Saturday, January 2, 2010

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

1001 Books You Must Read Before You DieI found this book at the library last year, and was interested to find out how much of the book universe I was missing. Flipping through, I figured I had tackled a decent number of the books. I spent a day compiling the book into spreadsheet form, and at the end I was shocked to learn that I had read less than twenty. Needless to say, I felt pretty depressed. What have I been reading all this time? Apparently junk, if this book was any indicator. So slowly but surely, I've been attempting to tackle some of the titles listed in this compilation. My number is now up to 34, and I've picked out a few specific books to read this year with my other goals for 2010.

1) The Nine Tailors by Dorothy Sayers. I just read Murder Must Advertise for my book club and really enjoyed the character of Lord Wimsey, so I was happy to see that Nine Tailors also featured him, and even better, I could cross another book of the 1001 list. It's in the public domain, so if you have an ebook reading device, it's free.
2) The Plague by Albert Camus. Book about the bubonic plague? I'm there.
3) The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul by Douglas Adams. I read the first book, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency last year, so it's about time I read the second. I'm never disappointed with Douglas Adams.
4) The Bonfire of the Vanities: A Novel by Tom Wolfe. Grabbed this one at the library book sale, and it's just waiting to be cracked open.
5) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
6) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. Still can't believe I haven't read this one yet.
7) The Secret History by Donna Tartt. My mom's been trying to get me to read this one for years, and I grabbed a copy of it at the book sale. Maybe I'll read that first, so she can stop bugging me.

If you want to see the full list for yourself, check out the google doc here. I do highly recommend the book itself, which is beautifully illustrated and has nice essays on each book. There's some glaring omissions and questionable entries, but all in all it's a good place to start if you want to start reading more "classics." Also, there's a big group on GoodReads dedicated to finishing these books, which you can find here. I'll be tagging this post "1001 books," and in the future I'll spotlight some more entries.

Happy reading!

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