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

This topic was continued by Bucketyell's attempt to read more - part 2.

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 Yells:

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!

Edited: Jun 29, 2014, 11:33am Top

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: Dec 13, 2015, 3:02pm Top

165) Family Matters by Mistry. This one had just about everything: religion, politics, family drama and a little bit of karma thrown in at the end for good measure.

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.

Edited: Jun 19, 2015, 7:19pm Top

171) Home by Robinson

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 Yells: - 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.

Edited: Jun 29, 2014, 12:34pm Top

184) There But For The by Smith.

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.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:05pm Top

195) 1Q84 by Murakami

196) 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.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:05pm Top

197) 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.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:05pm Top

198) Robinson Crusoe by Defoe

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:05pm Top

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:06pm Top

200) Thank You, Jeeves by Wodehouse

ETA - because I obviously can't count, this is actually 200 not Egan. Oy....

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:06pm Top

201) 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, 2014, 3:01pm Top

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

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:06pm Top

202) Timbuktu by Auster. A book narrated by a dog. You would think it would be weird but it's not.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:07pm Top

203) The End of the Affair by Greene. Now I have to get to Brighton Rock!

204) New York Trilogy by Auster. Interesting but not my favourite of his.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:07pm Top

205) Crome Yellow by Huxley

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:07pm Top

May 2, 2014, 8:56pm Top

Two more I missed from last year. I need to pay better attention!

I am halfway through Neuromancer and it's interesting so far.

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:08pm Top

207) Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Murakami. I love the worlds he creates!

May 26, 2014, 2:36pm Top

I just recently finished Wind-Up Bird Chronicle myself. What did you think of it?

Edited: May 28, 2014, 6:08pm Top

208) Jacob the Liar by Becker. I saw the movie years ago and quite liked it so I was happy to see it was a book (and on the list!) Quite liked it.

May 27, 2014, 11:40am Top

190 - I tried to respond earlier but my tablet was acting up. I am now home from vacation and can get caught up! I quite liked Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. I discovered Murakami earlier this year when I read 1Q84 so this was my second one of his. I love the different worlds he creates. I generally avoid these types of books because I prefer books with a linear plot that gets tied up neatly at the end but for some reason, I don't find myself wanting for anything at the end.

May 28, 2014, 6:09pm Top

209) Neuromancer by Gibson. I am sure most of this went over my head but what a cool book! I don't generally read a lot of sci-fi (which is weird because I love sci-fi movies) but perhaps I should change that.

Edited: Jun 29, 2014, 12:00pm Top

210) Brighton Rock by Greene. Very different from End of the Affair but quite enjoyable. I am not sure I completely understand Pinkie and his way of thinking (but maybe that's the point? People like him aren't meant to make sense I suppose) but it was neat to climb into his mind for awhile.

Jun 1, 2014, 7:00pm Top

211) Unbearable Lightness of Being by Kundera. Do I love this book because Kundera has an amazing way of describing things? Or do I hate it because the main character is a womanising idiot who never truly appreciates what he has?

Jun 2, 2014, 6:11pm Top

212) Hawksmoor by Ackroyd - spooky! He does a good job transitioning between the past and present.

Jun 3, 2014, 11:19pm Top

213) Master and Margarita by Bulgakov

Jun 4, 2014, 2:22am Top

Hawksmoor by Ackroyd - spooky!

Yes, it was, wasn't it. I didn't register that exactly when I read it last summer as I was all wrapped up in the places (I read it while in east London), but you're right--spooky. I need to read it again one day as I think too much of it went over my head.

Edited: Jun 4, 2014, 12:24pm Top

To be honest, a lot went over my head but when I read the blurb on wikipedia afterwards, it all made sense. I was going to rate it lower but when I realised how it all fit together, it was brilliant :)

And then I read Master and the Margarita and it was awesome. This was nothing like what I had expected! I figured Russian literature... okay, dark and dramatic. This? Was a romp! I loved the Devil's Ball.

