I have various feelings about books of this sort. One is deep cynicism (‘Great Books’ and there are apparently only FOUR Australians?! You’ve got to be kidding) and it would be easier to debate the omissions rather than the inclusions. Then the morbid part of me questions whether, once you’re dead, you’re really going to care if you’ve read one or all 1001 anyway.
If not, I’m sure God will fill you in on all the grey areas you missed. I’m sure he’s amenable in that respect.
They’re the quibbles.
On the other hand, the competitive, knowledge-thirsty part of me wants to tackle the challenge. I doubt I will ever, ever, finish them all because I have already begun many of the titles only to put them down for various reasons: boredom being the most prevalent. Yes, OK, ‘Art’ should be celebrated, but most titles have greater meanings and destinies than to find a place in my humble little soul. Besides, (my) life’s too short for books that aren’t engaging.
So my goal is to review books from the list that I believe ought to be there. This is my version of this particularly detailed meme (examples of which may be found here and here) that is currently doing the rounds and make my eyes crust over with the obvious labour of compilation.
I will make this a continuing project, and put it on the sidebar so those of you who are interested can chart my progress. Or put in your own two-cents worth. Or do your own. Here, I’ll make it easy for you. Here is the complete list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die.
How many have you read? You may be surprised.
Read: The Monk, Dracula, Wide Sargasso Sea, The end of the affair, Rebecca, Jane Eyre, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Lolita, Great Expectations, To Kill a Mockingbird , What Maisie Knew, King Solomon’s Mines, The Secret Agent, Middlesex, Oranges are not the only fruit, Day of the Triffids