Saturday, 12 April 2008

1001 books

While ambling through Stephe's place I found a link to another blog which lists 1001 books you must read before you die. The list is taken from a book by the same name, and being a list-lover I just had to go through. The titles are listed by century, and here are my results:

2000s: 1
1900s: 47
1800s: 28
1700s: 3
Pre-1700s: 1
Not so grand total: 80

The comments on the post were interesting, too. One person hated Life of Pi, my sole nod to the 2000's. IMO, Yann Martel's story might not suit every taste, but the writing! I'd marry Martel tomorrow based on that alone. And he's not bad looking either!

Hm. Where was I? Oh, yeah. Some of these books I'll never read, but many are on my current wish list. Also on my personal list are writers like Michael Connolly, Dick Francis, Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin, Paula Gosling and scores of others. Then there are the books by writers I've met online, a sublist that's growing at a most satisfying rate.

It's kind of wonderful to know that however long I live, I'll never run out of books worth reading!


PJ said...

I've only read 21 out of that list of books, which is quite depressing. I found it interesting that while I didn't recognise many of the books, a great deal of the ones I did know about were because they'd been made into movies. I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm currently reading one of the 1001, 150. A Heart So White, Javier Marias, which is an impressive and insightful read.

wordtryst said...

PJ, I have quite a few years on you, I think, so you have lots of time to catch up! I don't think my score of 80 is great either - got to get working on that list!

I too have seen the movie version of several that I haven't read.

Chumplet said...

I've read a lot of the older ones, but alas, not many of the newer ones. But I'm setting that straight as we speak.

I did read Life of Pi and absolutely loved it.

stephe said...

I've read less on the list than you two. I'll be working on the list here and there, in between other books/authors that interest me more.

I don't think we should be too concerned with the number of 1001 books we have or haven't read--rather, reading the ones that interest and speak to us. It's all about perspective, after all--Life of Pi didn't speak to somebody, and that's okay.

I've seen lots of movie versions too, Liane. I'll definitely go back and read those as they say the book is always better.

Matt said...

Thanks for sharing! I made two lists. :)

First those I've read:
2000s: 0
1900s: 16
1800s: 9
1700s: 0
Pre-1700s: 2

Then those I've started to read, but never finished:
2000s: 1
1900s: 3
1800s: 3
1700s: 1
Pre1700s: 0

wordtryst said...

Chumplet, I too must make an effort to read more of the newer titles.

Stephe, you're right, of course. Few books have universal appeal. I'm not as concerned with the numbers per se as with the fact that there are so many that I've been meaning to read for years and haven't gotten to as yet.

I've also seen quite a number of movie versions - didn't even know that I, Robot, for example, was based on a classic novel.

Matt, lol! Here are a couple I began but never finished: Hardy's Mayor of Casterbridge; Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - which I admit was fascinating in an awful sort of way, and which I supposedly studied for A Levels; Woolf's The Waves - or was it The Years? Didn't make it past the first ten pages or so pages of that one...

I love good literature, but there are limits to what I'll endure for its sake.

Anonymous said...

Life of Pi is one of my favorite books and you can still get the illustrated, hardcover version at Amazon at a bargain price.

I never remember the century a book was written but I know I should pay more attention to the copyright dates.

There are always more books to read before death than movies to see, but never more than list to make :)

Matt said...

akalol - I was thinking I also noticed a lot of books on that list that I hadn't read but I'd seen the movie. Do those count?