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

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message 1: by Krenzel (new)

Krenzel | 14 comments I saw this topic on library thing and thought it was interesting to bring over here to see what people liked or didn't like from the books they read this year from the 1001 list. I only read eight from the list this year, but since I basically hadn't read novels since college before discovering this list, I actually thought that was pretty good.

Of the eight, probably my two favorites were Never Let Me Go and Unless. My least favorites were Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and Disgrace. I liked the narrator in Curious Incident but also thought it was kind of a gimmick to disguise that the book really had no point or deep meaning. As for Disgrace, I thought it was well-written but it was just so dreary and dismal, it left me with a bad feeling in the end.



message 2: by Leila (new)

Leila (leilatre) | 44 comments My least favorite from the list that I read this year is Choke. Not my thing at all.

My favorite is probably Things Fall Apart. I also liked Empire of the Sun quite a lot and I have a couple that I'm reading now that I'm enjoying for very different reasons -- The Bell Jar and Infinite Jest.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (sbez05) | 32 comments Least favorite - Kafka on the Shore. I just do not get the hype behind that book. It was OK, but I wouldn't put it on the list.

Favorite that I read in 2008 ... Everything is Illuminated. Although I am reading the Poisonwood Bible now and really liking it, but probably won't finish before the end of the year - a good way to start the new year off with a bang, though!


message 4: by Tej (new)

Tej | 120 comments In reviewing the list of books I have read this year, I am sorry to say that I have read more duds than winners from the 1001 list. The hands down winner of my least favorite is "Blood and Guts in High School". The fact that I actually finished it speaks more to my ocd and masochism than anything else. My favorite would have to be The Count of Monte Cristo. I have never seen any of the movies, so that probably helps.


message 5: by Denise (new)

Denise | 235 comments Hands down least favorite: Cocaine Nights

Favorites: Wind-up Bird Chronicle and The Satanic Verses


message 6: by Ravenskya (new)

Ravenskya  (ravenskya) Least Favorite - Ulysses
Favorite... ohh, I liked a lot of them, either Great Expectations or Choke


message 7: by Susan (new)

Susan | 28 comments My least favorite from the books I read this year off the list is probably Remains of the Day, and really, only because it took me longer to get into than I would have liked. Favorite is a toss up between Vernoika Decides to Die, Atonement, or The Blind Assassin.


Stephanie "Jedigal" (jedigal) | 271 comments OOPS - If a double post goes on - my bad! If not, well I goofed, but then didn't. Computer users.....

Per my own *ratings, my 2008 least favs were Don Quixote and Sieze The Day. But I think my actual least fav list EXPERIENCE was Edna O'Brien's Country Girls trilogy (all three are on the list), which my bookclub read.

My top *rating for 2008 was A Clockwork Orange. But my fav reading EXPERIENCES were (I couldn't narrow more than this - I just couldn't):
Kurt Vonnegut - Breakfast of Champions
Toni Morrison - Song of Solomon
Paul Auster - Book of Illusions
Sarah Waters - Fingersmith
H Rider Haggard - She

Out of 15 reads in 2008 chosen from the list, I'd have to say that the list is doing right by me - pointing me in the direction of some FINE and FUN literature. And even the FINE and Not-So-Fun literature (like, for me, Don Q.) I am still glad to have read.

Krenzel, good topic!
Tej, I know what you mean about ocd and masochistic need to finish reading a title.


message 9: by Christina Stind (last edited Dec 30, 2008 03:59AM) (new)

Christina Stind | 183 comments My favourites this year are:
John Irving World according to Garp (one of my all-time favourites)
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre
and Haruki Murakami Kafka on the Shore - Murakami is fast becoming one of my favourite authors.

I haven't read any books on the list that have been bad - some I have liked less than others but all have been worth reading. Probably my least favourite was Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys - I had expected more from it...


message 10: by Pearl (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:19AM) (new)

Pearl (puuurlie) | 6 comments Least Favorite: 'Breaking Dawn' the last book in the 'Twilight' series by Stephenie Meyer. Oh.my.god. disaster, possibly the worst book I have ever read in my short 18 year life.

Favorite: 'I Am Legend' by Richard Matheson.

The Twilight series (excluding the last book) gets an honorable mention, I'm happy I discovered it, but they weren't the best books, I've read better.


message 11: by Kristi (last edited Dec 30, 2008 09:59AM) (new)


message 12: by Kecia (new)

Kecia | 45 comments Favorite - There are many that I loved but A.S. Byatt's Possession is my favorite of the year.

Least favorite - Choke. Couldn't even finish it.


message 13: by Emu (new)

Emu | 60 comments Least favorite would have to be Buddha of Suburbia.

