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1001 books to read before you die.

I've read 28. That is both surprising and depressing.

Now, the question is should I start from the bottom or the top??

http://www.listology.com/content_show.cfm/content_id.22845/

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
iniswitryn
Jun. 9th, 2008 04:38 pm (UTC)
A quick skim-through of the list left me at 123. That's better than I expected, and I've probably read others and forgotten them - or missed them in my skim.

I also would only recommend @ half of those on the list that I've read. And I think if you've absorbed any of these books through pop culture or other reading, and they don't sound that interesting to you, then why bother? (Of course if they do sound interesting, that's another story - but I really think that if, for example, you've seen "The Shining" in movie form that sorta counts - especially if Stephen King is not your thing. (That said, I liked that particular book a lot better than the movie.)

I have to look askance at any list that defines both a trilogy and various short stories as "books". Or any list that doesn't recommend a single Shakespeare play, and has an awful lot of science fiction without a single Robert Heinlein title.

That said, if you want to crack the list, I'd start with the short stories. :)
tenthz
Jun. 9th, 2008 04:44 pm (UTC)
Stranger in a Strange Land is on there (one of my 28). I was surprised that they didn't include a SINGLE work of Shakespeare but did have numerous Don DeLillo and E.L. Doctorow titles. Definitely a little skewed, but I think a good place to start when looking for books to read.
iniswitryn
Jun. 9th, 2008 04:49 pm (UTC)
Okay, I missed that Heinlein. *adds one to tally*

If nothing else, this list shows how daunting it is to undertake a broad and comprehensive literary education.
mountainheather
Jun. 9th, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Instead of the bottom or top, I'd recommend going through and checking off ones that your most interested in or that have been recommended to you elsewhere. If you are indeed interested in making a crack at the list.
sillyliss
Jun. 9th, 2008 07:12 pm (UTC)
I've read 64. So what does that say? Very sad, since I was an American Literature/American Studies major in college. Who made that list, though? I know there's lots I don't know, but there were tons of authors and books I'd never heard of. And quite a few I thought were missing from that list.
tenthz
Jun. 9th, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
This is actually from a book called

"1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die: A Comprehensive Reference Source, Chronicling the History of the Novel"

Preface by Peter Ackroyd, General Editor Peter Boxall
ISBN 1-84403-417-8

A LOT of these (especially the ones further back in history) are not American Literature, so I would say that explains at least part of it. You've read more than I have, though, and I had a book in my hands for about 15 years straight! I must not have been reading anything very important. :-(
sillyliss
Jun. 9th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
I don't know. I think there is much value in reading anything that you enjoy or learn from, so I wouldn't read things just because they are on a list. :)
mertonfanatic
Jun. 9th, 2008 09:15 pm (UTC)
What does it say about me that I've seen more of the movies based off that list than read the books themselves? Eh well, not much on there that would interest me anyway.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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