Monday 9 February 2009

The Guardian's 1,000 Books You Must Read

Lists are all the fashion these days. This being the last year of the noughties, you can expect them popping up all over the place between now and December 31st, each aiming to sacralise key cultural artefacts for posterity. Top 10 choons, footy moments, TV series, celebrity sex tapes ...

But for sheer size, few lists come bigger than this mutha. The publishing industry midwifed the first top 100 books ever-type lists into the world to mark the turn of the millennium. Not to be outdone, the BBC in their worthy (and actually, very worthwhile) book campaign, the
Big Read compiled another top 100 of best-loved books on the back of a mammoth poll. It was shamelessly populist too - Harry Potter was listed five times and the likes of Terry Pratchett, Jean M Auel and Rosamund Pilcher all made the grade. It was enough to put a literary snob's nose out of joint. They hit back in 05 and 06 with two editions of the gargantuan 1,001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. Despite the odd dodgy entry and omission in this new canon (Ardal O'Hanlon anyone?) it is a book bore's dream. All titles were selected by "experts", and presumably were judged solely by literary value.

Three years on it's now
The Graun's turn. Their 1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read strikes a balance between populism and snobbery. Graun hacks had a lunch time brainstorm and came up with a list that was trimmed by literary authorities, leaving a huge catalogue of books that ticks the high and popular culture boxes.

Here is that list, alphabetised according to author. Because it is so massive I won't be tagging anyone, so meme it at your own risk!

To show off my accumulation of literary capital (or, rather, the lack thereof) the books I've read are put in bold, and those that grace the shelves of the BC household are in italics. For me it's 316 read and 239 gathering dust on our bookcases. What's your tally?

The Face of Another by Kobo Abe
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe

The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Silver Stallion by Junghyo Ahn
Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington
Non-Stop by Brian W Aldiss
The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

Money by Martin Amis
The Information by Martin Amis
London Fields by Martin Amis
Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand

Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Dom Casmurro Joaquim by Maria Machado de Assis
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

Emma by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen

The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster
Epileptic by David B
The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge
According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker
Darkness Falls from the Air by Nigel Balchin

Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard
The Drowned World by JG Ballard
Crash by JG Ballard

Millennium People by JG Ballard
Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
La Comedie Humaine by Honore de Balzac
They Were Counted by Miklos Banffy
The Crow Road by Iain Banks

The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks

The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow
Augustus Carp, Esq. by Himself by Henry Howarth Bashford
The Garden of the Finzi-Cortinis by Giorgio Bassani
Love for Lydia by HE Bates
Fair Stood the Wind for France by HE Bates
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter

Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett
Molloy by Samuel Beckett

Vathek by William Beckford
A Legacy by Sybille Bedford
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow
Herzog by Saul Bellow
Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett
Queen Lucia by EF Benson
Trent's Last Case by EC Bentley
G by John Berger
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
Extinction by Thomas Bernhard
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore
The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen

The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman
A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary E Braddon
No Bed for Bacon by Caryl Brahms and SJ Simon
Room at the Top by John Braine
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite
The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Vilette by Charlotte Bronte
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Greenmantle by John Buchan
Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Coming Race by Egel Bulwer-Lytton

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The End of the World News by Anthony Burgess
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
The Asphalt Jungle by WR Burnett
Evelina by Fanny Burney
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Erewhon by Samuel Butler
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
The Sound of my Voice by Ron Butlin

Possession by AS Byatt
The Virgin in the Garden by AS Byatt
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
Double Indemnity by James M Cain
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
The Influence by Ramsey Campbell

The Outsider by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Illywhacker by Peter Carey
True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
A Season in Sinji by JL Carr
The Harpole Report by JL Carr
A Month in the Country by JL Carr
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

Wise Children by Angela Carter
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
Mister Johnson by Joyce Cary
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary

