Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die discussion

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List book you LOVED but hadn't previously known?

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message 1: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (jennisty) | 3 comments Hey! Were there any books that you guys have picked up because of this 1001 Books list, hadn't heard of previously (or hadn't known much about), and ended up loving?


Elizabeth (Alaska) The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman and
Storm of Steel

Both 5 stars for me. I might have found Storm of Steel if left to my own devices, but I think it unlikely I ever would have read Mrs. Seidenman.


message 3: by Arukiyomi (new)

Arukiyomi | 203 comments wow too many.
Invisible Man
Cry the Beloved Country
A Fine Balance
Romance of the Three Kingdoms

these are four which made my Hall of Fame which I'd never heard of before the list came out.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Arukiyomi wrote: "wow too many.
Invisible Man
Cry the Beloved Country
A Fine Balance
Romance of the Three Kingdoms

these are four which made my Hall of Fame which I'd never heard of before the list came out."


I nearly put A Fine Balance above. Yes, one of the best books I've read recently.


message 5: by Judith (new)


Elizabeth (Alaska) Judith wrote: "Quite a few. These immediately come to mind.

The Siege of Krishnapur"


Have you read the others in this trilogy?


message 7: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Judith wrote: "Quite a few. These immediately come to mind.

The Siege of Krishnapur"

Have you read the others in this trilogy?"

Hmm....maybe one other one, but I can't remember for sure. What are the titles? (Not that I can't look that up on my own! Duh!)


Elizabeth (Alaska) Troubles
The Singapore Grip

For some reason, Troubles was removed from the list, but it is first in the trilogy. I was just curious about the others.


message 9: by Sandi (new)

Sandi | 209 comments The Woman in White and both books written by Anne Bronte. I was also positively surprised by The Monk.


message 10: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Troubles
The Singapore Grip

For some reason, Troubles was removed from the list, but it is first in the trilogy. I was just curious about the others."


I looked them up. Both titles are on my Wish List. I'd really like to read them.

I also agree with Sandi about The Monk


message 11: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Another one:

The Lover


message 12: by Arukiyomi (new)

Arukiyomi | 203 comments I'll third The Monk


message 13: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (jennisty) | 3 comments loving these suggestions!! i wish i had the money--and the time--to start reading them right away. also, arukiyomi: followed your link to your "hall of fame" and discovered your BEAUTIFUL website! so well-maintained and well-done and well thought out as well, with your reviews. what a great system you have for placing a numeric value on something so subjective. i also was intrigued enough to link through to your other various blogs.... what a great life you lead.

to all, again, thank you for the suggestions! hope to see some more coming and happy reading :)


message 14: by Tej (new)

Tej | 118 comments Ditto on Things Fall Apart. I just recently read A Scots Quair (all three parts of the trilogy although just the first is part of the list--dropped BTW) and really loved how lyrical it was. On Love by Alain de Botton was very amusing and explained a lot about my marriage. (lol) Martin Eden by Jack London was dropped from the list and way better than The Call of the Wild or White Fang, which were since added. (The Iron Heel, on the other hand, was a total waste of time.) White Teeth by Zadie Smith had great character development. I can't say why I liked The River Between, but I really enjoyed it and would read others by him.

Books I would have (and did) read otherwise and marked as some of my favorites:
Brave New World
Of Human Bondage
Ulysses (very controversial, I know. Some people LOVE Joyce, others HATE him. Don't bother with Finnegans Wake. I want two weeks of my life back because of that. But Ulysses was very beautiful.)
Middlemarch
Les Miserables
Of Human Bondage
The Brothers Karamazov
Foucault's Pendulum
A Prayer for Owen Meany (my all-time favorite book, if I was forced to choose one)
Life of Pi
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (only appeared on the 2008 edition)
The Count of Monte Cristo
All Quiet on the Western Front
David Copperfield
A Tale of Two Cities

Great question!


message 15: by Jenni (new)

Jenni (jennisty) | 3 comments ^I loved David Copperfield! One of my all-time favorites.

I've heard that you should read Finnegans Wake before you read Ulysses... do you think Ulysses is still reasonably readable without having previously read Finnegans Wake?


message 16: by Tej (new)

Tej | 118 comments I've heard that you should read Finnegans Wake before you read Ulysses... do you think Ulysses is still reasonably readable without havin..."
I recommend reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and The Odyssey by Homer before reading Ulysses just because it's sort of a sequel to A Portrait, and it symbolically follows the plot of the Odyssey (hence then name, since Ulysses is the Latin translation of Odysseus--hero of The Odyssey). On the other hand, Finnegans Wake has absolutely nothing to do with anything, as far as I can tell. It's supposed to represent human thoughts as they exist in a dream-state. Guess I'm too literal for the symbolism. That's not to say Ulysses isn't out there--it's very challenging and hard to follow. But the way he put words together to form an image just floored me in a way that no one else ever has.


message 17: by Liz M (last edited Jul 26, 2012 03:20AM) (new)

Liz M On Love might be my favorite book from the 1001 list. I certainly never would have heard of it/read it if it weren't on the list. Jealousy is another book that blew me away -- not easy, yet mesmerizing.

