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Bucketyell's attempt to make a dent in the 2010 listing

1001 Books to read before you die

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Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:27pm Top

I just bought the 2010 version and am always up for a new challenge. I am happy to admit that I have made a minor (very minor) dent in the pile with stuff already read (who knew?)

I know I will never get this done but I figure by posting, it will inspire me to add a few more to the list at least. Here goes nothing....

I am following the combined list :)

Edited: Jun 9, 2011, 7:32pm Top

Ones already read:
1) The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Adams
2) Little Women by Alcott
3) Alias Grace by Atwood
4) The Handmaid's Tale by Atwood
5) Emma by Austen
6) Jane Eyre by Bronte
7) A Clockwork Orange by Burgess
8) Tarzan of the Apes by Burroughs
9) The Children's Book by Byatt
10) The Outsider by Camus
11) The Plague by Camus
12) Through the Looking Glass by Carroll
13) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Carroll
14) The Hours by Cunningham
15) Dangerous Liaisons by de Laclos
16) Ragtime by Doctorow
17) Rebecca by du Maurier
18) Birdsong by Faulks
19) The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald
20) Madame Bovary by Flaubert

Jun 15, 2010, 8:10pm Top

21) A Passage to India by Forster
22) The Corrections by Franzen
23) Lord of the Flies by Golding
24) The Scarlet Letter by Hawthorne
25) The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway
26) Brave New World by Huxley
27) A Prayer for Owen Meany by Irving
28) Cider House Rules by Irving
29) Remains of the Day by Ishiguro
30) The Poisonwood Bible by Kingsolver
31) Kim by Kipling
32) To Kill a Mockingbird by Lee
33) Main Street by Lewis
34) Fall on Your Knees by MacDonald
35) The Life of Pi by Martel
36) Atonement by McEwan
37) Fugitive Pieces by Michaels
38) A Fine Balance by Mistry
39) Gone with the Wind by Mitchell
40) Song of Solomon by Morrison

Edited: Jun 9, 2011, 7:32pm Top

41) The Bluest Eye by Morrison
42) Lives of Girls and Women by Munro
43) Nineteen Eighty Four by Orwell
44) Animal Farm by Orwell
45) The Bell Jar by Plath
46) Pamela by Richardson
47) Tin Flute by Roy
48) The Catcher in the Rye by Salinger
49) The Reader by Schlink
50) Frankenstein by Shelley
51) The Stone Diaries by Shields
52) The Strange Case of Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde by Stevenson
53) Uncle Tom's Cabin by Stowe
54) The Hobbit by Tolkien
55) Felicia's Journey by Trevor
56) The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Twain
57) The Color Purple by Walker
58) The War of the Worlds by Wells
59) Native Son by Wright
60) Day of the Triffids by Wyndham

Jun 15, 2010, 8:20pm Top

61) We by Zamyatin

Edited: Jul 6, 2010, 10:50pm Top

62) Cry, The Beloved Country by Paton - 06/07/10. Very well written and enjoyable.

Jul 10, 2010, 9:20am Top

63) The White Tiger by Adiga - 09/07/10. This is an Indian Catcher in the Rye meets Slumdog Millionaire by Swarup. I absolutely loved it.

Jul 10, 2010, 8:11pm Top

64) Heart of Darkness by Conrad. Oops, missed one off my original list.

Edited: Aug 29, 2010, 6:26pm Top

65) The Secret History by Tartt. Another one I forgot to log... I read this one earlier in the year and really enjoyed it.

Jul 13, 2010, 9:16pm Top

66) Regeneration by Barker. I liked it for the psychological bit. An interesting read overall.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:34pm Top

67) The Little Prince by de Saint-Exupery.

Jul 24, 2010, 1:01pm Top

68) Midwich Cuckoos by Wyndham. The Chrysalids is still my favourite. This one is interesting but not as well written.

Jul 29, 2010, 10:38pm Top

69) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Spark. Not sure why but I really didn't enjoy this one. I was quite bored by Miss Brodie and her 'prime' by the end.

Jul 29, 2010, 10:46pm Top

I felt the same way about Jean Brodie. I am going to give Muriel Spark another go though...

Jul 30, 2010, 1:44am Top

Miss Jean didn't do it for me either--I thought I was the only one on LT who felt that way. However, I recently listened to the audio book of Spark's Loitering with Intent and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Jul 30, 2010, 8:27am Top

I really disliked Miss Jean, so you're not alone there!

Jul 30, 2010, 8:48am Top

Thanks! I saw another one of hers on the list and thought, "crap... I hope it's short". I generally give an author 2 bad books to make me turn away so we will see how the next goes!

Jul 30, 2010, 9:26pm Top

Disliked Miss Jean? One of my favorite books! Of course I first read it when I was 14 and perhaps this biased me. The movie is one of my faves for the same reason.
Spark's style is very distinctive but the texture of Miss Jean, the flash-fowards etc., is not repeated in the other books. Did you know that a famous aesthetician actually wrote a book called "The Transfiguration of the Commonplace" because somebody needed to really write the book Sandy writes in her convent? True fact.

Aug 4, 2010, 9:32pm Top

70) A Room with a View by Forster. I don't know what it is about Forster but I start off loving the book and by the end, I can't wait for it to be over. I think I still liked A Passage to India better.