Jun 4, 2014, 11:01pm Top

#199 - Would you recommend Master and Margarita for someone who's a little (read: very) afraid of Russian lit?

Jun 5, 2014, 7:37am Top

Yup! I have read very little Russian lit (probably because people keep saying how depressing it can be) but this is a hoot. The devil hits 1930s Russia and has some fun - what more can you ask from a book! :)

Edited: Jun 5, 2014, 11:47am Top

>200 CayenneEllis: For Master & Margarite, I would recommend that you be familiar with the bible, however. I did not know who Pontius Pilate was and he figures prominently in Master & Margarita. I didn't get the humor because I was too frustrated by all the references that I did not understand.

For gateway Russian lit, I'd recommend The Nose, an absurd short story by Gogol and maybe One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (I haven't read it in years, but it packs a lot of punch for a short novel), and if you're a science fiction fan, We. Then maybe segue into Ivan Turgenev before tackling "the biggies".

As for the "difficult" longer novels, War and peace is very good and not that hard (It's just long. And there are the occasional boring history-lecture digressions), and Crime and Punishment is darkly fascinating. I am not great with satire so most of the humor of Dead Souls and Demons was lost on me.

Jun 5, 2014, 11:53am Top

I have read all your gateway lit references so maybe that is why I loved it?

Yup, there are a lot Biblical references in there. I am a bit of a heathen but grew up with Baptist grandparents so I had a good background and found that I got most of it. I think a better understanding of Russian history might have helped me a few more of those references.

Jun 7, 2014, 10:12am Top

214) Diary of a Nobody by Grossmith

Jun 11, 2014, 8:19pm Top

215) Michael Kohlhaas by von Kleist. What a neat little story with a bit of an O Henry ending.

Jun 11, 2014, 8:22pm Top

216) Wild Swans by Chang. Wow...

Jun 21, 2014, 10:47am Top

217) Time Machine by Wells

Jun 22, 2014, 10:56pm Top

>203 Yells: I felt the same way about The Master and Margarita. I'd wished I'd known more about Russian history and culture but I enjoyed the novel all the same.

Jun 26, 2014, 11:47pm Top

218) Therese Raquin by Zola

Jun 27, 2014, 3:56am Top

What did you think of it? I just bought it and am planning to read it soon!

Jun 28, 2014, 2:41pm Top

I loved it! I finished late at night so didn't have a chance to put comments. It was my first Zola - for some reason, I thought he would be a little stuffy and dramatic but this wasn't at all what I expected. It's a fascinating psychological look at the effects of a guilty conscience (I was a psych major so I found it really neat). It's also rather spooky! In some ways it reminded me of Rebecca by du Maurier.

Jun 28, 2014, 3:26pm Top

That sounds promising. I loved Rebecca and your thoughts of the book.

Jun 29, 2014, 12:37pm Top

219) Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Diaz. Missed this one from last year.

Jun 29, 2014, 12:38pm Top

220) A Gate at the Stairs by Moore. And this one... good grief!

Jun 29, 2014, 7:31pm Top

221) The Gathering by Enright. From all the mixed reviews I have read on this book, I really wasn't sure what to expect with this one but I quite liked it. But, I seem to be drawn to books on dysfunctional families (especially ones far more dysfunctional than my own family) so maybe that it why I liked it. Family secrets bubble to the surface when a member of a large family dies.

Jun 30, 2014, 11:40am Top

222) Return of the Soldier by West. I think this is a book that would have been better if it were a little longer. It's about a soldier who returns from battle with amnesia and doesn't remember the last 15 years of his life. It's an intereting premise but the ending was really rushed.

Edited: Jul 1, 2014, 9:35pm Top

223) Inheritance of Loss by Desai. This is one that I have pulled off the shelf many, many times but for whatever reason, never read until now. And I am mixed: it is a beautifully written book but, it jumps around too much and I found it rather confusing at times. There are two stories playing out but I found that I really didn't care about the cook's son Biju living in America. I would have preferred a story just about Sai.

