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

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Is there a book(s) from the list that you have no intention of reading? Which one and why?

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message 1: by Sara (new)

Sara | 5 comments Which book(s) from the list do you have no intention of reading?


message 2: by Kristi (last edited Jan 06, 2009 01:55PM) (new)

Kristi (kristilarson) | 267 comments I am pretty scared of Ulysses...


message 3: by Lenoir (new)

Lenoir | 28 comments Yup, Ulysses here too and for the same reason. I read a little James Joyce in college and I'm not sure I could do 700+ pages of him. I have a copy of Dubliners so I will start with that eventually and see how it goes. Maybe I'll change my mind. Maybe I'll love it and then I'll have to work on conquering my fear of Finnegans Wake.


message 4: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristilarson) | 267 comments I've read some of Dubliners, which I don't think is so bad, but everyone seems to dislike Ulysses so much.


message 5: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristilarson) | 267 comments Oh, I thought of another one. Don Quixote. I guess some people like it, the ratings aren't so bad, but I don't think I could get through it.


message 6: by Kristin (new)

Kristin (zildjian35) | 22 comments I'd like to read every book from the list but that's highly unlikely! Seriously though, if I start reading a novel I ALWAYS complete it no matter how "bad" I think it may be. One of my pet peeves I suppose.


message 7: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 73 comments There are quite a few on the list that I will NEVER get to. One of them is "The Reader." I started it and realized it involved a sexual relationship between a 14?-year-old boy and a grown woman. As the mother of two teenagers, I could not stomach it. Although, my oldest asked me yesterday how I managed "Lolita." Good question. I did not LOVE Lolita, but the bit of "The Reader" I made it through really turned my stomach.


message 8: by Kecia (new)

Kecia I intend to at least crack open every book on the list but, as I said when I joined, Ulysses will be the very last one.


message 9: by Christina (new)

Christina | 186 comments I've been joking with that I will only read 1000 - I tried reading 'American Psycho' several years ago, and when I came to the part with the beggar and the dog, I couldn't go on...
I will give it another go, though, just not sure if I will succeed...


Stephanie "Jedigal" (jedigal) | 271 comments I had pretty much determined before I even bought the list book, that I would never read Marcel Proust's Remembrance of Things Past (or In Search of Lost Time, as many now prefer and as is a more accurate translation). A 7-volume, 3200-page novel? This might not be for me. I had problems getting through Don Quixote.

On the other hand, I know that there is so much intertextuality between this and other things, that it makes me consider changing my mind.

Maybe I could start the first volume, and if I liked it, keep going, if not, give up. Like Kristin, I am a completist. I like to finish the books I start. But there have been exceptions in the past, and I could certainly see making this one of them....


message 11: by Meg (new)

Meg Cynthia, that's an interesting point your son (I'm guessing son?) made. I wonder if you've given it any thought? Lolita is one of my all-time favorites and I enjoyed The Reader, as well. I never considered the affair in The Reader to be child/sexual abuse, but now that I think of it I'm pretty sure that comes from my own gender biases (thinking that a young boy can't be taken advantage of in the same way a young girl can). Lolita was very hard for me to stomach, especially since it involved several obvious instances of rape as well as kidnapping, whereas The Reader did not. Did you have a hard time with Lolita, too?


message 12: by Kecia (new)

Kecia Re Proust: If Ulysses is #1001 for me, then I'm guessing In Search of Lost Time will be #1000. However, if I start to try to get some of my once-decent French back, maybe by the time I get to #1000 I'll be able to read it in the original. Of course I'll be doing this (studying French) in all the goo-gobs of time I have to read all these books...




message 13: by Dean (new)

Dean I read Dubliners when I was in college during one of those times when I was trying to read everything you're supposed to read if you are to be considered "well-read". It didn't make much of an impression on me and I really don't remember much about it anymore. There are actually quite a ew books on the list I wouldn't read just because they don't sound interesting to me and there are tons of other books out there that do sound interesting.


message 14: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 73 comments Margaret wrote: "Cynthia, that's an interesting point your son (I'm guessing son?) made. I wonder if you've given it any thought? Lolita is one of my all-time favorites and I enjoyed The Reader, as well. I never co..."Margaret: My 19-year-old daughter was the one asking me about differences between Reader and Lolita. While I did not finish the Reader, I definitely felt the girl in Lolita was in some ways sophisticated, something of a temptress, while still a child. She certainly did not seem an innocent victim. Still, While reading Lolita I knew she was literally a child, which of course creeped me out big time. I guess this is the magic of Lolita. You are simultaneously drawn in/ the voyeur and repelled. For some reason the Reader left me simply repelled.