Favorites are The Book of Illusions, The Pearl and Breakfast at Tiffany's.


message 14: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments My favorites read from the 1001 List this year include (in no particular order):
Brideshead Revisited
The Reader
The Poisonwood Bible
Love in the Time of Cholera
Everything is Illuminated
The Bluest Eye
Never Let Me Go



My least favorites were:
The Satantic Verses
A Dance to the Music of Time
Silk
Death in Venice

All the rest just fell inbetween these two lists. All in all, a great year of reading!



message 15: by H.J. (new)

H.J. Swinford (hayleejalyn) I got to read Les Miserables this year and that was certainly my favorite. Along with that I loved Little Women.

My least favorites were Salinger's Catcher in the Rye and The Stranger by Albert Camus.


message 16: by Mike (new)

Mike | 16 comments Ulysses was easily the best book I've read this year.
It was an exciting analysis of narrative and prose beautifully composed by Mr. James Joyce.

Before that, I read Naked Lunch. All I have to say is that it does make a point, but the book is a mess.


message 17: by Linda (new)

Linda This is really helpful and interesting. Some titles are listed to be both favorites and least favorites, but if I see a book listed as a least favorite by several people I'll probably put off reading it (while I know that will prompt others to read them asap!)

I read 10 on the List this year. My least favorite is a tie between A Farewell to Arms and Catcher in the Rye - both depressing. My favorites were The Scarlet Letter and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

Pearly, we are mainly discussing books on the 1001 Must Reads list. There's a good reason the Twilight books aren't on that list...(and neither is I am Legend btw)


message 18: by Princess (new)

Princess  Peach (annabananafish) | 9 comments Favourites:
All the Kurt Vonneguts
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
Everything is Illuminated
On the Road

Least Favourite:
Choke

Ones that I liked, but that I thought would be so much better:
House of Leaves
Silk


message 19: by Charity (new)

Charity (charityross) GREAT THREAD!! Here's how my 2008 reading from the list(s) broke down...


Favorites of 2008: (5 stars)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008 Updated List)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
The Cider House Rules by John Irving
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Honorable Mentions of 2008: (4 stars)
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Choke by Chuck Palahniuk
The Book of Illusions by Paul Auster
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
All the Edgar Allan Poe (some were re-reads)
Dracula by Bram Stoker
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
Sula by Toni Morrison

Just Eh... of 2008: (3 stars)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Least Favorites of 2008: (1 or 2 stars)
Cocaine Nights by J.G. Ballard ****ABSOLUTE WORST****
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Books I Re-Read and Still LOVED in 2008: (5 stars)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne


message 20: by Chel (new)

Chel | 380 comments My least favorite, by far, of the 43 books from the list (I started last year in June)was the repetitive rubbish called Watt by Samuel Beckett. The best of 2008 is very difficult to pick because there were so many excellent reads (90% of what I read was worth reading). I hate to say it but I have to list the very best of 08 without picking one. They are:

Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Don Quixote, Ethan Fromme, Summer, Heart of Darkness, Confederacy of Dunces, Robinson Crusoe, Treasure Island, Cryptonomicon, The Pursuit of Love, The Bluest Eye, Sula, Red Harvest, A Journey to the Center of the Earth, Brave New World, A Farewell to Arms, The Reader, Slaughterhouse-Five, The English Patient, Time's Arrow, Life of Pi, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime, Disgrace, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, Things Fall Apart, The Old Man in the Sea, I, Robot, The Time Machine, The Pit and the Pendulum, A Christmas Carol, The Fall of the House of Usher, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Northanger Abbey.


message 21: by Jamie (new)

Jamie | 3 comments I didn't start working on this list until October. I had already read some of the books, but I will only talk here about recent reads.

Hands down least favorite - American Psycho. Ugh... this book was so repetitive. I just couldn't find the value in it.

Favorites: Everything Is Illuminated, The Human Stain and Love in the Time of Cholera.


message 22: by jenn (new)

jenn | 3 comments My favorite was probably Slaughterhouse 5. I can't believe I waited so long to read it.

Least favorite was Death in Venice - couldn't even finish it. I think I was in the wrong frame of mind, and will have to try it again. Of the ones I did complete, I wasn't nearly as impressed with On Beauty as I'd expected to be. It was pretty good, but really over-hyped.


message 23: by Emma (new)

Emma (mnium) | 138 comments Jamie wrote: "I didn't start working on this list until October. I had already read some of the books, but I will only talk here about recent reads.

Hands down least favorite - American Psycho. Ugh... this book..."