Aug 9, 2010, 11:29pm Top

71) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Christie. Good but not great. This is the first Christie book I have read so maybe not the best one?

Edited: Aug 10, 2010, 12:41am Top

I used to read a lot of Christies, and I was very disappointed in that one. I can't remember which ones I liked though. I seem to remember preferring Miss Marple to the French dude.

edited to say: even though I didn't like that one, it IS one I remember. That and Murder on the Orient Express, which I also didn't like as much as others.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:43pm Top

I will try a Marple one and see how they compare.

72) The Death of Ivan Ilych by Tolstoy. I felt really bad for the poor guy! He is dying and everyone around him seems to be counting the days until they would benefit from his death.

This was my first Tolstoy and I can see why he is on the list. DOII is one of those short little stories that one can get as much or as little out of. I probably missed half of it but I quite enjoyed what I did get from it.

Aug 23, 2010, 11:18pm Top

73) The Thirty-Nine Steps by Buchan. Just a little far-fetched but a neat little adventure novel overall.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:43pm Top

74) The Pit and the Pendulum by Poe

75) The Fall of the House of Usher by Poe

And also 76) The Purloined Letter (which I guess is on the older list), The Tell-Tale Heart, The Masque of the Red Death and The Raven.

Not bad to knock a few off the list at the same time! This is my first foray into Poe and I regret not reading some of his stuff before. I love the dark creepiness of it: the descent into madness, the encompassing guilt that threatens to eat one up... Loved it all and will keep reading.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:43pm Top

77) The Invisible Man by Ellison. Very good but very long. There were parts that were unbelievably powerful and I had to read them again and then there were parts that were long and boring and made me scratch my head. Worth reading overall.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:43pm Top

78) The Island of Dr Moreau by Wells. Meh. I think I would have enjoyed it more had I actually read the book instead of listened to it as an audio book. The narrator gave 'voices' to the beasts. After listening to him grunt through most of the story, I was done with him and the book.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:43pm Top

79) Things Fall Apart by Achebe. Interesting, disturbing and overall quite sad.

Sep 16, 2010, 4:51pm Top

Things Fall Apart is one of those books I've been meaning to get around to for I can't remember how many years. Disturbing ... at least it was better than your last book, right?

Sep 16, 2010, 6:44pm Top

Much better (read: no grunting)! I enjoyed it immensely but the descriptions of domestic violence were a little hard to take at times. Reading it was a little like watching a train wreck. I was fascinated and horrified at the same time.

Mar 5, 2011, 4:11pm Top

I somehow crossed out my own thread and forgot about it! D'oh.

I have started using the combined list (I tend to like the ones that have come and gone) so I will attempt to update myself here.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:44pm Top

80) Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Adams
81) Long Dark Teatime of the Soul by Adams
82) Cat's Eye by Atwood
83) Surfacing by Atwood
84) The Blind Assassin by Atwood
85) The Robber Bride by Atwood
86) The Ghost Road by Barker
87) Breakfast at Tiffany's by Capote
88) The Awakening by Chopin
89) A Christmas Carol by Dickens

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:44pm Top

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:41pm Top

98) Pippi Longstocking by Lindgren
99) The Call of the Wild by London
100) The English Patient by Ondaatje
101) The Club Dumas by Perez-Reverte
102) The Yellow Wallpaper - Gilman
103) The Shipping News by Proulx
104) Bonjour Tristesse by Sagan
105) Kreutzer Sonata by Tolstory
106) Candide by Voltaire
107) Brideshead Revisited by Waugh

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:44pm Top

108) The Invisible Man by Wells
109) Oranges are Not the Only Fruit by Winterson

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:45pm Top

110) The House of Doctor Dee by Ackroyd - spooky and fun!

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:45pm Top

111) Cold Comfort Farm by Gibbons - what an odd book! I was thoroughly irritated with Flora until I realised that this is a spoof. Then it was fun to pick out the 'characters'

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:45pm Top

112) In the Heart of the Seas by Agnon - interesting but I am obviously way too much of a heathen to fully 'get' this one.

Edited: Jul 9, 2011, 9:06am Top

113) Aesop's Fables by Aesop. I have one list that shows this as an adult listing and one that shows it on the children's list. So, I will happily check it off both! I remember quite a few of these from my childhood so it was a nice little trip down memory lane.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:45pm Top

114) The Lambs of London by Ackroyd. A very good fictional read about a man who claims to have found lost works by Shakespeare and attempts to bring them to life. The story leaves you guessing until the end as to whether he really found these or whether it's an elaborate hoax. Very good read (much better than the first Ackroyd I read The House of Doctor Dee).

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:47pm Top

115) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Hurston - I really don't get the hype. This one was a chore to get through.

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:46pm Top

116) Unless by Shields - I just love Carol Shields.

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:53pm Top

117) Slaughter-House Five by Vonnegut

Edited: Jun 11, 2011, 12:47pm Top

118) Possessing the Secret of Joy by Walker - I read this one back in high school but really can't remember too much about it. I probably should re-read it at some point.

Jun 24, 2011, 6:48pm Top

39> I read Reforging Shakespeare a last year and have Vortigern, an Historical Play and The Boy Who Would Be Shakespeare on my shelf waiting to be read. I can't imagine the novelization of the events could be any stranger or more interesting than what actually happened.