Jul 2, 2014, 9:12pm Top

224) Wide Sargasso Sea by Rhys. I am trying to get to all the ones that I have meant to read forever but keep passing by and this was definitely one of those. I love Jane Eyre so I have always been curious about this one. And I must say, by the end, I wasn't sure who I felt more sympathy for! Very well done.

Jul 3, 2014, 10:00pm Top

225) The Afternoon of a Writer by Handke. Meh. Is he a writer? Isn't he a writer? Not sure I really care to be honest.

Edited: Jul 4, 2014, 1:10pm Top

226) The Vicar of Wakefield by Goldsmith - a rather non-descript tale of someone who loses it all and then gains it back and more. Will have to read the blurb to see why this is on the list - is it because this is the start of the rags to riches/riches to rags storyline?

Jul 6, 2014, 10:41am Top

227) Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas by Thompson. Interesting in a train wreck kind of way.

Jul 8, 2014, 7:39pm Top

228) Bunner Sisters by Wharton - gotta say, this was gripping little tale. But so, so sad...

Jul 10, 2014, 2:19pm Top

229) Ethan Frome by Wharton - good grief, another depressing tale. Are all Wharton's shorter novels this sad? Maybe House of Mirth should be my next one... unless the title is misleading!

230) Wittgenstein's Nephew by Bernhard. A sad but beautifully written story/memoir. Bernhard is in one wing of the hospital after having lung surgery and his friend Paul is in the mental ward across the field. As he plots a way to try to visit, he reflects on their friendship.

Jul 17, 2014, 5:52pm Top

You have been on a role! House of Mirth is a misleading title, I think Age of Innocence is her least depressing book (and my favorite).

Jul 17, 2014, 8:36pm Top

I recently ran across the source for the title of House of Mirth, which makes me unsurprised it's depressing. It's from the Bible: "The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth." I haven't read the book yet, but that quote will probably stick with me.

Jul 19, 2014, 9:41pm Top

231) The Newton Letter by Banville. Short but rather depressing.

Jul 27, 2014, 2:02pm Top

232) Worstward Ho by Beckett - short but since I had to read it aloud a few times to make sense of it, not short. I understood enough to get the general idea but not enough to ever try to explain it to someone (but maybe that is the point?)

Edited: Dec 13, 2015, 2:37pm Top

233) Rashomon by Akutagawa. What neat stories! Very enjoyable.

Jul 30, 2014, 9:44pm Top

234) The History of Love by Krauss. Not bad... better than the other one of hers I read.

Jul 31, 2014, 1:39pm Top

235) Silk by Baricco. Perhaps someone can explain to me why this one is on the list. Not a bad book but nothing special.

Jul 31, 2014, 4:28pm Top

I can't help you. I read it, not even that long ago, and can't remember what it is about. Maybe that says it all..!

Aug 1, 2014, 8:39am Top

>230 Yells: I enjoyed Silk, the ritual quietness of it. As to why iit's on the list....well, the Boxell book entry is no help -- just a plot summary.

Aug 1, 2014, 2:35pm Top

I did read the entry afterwards and yup, just a plot summary. I enjoyed the book but it just seemed like a random entry. Oh well... on to something else! I am in the middle of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce and am REALLY surprised at how much I am liking it.

Aug 1, 2014, 10:38pm Top

236) The Body Artist by DeLillo - I liked this one better than Falling Man (the only DeLillo I had read before). The problem I have with this type of book is that I find myself obsessing about all the unanswered questions. Some, like whether Mr Tuttle exists or not, I can accept and all the other little unanswered things drive me nuts. I guess this is why I prefer a fatter, more straight-forward novel.

Aug 3, 2014, 10:11pm Top

237) The Girls of Slender Means by Spark. Much better than Prime. I loved the letters to writers - that made me laugh. Wasn't expecting the ending though.

Aug 4, 2014, 9:10pm Top

238) The Marriage Plot by Eugenides - loved this one! It's about books (awesome), psychology (awesome but sad) and travel (awesome). Oh, and there is a story in there as well.