I love the 2008 edition with it's emphasis on on non- Western works, such as Silence, Season of Migration to the North, Nip the Buds, Shoot the Kids, The Witness, Animal's People, Half of a Yellow Sun. All very good reads and I may not have come across them without the list.


message 18: by Arukiyomi (new)

Arukiyomi | 203 comments oh yeah... Silence is absolutely fantastic but I read it long before the list or my blog came along.


message 19: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments This may be turning into a little more of a list of favorites discussion, but I'll still add a couple more I probably would have eventually read anyway, but the list inclusions spurred me on:

The Things They Carried
Native Son


message 20: by Beth (new)

Beth (eparks4232) | 141 comments Jenni wrote: "Hey! Were there any books that you guys have picked up because of this 1001 Books list, hadn't heard of previously (or hadn't known much about), and ended up loving?"

Jenni, more than I can name. From this year, they are on my blog and you can find them at http://bethslistlove.wordpress.com
I think there is a post with some favorites from last year in either early Jan or late Dec too. The thing that really got me reading the ones I hadn't planned on though was doing a challenge where I was reading a book from each of six different countries from each of 6 different regions (Europe/N.& C. Amer and Caribb/S. America/Oceania/Asia/Africa). That meant I was searching the list for something other than my usual British and American lit. Since then I've done more challenges of the same type to get me into fantastic world lit.


message 21: by Maryann (new)

Maryann (amaryann21) | 50 comments A Fine Balance
A Prayer for Owen Meany
Never Let Me Go
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Poisonwood Bible

All of these really struck a chord with me at the time that I read them. The are in my "permanent collection", as opposed to the books I trade after reading.


message 22: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca | 16 comments A Prayer for Owen Meany
Family Matters (same author who wrote A Fine Balance)
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time (I don't remember much about it except that I liked it well enough to recommend it to someone and I don't do that often)

I would add Life of Pi and Grapes of Wrath but I knew of their existence long before I read them.


message 23: by Tori (new)

Tori S (ToriS) | 18 comments Cannot agree enough about Owen Meany. I haven't loved a book that much in a long time.


message 24: by Mandy (new)

Mandy | 150 comments I was really suprised how much I enjoyed Wuthering Heights, Woman in White, and I am enjoying The Monk. Some of those classics are underated!


message 25: by Tej (new)

Tej | 118 comments ... I was reading a book from each of six different countries from each of 6 different regions..."

I like how you think! Like many others, I'm so pleased that the 2008 version came out with many more non-Anglo books that I would not know about otherwise. They really didn't need to have 10 books by Dickens and five by Eliot, etc., etc., because I already know I like them and will read more of their books anyway.


message 26: by Tej (new)

Tej | 118 comments Owen Meany is one of my very favorite books. It's so well-crafted and always keeps you guessing. Even more than most of Irving's other books, it was both tragic and laugh-out-loud funny at the same time. You know from almost the first page that Owen will be dead by the end of the book but you don't know exactly how until the very end. When I was halfway through I told my husband that I was going to be really sad when I finished--not so much because I know that Owen dies but because he won't be in my everyday life anymore. As obnoxious and socially-inept as he is, I truly came to love him. I've never felt that way about any other fictional character.


message 27: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments If on a Winter's Night a Traveler

I absolutely loved this novel and doubt I would ever have heard of it if it weren't for "the list".


message 28: by E (new)

E Shay (EShay11) | 23 comments I must say I really enjoyed "The Elegance of the Hedgehog" that the group read recently. I had never heard of it before the list, and I haven't read many modern works from the list. I think it hit me like the movie Amelie... you experience it, are slightly confused throughout, and at the end, it hits you that you thoroughly enjoyed it. I might read it again at a future date and know that I will like it even more with further study.


message 29: by Arukiyomi (new)

Arukiyomi | 203 comments Villette is excellent and should be more widely known, I agree Gwen.

Erin: "you experience it, are slightly confused throughout, and at the end, it hits you that you thoroughly enjoyed it" - sounds pretty much like everything French to me!


message 30: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Gwen wrote: "The Garden Party and Other Stories

Mansfield has easily become one of my favorite short story writers.

Also, oddly enough, I'd never heard of Villette before the list, but I agree with George E..."


I absolutely agree with you about
The Garden Party and Other Stories.
She's a master story teller.


message 31: by Cait (new)

Cait (caitertot) | 33 comments The first one that comes to mind is The Third Policeman. One of my favorites!


message 32: by Sissy (new)

Sissy Regeneration. This was a big one for me. I don't know how I had never heard of it prior to the list - its a genre/time period I really do enjoy reading about. Sadly I didn't enjoy the rest of the trilogy - but I still find Regeneration quite amazing. I also agree with A Fine Balance.


message 33: by Judith (last edited Aug 01, 2012 09:31AM) (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Sissy wrote: "Regeneration. This was a big one for me. I don't know how I had never heard of it prior to the list - its a genre/time period I really do enjoy reading about. Sadly I didn't enjoy the rest of the t..."

I agree with you about the trilogy,Regeneration was excellent but the other two less so. There is a great film version of "Regeneration" also...I think it is called "Behind the Lines"...not sure though.


message 34: by Sissy (new)

Sissy Judith wrote: I agree with you about the trilogy,Regeneration was excellent but the other two less so. There is a great film version of "Regeneration" also...I think it is called "Behind the Lines"...not sure though.
..."


Thanks for that Judith!! Had never heard of it. Will have to check it out (looks like a lovely British cast).


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Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman (other topics)
Storm of Steel (other topics)
Invisible Man (other topics)
Cry, the Beloved Country (other topics)
A Fine Balance (other topics)
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