The Professor's House by Willa Cather
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase
The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
The Man who was Thursday by GK Chesterton
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Les Enfants Terrible by Jean Cocteau
What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coeztee
The Vagabond by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Claudine a l'ecole by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Cheri by Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Hello Summer, Goodbye by Michael G Coney
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell

Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland

The History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry
Being Dead by Jim Crace
Quarantine by Jim Crace
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
Just William by Richmal Crompton
Poetic Justice by Amanda Cross
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq
The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Roxana by Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
Bomber by Len Deighton
The Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R Delaney

Underworld by Don DeLilloWhite Noise by Don DeLillo
Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter
Ratking by Michael Dibdin
Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin
A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin
Vendetta by Michael Dibdin

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Hard Times by Charles Dickens

Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Deliverance by James Dickey
Jacques the Fatalist and his Master by Denis Diderot
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Camp Concentration by Thomas M Disch
Sybil or The Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
A Fairy Tale of New York by JP Donleavy

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
USA by John Dos Passos
Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos
My New York Diary by Julie Doucet
South Wind by Norman Douglas

A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
The Millstone by Margaret Drabble
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Justine by Lawrence Durrell
The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt
The Bamboo Bed by William Eastlake

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Ennui by Maria Edgeworth
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth

Middlemarch by George Eliot
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
LA Confidential by James Ellroy

The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory
Cheese by Willem Elsschot
Silence by Shusaku Endo
The Gathering by Anne Enright

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Under the Skin by Michel Faber
The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Caprice by Ronald Firbank

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Bouvard et Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer
Effi Briest by Theodore Fontane
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Independence Day by Richard Ford
The African Queen by CS Forester
The Ship by CS Forester
Howards End by EM Forster
A Room with a View by EM Forster

A Passage to India by EM Forster
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles

The Magus by John Fowles
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
Spies by Michael Frayn
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy

The Beach by Alex Garland
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell

Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Polygots by William Gerhardie
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon

Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Neuromancer by William Gibson
The Immoralist by Andre Gide
The Vatican Cellars by Andre Gide
Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide
The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Odd Women by George Gissing
New Grub Street by George Gissing
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

Lord of the Flies by William Golding
To The Ends of the Earth trilogy by William Golding
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
July's People by Nadine Gordimer
Mother by Maxim Gorky

Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
Count Belisarius by Robert Graves
Lanark by Alastair Gray
Brewster's Millions by Richard Greaves (George Barr McCutcheon)
Living by Henry Green
Squire Haggard's Journal by Michael Green
Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood

The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Third Man by Graham Greene
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
The King of Torts by John Grisham
Life and Fate by Vassily Grossman
Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
De Niro's Game by Rawi Hage
King Solomon's Mines by H Rider Haggard

She: A History of Adventure by H Rider Haggard
The Forever War by Joe Haldeman
The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall
Hangover Square by Patrick Hamilton
The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton
The Glass Key by Dashiell Hammett
The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett
The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
The Woodlanders by Thomas Hardy
Covenant with Death by John Harris
Enigma by Robert Harris

Fatherland by Robert Harris
Black Sunday by Thomas Harris
Red Dragon by Thomas Harris
Light by M John Harrison
The Shrimp and the Anemone by LP Hartley
The Go-Between by LP Hartley
The Good Soldier Svejk by Jaroslav Hasek

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard
Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A Heinlein

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Dune by Frank L Herbert
The Crab with the Golden Claws by Georges Remi Herge
Tintin in Tibet by Georges Remi Herge
The Castafiore Emerald by Georges Remi Herge
Steppenwolf by Herman Hesse
Narziss and Goldmund by Hermann Hesse
The Glass Bead Game by Herman Hesse
The Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Regency Buck by Georgette Heyer
Tourist Season by Carl Hiaasen
The Friends of Eddie Coyle by George V Higgins
Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
Bones and Silence by Reginald Hill
A Rage in Harlem by Chester Himes
A Kestrel for a Knave by Barry Hines
Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban
Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow by Peter Hoeg
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House by Eric Hodgkins