Jun 26, 2011, 10:23am Top

119) Cause for Alarm by Ambler - an enjoyable spy thriller. I would never have picked this up on my own as I don't normally read this type of stuff but I really liked it.

Jun 27, 2011, 3:41am Top

Wow - that's quite a chunk in the last year.

I use the combo list too - though 1,296 to read before you die doesn't have quite the same ring to it...

Jul 9, 2011, 9:05am Top

120) Postman Always Rings Twice by Cain. I loved this one! It was in an omnibus with Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce and all were great.

Jul 10, 2011, 6:38pm Top

121) I Know Why the Caged Bird SIngs by Angelou. Loved it

Jul 11, 2011, 6:40pm Top

122) A Modest Proposal by Swfit. This is the shortest one I have read on the list (about 7 pages for the title essay) but it's also the most fun. I have been putting off Gulliver's Travels but maybe I need to give Swift a closer look.

Aug 21, 2011, 11:09pm Top

123) To the Lighthouse by Woolf. I finally finished and I can't say that I am all that impressed. Room of One's Own didn't do it for me and neither did this one. We will see her other stuff gets better.

Aug 22, 2011, 6:06am Top

I'm currently reading Mrs Dalloway and I'm really enjoying it. I haven't read any others by her though so I couldn't say how similar it is in style to the ones you have mentioned. I'm finding her character's observations on situations creating certain emotions very astute.

Aug 22, 2011, 12:24pm Top

I think she writes well but I really hate all the run-on sentences and I found that you really have to pay attention or you will miss something. I think perhaps I am just too lazy a reader to fully appreciate her style.

Edited: Aug 22, 2011, 1:12pm Top

I adore Virginia Woolf, but I have to be very focused when I read her. She doesn't come across well to a reader who is being lazy! ;-)

Aug 24, 2011, 10:21am Top

Hmmm - that may say something about me too - I also loathe her...

Oh and the rest of the Maya Angelou series are also readlly good.

Aug 24, 2011, 11:36am Top

>50 bucketyell:

I absolutely hated To The Lighthouse. Although after reading the remainder of this thread I'm beginning to suspect that was my fault!! I'll try harder with her others.

Aug 24, 2011, 12:18pm Top

LOL - I'm just glad to find some others who don't like Woolf!

Edited: Aug 24, 2011, 12:38pm Top

I hated Woolf when I first read her, but in the process of actively disliking her writing*, I started seeing things that I hadn't at first and it all became really amazing. And now she's my favourite author. One of my very favourite English profs loathed her though, so I know she's not for every reader.

*I say I actively disliked her writing, but not her--I always thought she herself was an interesting literary character. But at first I found her writing so dry and pretentious. Like many worthwhile things, she is an acquired taste!

Aug 25, 2011, 1:41pm Top

I did not enjoy Mrs Dalloway and it was my first Woolf. It's made me a bit gunshy to try others.

Aug 25, 2011, 1:52pm Top

Heh, I liked Room of One's Own but her actual novels, I think I have started a couple and wandered to read something else after couple of pages...

Aug 25, 2011, 3:09pm Top

53- I also adore Virginia Woolf, but I have to be vveerrryy careful about when I'm reading her. As in, everyone else has to be asleep and it has to be nighttime and silent and I have to have nothing else to do. Otherwise, I get unfocused and lost and miss a lot. She's a lot of work, but worth it. Except I didn't like A Room of One's Own, which I thought should be re-titled "Snobby McSnoberson Mayor of Snobville."

Aug 25, 2011, 5:31pm Top

That's hillarious!!!

Oct 1, 2011, 11:08am Top

124) Everything That Rises Must Converge by O'Connor. Some of the stories were amazing and some were meh. I really enjoyed the title story - I read it on-line a little while ago and that lead me to buying the actual book.

Oct 1, 2011, 11:10am Top

125) The Colour by Tremain. Forgot to add this one. I enjoyed it but I liked The Road Home better. This one had a strange ending and I found the characters somewhat irriating.

Oct 8, 2011, 6:23pm Top

126) Delta of Venus by Nin. Is it hot in here or just me?

Oct 12, 2011, 8:01am Top

127) A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzhenitsyn. Very good. One wouldn't think there would be much to write about given that it's just a day in the life of a prisoner in a Siberian gulag but this was quite fascinating.

Dec 18, 2011, 3:05pm Top

128) Empire of the Sun by Ballard. Good but not great. I was more than a little irritated by the kid at the end and am not sure why.

Edited: Jan 28, 2012, 4:16pm Top

129) Half of a Yellow Sun by Adichie. Started off slowly and I will admit, I had a bit of a struggle keeping everyone straight but once it got going, I was hooked. I know very little about Nigeria so it was definitely an eye-opening experience.

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:53pm Top

130) Fingersmith by Waters. What a romp! Mystery, suspense, twists and turns and a little romance thrown in for good measure. I spoiled myself as I saw the movie beforehand and it followed the book to the letter (although the book explained a lot more of the backstory) so I knew what was coming. But it still sucked me in. Loved it!

Feb 20, 2012, 10:34am Top

131) The Maltese Falcon by Hammett. Good but I was a little underwhelmed by the ending.

Feb 24, 2012, 10:45pm Top

132) Great Expectations by Dickens. My second Dickens novel but not my last. It was surprisingly exciting.

