movie several times)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Surfacing (read during my Atwood phase in the mid 90's but I remember very little about this one)
  • The Summer Book (interesting)
  • The Commandant (loved, a lot)
  • The Shining (book & movie)
  • The Sea, The Sea
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ( a hoot)
  • If on a Winter's Night a Traveller
  • Midnight's Children (an all-time favourite)
  • Schindler's Ark (book & movie)
  • The Color Purple (movie then book, sans the 'u' both times!)
  • If Not Now, When?
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • The Handmaid's Tale
  • Perfume (loved in a perverse kind of way. If you've read the book, you'll understand this comment)
  • Contact (book & movie)
  • The Drowned and the Saved
  • The New York Trilogy (not sure if I will ever be brave enough to read this again)
  • Kitchen
  • Oscar and Lucinda (all I can remember is the glass church floating down the Bellinger River)
  • Like Water For Chocolate (book & movie several times)
  • The Remains of the Day (movie & book)
  • Wild Swans
  • Smilla's Feeling for Snow (book & movie)
  • Written on the Body
  • The English Patient (movie & book)
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy
  • The Secret History
  • Remembering Babylon
  • A Suitable Boy (quite possibly my all-time favourite book ever, although it will need a reread to confirm this status)
  • The Shipping News (book & movie)
  • Felicia's Journey
  • Captain Corelli's Mandolin
  • The Reader
  • Alias Grace (my favourite Atwood to date)
  • Fugitive Pieces
  • The God of Small Things
  • Enduring Love
  • The Hours (movie & book)
  • Atonement (book & movie)
  • Kafka on the Shore (read in Japan :-)
  • The Namesake
  • What I Loved
  • Suite Francaise
  • The Inheritance of Loss
  • The Gathering

I have now read 133 of 1001 books!

In 2016 I had read 120, or 12%.
I am making progress, even if it is only 1% in four years!

Other editions of the 1001 series (as kindly compiled here) include even more books that I have read:
  • Never Let Me Go (underwhelmed)
  • Saturday
  • The Children's Book (loved a lot)
  • The Gathering (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • What I Loved (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time
  • The Blind Assassin
  • Amsterdam
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • The Robber Bride
  • The Heather Blazing (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Possession
  • Cat's Eye
  • The Passion
  • The Child in Time (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
  • The World According to Garp (movie and book)
  • The Nice and the Good (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Chocky
  • Vile Bodies (ugh!)
  • Summer
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • Lord Jim (movie and book)
  • Northanger Abbey (book and TV series)
  • Persuasion (book and movies)

Now we're up to the interactive part.
Which books on my TBR list should I prioritise?
Convince me!


  1. 1. Love in the Time of Cholera
    2. The Scarlet Letter
    3. Bel-Ami

    1. Given my pandemic reading phase atm, Love in the Time of Cholera is definitely on the cards!

  2. The Diary of a Nobody because it is funny and we all need light relief these days. Or Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day because it is heartwarming and we also need that.

    I am interested to hear how much you love A Suitable Boy. I pulled it off my shelf the other day and then put it back. Maybe I will go find it again.

    1. I don't know very much about either of those books, but I see that Miss Pettigrew is one of the lovely Persephone Books. If I ever get back to London, it's high on my list of places to visit.

      I read A Suitable Boy about 20 yrs ago.
      It's a commitment.
      But I adored every minute with it. I still think about Lata to this day.
      When I finally finished it, I declared to my book club at the time, that this is the book I want to buried with! Which was a BIG call considering how much and for how long I have loved P&P and Persuasion.

      However ASB has not yet passed the reread test and I would like to one day...especially before A Suitable Girl gets published. Given how long this second book is taking Seth to write it, I'm not feeling any pressure just yet :-)

  3. Those other Sherlock Holmes books! now that you've read Study in Scarlet. They get even better.

    There's a lot of big great classics on there, but I'll also plug for Siege of Krishnapur, which is awfully good I thought, funny and short.

    1. I'm very keen to read more Sherlock....but I've decided that this weekend (a long weekend in NSW) is the weekend I will finish at least three of the books by my bed, before starting anything new!!

  4. I could write an essay in reply, but I'll try to be brief. I listened to Huck Finn yesterday and didn't enjoy it as much this time round - Twain trying to hard to make fun of ordinary people.
    The Scarlet Letter is one of my all-time favourites and not particularly long. Likewise Portrait of an Artist, which is a very good lead-in to Joyce. Ulysses is the best book ever written but takes commitment. Moll Flanders I read (and reviewed) recently and enjoyed. I must read Oronoko, but only for its historical importance. The Good Soldier Svejk is funny and definitely worth reading (if I remember, I might review it next Anzac Day). Read Delta of Venus if you're feeling horny. Ivanhoe is excellent, another I must review. And to finish, Walden is important, Flaubert's Parrot is tedious, Alice Through the Looking Glass is absolutely essential (try the audiobook). That should keep you going, Bill

    1. Yours is the second vote for The Scarlet Letter, so that has certainly bumped it up high on the list.

      Many years ago, I watched a movie called Henry and June, which turned me onto the idea of reading Anais Nin...although all I did, in the end, was collect the books! They're all still waiting to be read.

      Thanks for your thoughts, now I have to check if my copy of The Scarlet Letter is a hardcopy or an ebook.

  5. A few of us are doing a Review-along of Tender Is the Night soon if you were interested. All it means is we all post our reviews on the same day - 26th October, and pop round to the other blogs for a bit of chit-chat about it. A couple of the girls don't blog, so they leave their extended comments on my post. I'll be putting out a reminder about it on my TBR post on Thursday. No pressure, obviously, if it doesn't fit in with your plans! :D

    1. Thanks for thinking of me. As you can see by this late reply, though, October flew by before I had a chance to catch my breath!
      Hope you all enjoyed your Tender is the Night readalong. Will pop over for the reviews & comments over the weekend.

  6. You have so many good books on that TBR it's hard to recommend just a few. But since you loved Germinal, I'll put in a pitch for L'Assommoir. It's not as gritty but I thought it was such a sad tale about a woman who desperately wants to climb out of poverty.

    1. Will definitely get to L’Assommoir. I tend to save my Zola’s for Zoladdiction month with Fanda ­čśŐ


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