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg
The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst
South Riding by Winifred Holtby
The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The Three Paradoxes by Paul Hornschemeier

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Atomised by Michel Houellebecq
Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household
I Served the King of England by Bohumil Hrabal
Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by WH Hudson
A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes
Tom Brown's Schooldays by Thomas Hughes
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Crome Yellow by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Lecturer's Tale by James Hynes
Malice Aforethought by Francis Iles
Silence of the Grave by Arnadur Indridason
Death at the President's Lodging by Michael Innes

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood
Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood

The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
The Mighty Walzer Howard by Jacobson
The Ambassadors by Henry James
Washington Square by Henry James
Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Children of Men by PD James
Cover Her Face by PD James
A Taste for Death by PD James
Pictures from an Institution by Randall Jarrell
After London; or, Wild England by Richard Jefferies
The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek
The Tortoise and the Hare by Elizabeth Jenkins

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome
The Unfortunates by BS Johnson
Rasselas by Samuel Johnson
Bold as Love by Gwyneth Jones
From Here to Eternity by James Jones

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Ulysses by James Joyce
Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce
Chronicle in Stone by Ismael Kadare

The Castle by Franz Kafka
The Trial by Franz Kafka

Andersonville by MacKinlay Kantor
Beauty and Saddness by Yasunari Kawabata
The Far Pavillions by Mary Margaret Kaye
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Good Behaviour by Molly Keane
Lake Wobegon Days by Garrison Keillor
How Late it Was, How Late by James Kelman
Memet my Hawk by Yasar Kemal
Friday the Rabbi Slept Late by Harry Kemelman
Confederates by Thomas Keneally
Schindler's Ark by Thomas Keneally
Day by AL Kennedy
Moon over Africa by Pamela Kent

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Misery by Stephen King
Dolores Claiborne by Stephen King
The Shining by Stephen King
Kim by Rudyard Kipling
Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
The Painted Bird by Jerzy Kosinski
The Book of Laughter and Forgetting by Milan Kundera
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
The Buddha of Suburbia by Hanif Kureishi
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre-Ambroise-Francois Choderlos de Laclos
The Leopard by Giuseppi di Lampedusa
The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester
A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin
Passing by Nella Larsen
The Victorian Chaise-longue by Marghanita Laski

Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence
Lady Chatterley's Lover by DH Lawrence

The Rainbow by DH Lawrence
Women in Love by DH Lawrence

The Constant Gardener by John le Carre

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre

Uncle Silas by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
The Earthsea Series by Ursula Le Guin

The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula Le Guin
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee
Invitation to the Waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
The Echoing Grove by Rosamond Lehmann
The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann
Solaris by Stanislaw Lem
52 Pick-up by Elmore Leonard
Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard
L'Histoire de Gil Blas de Santillane (Gil Blas) by Alain-René Lesage

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing
Memoirs of a Survivor by Doris Lessing

The Grass is Singing by Doris Lessing
Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

The Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
The Monk by Matthew Lewis
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Elmer Gantry by Sinclair Lewis
Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
If Not Now, When? by Primo Levi
A Voyage to Arcturus by David Lindsay
How Green was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn
Changing Places by David Lodge
Nice Work by David Lodge
Martin Eden by Jack London
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes by Anita Loos
Zami by Audre Lorde
Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum
Foreign Affairs by Alison Lurie
Cop Hater by Ed McBain
The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy
The Group by Mary McCarthy
The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers

The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
The Mark of Zorro by Johnston McCulley

Atonement by Ian McEwan
The Child in Time by Ian McEwan
Enduring Love by Ian McEwan
Amongst Women by John McGahern
Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
The Towers of Trebizond by Rose Macaulay
England, Their England by AG Macdonell
Absolute Beginners by Colin MacInnes
Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie
Of Love and Hunger by Julian Maclaren-Ross
The Guns of Navarone by Alistair MacLean