Aug 4, 2014, 10:46pm Top

239) The Driver's Seat by Spark - I think she is starting to grow on me. This was a creepy little read.

Aug 5, 2014, 3:38pm Top

I am a huge Muriel Spark fan so glad you are developing the taste. Not sure why you didn't adore The Prime. Had you seen the movie, also brilliant? Although my love for both book and film dates from my adolescence and possibly coming to them as an adult is less thrilling.

Aug 5, 2014, 10:58pm Top

Can't remember why I didn't like it to be honest but I remember being very glad it was over! Quite enjoyed the last two so a reread might be in the cards. Never saw the movie so will have to hunt that one down.

Aug 16, 2014, 8:13am Top

240) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by Joyce. My first Joyce. Quite liked the beginning but as he grew, I think he became much smarter than me because a lot went over my head. Will need to reread at some.

Edited: Aug 17, 2014, 11:48am Top

241) July's People by Gordimer - short but quite powerful. A white family is driven out of their African home due to fighting and is saved by their servant. They take up residence is his village and put everyone at risk.

Aug 16, 2014, 9:40pm Top

242) The Graduate by Webb. The movie was definitely better. How creepy and manipulative was Benjamin? He didn't come across this creepy in the movie.

Edited: Aug 27, 2014, 10:59pm Top

243) Cat and Mouse by Grass. I guess I should have read Tin Drum first? Might need to move it up the pile a bit... This one was an interesting book on its own. The cat is the Great Mahlke, a loner child who becomes everyone's hero and the mouse is his extra long Adam's apple (and penis apparently). Those symbols come up quite a bit throughout the book as a group of children come to terms with war and themselves.

Edited: Aug 27, 2014, 10:59pm Top

244 & 245) Quicksand by Larsen & Passing by Larsen. I was quite excited to find both novellas in one novel (both are in the 1001 list) and even more excited to find out how awesome they are. Quicksand is about a young mixed race woman who struggles to belong. She moves between both worlds and becomes frustrated when she doesn't seem to fit in anywhere. Passing is similar and looks at race as well but this time it's about being fair enough to fit into a white world but the consequences of being discovered.

Edited: Aug 27, 2014, 10:59pm Top

246) Slow Man by Coetzee. Very different from the others that I have read of his but enjoyable. Probably should have read Elizabeth Costello first as she randomly shows up.

Edited: Aug 27, 2014, 10:59pm Top

247) A Pale View of Hills by Ishiguro. I think this was his first novel and it was quite good. There are so many layers to this novel - it's about a woman who reminisces about a friendship she had years ago but then it also looks at the affects of war, status etc. Very well done.

248) The Immoralist by Gide. Odd book. At times, quite disturbing but oh so beautifully written.

Edited: Aug 27, 2014, 11:00pm Top

249) Music of Chance by Auster. Love Auster but man, what an odd book.

Edited: Aug 30, 2014, 10:45am Top

250) Summer Book by Jansson - I really can't say whether I liked this one or not. It's a series of vignettes of a grandmother and her granddaughter and their adventures on an island one summer. The language and descriptions were wonderful and brought the novel to life. But the characters were awful. The granddaughter, at times, was a crabby, whiny child. And grandma wasn't much better. I really tried to be patient with them as they were dealing with death but I they just lost me.

Aug 31, 2014, 10:39am Top

251) Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. This is my third Murakami and definitely not my last. But honestly, how does one describe any of these novels without others thinking you are strange for liking them? This one is about a young boy who gets hit by a teacher, falls into a coma and when he wakes up three weeks later, his mind is erased and his soul split in two. There are two parallel stories going on; Nakata, the young boy grows into old age and sets out on a quest to discover what is missing inside him. And Kafka, his alter-ego, who escapes from father and sets off to find out why his mother left him years ago with his sister. Mix in a little incest, animal torture and Colonel Sanders the pimp, and you have a typical Murakami novel. You are at once horrified but fascinated.

Sep 2, 2014, 10:36pm Top

252) The Breast by Roth. Okay then... A short story about a man who turns into a breast. Very odd yet well written.