Mar 3, 2012, 1:17pm Top

133) Foundation by Asimov - not sure I fully understood everything packed into this slight book but the parts I did get were fascinating

Mar 13, 2012, 11:01pm Top

134) 2666 by Bolano. Weird, wonderful, long-winded, confusing.

Mar 21, 2012, 7:49am Top

135) Of Mice and Men by Steinbeck. All this time, I thought I hated Steinbeck. I had to read Grapes of Wrath in university and never got past the first chapter so I have gone through life thinking Steinbeck was horribly boring. But now I discover that he isn't! I am totally going back to Grapes to see what I was missing.

Mar 21, 2012, 7:57am Top

Over in the 75group we are doing a "Steinbeck-a-thon" this year - reading a Steinbeck novel every month. Grapes of Wrath is scheduled for May. Here's the link to the main thread in case you'd like to participate or to read some of the comments: http://www.librarything.com/topic/130105
Of Mice and Men will be read in August.

Mar 21, 2012, 11:59am Top

74 - Thanks! I am totally in

Mar 23, 2012, 12:05pm Top

136) Ficciones by Borges. Loved it

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:54pm Top

137) Cannery Row by Steinbeck - this was a lot of fun. A short vignette of a town full of drunks, con men and bumbling idiots.

138) Cloud Atlas by Mitchell. While I can appreciate his writing, this one was not my cup of tea. I loved all the connections but it's a little too random for me

Apr 8, 2012, 10:27am Top

139) Out of Africa by Blixen. A wonderful look at a beautiful part of the world. Very different from the movie.

Apr 8, 2012, 10:29am Top

140) I,Robot by Asimov. Not really my cup of tea but interesting

May 8, 2012, 2:36pm Top

141) Elegance of the Hedgehog by Barbery. Slow start but once it picked up, it was very good

Edited: Jul 2, 2012, 1:15pm Top

142) Dracula by Stoker. Good book. I liked the epistolary style as it gave a varied and in-depth view. I am ashamed to say that after watching Winona Ryder play Mina in the latest film version (shudder), I had hoped that her character would bite it.

May 10, 2012, 10:42am Top

I posted this over in book talk but since you just got done with Dracula you will appreciate this laugh....

Last night a friend of mine texted me wanting book advice. He said he just got done with Treasure Island and enjoyed it very much. I threw out Dracula. He came back with "Oh I read that when it first came out!!!" Hmmmmmmmmmmmm when it first came out are you trying to tell me YOUR a vampire then?????

I will not let him live that one down for a very long time.

May 11, 2012, 11:59am Top

Oh dear... are you sure you want to be friends with a vampire? :)

May 11, 2012, 10:47pm Top

143) The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous. Geez, how much can happen in the life of one guy? At times I felt very sorry for him but then other times, the silly twit deserved what he got. The version I got from Project Gutenberg had three sections to it but I am not sure if all are part of the list. Regardless, it is quite short and the translation is easy to read.

May 14, 2012, 3:53pm Top

Well I perfer vampires to a zombies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 14, 2012, 7:58pm Top

I'm new to this discussion, but I love that list of books (and I especially like finding so many that I've read--it makes me feel very accomplished). I'd add Portrait of a Lady by Henry James and Beloved by Toni Morrison. I noticed that The Bluest Eye, Morrison's first novel, is on the list but I wouldn't include it in the final list; it just doesn't seem important enough.

Edited: Jul 2, 2012, 1:16pm Top

It doesn't does it? I have impressed myself with the number I have read (with all the crap I read in high school, I never would have figured I'd be over 100). Bluest Eye was my first Morrison book and my fave so far but she really doesn't write a bad book does she?

May 14, 2012, 11:28pm Top

85 - I have a better chance of out running a zombie!

May 15, 2012, 9:30am Top

Maybe but vampires are sexier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know a co-worker and I have this converstation all the time.

May 15, 2012, 11:45am Top

You got me there. But I must say, if I had to choose, Team Jacob all the way!

Edited: May 27, 2012, 2:02pm Top

144) Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck - tried this one in university and never got past the first few chapters. I absolutely hated it and have no idea why because now, this is a 5-star read (and I don't give those out very often). I laughed and cried and then laughed and cried some more.

Edited: Jun 4, 2012, 10:02pm Top

145) Everything is Illuminated by Foer - loved the movie (laughed my butt off at the Officious Seeing Eye Bitch) but the book was even better. There is a lot they left out and I think it was quite of important.

Jun 6, 2012, 3:03pm Top

That's good to hear. I adore the movie and couldn't bring myself to hope that the book could live up to it.

Jun 6, 2012, 4:38pm Top

The only movie that is soooooooooo much better then the book has to be The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. When I see a really good movie I always go hunt for the book and normally the book is so much better.

Jun 6, 2012, 5:56pm Top

Meh, I wasn't impressed by that movie. There just wasn't enough to sustain it for a feature length story in my opinion.

Jun 7, 2012, 9:16am Top

But I was so highly disappointed with the book. I was like okay the movie was good so now lets go find the book and lets see what Hollywood left out of the story and boy what a slap in the face. I was expecting something like Gone With the Wind where the movie is good but they did leave out many details from the book, so even if I really like both the book still won out.

Jun 7, 2012, 12:30pm Top

Ha wow, I thought the text was just a short story. I'll definitely steer clear if it was that much less impressive than the movie.