message 15: by Luiza (new)

Luiza | 22 comments Ok, I know there's a bit of prejudice in what I'm about to say, but I'm not looking so foward to reading Paulo Coelho. I know his books will most likely be very easy and quick to read, but from all I've heard of him, at least from literature teachers and all people with a minimal amount of reasonable reading taste, I've never been particularly curious to read his books.
Honestly, I don't know he is doing in a list like that. Two Paulo Coelhos and no Shakespeare?


message 16: by Meg (new)

Meg Cynthia - Yeah, I didn't enjoy The Reader as much as Lolita. Nabokov's language is just so rich that it's a pleasure to read him, even when the subject matter is disturbing. And Lolita definitely comes off as being in control much of the time, enough so that Nabokov makes you forget sometimes that she's only a child, and a 12-year-old when it begins at that. I'm kind of amazed at myself that I didn't take the young narrator's age into consideration with The Reader, because you raise a good point that he's only a child, too. My view was definitely skewed by the fact that he's male.


message 17: by Kristi (new)

Kristi (kristilarson) | 267 comments Luiza wrote: "Ok, I know there's a bit of prejudice in what I'm about to say, but I'm not looking so foward to reading Paulo Coelho. I know his books will most likely be very easy and quick to read, but from all..."

I read both Coelho novels on the list, and I didn't like them at all. Everyone else I've met thinks they're awesome, though.



message 18: by Hashi (new)

Hashi American Psycho. I do not want to be that disturbed.


message 19: by Bishop (new)

Bishop (A_Bishop) | 74 comments Kristi wrote: "I read both Coelho novels on the list, and I didn't like them at all. Everyone else I've met thinks they're awesome, though. "

Coelho = Way, way, way, way overrated. People are dumb. :) Just kidding!!!!


Sorta.






message 20: by Luiza (new)

Luiza | 22 comments Really, I have no idea how any Paulo Coelho ended up in a list of must-reads. As said in another topic, if you're going to pick a Brazilian Author, Machado de Assis totally deserves that position. I would pick him for a list of must-reads anytime ;)


message 21: by Melissa (new)

Melissa | 24 comments Margaret wrote: "And Lolita definitely comes off as being in control much of the time, enough so that Nabokov makes you forget sometimes that she's only a child, and a 12-year-old when it begins at that...."

That is because the story is told from the unreliable perspective of Humbert. In his twisted, pedophile mind, she was in control and he felt like he had no power. But you're right that as you read you get sucked in to empathize with him rather than Lolita. I think that's why it creeped me out.




message 22: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 73 comments Luiza wrote: "Ok...I know his books will most likely be very easy and quick to read, but from all..." No Shakespeare sucks the big one.




message 23: by Niche (last edited Jan 08, 2009 09:06AM) (new)

Niche I'm not a big fan of Paulo Coelho either. I've only read Veronika Decides to Die and it made absolutely no impression on me. I have been warned away from The Alchemist.

In college there were some books that I only half-assed read because they just did not appeal to me. I read only enough to pass the tests and write the papers. These books include Sons and Lovers, Moby Dick (in high school), and Lord Jim.

I'm also staying very far away from Bret Easton Ellis. I read Less Than Zero and some of American Psycho and that was more than enough for me.


message 24: by Laura (new)

Laura (laurita) | 45 comments I couldn't agree more about Coelho. I loathed The Alchemist. I mean, really, really hated it. He has no business being on the list. However, I think Shakespeare didn't make the list because his works are plays and poems and the list is more focused on novels. Just a thought.

I don't know if there's anything on the list I won't read (though The Devil and Miss Prym is certainly in the running) but I'm not looking forward to Name of the Rose because I've watched so many people take four months to read the damn thing.


message 25: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 73 comments Laura wrote: "I couldn't agree more about Coelho. I loathed The Alchemist. I mean, really, really hated it. He has no business being on the list. However, I think Shakespeare didn't make the list because his wor..." Laura: True. You do The plays, then you've got to include Arthur Miller and all that rot. Bother.




message 26: by Luiza (new)

Luiza | 22 comments Laura wrote: "I couldn't agree more about Coelho. I loathed The Alchemist. I mean, really, really hated it. He has no business being on the list. However, I think Shakespeare didn't make the list because his wor..."

