1001 Books Before You Die Challenge

1001books

A life long reading challenge to read books from 1001 Books Before You Die edited by Dr Peter Boxall. I’ve joined this challenge before in other forms, but this will be my definitive Master List post. For the purposes of variety, I include books that have been listed in all 6 editions (1318 books). This challenge is a good overlap to the Classics Club and all the other ongoing reading challenges I am doing.

Interestingly, this list has a few of the most boring books I have ever read, but largely, it also hassome of the best books I ever read. There are many books on the lists that I have no intention of reading anytime, but for the most part, there are some good recommendations in this list.

The following are a list of books I have read from any of the edition. This post will be updated whenever I finish a books/find the time.

For personal tracking, I am use Arukiyomi’s downloadable spreadsheet which is a paid with many features to track the books. I used the free version ten years ago and it’s worth the cost for the new versions especially if you like the books on this list.

Updated: Jan 24, 2023.

1700s

    1. Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure – John Cleland (1749)
    2. Candide – Voltaire (1759)
    3. Dangerous Liaisons – Pierre Choderlos De Laclos (1782)

1800s

    1. Sense And Sensibility – Jane Austen (1811)
    2. Pride And Prejudice – Jane Austen (1813)
    3. Mansfield Park – Jane Austen (1814)
    4. Emma – Jane Austen (1816)
    5. Persuasion – Jane Austen (1818)
    6. Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen (1818)
    7. Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1818)
    8. Last Of The Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper (1826)
    9. Eugene Onegin – Alexander Pushkin (1833)
    10. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas (1844)
    11. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas (1845-6)
    12. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray (1847)
    13. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte (1847)
    14. Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte (1847)
    15. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte (1847)
    16. The Tenant of Wildefell Hall – Anne Bronte (1848)
    17. Cranford – Elizabeth Gaskell (1853)
    18. Walden – David Henry Thoreau (1854)
    19. The Mill On The Floss – George Eliot (1860)
    20. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (1861)
    21. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (1865)
    22. Crime And Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky (1866)
    23. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (1868)
    24. War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy (1869)
    25. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy (1874)
    26. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy (1877)
    27. The Portrait Of A Lady – Henry James (1881)
    28. Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenon (1883)
    29. The Death Of Ivan Ilyich – Leo Tolstoy (1884)
    30. Bel-Ami – Guy De Maupassant (1885)
    31. The Mayor Of Casterbridge – Thomas Hardy (1886)
    32. The Strange Case Of Dr Jekyll And Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)
    33. The Kreutzer Sonata – Leo Tolstoy (1890)
    34. The Picture Of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde (1891)
    35. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy (1891)
    36. The Adventures Of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892)
    37. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy (1895)

1900s

    1. The Hound Of The Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1902)
    2. Heart Of Darkness – Joseph Conrad (1902)
    3. The Call of the Wild – Jack London (1903)
    4. Where Angels Fear To Tread – E M Forster (1905)
    5. The House Of Mirth – Edith Wharton (1905)
    6. The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad (1907)
    7. A Room With A View – E M Forster (1908)
    8. Howards End – E M Forster (1910)
    9. Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton (1911)
    10. The Thirty-Nine Steps – John Buchan (1915)
    11. Of Human Bondage – William Somerset Maugham (1915)
    12. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce (1916)
    13. Summer – Edith Wharton (1917)
    14. The Age Of Innocence – Edith Wharton (1920)
    15. Siddhartha – Herman Hesse (1922)
    16. A Passage To India – E M Forster (1924)
    17. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (1925)
    18. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf (1925)
    19. The Murder Of Roger Ackroyd – Agatha Christie (1926)
    20. To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf (1927)
    21. All Quiet On The Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque (1929)
    22. The Maltese Falcon – Dashiell Hammett (1930)
    23. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley (1932)
    24. Thank You, Jeeves – P G Wodehouse (1934)
    25. A Handful of Dust – Evelyn Waugh (1934)
    26. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell (1936)
    27. The Hobbit – J R R Tolkein (1937)
    28. Of Mice And Men – John Steinbeck (1937)
    29. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier (1938)
    30. The Big Sleep – Raymond Chandler (1939)
    31. The Grapes Of Wrath – John Steinbeck (1939)
    32. The Outsider/L’Etranger – Albert Camus (1942)
    33. The Little Prince/Le Petit Prince – Antoine de Satin-Expéry (1943)
    34. Pippi Longstocking by Astride Lindgren (1945)
    35. Animal Farm – George Orwell (1945)
    36. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell (1949)
    37. The Catcher In The Rye – J D Salinger (1951)
    38. The Old Man And The Sea – Ernest Hemingway (1952)
    39. Casino Royale – Ian Fleming (1953)
    40. Lord Of The Flies – William Golding (1954)
    41. The Lord Of The Rings – J R R Tolkein (1954-56)
    42. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov (1955)
    43. Justine – Lawrence Durrell (1957)
    44. On The Road – Jack Kerouac (1957)
    45. The Midwich Cuckoos – John Wyndham (1957)
    46. The Leopard – Giuseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa (1958)
    47. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee (1960)
    48. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller (1961)
    49. The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie – Muriel Spark (1961)
    50. Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov (1962)
    51. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess (1962)
    52. One Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzheitsyn (1963)
    53. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath (1963)
    54. The Girls Of Slender Means – Muriel Spark (1963)
    55. Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut (1963)
    56. One Hundred Years Of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1967)
    57. Slaughterhouse-Five – Kurt Vonnegut, Jr (1969)
    58. Fifth Business – Robertson Davies (1970)
    59. The Driver’s Seat – Muriel Spark (1970)
    60. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson (1971)
    61. Interview With A Vampire – Anne Rice (1976)
    62. The Sea, The Sea – Iris Murdoch (1978)
    63. The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams (1979)
    64. If On A Winter’s Night A Traveller – Italo Calvino (1979)
    65. The Name Of The Rose – Umberto Eco (1980)
    66. The Life And Times Of Michael K – J M Coetzee (1983)
    67. Neuromancer – William Gibson (1984)
    68. The Lover/L’Amant – Marguerite Duras (1984)
    69. The Unbearable Lightness Of Being – Milan Kundera (1984)
    70. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (1985)
    71. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez (1985)
    72. Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons (1986)
    73. Beloved by Toni Morrison (1987)
    74. Remains Of The Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
    75. Possession – A S Byatt (1990)
    76. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje (1992)
    77. The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides (1993)
    78. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth (1993)
    79. On Love – Alain de Botton (1993)
    80. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks (1993)
    81. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh (1993)
    82. The Shipping News – E Annie Proulx (1993)
    83. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres (1994)
    84. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami (1994)
    85. Alias Grace – Margaret Atwood (1996)
    86. Memoirs Of A Geisha – Arthur Golden (1997)
    87. The God Of Small Things – Arundhati Roy (1997)
    88. The Hours – Michael Cunningham (1998)
    89. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
    90. Amsterdam – Ian McEwan (1998)

2000s

  1. White Teeth – Zadie Smith (2000)
  2. Atonement – Ian McEwan (2001)
  3. Life of Pi – Yann Martel (2001)
  4. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides (2022)
  5. The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time – Mark Haddon (2003)
  6. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell (2004)
  7. Suite Francaise – Irene Nemirovsky (2004)
  8. Small Island – Andrea Levy (2004)
  9. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
  10. The White Tiger – Aravind Adiga (2008)
  11. The Children’s Book – A. S. Byatt (2009)
  12. A Visit from the Goon Squad – Jennifer Egan (2011)
  13. The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes (2011)
  14. The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides (2011)

Total: 145/1318 or 11%

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