The Night Sessions by Ken Macleod
Samarkand by Amin Maalouf
The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Memoirs of a Gnostic Dwarf by David Madsen
Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
Remembering Babylon by David Malouf
La Condition Humaine by Andre Malraux
Sidetracked by Henning Mankell
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
Death in Venice by Thomas Mann
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
Fortunes of War by Olivia Manning
The Betrothed by Alessandro Manzoni
The Silent Duchess by Dacia Maraini
A Heart So White by Javier Marias

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The Children of the New Forest by Frederick Marryat

I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Maturin
Cakes and Ale - Or, the Skeleton in the Cupboard by W Somerset Maugham
Of Human Bondage by Somerset Maugham
Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant
Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
The Chateau by William Maxwell
So Long, See you Tomorrow by William Maxwell
The Rector's Daughter by FM Mayor

Moby-Dick or, The Whale by Herman Melville
Ascent by Jed Mercurio
The Ordeal of Richard Feverek by George Meredith
The Egoist by George Meredith
Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener

The Scar by China Mieville
Ingenious Pain by Andrew Miller

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
Patience and Sarah by Isabel Miller
A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M Miller Jr
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
The Restraint of Beasts by Magnus Mills

Family Matters by Rohinton Mistry
A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford
Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford
Sour Sweet by Timothy Mo
The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
Mother London by Michael Moorcock
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
Arturo's Island by Elsa Morante
History by Elsa Morante
The Time of Indifference by Alberto Moravia
Charade by John Mortimer

News from Nowhere by William Morris
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Titmuss Regained by John Mortimer
Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley
Who Do You Think You Are? by Alice Munro

Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
Under the Net by Iris Murdoch
The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch
The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil
Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov
Ada or Ardor by Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita, or the Confessions of a White Widowed Male by Vladimir Nabokov
Fireflies by Shiva Naipaul
A House for Mr Biswas by VS Naipaul
A Bend in the River by VS Naipaul
The Painter of Signs by RK Narayan
Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Sorrow of War by Bao Ninh

Ringworld by Larry Niven
Vurt by Jeff Noon
All Souls Day by Cees Nooteboom
McTeague by Frank Norris
Master and Commander by Patrick O'Brian
At-Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien
The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
Personality by Andrew O'Hagan
Teach Us to Outgrow Our Madness by Kezaburo Oe
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje
The Great Impersonation by E Phillips Oppenheim
The Strange Borders of Palace Crescent by E Phillips Oppenheim
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy

Burmese Days by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk
Toxic Shock by Sara Paretsky
Blacklist by Sara Paretsky
The Ragazzi Pier by Paolo Pasolini
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
The Moon and the Bonfire by Cesare Pavese
Nineteen Seventy Four by David Peace
Nineteen Seventy Seven by David Peace

GB84 by David Peace
Nightmare Abbey by Thomas Love Peacock
Headlong Hall by Thomas Love Peacock
Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake
The Big Blowdown by George Pelecanos
Hard Revolution by George Pelecanos
The Sacred Book of the Werewolf by Victor Pelevin
The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
La Disparition by Georges Perec
Les Revenentes by Georges Perec

La Vie Mode d'Emploi by Georges Perec
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My Search for Warren Harding by Robert Plunkett
The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl and CM Kornbluth
My Name Is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell
The Valley of Bones by Anthony Powell
The Soldier's Art by Anthony Powell
The Military Philosophers by Anthony Powell
Afternoon Men by Anthony Powell
A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
A Glastonbury Romance by John Cowper Powys
The Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
Manon Lescaut by Abbe Prevost
Lush Life by Richard Price
The Prestige by Christopher Priest
The Good Companions by JB Priestley

The Shipping News by E Annie Proulx
Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
The Godfather by Mario Puzo
Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
Less Than Angels by Barbara Pym
V by Thomas Pynchon