Jun 7, 2012, 3:40pm Top

Well at the time I havent embarked on my quest of putting a dent in the 1001 list so honestly I didnt know it was a short story so that may have added to my major disappointment. Nor do I like it when they put books out to be mirrors of the movie. I have already watched the movie I dont need to read the same thing. I want the original book please.

Jun 9, 2012, 11:54am Top

146) The 13 Clocks by Thurber - kind of feels like cheating to list this one because it's a short kids book but hey, it's on the list. What an awesome tale (even though the feminist in me cringes at the 'damsel in distress' plot line).

Jun 9, 2012, 11:56am Top

94 - I can't say the movie did anything for me but I haven't read the book so I can't compare the two.

Jun 11, 2012, 11:47pm Top

147) Walden by Thoreau - glad that one is over and done with

Jun 11, 2012, 11:53pm Top

Oh, you do such a fine job of selling that one.

Jun 12, 2012, 8:58am Top


Edited: Jun 15, 2012, 10:31pm Top

148) The Wonderful O by Thurber

Jun 15, 2012, 10:33pm Top

Jun 17, 2012, 12:56pm Top

Jun 17, 2012, 12:58pm Top

I have had a lot of fun with my last few young adult/kid reads. Who knew I would enjoy Verne so much?

Jun 17, 2012, 3:41pm Top

I read Around the World in 80 Days to my kids and it was indeed loads of fun. May I suggest Treasure Island if you want to continue with excellent kid reads? We're on that one now.

Jun 17, 2012, 4:37pm Top

I've always loved Verne... Read a number of his books for my French classes, because they're relatively easy to read, but they are considered to be literature...

Jun 18, 2012, 8:12am Top

108 - Treasure Island is in my Nook and ready to go! I think you read my mind :)

Jun 24, 2012, 3:25pm Top

151) A Town Like Alice by Shute

Jun 24, 2012, 5:50pm Top

I LOVED that book!

Jun 24, 2012, 9:42pm Top

Me too! I started it this morning and couldn't stop reading (housework be damned!) It reminded me of Thorn Birds for some reason.

Jun 24, 2012, 10:52pm Top

It reminded me of Thorn Birds for some reason.

Okay, now you have me intrigued.

Jun 30, 2012, 11:48am Top

152) Treasure Island by Stevenson - what fun! I have heard the story a million times but never actually sat down and read the original. I just loved Silver! Sly devil that he is :)

Edited: Jul 2, 2012, 1:22pm Top

153) Fanny Hill by Cleland - okay, I get that this was really risque for the time (written in 1749ish) but me and my 'laboratory of love' were bored silly by the end. I did get quite a few good laughs at the terminology he used. It's basically softcore porn without the hardcore language of today.

Jul 5, 2012, 12:24pm Top

#111 A town like Alice is brilliant isn't it - have you read any of his others? I LOVE The Pied Piper though that is sadly not on the list.

I imagine it's the whoel descriptions of the outback that rings a bell re Thorn Birds - which I was really surprised to find I loved when I read it a few years ago.

Jul 5, 2012, 10:24pm Top

Nope, this was my first Shute book. I have a few others on my nook so I will definitely read more. Never heard of Pied Piper but I will look out for it.

Aug 6, 2012, 7:04pm Top

154) Chocky by Wyndham - to think, my imaginary friend just liked to go on car rides and doctor's visits. She never tried to teach me the secrets of the universe!

Edited: Aug 13, 2012, 8:19pm Top

155) Agnes Grey by Bronte - my first one by one of the 'other' sisters and I quite liked it. A quick little romantic read.

Aug 15, 2012, 9:08pm Top

156) Chess Story by Zweig. What an awesome little book! 84 pages but I was deeply enthralled (and I don't like chess much!)

Aug 26, 2012, 7:15am Top

157) Blood and Guts in High school by Acker - okay then....

Edited: Sep 4, 2012, 10:47pm Top

158) White Teeth by Smith - part way through and I am liking it so far.

ETA... first part was great but the second half (parts 3 and 4 about Irie and the twins) dragged on and on.

Oct 8, 2012, 11:03am Top

159) Middlemarch by Eliot.... done!

Oct 8, 2012, 5:38pm Top

160) Blindness by Saramago. Awesome and creepy.

Nov 21, 2012, 5:21pm Top

161) Casino Royale by Fleming. Interesting to read about Bond for the first time but man, the sexism got a little grating over time. Thankfully it was short!

Nov 22, 2012, 1:46pm Top

Did you like it? It has been on my TBR for years, can get myself to actually read it.

Nov 22, 2012, 7:21pm Top

Yes and no. Good book but quite dated (re extreme sexism) and lacking in substance. It could have been much longer and had more action but maybe I am just comparing it to the movie.

Jan 6, 2013, 2:17pm Top

162) Smilla's Sense of Snow by Hoeg - I am rather mixed on this one. On the one hand, it is rich in description (I would love to visit Greenland and Denmark) and the plot is interesting but on the other, it is needlessly long. I am wondering if a lot got lost in translation because it seemed rather distorted to me.

Jan 6, 2013, 7:16pm Top

#162 That's much how I found it. I liked the cultural references, but wondered if the translation was the reason I was left with something to be desired.

Jan 11, 2013, 11:27pm Top

163) Lolita by Nabokov. Like others have posted, this one is disturbing but brilliant.

