Aspiring polymath since 1982

1001 Books To Read Before You Die

I came across a post about a list of 1000 books that you have to read before you die on one of my daily stops on the Internet, Kottke. The full list is available here. Out of the 1001 books, I have read a total of 128. I have marked my favorites with an asterisk.

Some of the authors that I think I have egregiously missed out on reading are Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, JM Coetzee, Kazuo Ishiguro and Italo Calvino. Lots of reading to catch up on.

Life of Pi – Yann Martel

The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood *

Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson *

The Ground Beneath Her Feet – Salman Rushdie

The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

Underworld – Don DeLillo

Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood

The Moor’s Last Sigh – Salman Rushdie

A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry *

Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres

The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx *

Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh

The Robber Bride – Margaret Atwood

The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

Foucault’s Pendulum – Umberto Eco

The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams

The Bonfire of the Vanities – Tom Wolfe

Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons *

Contact – Carl Sagan *

The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

Neuromancer – William Gibson

Rabbit is Rich – John Updike

Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco *

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams *

The World According to Garp – John Irving

Breakfast of Champions – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon

Rabbit Redux – John Updike

The Godfather – Mario Puzo

Cancer Ward – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

2001: A Space Odyssey – Arthur C. Clarke

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel García Márquez *

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold – John Le Carré

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey *

A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger

Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Rabbit, Run – John Updike

The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

The Talented Mr. Ripley – Patricia Highsmith

Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

The Last Temptation of Christ – Nikos Kazantzákis *

Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway *

Foundation – Isaac Asimov

The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger

The Rebel – Albert Camus

I, Robot – Isaac Asimov

Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

Animal Farm – George Orwell *

For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway

The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck

The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien

Thank You, Jeeves – P.G. Wodehouse

Brave New World – Aldous Huxley

A Farewell to Arms – Ernest Hemingway

Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence

The Castle – Franz Kafka

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

Siddhartha – Herman Hesse

Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs

Nostromo – Joseph Conrad

Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad

Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad

The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Kim – Rudyard Kipling

The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells

The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells

The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells

The Time Machine – H.G. Wells

Dracula – Bram Stoker

Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy

The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

The Mayor of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy

Kidnapped – Robert Louis Stevenson

King Solomon’s Mines – H. Rider Haggard

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy

Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne

Erewhon – Samuel Butler

Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There – Lewis Carroll

The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky

War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy *

Journey to the Centre of the Earth – Jules Verne

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky

Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

Fathers and Sons – Ivan Turgenev *

Silas Marner – George Eliot

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert

Walden – Henry David Thoreau

Bleak House – Charles Dickens

Moby-Dick – Herman Melville

David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

Agnes Grey – Anne Brontë

Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

The Count of Monte-Cristo – Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas

The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe

Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Victor Hugo

Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper

Ivanhoe – Sir Walter Scott

Emma – Jane Austen

Mansfield Park – Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

Candide – Voltaire

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift

Robinson Crusoe – Daniel Defoe

Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous

Aesop’s Fables – Aesopus

Some more “lists” to peruse if you have the time are:

Update: Came across another interesting list on Spread The Word. They have a list of 50 books under a shortlist for their 2009 “Books To Talk About” competition. You can see the full list here.


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