As I've written about here before, I'm not a huge fan of those lists of books one supposedly needs to have read to be considered "well-read." In part, that is because those lists tend to be really really whitemanocentric. In part, it is because looking at them makes me feel woefully poorly educated. But something I *do* love is an interactive spreadsheet. So, when I saw Arukiyomi's 1001 Books spreadsheet, I couldn't resist.

Turns out I've read 72 of the 2008 edition of 1001 Books You Should Read Before You Die, or about 7%. Of the 208 books that were replaced between the 2006 and 2008 editions of the list, I've read another 13 (about 1.3%). So, total, I've read 85 of the 1209 books I ought to have read--about 6.5%. To get through the entirety of the list, assuming everybody stops writing anything worth reading and I live to be an average age, I need to read about 23 listed books a year.

Not gonna happen. There are lots of books on that list I have no desire at all to crack. However, there are also some that are probably worth reading. To get started, I'm going to try to tackle five of those in the remainder of 2009.

The nominees?

Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

Doesn't sound like a bad list, does it? Anybody up to do this with me?


I've read 63ish of them--mostly in these categories:
--stuff read in HS classes
--stuff from Hum 220
--Russian stuff

I think this would be a more interesting count if it were only things you had read SINCE college.

Watchmen is awesome. I have been meaning to reread it. And Breakfast at Tiffanys is on my list as well!

Perhaps this is because of our reading background but I think it's bullshit that pre-1700 is so small. Also the majority of the recent books are NOT books I think would be good. However I was excited to remember the Kreyzer Sonata!

It's funny--if you know Russian lit people think you're well read, but in fact I am extremely poorly read in everything that ISNT Russian lit...

both kitchen and will be a very quick, very enjoyable reads. i am game to join you! have been feeling woefully under-read these days, since i re-read the same 5 trashy sci-fi novels every time my brain feels overtaxed.

I was surprised that I've only read 26. Lots of them I have very, very little interest in picking up, though.

Ooooh, once I can actually get the spreadsheet to work (not PC Bang friendly), I'm in!

hi there... thanks for the link.

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