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

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message 1: by Roland (new)

Roland I met my goal of having 100 books from the list finished by the end of the year, but I'm thinking that since I read so many short books, maybe I should tackle a few giants that have left me quivering in fear. Potentials include War & Peace, The Count of Monte Cristo, Gone With The Wind, Les Miserables, Tom Jones, Middlemarch, and maybe A Dance to the Music of Time. This is in addition to finishing up Pilgrimage and Clarissa, of which the first I'm almost 1/4 way through, and the later I'm only a few hundred pages away from finishing. I'm saving Proust for a special occasion.

There's that, or maybe finishing up the Modern Library or Guardian lists.

Anyone else have a specific book goal for next year?

message 2: by Denise (new)

Denise | 235 comments My goal for the 1001 list is to read the monthly book club selections. Other than that, I'm working my way through the Pulitzers and Nobel laureates. There's some overlap. I'm thinking of Gone With the Wind and Grapes of Wrath. I think 100 books in a year is more than I'll ever read. I already feel like I'm reading too much and I'm barely going to top out over 30 this year.

Stop quivering. Take on a giant. I hear some of those titles you listed are very good.

Christina Stind | 183 comments I plan on reading 25 titles from the list a year ... then it will take me 40 years to read the entire list ... but I don't want to make it a chore...

message 4: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (ravenskya) My plan is to read at least 12 of the larger books, that's 1 a month, and if I finish them early I'll throw in some of the shorter ones.

message 5: by Kay (last edited Dec 16, 2008 06:58AM) (new)

Kay (infiniteshelf) Yes, I don't take it as a chore either! I take the list more a a good suggestion than anything else. I already know there are some books there that I tried, but never could finish, and I don't plan on wasting any more time on those!

But my goal would be to read around 20 from the lists, a mix between books I've always wanted to read and books I'd never heards about. So far some of the books I've planned on reading are The Bell Jar, Emma, The Virgin Suicides and the Handmaid's Tale, which are books I wanted to read for some time. I still have to look around at some reviews to decide which unkown books I want to try!

message 6: by Leila (new)

Leila (leilatre) | 40 comments Hmm. Good question. I have a few books from the list that I've started but not finished. Currently reading Infinite Jest and I'm pretty sure I'll make it through that one (that may be my goal for the rest of 2008). I guess I'd like to finish those I've started recently -- Satanic Verses and The Bell Jar in addition to IJ -- and read two from the list per month in '09. Sounds manageable.

message 7: by Tracey (new)

Tracey My goal is to read 24 of the books in 2009. I will most likely skip all the books that I have seen the movies and keep all of those for last.

message 8: by H.J. (new)

H.J. Swinford (hayleejalyn) I passed 50 books this year (not all of them from the list, though about 35 or 40 were) my goal next year is to hit 60. I like taking a break from the classics every once in a while, so they won't all be from the list, but most of them will.

message 9: by Kecia (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:35AM) (new)

Kecia I went through the list of 1001 and crossed off 45 that I'd read before but didn't need to read again. There are a bunch more that I want to read again because I haven't read them in years (e.g. Portnoy's Complaint I read in undergrad). That leaves me with a list of 956 books that, at one book a week, will take 19 years to complete. This presumes, of course, that I have no other life aside from work, which is usually not the case. Plus, my co-worker wisely mentioned that certain books will take longer than others, e.g. War and Peace will take longer than say, a graphic novel like Watchmen.

So now, as is my wont, I'm getting anal about this. Rather than books per year, should I focus on pages per month? And how long should I give a book before I toss it aside? because realistically, it's unlikely I'm going to like all 1001 books. (I've already decided Ulysses will be dead that I'll probably read it on my way to the crematorium.)

Anyway...I guess I'll shoot for 30 completed books from this list in 2009. I plan to pick one from the 21st century, then one from the 20th century, etc., and then start over again. I will focus first on the ones I already own, and then start plundering my local library.