Yeah, I guess you have a point. It's more of a novel-driven list.

But The Name of the Rose is really good! It's not the easiest book to read in the world, but it's definitly not the hardest. It's not even one of the hardest in the list, if you ask my opinion. I personally found Moby Dick much more tiresome. But I guess that changes from person to person.



message 27: by Kay (last edited Jan 08, 2009 08:59PM) (new)

Kay (infiniteshelf) | 3 comments I personally wont get through the second book by Douglas Adams. I tried to read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Quandary Phase 4 times, in 4 different contexts of my life, different years even... and even though I never got successfully through it, I counted it in my "read" list because I did give it a good try. But there is another book of his on the list, and it would probably one of the last books on the list I'd read!



message 28: by Christina (new)

Christina | 186 comments As I stated earlier, I had plans on making 'American Psycho' book 1001 - but I'm currently reading 'The Rules of Attraction' by Bret Easton Ellis and might have to change my opinion of him. I actually rather like it so maybe I will read 'American Psycho' after all...
And I love 'Hitchhiker's guide...' - just shows how diverse the list is!


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Pride and Prejudice....
It's just...
I don't care...
And EVERYBODY should read Ulysses...I think that is the second best book I have ever read...


message 30: by Bethany (new)

Bethany Lang (bethany_lang) I really liked Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero when I read it in high school, and I love the movie American Psycho, but I just don't think I could stomach the book. I hear it's a thousand times worse than the movie in terms of graphic violence, especially against women. Just no.

I've started Ulysses more than once but never got very far, though I do intend to finish it someday! I'm a big fan of the other Joyce I've read (reading Dubliners now).

And Dan, honestly, I'm not sure if I'll do any Austen, ever. Like you said, I just don't care.


message 31: by El (new)

El I read Ulysses, but wished I hadn't. I figured if I made it through that I could probably read anything else on the list, Proust included. :)


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Bethany wrote: "I really liked Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero when I read it in high school, and I love the movie American Psycho, but I just don't think I could stomach the book. I hear it's a thousand times w..."

I enjoyed American Psycho, if you can really 'enjoy' it in any sense of the word...
:/
I don't know what it is with Austen...It just doesn't seem to reflect anything that matters anymore, or anything that I could even begin to get interested in...It's the same with Jane Eyre...I tried to read and I was just thinking to myself with every sentence 'I really could be reading something interesting right now...'
I'm glad it's not just me!


message 33: by Anthony (new)

Anthony DeCastro | 169 comments It is interesting to see some books on here that I enjoyed. LOL. "Vanishing Point" by David Markson was on the list at one point and I have no intention of reading it, because I read "Wittgenstein's Mistress" and hated it.


message 34: by LDB (new)

LDB | 55 comments I also want to try every book on the list and see for myself what I think of them. But, there will be ones I leave to the end (knowing I can't possibly live long enough to read them ALL)... Two of the ones I will leave to the end will be Watchmen (just can't get into graphic novels) and Interview With the Vampire (have never been able to get into any of the vampire fads).


message 35: by Erik (new)

Erik I got halfway through Dead Babies and through Against Nature. They sucked and I have no intention of ever finishing them.


message 36: by Becky (new)

Becky (munchkinland_farm) | 233 comments I'm surprised that Thomas Pynchon hasn't made this "list" yet. I remember being completely baffled by The Crying of Lot 49 in college. Perhaps I would understand and appreciate it better now.


message 37: by Gini (new)

Gini | 138 comments Dan wrote: "I enjoyed American Psycho, if you can really 'enjoy' it in any sense of the word...
:/
I don't know what it is with Austen...It just doesn't seem to reflect anything that matters anymore, or anything that I could even begin to get interested in...It's the same with Jane Eyre...I tried to read and I was just thinking to myself with every sentence 'I really could be reading something interesting right now...'"


I hated American Psycho, and love Austen and Jane Eyre. Isn't it great that we live in a world where we can both be happy?


message 38: by Regine (new)

Regine | 72 comments I'm defnitley not the first person to say this, but after reading The Alchemist by Coelho, I am staying clear of the rest of his works.

