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Topic: 1001 Books once again

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Subject: 1001 Books once again
Date Posted: 8/5/2012 8:21 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2008
Posts: 349
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I'd like to find people interested in reading from the "1001 books you should read before you die" list - especially  the 20th century.ones. 

Those are the most numerous in the list.    I think if we can read 6 books per month we can add quite a few to our "read" list in a year. 

I'd like to form a group to encourage and support each other.

Here is the list in chronological order:

August 2012
Buddenbrooks – Thomas Mann 1901
Kim – Rudyard Kipling - first published serially in McClure's Magazine from December 1900 to October 1901
The Ambassadors – Henry James - written between October 1900 and July 1901, published in 1903
Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser - 1900
Lord Jim – Joseph Conrad - originally published as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine from October 1899 to November 1900.
- Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad - Before its 1902 publication, it appeared as a three-part series (1899) in Blackwood's Magazine
September 2012
Hadrian the Seventh – Frederick Rolfe - 1904
The Golden Bowl – Henry James - 1904
The Riddle of the Sands – Erskine Childers - 1903
The Immoralist (L'Immoraliste) – André Gide - 1902
The Wings of the Dove – Henry James - 1902
The Hound of the Baskervilles – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August 1901 to April 1902
October 2012
The Jungle – Upton Sinclair - 1906 - first published in serial form in 1905 in the socialist newspaper Appeal to Reason between February 25, 1905 and November 4, 1905.
The House of Mirth – Edith Wharton - 1905
Professor Unrat – Heinrich Mann - 1905
Where Angels Fear to Tread – E.M. Forster - 1905
Nostromo – Joseph Conrad - 1904


November 2012
The Old Wives’ Tale – Arnold Bennett - 1908
The House on the Borderland – William Hope Hodgson - 1908
Mother – Maxim Gorky - 1907
The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale – Joseph Conrad - 1907
The Confusions of Young Törless – Robert Musil - (Die Verwirrungen des Zöglings Törleß) - 1906
The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy - a series of three novels and two interludes (intervening episodes) published between 1906 and 1921
December 2012
Martin Eden – Jack London - first serialized in the Pacific Monthly magazine from September 1908 to September 1909
Strait is the Gate (La Porte Étroite) – André Gide - 1909
Tono-Bungay – H.G. Wells - 1909
The Inferno (L'Enfer) Hell – Henri Barbusse - 1908
A Room With a View – E.M. Forster - 1908
The Iron Heel – Jack London - 1908
Please post any thoughts, suggestions or add your name if you want to be part of the group reading the books.
thank you
Date Posted: 8/5/2012 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Whose list is this?  I've seen a couple different 1001 BTRBFYD lists.

From those posted I've read Heart of Darkness, Hound of the Baskervilles, House of Mirth and Room With a View (and, incidentally, loved them all).

And you've inspired my so I will be putting Wings of the Dove on the top of my TBR.

Last Edited on: 8/5/12 9:47 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/7/2012 3:45 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2009
Posts: 551
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I like the idea of working with this book, but I think your schedule is a bit too ambitious. I would be lucky to read two of these books a month.

Still, maybe a plan could be set up for 2013; I have a lot of reading commitments right now.


Date Posted: 8/8/2012 1:48 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I like the idea of working with this book, but I think your schedule is a bit too ambitious. I would be lucky to read two of these books a month.

I agree. Thomas Mann and Henry James are both pretty slow going - having them both in one month in addition to four other books is unrealistic, I think. YMMV, but having to read three Henry James novels in two months very well might push me over the edge. 

Date Posted: 8/8/2012 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Whoa, that list is way too intense. 

I think even hardcore lit lovers would have a problem with Henry James.

Date Posted: 8/9/2012 3:47 PM ET
Member Since: 6/19/2007
Posts: 5,931
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Indeed.  I needed a steady diet of P.G. Wodehouse for a month to recover from Washington Square. 

I do like Turn of the Screw, though.  And compared to Thomas Hardy, James is Barnum & Bailey.

Date Posted: 8/13/2012 7:09 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Gini:  It's more than "a bit" over ambitious-----that list of only five months' worth of "choice" titles would lead to terrible eyestrain and gobble up one's waking hours like crazy.   If a person wanted to read the THOUSAND and ONE books before dying, he/she had ought to start EARLY and continue steadily while living to a "ripe old age".

Second, I've paid attention to books (in English, plus a few in Spanish and a couple in French) since I first learned to read, and there are six names of writers on your list I ain't never heard nuthin about.   And it doesn't fret me none, neither . . . .

Reading only the "finest" literature is kinda like eating only the noble cuts of meat and drinking none but the very best whiskey-------you are going to get a ghastly case of gout.  Personally, I enjoy an eclectic mix of "trash and treasures" in my book-life.  I don't mean that I like to read "erotica", I mean I like a wild and wondrous variety of genres.    Take poetry, for instance-----from Ovid to Ogden Nash and everyone in between.

Date Posted: 8/14/2012 2:08 PM ET
Member Since: 5/31/2009
Posts: 3,133
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Yes, I like the idea, too, but like others I have several other reading commitments.  Could we do maybe one from your list per month the rest of the year and look at a different schedule for 2013?  I don't know if it matters if we read different books as our comments might help others decide what to read next.  I do like to mix up my reading from classics, fantasy, contemporary, historical fiction, YA, history, and yes, even biographies!  Doing challenges in all these genres this year.

Last Edited on: 8/14/12 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 8/15/2012 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 3/30/2008
Posts: 349
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The list I posted is from the "1001 Books you should read before you die" book but only the ones for the 20th century and

starting in chronological order - it is not *my* list - I wish I'd be so knowledgeable.  I know it is ambitious but it is intended

as a guide but I was curious if anyone could do it.


Date Posted: 8/25/2012 10:26 PM ET
Member Since: 5/15/2010
Posts: 143
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I am reading with interest this post and the very spirited and thoughtful replies to it. Here's my  2 cents:

Gini, the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die is a nice, safe place to start. But independent readers (and I am one of them and clearly many other readers on this forum are, as well) rebel at the notion of sticking to a list that is, frankly, little more than a marketing gimmick.  Here’s a little secret: there is no magic list of “The Classics.” Which is a good thing. That gives every reader the freedom to wander through the Classics garden and pay attention to the flowers that capture her fancy.

As to acceptable “lists”:  I’ve raved already in this forum about Michael Dirda’s Classics for Pleasure, so I won’t beat that dead horse. But I will say that unlike the predictable choices in OBTRBYD it is a lovingly selected, quirky list of unusual candidates.

But why stop at OBTRBYD? Did any of you read the engaging essay In this week’s NYT Book Review Built to Last

“The Norton Anthology of English Literature” celebrates its 50th anniversary.

It’s worth a read. I have a copy of this anthology which I obtained via PBS and, like the readers mentioned in the essay I keep it at my bedside and  love dipping into it and reading the poetry selections. We all need a little poetry in our lives and we all need the breathing space to wander through classics that are not “on the list.”

Janet E



Last Edited on: 8/25/12 10:28 PM ET - Total times edited: 2