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

Vineland by Thomas Pynchon
Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau
The Crime of Father Amado by José Maria de Eça de Queiroz
Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais
The Mysteries of Udolpho by Ann Radcliffe
Black and Blue by Ian Rankin
The Hanging Gardens by Ian Rankin
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Surprising Adventures of Baron Munchausen by Rudolp Erich Raspe
Alms for Oblivion by Simon Raven
A Married Man by Piers Paul Read

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
Judgment in Stone by Ruth Rendell
Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
Pointed Roofs by Dorothy Richardson
The Fortunes of Richard Mahoney by Henry Handel Richardson
Maurice Guest by Henry Handel Richardson
Pamela by Samuel Richardson
Clarissa by Samuel Richardson
Solomon Gursky Was Here by Mordecai Richler

The Years of Rice and Salt by Kim Stanley Robinson
Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa
Call it Sleep by Henry Roth
The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
The Human Stain by Philip Roth
Portnoy's Complaint by Philip Roth

Julie, ou la Nouvelle Heloise by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

Shame by Salman Rushdie
The Female Man by Joanna Russ
Air by Geoff Ryman
Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan
Ali and Nino by Kurban Said
Sacaramouche by Rafael Sabatini
Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini
The Westminster Alice by Saki
The Unbearable Bassington by Saki

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Light Years by James Salter
A Sport and a Passtime by James Salter
The Hunters by James Salter
Alberta and Jacob by Cora Sandel
Dissolution by CJ Sansom
Blindness by Jose Saramago
Whose Body? by Dorothy L Sayers
Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers
To Each his Own by Leonardo Sciascia
The Reader by Benhardq Schlink
Staying On by Paul Scott
Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
The Reluctant Orphan by Aara Seale
Hurrah for St Trinian's by Ronald Searle
The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald
Austerlitz by WG Sebald
Love Story by Eric Segal
Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr
Great Apes by Will Self
How the Dead Live by Will Self

The Lonely Londoners by Samuel Selvon
God's Bit of Wood by Ousmane Sembene
The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge
A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Porterhouse Blue by Tom Sharpe
Blott on the Landscape by Tom Sharpe
The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
Richshaw Boy by Lao She
Office Politics by Wilfrid Sheed

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Unless by Carol Shields
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning by Alan Sillitoe
The Madman of Bergerac by Georges Simenon
The Blue Room by Georges Simenon
Belles Lettres Papers: A Novel by Charles Simmons
Hyperion by Dan Simmons
The Three Sisters by May Sinclair

The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Enemies, a Love Story by Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Family Moskat or The Manor or The Estate by Isaac Bashevis Singer
The Laughing Policeman by Maj Sjowall and Per Wahloo
At Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
Moo by Jane Smiley
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
Gorky Park by Martin Cruz Smith
Only Forward by Michael Marshall Smith
Novel on Yellow Paper by Stevie Smith
Topper Takes a Trip by Thorne Smith

White Teeth by Zadie Smith
On Beauty by Zadie Smith
The Adventures of Ferdinand Count Fathom by Tobias Smollett
The Adventures of Roderick Random by Tobias Smollett
The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle by Tobias Smollett
The Expedition of Humphry Clinker by Tobias Smollett

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexandr Solzhenitsyn
The Map of Love by Ahdaf Soueif
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark
The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
Loitering with Intent by Muriel Spark
A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon
The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Red and the Black by Stendhal
The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal
Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Cryptonomicon by Neil Stephenson
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne
A Sentimental Journey by Lawrence Sterne

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
White Man Falling by Mike Stocks

Dracula by Bram Stoker
A Flag for Sunrise by Robert Stone
This Sporting Life by David Storey
The League of Frightened Men by Rex Stout

Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfield
The Red Room by August Stringberg

Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Handley Cross by RS Surtees
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann

Perfume by Patrick Suskind
Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo
Waterland by Graham Swift
A Tale of a Tub by Jonathan Swift
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
The Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore
Diary of a Mad Old Man by Junichiro Tanizaki
Penrod by Booth Tarkington
The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington

The Secret History by Donna Tartt
Angel by Elizabeth Taylor

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey
The Luck of Barry Lyndon by William Makepeace Thackeray