Check out Project Gutenberg ( for free copies of many of the older works. I've had a text copy of Don Quixote on my laptop for a while now.

message 10: by Kristen (new)

Kristen (ravenskya) I suffered through Ulysses... I read it online sent to my email... that way I only had to suffer through 15 minutes a day before I started in on my work.

message 11: by Justine (new)

Justine (paperbackheart) | 10 comments By the end of 2008, I will have read 47-48 of the books, resulting in the need to read 16/year to complete the list.
My overall reading goal for 2009 is 204 (17/month) books. Ideally, I would like at least 50 of them to be from the list.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

For 2009 I plan on reading 100 books about 1/2 on the 1001 books.

I read 63 books so far this year.

message 13: by Chloe (new)

Chloe (countessofblooms) | 140 comments Next year I'm planning on reading at least 31 books from the 1001 list. Though I'll hopefully exceed that number, it seems like a realistic goal for now. I made a great dent in the "thicker" books on the list, Infinite Jest met its end back in July and I'm just now toiling like a serf through War & Peace.

My overall goal for next year is quality over quantity. I read some great books this year that I may not have picked up had it not been for Goodreads- I'm hoping that this trend will continue through 2009.

Michelle (In Libris Veritas) (shadowrose) I'm only going with around 12 or so, with school I don't have much time so I'm going to keep it simple.

message 15: by Derrick (new)

Derrick (afderrick) | 92 comments I just picked up reading this past spring. My goal is a low goal of just 50 for this year. If I meet in then perhaps next year I will bump it up to 60.

message 16: by Darcy (new)

Darcy (darcy-elizabeth) | 35 comments On this list, I'm going to aim for...50! It'll be a hard challenge, but I'm up for it!

message 17: by Katie (new)

Katie | 10 comments This year I read over 100 books, 30 of them on this list. I broke it down by time period, and made sure to read enough from each to fill my "quota." I also tried to read a few "big" ones: The Brothers Karamazov, Metamorphosis by Ovid, and Cryptonomicon. Next year I think I'll try to do the same. I have a list of 20 or so I'm shooting for, and I'll probably read a few more that tickle my fancy. Some on my list are: To the Lighthouse, the Maltese Falcon, Posession, the Golden Notebook, etc. I think I'll also try the book of the month on this group.

message 18: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 682 comments As a book addict I can probably read about 300 books a year, maybe my goal should be to read less.

Stephanie "Jedigal" (jedigal) | 271 comments Looking back (thanks to GoodR.), I see that I've read 49 books this year. 14 from the list.

9 of them were for my "real life" book club. Several others inspired by the rather cumbersome book choosing process my club is using this round. We are doing 4 3-month themes. So the first theme was a single author. So everyone nominated an author, and then we voted, with everyone having 3 votes. Well, in addition to the author that "won" (and we then read 3 of her books), I was crazy enough to also read the other authors, 7 add'l books. And then the next theme was a genre, and "children's series" won. So I read 3 books for that, plus read two sequels from the one I liked best, and also read on my own the Pullman trilogy. We've just started our third theme (Age of Exploration), so I haven't read anything "extra" for that yet.

So in 2008 about 30 of my 49 were list or bookclub related. 60%!!

Anyway - for 2009, I anticipate reading 10 books for bookclub, plus maybe another 5 or so "inspired by bookclub".

For my "free choice" strategy, I plan to try VERY hard to NOT buy too many books, and stick MOSTLY to my TBR bookcase. I have over 41 List books on it, and probably another 70-100 other selections. The list books on my TBR consist mostly of 1) books I saw cheap at a book fair or bargain section of store; and 2) list books that were on my sisters bookshelf that she has either already read or did not think she would get to anytime soon.

I don't have any expectations of reading more than 50 books. If I could quit my job and the volunteer work that I do, I could get SO MUCH MORE reading done... Although, if I clear out my TBR bookcase, maybe I could refill it with SKINNY books from the list! Then I could read more of them. I like that we have a short reads thread here.