Jan 13, 2013, 8:51pm Top

164) Small Island by Levy. This one surprised me a little. The premise sounded good and it got great reviews so I was expecting to be wowed from the start. But I found that it is a story that you need to slowly immerse yourself in. It's told from the point-of-view of four characters who are connected in some way and it alternates between past and present. I really liked how you would meet a character, form an opinion of them and only then get to see who they really are and how they got to that point. I loved how my views changed as I progressed.

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:56pm Top

165) Beggar Maid by Munro - I love Munro...

Edited: Jan 20, 2013, 8:56pm Top

166) Schindler's Ark by Keneally

Jan 20, 2013, 8:57pm Top

Jan 20, 2013, 8:57pm Top

168) Falling Man by DeLillo - ugh

Jan 20, 2013, 8:58pm Top

Jan 20, 2013, 8:58pm Top

170) Flaubert's Parrot by Barnes

Jan 20, 2013, 9:00pm Top

Falling Man by DeLillo - ugh

That doesn't make me look forward to it much! I really liked his Libra and hated White Noise, so I guess we'll see which way that one falls for me.

Jan 20, 2013, 9:00pm Top

171) Home by Richardson

Jan 20, 2013, 9:03pm Top

Cleaning up the thread a little. My numbers didn't add up and I realised that I counted three books twice and a few others were missed completely. I think I am up-to-date now :)

I am not a fan of Falling Man at all so I am curious to see how the others fare. Maybe I will try Libra next so I don't completely write the man off!

Jan 20, 2013, 9:03pm Top

#139 - Ursula, I was surprised by Falling Man. I'd heard all sorts of "ugh" comments and wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was. And it's short.

Jan 20, 2013, 9:15pm Top

>141 bucketyell: - I have had plenty of counting errors in my log of books read too. :) When you eventually give it a shot, I hope you enjoy Libra at least more than this one!

>142 Nickelini: - Nice to know! And short is always good, to balance out some of those other ones.

Jan 22, 2013, 1:36am Top

> 139. I also really liked Falling man and think less of White Noice and Mao II, so I guess I have to read Libra! By the way, Underworld was a great novel too!

Jan 22, 2013, 10:02pm Top

172) On Beauty by Smith. I liked this one more than White Teeth but I must admit, I really didn't see the point of it. It's the Montagues and Capulets modernised but without any characters to cheer for. Dad is in idiot who can't keep it in his pants. Daughter is one of those annoying people who always thinks they are right and never lets anything go. One son is a moron who jumps on the flavour-of-the-month bandwagon depending on who he is friends with at that time. The other son flits around life never knowing who he is or what he wants. Even mom, who I guess I am supposed to feel sorry for, seems more doormat than anything else. And that is just the Montagues! Smith writes very well but I just can't engage with any of her characters.

Jan 23, 2013, 7:00am Top

Yep, I tried that one last year. I gritted my teeth for a 100 pages but in the end I just put it aside. As you said, I could not engage with any of the characters.

Feb 12, 2013, 5:13pm Top

173) Talented Mr Ripley by Highsmith. I totally got sucked into this one. Highsmith created an awesome tale with lots of twists and turns. It reminded me a lot of Rebecca by duMaurier and I quite enjoyed that one too. I was a little apprehensive about it because I loathed the movie but the book is a million times better. I think I will check out Strangers on a Train next (liked that movie!)

Feb 14, 2013, 8:20am Top

174) Like Water for Chocolate by Esquivel - odd but really neat as well. I like magical realism so I enjoyed that part of this novel. The storyline was more than a little strange (just tell your mother where to go already) but yet it was rather compelling as well. It's just such a hard novel to define! I saw the movie years ago and liked it so I always wondered about the book.

Feb 14, 2013, 9:01am Top

The Talented Mr. Ripley is a surprising book, I think. She really manages to draw you in to Tom's story even though there's nothing likable about him. I keep meaning to read the other Ripley books but I haven't gotten around to it.

Feb 14, 2013, 11:57am Top

Exactly... I hated Ripley but cheered him on the whole time. Every time it looked like he would be found out, I was on the edge of my seat. Gotta love that in a book!

Feb 16, 2013, 8:15pm Top

175) All Quiet on the Western Front by Remarque. What an amazingly powerful novel. One of the few 5* reads I have.

I am young, I am twenty years old; yet I know nothing of life but despair, death, fear, and fatuous superficiality cast over an abyss of sorrow. I see how peoples are set against one another, and in silence, unknowingly, foolishly, obediently, innocently slaying one another. I see that the keenest brains of the world invent weapons and words to make it yet more refined and enduring. And all men of my age, here and over there, throughout the world see these things; all my generation is experiencing these things with me. What would our fathers do if we suddenly stood up and came before them and proffered our account? What do they expect of us if a time ever comes when war is over? Through the years our business has been killing; -- it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of life is limited to death. What will happen afterwards? And what shall come out of us?

Mar 3, 2013, 2:01pm Top

176) Invisible by Auster. I think I am an Auster fan. This was my first but now I want to read more. It reminded me of Talented Mr Ripley but it wasn't really the story that was similar, it was more that the character Born reminded me of Ripley; charismatic and charming but with a very dark side. It's a story told in different voices but it's not told by the usual suspects. Adam is the main character and it is his life (or at least, his life as he sees or wants it to be) but the missing parts are filled in by bit characters who he encounters along the way. I really liked that detail because they were somewhat detached from him so their version of events seemed more honest.

