Tag1001 Books

50 books!


As of today I have read 50 of the 1001 books to read before you die! Well actually 51 since I read two short stories… but of course the exciting milestone is 50!

In case you’re curious my 50th ‘book’ (actually a short story) was The Turn of the Screw by Henry James and 51 was Michael Kohlhaas by Heinrich von Kleist. I haven’t determined my ratings yet for these two but once I do I’ll update that page!

Now I’m moving on to Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, while also reading a wonderful non-1001 book – Autobiography of a Yogi (I highly recommend it based on the 30% my Kindle tells me I’ve read so far). I’m secretly excited for the waiting at the airport and my flight this weekend just so I can read more of Autobiography of a Yogi!

1001 Books

After taking a break from the 1001 Books list to read Hunger Games I’m back to reading from the list! I just finished The War of the Worlds and A Room with a View, and am now moving on to The Jungle.

I’ve been rating the books as I go along, so I thought I’d share what I have so far. It’s been incredibly difficult to rate the books because I feel bad giving any book on the list a bad rating, and want to give every book a 4 or 5! Even books that are rated 1 are worth reading, they just weren’t my favorite. I know books I read recently I tend to remember better, and therefore tend to give higher ratings. I’m trying not to do that, but I know it’s happening a little bit!

As I go along I’m adjusting ratings to make sure there’s fairly even distribution among the ratings. A 1 is the lowest rating and means that, while it deserves to be on the list, it was not something I am likely to read again. 5 is life changing, awesome, probably the type of book I truly enjoy, and/or something I would read over and over again. To be a 5 it has to be one of those books I just couldn’t put down once I started reading. Books that are 5’s (and 4’s and most 3’s) are not all happy reads, but they are all powerful, amazing books for various reasons.


  • Like Water for Chocolate (Laura Esquivel)
  • The Color Purple (Alice Walker)
  • The Bluest Eye (Tony Morrison)
  • Invisible Man (Ralph Ellison)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  • Anna Karenina (Leo Tolstoy)
  • Les Misérables (Victor Hugo)
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe)


  • American Rust (Philipp Meyer)
  • The Plot Against America (Philip Roth)
  • Blonde (Joyce Carol Oates)
  • Schindler’s Ark (Thomas Kneally)
  • Things Fall Apart (Chinua Achebe)
  • Animal Farm (George Orwell)
  • The War of the Worlds (H.G. Wells)
  • Mansfield Park (Jane Austen)


  • Love Medicine (Louise Erdich)
  • Everything That Rises Must Converge (Flannery O’Connor)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
  • The Lord of the Rings (J.R.R. Tolkien)
  • A Room With A View (E.M. Forster)
  • A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
  • Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
  • Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)


  • The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
  • Of Mice and Men (John Steinbeck)
  • The Awakening (Kate Chopin)
  • Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
  • Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
  • A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)


  • Jazz (Tony Morrison)
  • Slaughter-house Five (Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.)
  • Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
  • Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There (Lewis Carroll)
  • Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoevsky)
  • Candide (Voltaire)
  • Aesop’s Fables (Aesopus)


Note: Books are in age order, with newest first, because that’s the order of the list (and therefore my ratings), so there is no special meaning to being first or last within a rating!

3.6% Complete

So for those of you that don’t know I’m attempting to read the 1001 books to read before you die (http://booklit.com/blog/1001-books-to-read-before-you-die/). I’m only 3.6% of the way to my goal, so it’s very much a work in progress.

The last few months I’ve been reading many books not on the list – including the Millenium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson. I want to see the movies, and I HATE watching movies based on books when I haven’t read the book. But now it’s time to get back to the list. So begins my eternal question – which book should I read next?

I’ve always loved reading, but for some reason being restricted to what I “can” read is making me want to read more… just not what’s on my list. While I’m of course not opposed to reading things not on the list, at my current rate I’ll be 60 by the time I finish! I have two 8+ hour flights next week, so I’m hoping to finish at least one if not two books in that time (sleep will of course fill up a large percentage of the flights as well).

The last book I read from the list was “Blonde” by Joyce Carol Oates. How can I follow up a uniquely written book about the life of Marilyn Monroe (sort of)? Do I go for something completely different – a classic? Or go with a book by one of my favorite authors – Toni Morrison? Do I stick with the uniquely written books and read “Like Water for Chocolate”?

When I wasn’t reading from a list I read whatever I had sitting around. Now that I have so many things I need to read my decisions about what to read next have become much more complicated!