Sep 3, 2014, 9:41pm Top

253) Written on the Body by Winterson. As usual, her writing is wonderful. She packs a lot into a sentence, paragraph, page... but I really didn't like the main character. I get that Winterson purposely doesn't reveal his/her sex and I liked that part. But the over-the-top obsession with Louise was more creepy than romantic.

Sep 3, 2014, 11:50pm Top

#251 - I recently finished that book too and walked away with the same sort of review that you just wrote. Not a bad read, but not something that I'll rave about either.

Sep 4, 2014, 12:29pm Top

I remember you saying on another thread that you had read this on so I was going to try to hunt it down to see what you had to say! She really is a wonderful writer but these characters drove me nuts.

Edited: Sep 7, 2014, 12:28pm Top

254) In the Heart of the Country by Coetzee. I think that this is my least favourite Coetzee novel so far. I liked the story, as uncomfortable as it was, but I am not a fan of poetry or experimental prose so the style rather bugged me.

255) The Pigeon by Suskind. What a neat little book! And my first Suskind. It chronicles the day when Jonathan Noel's life literally fell apart and was rebuilt in the span of 24-hours. Now some could say that a pigeon shouldn't cause such chaos but I don't think it would have mattered what it was; when you live your life the same way every day and find comfort in that sameness, it can be easy to have life knocked out of balance by something different and unpleasant. It was a little over-the-top but at the same time, I could totally relate.

256) The Sense of an Ending by Barnes. And another great book. This one was very different from Flaubert's Parrot (the only other Barnes book I have read) but just as good. It reminded me a little of The Talented Mr Ripley for some reason. And the best part, even though I thought I had it figured out from the start, the last page threw me for a loop. Didn't see that coming at all.

Edited: Sep 23, 2014, 9:41pm Top

257) The Passion by Winterson. My favourite one so far. Beautifully written and quite different from the others I have read.

Sep 23, 2014, 9:41pm Top

258) Money by Amis. Good but exhausting.

259) Watchmen by Moore. Not bad considering I don't really like graphic novels or superheroes.

Sep 25, 2014, 12:52pm Top

260) Perfume by Suskind. What a creepy novel! I really didn't expect that ending but it summed the book up perfectly.

Sep 28, 2014, 9:48am Top

261) After the Quake by Murakami. Hunh, he can write good short fiction as well.

Sep 28, 2014, 11:24am Top

262) The Lover by Duras. Interesting but I can't help but compare it to things like Lolita and Bonjour Tristesse which I liked better.

Sep 28, 2014, 7:52pm Top

263) Elizabeth Costello by Coetzee. If I had more patience, I think I would have enjoyed this better. But Elizabeth Costello is just one of those ornery people who seem to argue about everything so she annoyed me to no end.

Oct 6, 2014, 3:29pm Top

264) Franny and Zooey by Salinger. Teenage angst turns into adult angst.

Nov 24, 2014, 3:41pm Top

265) Sputnik Sweetheart by Murakami. Still love Murakami...

Jan 17, 2015, 8:42pm Top

266) Clear Light of Day by Desai. Nutshell: woman returns to her childhood home to visit. Her sister never married and remained in the home along with their autistic brother. In part, it's a story about consequences and unfulfilled dreams. But it's also about discovering that life maybe isn't quite as bad as you thought it was.

Edited: Jan 18, 2015, 3:34pm Top

267) An Artist of the Floating World by Ishiguro. Interesting mix of art and politics in mid-century Japan. It would help if I had a better understanding of Japanese politics as much went over my head I am sure but it was enjoyable nonetheless. A few of the characters drove me nuts but I suppose the sexism was a sign of the times.

Jan 25, 2015, 11:34pm Top

268) The Shining by King. Spooky and way better than the movie.

Edited: Feb 2, 2015, 4:07pm Top

269) Catch-22 by Heller. I will have to re-read this later on because there is just so much in there. Very humourous and tongue-in-cheek look at war and all its glorious hypocrisy.