Mar 9, 2013, 10:47am Top

177) The Sea by Banville. I loved his writing style, especially his descriptions of everything, but I was really confused by the story. He jumps back and forth a lot and I found it rather challenging to keep up. I was reading the Wikipedia blurb afterwards and only then realised that that part with the Graces was in the past (I lost a close family member this week so I will admit that my brain wasn't working at full capacity). I might need to give this one another whirl later on because I think knowing what I know now, I would approach the book differently (and not think the main character was a creepy old man lusting after a young teenager).

Mar 16, 2013, 11:05am Top

178) Virgin Suicides by Eugenides. I was rather surprised at how different this one was from Middlesex. I love finding authors who can write about many different things and do justice to them all. This one looks at the decline of a rather ordinary family. At first, they were that mysterious family on the street who kept to themselves but did enough odd things to make them a constant topic of gossip. Then, as the family began to interact with society more, the family dynamic began to decline and slowly the daughters committed suicide. It is a rather complex novel that asks more questions than it answers.

Mar 17, 2013, 10:30pm Top

179) The Wars by Findley. This one is a war story told from a Canadian soldier's point-of-view (interesting contrast to All Quiet on the Western Front which I read earlier this year). It is my first Findley (which is a horrifying thing for a Canadian to admit!) but not my last.

May 3, 2013, 7:26pm Top

180) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Dick. I don't normally read sci-fi so I am thinking that something passed right over my head with this one. I liked it but I feel like there is something profound that alluded me; something that connects all the weird randomness. I will have to google and see what I missed.

May 12, 2013, 10:00am Top

181) Wasp Factory by Banks. Where to start? Frank is a 17-year-old boy growing up in rural Scotland. He loves to behead animals (and blow up rabbits), kill his relatives (but that was when he was younger and going through a phase) and when he needs advice, he turns to his wasp factory, a device he created to tortures wasps in various ways and apparently divine the future by the method of their death. His brother has escaped from a mental hospital (he is considered the crazy one) and is slowly making his way home much to the dismay of the town folk who are finally able to have pets again. The whole thing culminates with one of the strangest endings I have ever read in a book. But yet, despite its weirdness, I actually liked it. And found myself mildly amused by Frank and his antics. I think Banks is a lot like Nabokov in that way. Both have an amazing ability to write about vile people and then make you almost like them.

May 18, 2013, 10:39pm Top

182) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Chabon. Finally finished and quite enjoyed it. I had no idea what it was about before starting so really didn't know what to expect. But who can find fault with a book that combines history, comics and magic?

May 20, 2013, 10:16pm Top

183) Story of O by Reage. I was rather mixed with my reaction so I went on-line to see what others thought. I do understand how risqué this was coming out in 1950. It really was miles ahead of its time because really, who wrote about BDSM then? Fifty Shades (as horrible as it is) is just bringing that subject out of the closet now! The writing style was great and the language used was actually rather subdued comparatively speaking so it really is less porn and more erotic literature.

Just a warning... while the overall nature of the book is well known, my comments to follow are spoilers....

My problem with it, and I guess my problem with BDSM in general, is about consent. I get that the premise is that submissive actually has the power in the relationship because they ultimately choose if and when they wish to stop. I suppose for the garden-variety part-time BDSM participant, this works. But in this case, this was an overall, all-consuming lifestyle choice. O, while being told she could say no at any time, was completely infatuated with Rene and went along with everything because she felt that that was the only way to keep him. Sure she has a choice but really, what kind of choice is it? My boss gives me projects all the time and I have the choice of whether to do them or not. But if I don't, I won't have a job much longer. Rene asks her if she is okay with things but since he has tremendous power over her to begin with, she goes along with it all for fear of losing him.

I also had a big problem with Rene. He continually says that he loves her but the whole time he seems to view her as a psychological experiment. He sells her to the highest bidder (Sir Stephen) because he claims that he isn't strong enough to handle her conversion but I think it was more that he wanted to be a passive observer. He was prominent in the beginning but by the end, he almost becomes part of the furniture as he watches from the sidelines.

O starts off the novel with no name and by the end, she doesn't even have a personality. It is presented as if she is okay with everything that occurs but really, does someone being brainwashed know that they are being brainwashed? How does one really know what she wanted until after she is removed from the situation and can verify things for herself? Apparently the author wrote this as a love story for her boyfriend and that makes me really sad.

May 20, 2013, 10:50pm Top

Hmmmm. Interesting. Not sure I'm up to read that one, but I appreciate your thoughts. Do you think that it was included in the list because it was controversial, or that and also because it's actually an important work of literature (solid or artful technique, multidimensional characters, ambiguity, etc.)? Your description reminds me of the movie 9 1/2 Weeks, which all my friends and I loved back in the 80s, but at the same time all said "there's no way I'd put up with that shit though"

May 20, 2013, 11:06pm Top

Good question. The novel was apparently written on a dare by Anne Desclos. Her boyfriend claimed that a woman couldn't write something like this so she decided to write a 'love letter' of sorts to prove him wrong. The 1001 book states that "The Story of O is a shocking novel and at the same time a masterfully boring one. The deep erotic joy of suffering, it tells us, is rooted in the terror of boredom." I can't say that I fully understand that sentiment as I don't really see how watching the gradual degradation of a person is something to do to pass the time (but that could just be the feminist in me that had obvious problems with this novel). I do think it's a remarkably well-written book and the fact that it came out in the 50's AND became a bestseller is surprising. But if I am in the mood for well-written pornography, I think I will choose Nin any day.

