1001 Books #Update #BookList


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

Guess what?

Neither of those things happened.

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

Except, I love lists.
I love the idea of ticking things off a list.
I love seeing that list of things completed and what is still to be accomplished.
It makes me feel organised and like I’m making progress.
Maybe that’s the key word here – progress.
There has been a lot of standing still, treading water, waiting around, and biding my time this year. You all know why. Most of us are experiencing a similar thing.
I’ve always read several books at once, but since Covid, I have taken this habit to the extreme! As a result, I’m not getting that lovely, satisfied feeling one gets, when a good book is finished. I’m curiously delaying this pleasure, by waylaying it with that other glorious book pleasure of starting a new book!
Which is also making it hard for me to blog regularly as I have less book reviews in the wings. Therefore, a list.
On my current TBR pile I have these books from the list of 1001 to look forward to:

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

  • Don Quixote (once will be more than enough with this one)
  • The Sorrows of Young Werther (ugh! hard work. Read during my pre-blogging days)
  • Dangerous Liaisons (book & movie several times)
  • Sense and Sensibility (book & movie oodles of times)
  • Pride and Prejudice (lost count of how many rereads I’ve had. No movie or tv series has even come close to capturing this story to date imo)
  • Mansfield Park (book only)
  • Emma (book & movie)
  • Frankenstein
  • Eugenie Grandet
  • The Count of Monte Cristo (book & old tv movie starring Richard Chamberlain)
  • Jane Eyre (numerous rereads & movies)
  • Vanity Fair (didn’t finish the book, but watched the 1998 BBC production instead)
  • Wuthering Heights (ugh! Probably should reread)
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • David Copperfield (probably my favourite Dickens to date)
  • Moby-Dick (I am now one of those Moby-Dick fanatics)
  • Bleak House
  • North and South (great readalong book that introduced me to Gaskell)
  • Madame Bovary (another ugh! Not sure I finished it either. Read during my pre-blogging days)
  • The Woman in White (book and the old B&W movie)
  • The Mill on the Floss (read a long time ago – can’t remember much about it)
  • Les Miserables (my first year-long chapter-a-day readalong book)
  • The Moonstone (the book that turned me onto Wilkie Collins many moons ago)
  • Little Women (numerous rereads and viewings)
  • War and Peace (rereading this year a chapter-a-day)
  • Middlemarch (read so long ago & I feel it’s due for a reread sooner rather than later)
  • Far From the Madding Crowd
  • Anna Karenina
  • Nana
  • Portrait of a Lady (book & movie)
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (surprised myself by how much I enjoyed this book)
  • Germinal (my favourite Zola to date)
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (underwhelmed)
  • Tess of the D’Urbervilles (makes me angry every time I read it)
  • Jude the Obscure
  • The Wings of the Dove (movie and book)
  • The Ambassadors (watched the tv series way back when)
  • The House of Mirth
  • The Forsyte Saga (books and BBC series)
  • A Room With a View (numerous reads and viewings of the Ivory Merchant movie)
  • Howards End (movie and book)
  • Ethan Frome
  • Sons and Lovers (made to read this at school! Scarred me for life!)
  • The Thirty Nine Steps (book & movie, both a long time ago)
  • The Home and the World
  • Women in Love (made to read this at school!)
  • The Age of Innocence (several times, book and movie)
  • A Passage to India (movie and book)
  • The Great Gatsby (movie and book)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (read during my Agatha Christie binge in Yr 7-8)
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover (all the various versions of it plus a live outdoor performance)
  • Cold Comfort Farm (didn’t see what all the fuss was about)
  • Brave New World (a favourite of Mr Books that he made me read 30 yrs ago)
  • Testament of Youth (love, love, love)
  • Gone With the Wind (relationship status: complicated)
  • Out of Africa (underwhelmed. The movie was better)
  • The Hobbit (just the book. Tried to watch the first movie but just couldn’t)
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God (thank you to the Classics Club for introducing this booka nd author to me)
  • Of Mice and Men (book and movies)
  • Rebecca (preferred My Cousin Rachel)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (underwhelmed)
  • The Little Prince
  • Animal Farm
  • Brideshead Revisited (three times plus numerous viewings of the BBC series)
  • If This is a Man
  • The Plague
  • 1984 (book and theatre production)
  • Love in a Cold Climate
  • A Town Like Alice (book and TV series)
  • The End of the Affair (book & movie)
  • Day of the Triffids (book and m0vie)
  • Excellent Women
  • The Story of O
  • Under the Net
  • Lord of the Flies (ugh!)
  • The Quiet American (twice plus movie)
  • The Lord of the Rings (book and movies)
  • Doctor Zhivago (book & movie, of course!)
  • The Midwich Cuckoos
  • The Leopard
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (movie, of course, and book)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (several rereads & movie)
  • Catch 22 (don’t get me started!)
  • The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude (twice)
  • The Godfather (movie and book)
  • The French Lieutenant’s Woman (book & movie several times)
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  • Surfacing (read during my Atwood phase in the mid 90’s but I remember very little about this one)
  • The Summer Book (interesting)
  • The Commandant (loved, a lot)
  • The Shining (book & movie)
  • The Sea, The Sea
  • Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy ( a hoot)
  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller
  • Midnight’s Children (an all-time favourite)
  • Schindler’s Ark (book & movie)
  • The Color Purple (movie then book, sans the ‘u’ both times!)
  • If Not Now, When?
  • The Unbearable Lightness of Being
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
  • Perfume (loved in a perverse kind of way. If you’ve read the book, you’ll understand this comment)
  • Contact (book & movie)
  • The Drowned and the Saved
  • The New York Trilogy (not sure if I will ever be brave enough to read this again)
  • Kitchen
  • Oscar and Lucinda (all I can remember is the glass church floating down the Bellinger River)
  • Like Water For Chocolate (book & movie several times)
  • The Remains of the Day (movie & book)
  • Wild Swans
  • Smilla’s Feeling for Snow (book & movie)
  • Written on the Body
  • The English Patient (movie & book)
  • Possessing the Secret of Joy
  • The Secret History
  • Remembering Babylon
  • A Suitable Boy (quite possibly my all-time favourite book ever, although it will need a reread to confirm this status)
  • The Shipping News (book & movie)
  • Felicia’s Journey
  • Captain Corelli’s Mandolin
  • The Reader
  • Alias Grace (my favourite Atwood to date)
  • Fugitive Pieces
  • The God of Small Things
  • Enduring Love
  • The Hours (movie & book)
  • Atonement (book & movie)
  • Kafka on the Shore (read in Japan 🙂
  • The Namesake
  • What I Loved
  • Suite Francaise
  • The Inheritance of Loss
  • The Gathering
I have now read 133 of 1001 books!