270) On the Road by Kerouac. Finished and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought. But seriously, if this wasn't written when it was, would we like it half as much? Stoned dudes travel across North America and don't do much of anything except get further stoned and leave a few illegitimate babies behind.

Jan 29, 2015, 10:44pm Top

271) Death Sentence by Blanchot. Meh... not my cup of tea. I thought it might be a book about death and losing someone but apparently not. Foucault may like it but I didn't.

Edited: Feb 2, 2015, 5:46pm Top

272) Jealousy by Robbe-Grillet. Really don't know what to say. I appreciate his writing but really didn't like his technique of having the narrator act as a distanct observer. I found the whole thing rather creepy and the repetition boring.

Jan 31, 2015, 6:47pm Top

273) Woman at Point Zero by El Saadawi - wow, what a sad tale about a woman who, in her short miserable life, finally finds peace in death.

Feb 2, 2015, 3:46pm Top

274) The Garden Party by Mansfield - I have no idea how I have managed to get this far in life without reading this short story but I have now rectified that! Now to find more stories by her.

Feb 8, 2015, 4:54pm Top

275) Suite Francaise by Nemirovsky. Not sure why this sat unread on the shelf for years because it's awesome. I knew a bit of Nemirovsky's story beforehand but reading the footnotes and appendices really hammered home what a tragedy her death was. So sad.

276) Embers by Marai. Halfway through and really curious to see where it goes.

Feb 8, 2015, 5:15pm Top

#271 -- these were two of my five-star reads -- glad you are enjoying them.

Feb 8, 2015, 7:41pm Top

Embers - Well, I guess I like it because I started it this afternoon and ploughed on through! I figured that it was a love triangle kind of thing but wasn't really expecting everything else that happened. Well written and totally engrossing.

I can definitely see why those were two of your five-star reads. Now to find something fitting to follow such good novels...

Feb 16, 2015, 12:02pm Top

277) Left-Handed Woman by Handke. That was a rather uncomfortable read.

Feb 21, 2015, 9:36am Top

278) The Electric Kool-Aid Test by Wolfe. Having never read anything that Wolfe has written, colour me surprised at how well he writes! Wasn't really sure what to expect with this one to be honest.

Edited: Apr 19, 2015, 4:19pm Top

279) Trainspotting by Welsh. And to continue my foray into drug culture... at times rather uncomfortable, but overall rather funny and honest.

280) One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Kesey. Hunh, so the man can write. I love the interplay between Murphy and Ratched.

281) Oscar and Lucinda by Carey. Gotta think about that one for a bit...

Edited: Feb 25, 2015, 11:59am Top

282) Black Dogs by McEwan. The only other McEwan book I have read was Atonement (and thought it was okay but not really worth the hype) so I wasn't sure what to expect with this one. But I really enjoyed it. It's a slim little book but he does a lot in those short pages. He brought all the characters to life so it was easy to connect with them.

Feb 28, 2015, 9:46am Top

283) American Psycho by Ellis. What does one really say about this novel? At first I found it really creepy simply because the actual violence was never described, just hinted at. In the middle of a conversation, Bateman would slip in a 'btw, last night I killed and mutilated someone' but people would talk over him and no one noticed what he said. But then that changed and the descriptions got worse as the novel progressed (to the point where I just had to skip over parts because it was really graphic).

The novel was disturbing and quite hard to read at times but also fascinating. This is a regular guy, rich and successful, but regular. He is the Ted Bundy who works beside you for years and you never guess what he is really up to. He drops umpteen hints but no one really believes him because he is just 'that guy'. It is also a peek into the mind of someone who is escalating into madness. At times, he is really normal but then something benign happens and he turns into a monster.

Mar 1, 2015, 10:51am Top

#278, that's a really interesting review. You make me realize that I actually need to read this book even though I will have to skip those descriptions as you did.

Mar 1, 2015, 10:58am Top

It is a REALLY uncomfortable read but absolutely fascinating at the same time. You find yourself wondering if all this is real or just the sick thoughts of a mad man (because really, how can someone do all this and no one really notices?).