I love everyone's different approaches. I just love people who read. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah and Joyful Solstice, all you readers!

message 20: by Sarah (last edited Dec 24, 2008 09:27PM) (new)

Sarah (anastasiaarcher) | 4 comments I'm working on 50 books for 2008. I'm currently on my 49th. Next Year, I want to finish a hundred. Hope I can make it.

message 21: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (a_bishop) | 72 comments I read about 38 from the list this year, but a solid number of those were books I had planned to read without consulting this list. Finding them on the list after the fact was a pleasant surprise! As I work my way through the "classics" that I have missed in my life, I imagine I will hit a few from the list here and there without trying. I would hate to limit myself to this list exclusively. There's just so much out there.

message 22: by Miyo (new)

Miyo (artofcolor) | 2 comments I am planning on reading 52 books in '09.

message 23: by Kara (new)

Kara I must admit that I have too many books I want to read that aren't even on this list. I read a lot this year, but I go through phases where I don't want to read anything that's "valuable," or anything remotely resembling a classic. I do plan to pay more attention to the list in 2009, though. I'm in the middle of The Reader, by Bernard Schlink right now, and I love it. So I'm going to keep plugging away at the list, but won't set a number goal for myself.

message 24: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments Like so many of you, I've read on and off "the list" this year with an eye toward the the Modern Library's 100 Best Novels and the Radcliffe's List, which is similar. I've discovered many new authors and liked or loved most of them.

Turns out I read about 45 books from the 1001 List plus viewed a few PBS Series to add to 50. I listed them all as I devoured them.

My goal will be about the same this year, but again, like some of you I plan to work in some of the longer works. "War and Peace" may be the first I tackle from that group.

Some others I want to read this year include: "Cancer Ward","The Ambassadors", and "Hard Times"; and on my shelf awaits ""Wide Sargasso Sea", "Schooling", "Jazz", "Naked Lunch", "To Have and to Have Not", "The Woodlanders", "The Comfort of Strangers" and about 40 others .... I'd also like to re-read "Anna Karenina" and "Tale of Two Cities" as well as all the Le Carre novels on the list if I can work them in.

All in all I'm excited about the challenge again next year and will continue to post what I start, complete and follow the discussions here on the authors and the titles.

Happy New Year to all my book addict friends!

message 25: by Samantha (new)

Samantha | 18 comments I only just discovered the list. I was horrified to find that I'd only read thirty-seven of the books on the list (although, by sheer coincidence, the two I'm working on now are on the list: Slaughterhouse Five and Infinite Jest. That will put my number at 39 when I'm done).

I have no specific goals for 2009, except to investigate the authors that have many books on the list that I haven't even heard of, and also to look through my bookshelf and get all of the books that I own that are on the list good and read already. I also need to read Pride and Prejudice (I was not a fan of sense and sensibility in high school, but I think it's time to give the poor woman a second chance), and to read War and Piece. So far, I haven't met a russian novel I didn't like, so I may as well pull out the big guns and tackle the big one.

message 26: by Miyo (new)

Miyo (artofcolor) | 2 comments 85 books. I got curious to see what was on that list. Many of those books I have tried to read and simply disliked them for one reason or another. I'm not gonna kill myself over it because it's on the list and I must read those. :-)
Life is short. I read because it pleases me, gives me comfort, humor, horror, insight as well as the most important reason of all: it keeps me entertained.

I'm cheating a bit on my 52 books for '09. Have 1 down, 51 more to go. I need these challenges and goals. This is a great discussion group!

message 27: by Katie ATX (last edited Jan 08, 2009 12:06PM) (new)

Katie ATX (katieatx) | 74 comments goal for 2009 is at least 40 off the list, which is 3.333 books a month...hopefully i'll find some that are pretty quick reads. lately my ADD has gotten in the way considerably!

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