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
Before Lunch by Angela Thirkell
Tropic of Ruislip by Leslie Thomas
Lark Rise to Candleford by Flora Thompson
The Getaway by Jim Thompson
The Insult by Rupert Thomson
The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend
Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell
Death in Summer by William Trevor

Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
The Last Chronicle of Barset by Anthony Trollope
The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout
Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
First Love by Ivan Turgenev
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
The Mysterious Stranger by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Breathing Lessons by Anne Tyler
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
Peace in War by Miguel de Unamuno
The Witches of Eastwick by John Updike
The Rabbit Omnibus by John Updike
Couples by John Updike
Z by Vassilis Vassilikos

Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne
A Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
Williwaw by Gore Vidal
A Dark-Adapted Eye by Barbara Vine
A Fatal inversion by Barbara Vine
King Solomon's Carpet by Barbara Vine
Candide by Voltaire
Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut
Slouching Towards Kalamazoo by Peter De Vries

The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace
The Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole
Institute Benjamenta by Robert Walser
Jimmy Corrigan, The Smarest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware
Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse
Affinity by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
The Night Watch by Sarah Waters

Morvern Callar by Alan Warner

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh

Black Mischief by Evelyn Waugh

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh
The Loved One by Evelyn Waugh
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh
Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh
Men at Arms by Evelyn Waugh

The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Life and Loves of a She-Devil by Fay Weldon
Tono Bungay by HG Wells
The History of Mr Polly by HG Wells

The Time Machine by HG Wells
The War of the Worlds by HG Wells
The Island of Dr Moreau by HG Wells
Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West
The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West
The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West
The Machine-Gunners by Robert Westall
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
Frost in May by Antonia White
The Tree of Man by Patrick White
Voss by Patrick White
The Sword in the Stone by TH White

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Molesworth by Geoffrey Willans and Ronald Searle
The Wimbledon Poisoner by Nigel Williams
Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson
The Old Men at the Zoo by Angus Wilson

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
The Virginian by Owen Wister
Something Fresh by PG Wodehouse
Piccadilly Jim by PG Wodehouse
Thank You Jeeves by PG Wodehouse
Heavy Weather by PG Wodehouse
The Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse
Joy in the Morning by PG Wodehouse
The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe

The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
East Lynne by Ellen Wood
I'll Go to Bed at Noon by Gerard Woodward

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Orlando by Virginia Woolf

The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk

Native Son by Richard Wright
Swiss Family Robinson by Johann David Wyss

Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
We by Yevgeny Zamyatin
Therese Raquin by Emile Zola
Germinal by Emile Zola
La Bete Humaine by Emile Zola
The Debacle by Emile Zola


Vicky said...

I've read a not-so-impressive 58... And I feel like I just wasted ten minutes of my life I'll never have back trawling through that list :) My favourite book "Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier" made it on though. I first read it when I was fourteen and it's astounding. The author died in WW1 leaving this one novel as a snapshot of his talent. Tragic.

Cecilio Morales said...

I downloaded the list from the Guardian and the one things that stands out is that the list is made up of overwhelming British writers. Maybe it should be: 1000 books to read about fiction in your island.

Phil said...

No disagreements from me there,Cecilieaux.

Madam Miaow said...

OK, italics and bold for read and own. Why no category for "No, but I've seen the movie"? I'd score pretty good there. Except for The Magus — brilliant book but as a movie it was a Debacle.

Anonymous said...

well i only counted 5 ... but im quite happy that what liberal journos view as important seems to differ from me! ;-)

Jay Livingston said...

I didn't count down through the whole list, but I was surprised at how many I had read. . . and by how many I knew I had read but couldn't remember much about. As Cecilieaux says, it leans to British writers -- more Michael Dibdin mysteries than novels by Bellow, Nabokov, Roth, or others.

gray said...