Edited: Mar 1, 2015, 12:51pm Top

Stats: I have now read 108 different authors from the list - 12 of those are ones that I read for the first time this year. I guess this really does make me read outside my comfort zone. My average page count per book
is 283.

Mar 6, 2015, 1:47pm Top

When I get around to this one I'll have to make sure I read it rather than listen to it... It's much easier to disassociate myself from the written word, not to mention it's easier to skim through.

Mar 7, 2015, 10:53am Top

I can't imagine listening to the audio version because for the most part, the violence comes out of nowhere. You can brace yourself a bit with warning but when he goes from being nice to someone and then stabbing them in the eye in a split second, you can't prepare for it.

Mar 14, 2015, 10:17pm Top

284) House of Spirits by Allende. My first Allende and I really liked it. The characters, even when I hated them, were real and intriguing. And there was even a bit of a history lesson in there as well.

Mar 15, 2015, 4:18am Top

Hmm, the two goodread friends who have read it have both rated it 5 stars. It might be a read for my next seasonal challenge.

Edited: Apr 19, 2015, 4:19pm Top

285) Drop City by Boyle. Interesting so far...

Apr 20, 2015, 10:02pm Top

286) Conversations in Sicily by Vittorini. Short and rather weird.

Apr 21, 2015, 5:06pm Top

287> my favourite kind. And Conversations was pretty interesting.

Apr 21, 2015, 10:33pm Top

That it was :)

May 8, 2015, 5:04pm Top

287) Youth by Coetzee. Probably should have read Boyhood first - it might have set the stage a bit better. As usual, it was beautifully written but I was rather annoyed. I understand that this semi-autobiographical and maybe that was my issue. I didn't read this as an account of someone trying to find their way in the world. I read it more as a story about someone who doesn't fit in but really doesn't do anything to fit in. Coetzee is one of my favourite authors so it was weird to read about him not being 'perfect'. I might have to re-read it later after reading the first and then the third of the series and see if that makes a difference.

May 27, 2015, 12:00pm Top

288) Junky by Burroughs. Every reason why I will never be a junky right here in one book!

May 30, 2015, 8:30pm Top

289) Queer by Burroughs. Not really sure why this is on the list to be honest.

May 30, 2015, 9:50pm Top

Any reason you've been main-lining Burroughs? I enjoyed Naked Lunch fine, but I'd need a breather before diving back in.

May 31, 2015, 3:58am Top

I bought an omnibus and figured I'd just plough through. I am most of the way through Naked Lunch and it is by far the weirdest. The other two were rather straight forward and read like a story (and there is far less rape, sex and violence). If I read this one first, I would definitely need a break!

May 31, 2015, 9:48am Top

290) Naked Lunch by Burroughs. No idea what I just read but at times, it rather interesting. Of course, it was also highly disturbing and weird but I suppose if one could crawl into an addict's mind, this is pretty much what you would find.

Jun 4, 2015, 10:43pm Top

291) Glamorama by Ellis. I am still not 100% what the point of it was.

Jun 6, 2015, 2:45pm Top

292) Crash by Ballard. Highly disturbing yet beautifully written... I've read a few of those recently :)

Jun 6, 2015, 11:48pm Top

293) War With the Newts by Capek. I LOVED this one. The irony, the sarcasm, the creativity... all of it. I just returned from a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the parallels were a little uncanny.

Jun 7, 2015, 1:57am Top

>297 Yells: I found Crash a very interesting book. Exhausting in many ways, but interesting.

Jun 7, 2015, 3:32am Top

>298 Yells: Oh yeah, I had heard heard good things about War With the Newts before and it turned out to be even better, love when that happens.

Jun 7, 2015, 4:00pm Top

I've got the Newts on my TBR shelf, looking forward to it more now!

Jun 7, 2015, 10:56pm Top

294) Jazz by Morrison. Another good one (although, it's Morrison... so really, it's all good right?) Her language just flows along so nicely even when she is telling a difficult story.