In 2016 I had read 120, or 12%.
I am making progress, even if it is only 1% in four years!
Other editions of the 1001 series (as kindly compiled here) include even more books that I have read:
  • Never Let Me Go (underwhelmed)
  • Saturday
  • The Children’s Book (loved a lot)
  • The Gathering (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • What I Loved (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog at Night-Time
  • The Blind Assassin
  • Amsterdam
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • The Robber Bride
  • The Heather Blazing (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Possession
  • Cat’s Eye
  • The Passion
  • The Child in Time (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
  • The World According to Garp (movie and book)
  • The Nice and the Good (read in the past four years & new to the list) 
  • Chocky
  • Vile Bodies (ugh!)
  • Summer
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread
  • Lord Jim (movie and book)
  • Northanger Abbey (book and TV series)
  • Persuasion (book and movies)

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

14 thoughts on “1001 Books #Update #BookList

  1. The Diary of a Nobody because it is funny and we all need light relief these days. Or Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day because it is heartwarming and we also need that. I am interested to hear how much you love A Suitable Boy. I pulled it off my shelf the other day and then put it back. Maybe I will go find it again.


  2. Those other Sherlock Holmes books! now that you've read Study in Scarlet. They get even better.There's a lot of big great classics on there, but I'll also plug for Siege of Krishnapur, which is awfully good I thought, funny and short.


  3. I don't know very much about either of those books, but I see that Miss Pettigrew is one of the lovely Persephone Books. If I ever get back to London, it's high on my list of places to visit.I read A Suitable Boy about 20 yrs ago.It's a commitment. But I adored every minute with it. I still think about Lata to this day.When I finally finished it, I declared to my book club at the time, that this is the book I want to buried with! Which was a BIG call considering how much and for how long I have loved P&P and Persuasion.However ASB has not yet passed the reread test and I would like to one day…especially before A Suitable Girl gets published. Given how long this second book is taking Seth to write it, I'm not feeling any pressure just yet 🙂


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


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


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


  7. Yours is the second vote for The Scarlet Letter, so that has certainly bumped it up high on the list.Many years ago, I watched a movie called Henry and June, which turned me onto the idea of reading Anais Nin…although all I did, in the end, was collect the books! They're all still waiting to be read.Thanks for your thoughts, now I have to check if my copy of The Scarlet Letter is a hardcopy or an ebook.


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


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


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s