Lovely accompanying picture Phil. I didn't know your study looked quite like that! ;-)

I quickly skimmed the list and missed Steen Steenson Blicher, H.C.Andersen, Nexø, Pontoppidin, etc in the list - i.e greats of Danish literature. Judging from the above, they probably are missing because of the leaning towards the UK in the list!

I know I won't even bother trying to "catch up" with the list as I have enough to read in the form of science literature and other factual books.

Phil said...

Like you Gray I've got my work cut out trying to read all the stuff I already own AND keep up with the literature in my field AND do a PhD AND keep this blog ticking over. Thought it would be a fun post to do though.

I'm waiting for the first person to come along and say they've read more than half of what's on here.

Anonymous said...

6! ha ha! 1 more than adam!

Pride and prejudice (GCSE Enlgish)
Far from the madding croud (GCSE English)
Heart of Darkness (GCSE english resit)

Animal Farm, the Hobbit and Harry Potter!!!

Adam Marks said...

Am I the only one who hates these "X number of things you have to passively consume before you die" lists? I stopped reading Q magazine because it just became an extended shopping list.

Phil said...

Roobin, could you provide us with a list of the lists you hate the most? ;)

Adam Marks said...

100 Songs That Changed The World...
100 Women Who Rock The World..
50 Bands You Must See Before You Die..
The 50 Most Exciting Tunes Ever..
The Best 50 CDs of the last 15 years...
Heaviest Albums Of All Time...
The 90 best albums of the 90s...
The 100 Greatest Stars of the 20th Century...
50 Best Albums Of The ‘70s...
Best gigs ever...
The 25 best dance albums ever...

Ugh, and those aren't even made up! Srsly, most "exciting tunes". It reminds me of the kind of headlines you get on weekly lad mags: "sexiest pictures EVER" and so forth.

Even leaving aside the obvious sexism, isn't annoying that someone has tried to quantify an abstract noun? It's as stupid as the terror alert levels used by the Bush government.

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine has "1001 albums...". I found that Hawkwind was the first case where it was bound to fall down, as they never had more than a couple of good tracks on any one album.

Two Le Guin entries, one obviously missing.A little more nitpicking :Bester's "The Demolished Man" is more unmissable than "The Stars My Destination". On crime a Lawrence Block novel would have been nice.

Anonymous said...


Whereas you should have avoided Q all along because it's full of dreary dadrock and always has been.

Anonymous said...

Mine is 170 I've read from that list.

Probably shows what an utter sad harpy-no-mates geeky should-get-out-more kinda bolsie feminist I am/was...Read most of those bks as a teenager...

And....I knew crime fiction would have its purposes as what pushed up my score was the Chandler, Christie, Dexter, Hammett, Highsmith, PD James, Paretsky, Rankin, Rendel and Dorothy L Sayers, Barbara Vine.. Amazed that 'No Orchids for Miss Blandish' was on there and that bk has been made twice into film (under different names).

And Colin MacInnes, 'Absolute Beginners' takes me back to my misspent as in too well behaved yoof.....!!!!

Adam Marks said...

"Whereas you should have avoided Q all along..."

You don't remember the late 90s. It was that or NME and/or late night Radio One. We've come a long way.

Entdinglichung said...

pretty anglo- and euro-centric the list (I miss e.g. Miguel Ángel Asturias, Christa Wolf, Stefan Heym, Panait Istrati, Ivo Andrić, Michail Lermontow, Juri Rytcheu, Albert Wendt ...) ... but a similar list in a french or german daily wouldn't be much better

thinkingdifference said...

i was afraid i won't reach 50 books, but i've hit some 80... and there are some books which sounded so familiar, but i cannot remember anything about them... and yes, the list is anglo-saxon, but my main complaint is that it's not politically correct towards academics! (*joke*). where's aristotle, plato, foucault, kant, heidegger, sartre??? those would have boosted my record considerably... ;)

Jay Livingston said...

OK. I went through the list, and here are my totals:

Read: 139
Saw the Movie: 71
Didn't read but would like to: 24

I didn't make a column for "read but can remember hardly anything about" nor for "read and wish I hadn't wasted my time."