Jun 7, 2015, 10:58pm Top

When reading Newts, make sure you read the footnotes - the funniest parts are in there :)

Jun 8, 2015, 12:35am Top

I am getting curious. Never really thought of reading it any time soon but I will now.

Jun 12, 2015, 9:42am Top

I've just put it on my TBR pile as well :-)

Jun 12, 2015, 11:03pm Top

295) Less Than Zero by Ellis. Is there an actual point to this story? He seems to write the same story over and over with this one being a little more subtle than some of his others.

Edited: Jun 13, 2015, 5:46pm Top

296) Vernon God Little by Pierre. Parts were funny but overall this one was rather stupid. But, I guess someone somewhere saw something redeeming in it to award it the Booker Prize.

Jun 13, 2015, 7:39pm Top

>307 Yells: I certainly agree with you on this one. The first half was okay, but then it goes past comedy into silliness and pointlessness.

Edited: Jun 14, 2015, 11:03am Top

297) Wild Boys by Burroughs. I am on a roll here! After somewhat enjoying his last three, I figured why not plough through and cross this one off the list as well. It's short, at only 171 pages, but one can only take so much rectal mucus and giant phalluses so I am glad I am done with him.

Jun 14, 2015, 5:47am Top

Hah - exactly! Reading too much of the same author usually isn't a good idea. And, although I haven't read it, Wild Boys seems to be one of his harder to swallow works (no crudity intended).

Jun 14, 2015, 8:40am Top

This was supposed to be one of his more 'accessible' novels. I would definitely have to disagree.

Edited: Jun 14, 2015, 11:40pm Top

298) Novel with Cocaine by Ageyev. Beautifully written (and translated) but way too short. It seemed rather abrupt at times - or is maybe that was the point? Either way, I think I have had enough of drug/sex/violence for now so next will be something a little more upbeat (hopefully).

Jun 14, 2015, 11:40pm Top

299) Holder of the World by Mukherjee. I quite liked this one. It's an interesting mix of old and new, near and far. A 20th century asset hunter is tracing the life of Hannah Easton in an attempt to locate a legendary diamond called the Emperor's Tear. The story moves from 17th century Salem across the ocean to India and chronicles the rather unconventional life that Hannah lead. The ending was a little odd but overall, it was quite good.

Jun 15, 2015, 7:30am Top

>313 Yells: Do you remember The Scarlet Letter? The Holder of the World is supposedly a retelling of it, but I never saw the connections myself.

Jun 15, 2015, 7:39am Top

Other than location, I don't see the connection. May have to Google that and see what it says. Interesting....

Jun 19, 2015, 4:11pm Top

300) Germinal by Zola. Quite the choice for a milestone read! This one takes place in a French mining community in the late 1800s and chronicles a series of revolts over working conditions and pay. Zola does a fantastic job of capturing the cold, wet, blackness of the mines and the gnawing hunger in the bellies of those who work it. And the juxtaposition between the workers begging for food against the owners complaining about the workers having too much was dead on. The scariest part of this novel is how little things have really changed.

Now to plot out the next 100...

Jun 19, 2015, 4:28pm Top

Congratulations on reaching 300, and good luck with the next 100+

Jun 19, 2015, 4:58pm Top


Jun 19, 2015, 5:34pm Top

Congratulations! And a great book to reach that milestone!

Jun 21, 2015, 4:08pm Top

301) Tipping the Velvet by Waters. I quite liked Fingersmith but this one was rather disappointing. I found it really hard to sympathise with the lead character even in the end and her 'oh, you are a lesbian? I love you -- let's have sex' attitude was a little off-putting. I haven't read a lot of lesbian fiction, I will admit, but I really don't think homosexuals fall in love with everyone they meet and she seemed to do just that. It was an entertaining read nonetheless.

Edited: Dec 13, 2015, 3:05pm Top

302) Glass Bees by Junger. Interesting premise but I kept waiting for the story to start. My idea of what it was about was quite different from what I read.

Edited: Dec 13, 2015, 3:04pm Top

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Group: 1001 Books to read before you die

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