I haven't read American Psycho yet or any Bret Easton Ellis, for that matter, but that movie has got to be one of my all-time faves!


message 24: by Emma (new)

Emma (mnium) | 138 comments Chel wrote: "My least favorite, by far, of the 43 books from the list (I started last year in June)was the repetitive rubbish called Watt by Samuel Beckett. The best of 2008 is very difficult to pick because t..."

Ugh, I'm afraid of Beckett, and that brand of absurdism. I'm noticing that Watt was dropped for the 2008 list. Chel, have you read any of the Beckett from the 2008 list?

Malone Dies
Molloy
or Murphy


message 25: by Chel (new)

Chel | 380 comments Emma wrote: "Chel wrote: "My least favorite, by far, of the 43 books from the list (I started last year in June)was the repetitive rubbish called Watt by Samuel Beckett. The best of 2008 is very difficult to p..."

No, I haven't as of yet but am eager to do so.


message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim Kendell Petersen | 6 comments Best books I read in 2008:

Middlemarch
Corelli's Mandolin
The End of the Affair (which I didn't love at the time, and yet I just keep thinking about it...)
Smiley's People

Worst Books:
To Have and Have Not (Ugh, why do I keep trying to "get" Hemingway? And this was his worst by far!)
Sexing the Cherry (eh, what???)
The Good Soldier (yawn)


message 27: by Suzanne Shumaker (new)

Suzanne Shumaker | 15 comments My favorites were Never Let Me Go and Decline and Fall. Both were very different, but very great!!

Least favorite were The Ground Beneath Her Feet and Glamorama. I liked parts of both of these but overall they just weren't my thing.


message 28: by Mike (new)

Mike So far the 1001 List really hasn't steered me in the wrong direction. Even the books that I didn't care for were thought provoking.

My Favorites (so far):
The Reader
Sexing the Cherry
The Bell Jar
Animal Farm

Least Favorite (so far):
Go Tell It on the Mountain


message 29: by Navi (new)

Navi (nvsahota) My favourites would have to be:
1984
Brave New World
Jane Eyre
The Handmaid's Tale


message 30: by Mariana (new)

Mariana | 4 comments I haven't long been working on the list (although going through it I had read quite a few before I discovered it) but I have to say that my least favourite so far has to be Spring Flowers, Spring Frost by Ismail Kadare.
Blame it on the translation (Albanian to French then French to English) or what you will but I found it really really hard-going.


message 31: by Erik (new)

Erik Frankenstein by Shelley was dreadful. It just wasn't well written. If you say in one paragraph that the snow was so unsafe that raising your voice would cause an avalanche, and then you talk about a character yelling in the same setting, you fail.

I really liked Veronika Decides to Die, The Virgin Suicides, The Count of Monte Cristo, A Tale of Two Cities, and Animal Farm.


message 32: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristilarson) | 266 comments We've got opposite viewpoints Erik--I hated Veronika but loved Frankenstein!


message 33: by Yassemin (last edited Dec 08, 2009 05:58AM) (new)

Yassemin (yas666) | 81 comments Pearly wrote: "Least Favorite: 'Breaking Dawn' the last book in the 'Twilight' series by Stephenie Meyer. Oh.my.god. disaster, possibly the worst book I have ever read in my short 18 year life.

Fa..."


Neither of those books were on the list...and probably for good reason. Not touched twilight but so not interested!

I really didnt like Lord of the Flies..written badly and extremely repetitive and boring! Eugh! Havent got a favuorite as such yet..not made much of a dent in the list yet!


message 34: by Duy (new)

Duy | 17 comments Favorite - Poisonwood bible
Least - Vernon God Little


message 35: by Deanne (new)

Deanne | 682 comments Favourites recently read
He knew he was right - Trollope
The Arabian nights - Anon
A fine balance - Mistry

Haven't read anything recently that I hated, but my all time least favourite off both lists were the two tropics by Henry Miller, drivel. Dining on stones by Sinclair was also boring, the first page was interesting but only because the building he described was one I walked past frequently on Hastings seafront.


Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I didn't get many read this year, but of the few I did read, I think my favorite was To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. I expected to dislike this book since I had heard so many things about Virginia Woolf, but I ended up liking it.

I have no dislikes for this year.


message 37: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments We should start a new discussion thread for our best and worst reads of 2009. This one was started for our 2008's. Right?


message 38: by Douglas (new)

Douglas (thousandbooks) Charity wrote: "GREAT THREAD!! Here's how my 2008 reading from the list(s) broke down...
New to the group. What did you not like about Invisible Man? I have it on my list for next year.

Favorites of 2008: (5 stars)
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri (2008 Updated List)
Of Mice and..."





Lyn (Readinghearts) (lsmeadows) I didn't realize that. We should.


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