I also noted that there were only 998 books (I copied the list and pasted it to Excel). But the multiples --like Dance to the Music and Dark Materials -- more than make up for it. I gave myself credit for Proust even though it's listed as the whole damn thing, and I've read only Swann's Way. And in some places, I found myself saying, "Well I didn't read that one, but I read a different one by that author that was better."

Ala said...

As a literature graduate, I've only managed 38, 3 of which I didn't quite finish, but included because I'd read more than half of. Fair, no? Just because I didn't read the last page, doesn't mean I didn't spend hours of my precious time on them, or get anything out of them. I can't begin to tell you what some of the ones I've completed are even about.

Anonymous said...

Venus on the Half-Shell by Kilgore Trout:
Venus on the Half-Shell was first published in two parts beginning in the December 1974 issue of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. It is a science fiction novel attributed to the fictional author Kilgore Trout but actually written by Philip José Farmer. Kilgore Trout is a recurring character of many of the novels of Kurt Vonnegut and this book was first mentioned as a fictional work in his novel God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965).[From Wikipedia]

Phil said...

Ad and Jac, looking back through this list I think up until I started reading "properly" six years back, I think I only managed three on the list :)

Imposs1904 said...


In the time it took you to format that list for your post, you could have read a couple of the shorter novellas listed. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Naturally we at Tendance Coatesy have read every one them - in the original language.

We are still raging, however, at the willful exclusion of the Epic of Gilgamesh: an absolute must in Akkadian, though the Hittite (old Kingdom) version is brilliant as well.

Anonymous said...

You missed a handful from our bookcases (including a couple my mother has of ours too):

Wieland, Postmortem, Jurassic Park, Just William, A Time To Kill, The Go-Between (can't believe you missed this one considering you bought a second copy by accident a few weeks ago), Lake Wobegon Days, Dolores Claiborne, Death and The Penguin, The Third Policeman, How The Dead Live, Black Beauty, and Trainspotting.

How very remiss of you.

Brigada Flores Magon said...

306 read but I was an English teacher for 30 years and I really should get out more. [And does Proust count as one or 12? And 'A Dance to the Music of Time' is 12 volumes, too.] And there's NO apostrophe in 'Finnegans Wake'.

Phil said...

Just me being a grammatical fascist, Brigada. I guess Joyce was being naughty and flouting literary convention as per.

Adam Marks said...

For that (the rapt one warns) is what papyr is meed of, made of, hides and hints and misses in prints.

Anonymous said...

104, and 1 that was read to me. I feel more should have been read to me. I think war and peace should count as more than one. I thought I'd have read about 40, so I am surprised, but actually what I have read isn't very varied. Tragically, I want to read them all. I feel I will be a better person. I read half of them when pregnant, when I should have been cleaning or working or sleeping. There are too many Brit books definitely.

Phil said...

Nothing tragic about wanting to read them all! I'll probably have a bash at doing that some point down the line, but I doubt it'll be before I retire (assuming such a thing as retirement exists when I reach pensionable age!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, that is quite a list. It'd take me ages just to get through reading it.

Though I tend to create my own list, which is long enough!

Phil said...

It is quite a list, I know, it took a bloody long time for me to alphabetise it! So the least you can do is is go through the list ;)

Anonymous said...

Starting from the end, I know nothing of Zola, I have a copy of "We" that I never really got into, I assume "Revolutionary Road" is the basis for the film of the same name that is said to have quite a hackneyed theme, and then we get to John Wyndham. Neither of the two listed novels is near as good as, or has the significance of "The Chrysalids", once again showing the gross inadequacy of the list format.

Phil said...

I don't know Skidders, are you sure The Chrysalids (which is excellent, as is The Kraken Wakes) has had more of a cultural impact than the Triffids?

Anonymous said...

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Phil said...

I love irrelevant spam.

Kenny said...

Too many books to read.