1001 (or 1305) Books You Must Read Before You Die

This is my third revamp of the 1001 Books you must read before you die project. My last page was started in 2007 so it seems about time to start afresh with slightly new format while leaving the old one for record.

Since the first publication in 2006, there have been the 2008, 2010, and 2012 editions in which some books were added and some were taken out. Amongst the 4 editions, the total list combined amounts to 1305 books. I’ve been using the 1001 Books phone app in the past couple of years to help me manage the list. The app lists the books in the chronological order of their publications (oldest to newest), and that is the numbering that I’m using on this page.

For every book there will be link to my review if there’s any, the year of publication, the year I read the book, and those number in square brackets show which edition of 1001 Books the book is listed in. Since the first publication they have updated the list every couple of years, but since the last one in 2012 there hasn’t been any new one (at the time of this writing it’s the end of 2015) so it may have stabilised now.

I’m “counting” all 1305 books for the purpose of my project. It’s never my intention to read ALL books in the list as I know I will not be able to in my lifetime, nor do I want to. At the beginning of this venture I had read only a tiny portion of books – a handful probably, so my target at the start in 2007 was to read 5% of (what back then only) 1001 books. I have since then reached this target and more. Now I’m still referring to this list every so often for ideas and guidance. It’s not my only and ultimate list, but it’s one of my favorite lists still.

84 out of 1305 books (6.44%)

pre-1700s (2 books)

5) The Thousand and One Nights – Anonymous. 850AD. Read in childhood. [1,2,3,4]
17) Monkey: Journey to the West – Wu Cheng’en. 1592. Read in childhood. [2,3,4]

1800s (16 books)

82) Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen. 1813. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
89) Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. 1818. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
109) The Fall of the House of Usher – Edgar Allan Poe. 1839. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
113) A Christmas Carol — Charles Dickens. 1843. Read in 2009. [1]
123) Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë. 1847. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
126) Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë. 1847. Read in 2008. [1,2,3,4]
148) The Woman in White — Wilkie Collins. 1860. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
154) Great Expectations – Charles Dickens. 1861. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
162) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland — Lewis Carroll. 1865. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
176) Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll. 1871. Read in 2011. [1,2,3,4]
203) Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson. 1882. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
232) The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde. 1890. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
241) The Yellow Wallpaper — Charlotte Perkins Gilman. 1890. Read in 2010. [1]
247) The Island of Dr. Moreau – H.G. Wells. 1896. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
249) Dracula — Bram Stoker. 1897. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
251) The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells. 1897. Read in 2013. [1]

1900S (57 books)

282) The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton. 1905. Read in 2015. [1,2,3,4]
288) The Secret Agent – Joseph Conrad. 1907. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
295) A Room with a View – E. M. Forster. 1908. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
318) Rashomon – Ryūnosuke Akutagawa. 1915. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
346) Siddhartha – Herman Hesse. 1922. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
366) The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald. 1925. Read in college. [1,2,3,4]
383) To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf. 1927. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
479) Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck. 1937. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
485) Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier. 1938. Read in 2008. [1,2,3,4]
513) The Outsider — Albert Camus. 1942. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
516) Chess — Stefan Zweig. 1942. Read in 2015. [2,3,4]
520) The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. 1943. Read in 2007. [1,2,3,4]
522) Ficciones – Jorge Luis Borges. 1944. Read in 2014. [1]
525) Pippi Longstocking — Astrid Lindgren. 1945. Read in childhood. [2,3,4]
529) Animal Farm – George Orwell. 1945. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
560) 1984 – George Orwell. 1949. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
581) The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger. 1951. Read in 2007. [1,2,3,4]
590) The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway. 1952. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
628) Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov. 1955. Read in 2008. [1,2,3,4]
635) Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin. 1956. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
657) Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe. 1958. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
662) Breakfast at Tiffany’s — Truman Capote. 1958. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
675) To Kill A Mockingbird — Harper Lee. 1960. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
688) The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie — Muriel Spark. 1961. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
710) The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath. 1963. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
734) In Cold Blood – Truman Capote. 1965. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
736) Silence — Shusaku Endo. 1966. Read in 2015. [2,3,4]
754) One Hundred Years of Solitude — Gabriel García Márquez. 1967. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
767) Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick. 1968. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
778) Portnoy’s Complaint – Philip Roth. 1969. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
790) Season of Migration to the North – Tayeb Salih. 1966/1969? Read in 2016. [2,3,4]
802) The Driver’s Seat — Muriel Spark. 1970. Read in 2014. [1]
803) The Sea of Fertility — Yukio Mishima (Book 1: Spring Snow. 1965. Read in 2015. Book 2: Runaway Horses. 1969. Read in 2016. Book 3: The Temple of Dawn. 1970. Read in 2017.) [1,2,3,4]
815) The Summer Book – Tove Jansson. 1972. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
865) Hour of the Star – Clarice Lispector. 1977. Read in 2017. [1,2,3,4]
883) The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams. 1979. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
884) If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler — Italo Calvino. 1979. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
922) The Color Purple – Alice Walker. 1982. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
948) The Lover – Marguerite Duras. 1984. Read in 2016. [1,2,3,4]
953) The Unbearable Lightness of Being — Milan Kundera. 1984. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
961) The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood. 1985. Read in 2012. [1,2,3,4]
971) Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson. 1985. Read in 2017. [1]
979) Watchmen – Alan Moore & David Gibbons. 1986. Read in 2013. [1,2,3,4]
994) Beloved – Toni Morrison. 1997. Read in 2014. [1,2,3,4]
1003) Kitchen — Banana Yohimoto. 1987. Read in 2008. [2,3,4]
1032) The Remains of the Day — Kazuo Ishiguro. 1989. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
1087) The Secret History – Donna Tartt. 1992. Read in 2015. [1,2,3,4]
1095) The Stone Diaries – Carol Shields. 1993. Read in 2015. [1,2,3,4]
1115) The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murakami. 1994. Read in 2007. [1,2,3,4]
1126) A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry. 1995. Read in 2010. [1,2,3,4]
1127) The Reader – Bernhard Schlink. 1995. Read in 2008. [1,2,3,4]
1145) Silk — Alessandro Baricco. 1996. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]
1157) Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden. 1998. Read in 2003. [1,4]
1160) Veronika Decides to Die – Paulo Coelho. 1998. Read in 2006. [1,2,3,4]
1168) Intimacy – Hanif Kureishi. 1998. Read in 2009. [1]
1171) Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami. 1999. Read in 2007. [1]
1175) Disgrace J. M. Coetzee. 1999. Read in 2009. [1,2,3,4]

2000S (9 BOOKS)

1210) Atonement – Ian McEwan. 2001. Read in 2008. [1,2,3,4]
1215) Life of Pi – Yann Martel. 2001. Read in 2005. [1,2,3,4]
1227) Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides. 2002. Read in 2009. [1]
1232) Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer. 2002. Read in 2015. [1,2,3,4]
1234) Fingersmith — Sarah Waters. 2002. Read in 2013. [1]
1238) Kafka on the Shore – Haruki Murakami. 2002. Read in 2009. [1,2,3]
1250) The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon. 2003. Read in 2008. [1,2]
1271) Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro. 2005. Read in 2008. [1]
1275) The History of Love — Nicole Krauss. 2006. Read in 2010. [4]