Jun 2, 2013, 7:19pm Top

184) Wolf Hall by Mantel. I am sure 50% of this one went right over my head but it was fascinating nonetheless. I made full use of the handy-dandy tutored read from last year (75 books thread) to give myself a crash course in Tudor history (thanks for that!). I will now start the next one...

185) Strait is the Gate by Gide. A short yet powerful read to finish the day. This is a sad little tale of unfulfilled love.

Edited: Jun 10, 2013, 8:05am Top

186) Portnoy's Complaint by Roth. What did you get when you take a man obsessed with his penis, add in some residual Jewish guilt leftover from overbearing parents and a profound fear of sexually transmitted diseases? One of the more interesting books I have read this year. Not sure whether to laugh at the poor schmuck or be very, very happy that I never dated him!

Jun 9, 2013, 11:58pm Top

Oh, that sounds so not interesting to me.

Jun 10, 2013, 1:24am Top

I read Portnoy many years ago and hated it! What a whiner he was. Be very glad you never dated him!

Jun 10, 2013, 8:12am Top

He is isn't he? Good grief... It wasn't a long book but it took me a long time to read because it was just really, really exhausting to listen to ramble on and on. I am now reading Confederancy of Dunces and there are a lot of similarities (although Ignatius is more the guy who says whatever he feels but doesn't whine - he just doesn't care!)

Jun 22, 2013, 10:23pm Top

187) Confederacy of Dunces by Toole. I have finally finished this one. Interesting but exhausting! I gotta admit, as horrible as Ignatius was, I actually felt bad for him at times. Mr Levy reminded me of that boss that George had on Seinfeld. I totally pictured him the whole time I was reading. And now that I think about it, Mrs Reilly could be Estelle...

Jun 24, 2013, 10:11pm Top

188) Moon Palace by Auster. I am fast becoming an Auster fan. It was weird at times and over-the-top but I couldn't stop reading.

189) The Namesake by Lahiri. Proof that she can write a good full-length story as well! I think overall, I liked her short stories a bit better - they seemed more complex with greater depth. But this story made me angry, happy and sad. Will have to get her other one out of the library now...

Jun 25, 2013, 11:48am Top

190) The Nose by Gogol. Gotta love it when you read a really neat short story about a man who loses his nose (a nose that goes out and has an adventure on its own I might add!) and you get to knock one off the list while only reading 30 pages give or take. After reading the namesake, I just had to read something by Gogol.

Jun 29, 2013, 8:16pm Top

191) A Kestrel for a Knave by Hines. A 1001 book and quite enjoyable. It's about a young boy growing in a Yorkshire mining town who finds and trains a hawk.

Jun 29, 2013, 9:17pm Top

192) The Fox by Lawrence. This short novella had me until the end - I thought this one would end much differently.

Jun 30, 2013, 1:18pm Top

Oooo I haven't read D.H Lawrence in years, I may dig this out and have a read.

Jul 7, 2013, 1:40pm Top

193) Life and Times of Michael K by Coetzee. I just love this author! He has the ability to so completely immerse the reader in the novel. I only came up for air when I turned the last page and realised the ride was over. I will move Disgrace up the list.

I have never read Lawrence before but it made me want to read his long stuff.

Jul 8, 2013, 1:49pm Top

Was Life and Times your first Coetzee? I wish it had been my first... I might not be dreading the rest so much.

Jul 14, 2013, 10:53am Top

Nope, I did read Waiting for the Barbarians before and enjoyed it. And because I like him so much, I just finished Disgrace.

194) Disgrace by Coetzee. Very well done. It's a very disturbing book overall but well written. I didn't get the ending I was hoping for but it was a satisfying one (although I can't honestly say why I was satisfied in the end because really, it kind of goes against everything I believe in... maybe I am just so enamoured by his writing?)

Jul 14, 2013, 12:51pm Top

Good to hear that there are other Coetzee's to be enjoyed. Disgrace was my first and I did not enjoy it.

Jan 6, 8:13pm Top

194) 1Q84 by Murakami

195) The Guide by Narayan

Didn't quite hit my target of 200 by the end of 2013 but close. I will aim for 250 by the end of 2014.

Jan 28, 12:09pm Top

196) Bleak House by Dickens - finally finished and quite enjoyed it. The middle could have been whittled down a bit as it get a little draggy at times. I love the little bits of Dickensian sarcasm that bled through every once in awhile.

Feb 7, 12:16am Top

197) Robinson Crusoe by Defoe

Edited: Feb 15, 8:08am Top

Feb 17, 8:46am Top

199) Thank You, Jeeves by Wodehouse

Feb 21, 10:07pm Top

200) A Visit From the Goon Squad by Egan - read this one last year but didn't realise it was on the list. I was trying to figure out what to read for the big '200' and lo and behold, I already read it!

Mar 4, 3:01pm Top

Oh, you are already very much ahead! Congratulations on book 200! Only 801 to go. :)

Mar 16, 12:42pm Top

201) Timbuktu by Auster

Group: 1001 Books to read before you die

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