I'm also pushing Dickens to the end of my list because I really disliked the books I've read by him so far.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Becky wrote: "I'm surprised that Thomas Pynchon hasn't made this "list" yet. I remember being completely baffled by The Crying of Lot 49 in college. Perhaps I would understand and appreciate it better now."

Thomas Pynchon is my favourite author, though I can definitely see that he isn't for everyone! It took me around 5 months to read Gravity's Rainbow and by the end of it was mentally exhausted and/or scarred...


message 40: by El (new)

El Christine wrote: "Dan wrote: "Thomas Pynchon is my favourite author, though I can definitely see that he isn't for everyone! It took me around 5 months to read Gravity's Rainbow and by the end of it was mentally exh..."

I'm beginning to wonder the same thing about Infinite Jest and David Foster Wallace.


Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly (joselitohonestlyandbrilliantly) | 373 comments I feel something like that too, like I'm climbing Mt. Everest reading this 956-page THE RECOGNITIONS by William Gaddis. I am now on its page 550 so I guess I have reached the summit and is now just going down the mountain.

I keep on reading it. Why? Because it is just a book and I am a human being. Humans don't surrender to books; books are conquered by the minds of real readers. So I shall finish this and all the books I start to read even if it kills me.


message 42: by Erik (new)

Erik Regine wrote: "I'm defnitley not the first person to say this, but after reading The Alchemist by Coelho, I am staying clear of the rest of his works.

I haven't read The Alchemist, but Veronika Decides to Die was really good, and The Devil and Miss Prym was... well, it was, at least, short.


message 43: by Erik (new)

Erik I think I'm only going to be able to get through Modern/Postmodern works if I read them with a class? I'd die if I had tried to read something like Absalom, Absalom! without a teacher explaining the whole thing to me.

I just bought "Ulysses Annotated" and am thinking about giving that a try this September. I hope maybe the guide will take the place of a teacher? All I know for certain is that I'm NOT going to be able to really understand the lovely moderns without help (:


message 44: by Chel (new)

Chel | 377 comments I won't read anything without an English translation and I hear one or more may be that way?


message 45: by Linda (new)

Linda Cynthia wrote: "There are quite a few on the list that I will NEVER get to. One of them is "The Reader." I started it and realized it involved a sexual relationship between a 14?-year-old boy and a grown woman. As..."

Same here; I will be avoiding The Reader and Lolita - I don't enjoy reading books with graphic sexuality, especially involving kids. I also have no intention of reading Henry Miller's "Tropic" books, which have been called "pornographic" by some. Have heard too many people talk about how disturbing American Psycho is, so probably won't bother with that one.

There are a few that I am intimated by due to their length: Tom Jones, Clarissa, Don Quixote, War & Peace, and Ulysses just to name a few. I had an American Lit. teacher state that he doesn't assign Moby Dick because it is so boring, but I am willing to give it a shot.


message 46: by Paula (new)

Paula | 59 comments Chel wrote: "I won't read anything without an English translation and I hear one or more may be that way?"

I believe the Taebeck Mountains are only available in Korean, which makes me wonder about why they are on the list. If they truly aren't available in English, they are the one book I will admit to saying "I will never read."

Reading Slaughterhouse-Five made me push Vonnegut to the bottom of my list, but I'll read just about anything on my Kindle when I'm walking on the treadmill, so who knows!


message 47: by Christina (new)

Christina | 186 comments This is an interesting discussion. I loved The Reader so much when I read it recently - I thought it was such an interesting book opening up a debate worth taking still.
I also liked Lolita.
None of these books chocked me - but on the other hand I'm not sure if I'll ever read American Psycho, The Wasp Factory and some of the books by Chuck Palahniuk ...


message 48: by Anthony (new)

Anthony DeCastro | 169 comments I haven't read The Reader, but I can't remember anything that I'd really call "graphic sexuality" in Lolita. Most of that happens off the page, if I remember correctly. I certainly understand people concerns about Lolita, I steered clear of it for many years.

It's probably the best book I've read this year.


message 49: by Flora (new)

Flora Smith (bookwormflo) | 40 comments I will not be reading the ones by de Sade , Marquis. I got familiar with him thru a college English course and I have no intentions of reading any of his works. Far too disturbing for me.


message 50: by Judith (new)

Judith (jloucks) | 1203 comments I will not read "The Breast" by Roth. Seems too ridiculous a concept to waste any time on!


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