101 Books

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We all like a good book challenge. These very challenging looking books came up when I searched for an image, they are made of sheet lead and thorn bushes. I like it. I was reading the other day about one of those 101 things to do list challenges and decided that rather than jet-skiing across the pacific I would stay home and read a few of those books ... you know, the ones that you read a review of ages ago, or spotted on a list of 'must reads' or read the obituary of the author, and thought 'I have always wanted to read that some day'.

So my plan is to make such a list. Bear with me, as it may take some time to put together. There will be some classics, there will be some new ones, there will be some non-fiction, there will probably be some poetry too. I might include a few re-reads, something I don't do often, but occasionally I am aware of having read something, but now so long ago that the merest trace of an inkling of the content is all that remains. Some are from my shelves, some from my library wishlist and some from the one on Amazon (I have resolved to stop buying there... but it's still a very useful catalogue). I liked the idea of 1001 days as this means that it doesn't totally dominate what I might choose to read, allowing me new finds as well. I guess I might cheat and add new interesting books to the list but that's ok as I can make my own rules. The list is in a random order, no hierarchy of interest or importance is implied. The end date for the challenge is 28th September 2017.


  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle 
  2. *Middlemarch by George Eliot*
  3. *Moby Dick by Herman Melville*
  4. *The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing*
  5. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  6. Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  7. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  8. Girl is a half-formed thing by Eimear McBride
  9. Red Doc by Anne Carson
  10. Stags Leap by Sharon Olds
  11. Hunger by Knut Hamsun
  12. The Sound and the Fury by Willian Faulkner
  13. Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
  14. Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
  15. When I was a child I read books by Marilynne Robinson
  16. Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens
  17. *A visit from the goon squad by Jennifer Egan*
  18. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
  19. *Who will run the frog hospital by Lorrie Moore*
  20. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
  21. Little Women by Louisa M Alcott
  22. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  23. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  24. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  25. Orlando by Virginia Woolf
  26. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
  27. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin
  28. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
  29. Inferno by Eileen Myles
  30. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevski
  31. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  32. *Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks*
  33. Nine Stories by JD Salinger
  34. Dr Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
  35. *Bento's Sketchbook by John Berger*
  36. By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
  37. Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
  38. The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
  39. The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
  40. Welcome to the Monkey House by Kurt Vonnegut
  41. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  42. *I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith*
  43. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  44. *How to be Alone by Sara Maitland*
  45. *Bad Dirt by Annie Proulx*
  46. *Midnight all day by Hanif Kureshi*
  47. *Without a Map by Meredith Hall*
  48. I, Etcetera by Susan Sontag
  49. Something to Declare by Julian Barnes
  50. *Faithless by Joyce Carol Oates*
  51. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  52. *Misreadings  by Umberto Eco*
  53. *The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri*
  54. *A Life Worth Living by John Holt*
  55. Wild Geese by Mary Oliver
  56. Sad Robot Stories by Mason Johnson
  57. And Yet They Were Happy by Helen Phillips
  58. Who was changed and who was dead by Barbara Comyns
  59. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage
  60. *Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe*
  61. 59 Seconds by Richard Wiseman
  62. Proust and the Squid by Maryanne Wolf
  63. The Hole by Oyvind Torseter
  64. *How Proust can change your life by Alain de Botton*
  65. The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullman
  66. Beautiful Words by Nik Perring
  67. In the Kettle, the Shriek by Hannah Stephenson
  68. You learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt
  69. On Lies, Secrets and Silence by Adrienne Rich
  70. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
  71. The latke who couldn't stop screaming by Lemony Snickett
  72. The year of the hare by Arto Paasilinna
  73. *A Clockwork Orange by Antony Burgess*
  74. The uncollected Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
  75. People First Economics by David Ransom
  76. The Fault in our Stars by John Green
  77. The Fire Eaters by David Almond
  78. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  79. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  80. *Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*
  81. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  82. *Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie*
  83. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  84. *Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons*
  85. *Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder*
  86. *Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg*
  87. Lost Cat by Caroline Paul
  88. *Building a Bridge to the 18th Century by Neil Postman*
  89. How to talk about books you haven't read by Pierre Bayard
  90. On Grief and Reason: Essays by Joseph Brodsky
  91. The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente 
  92. Far from the tree by Andrew Solomon
  93. The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
  94. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien 
  95. To Have and To Be by Erich Fromm
  96. Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher 
  97. The Well of Loneliness by Radcliffe Hall
  98. H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  99. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  100. The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes
  101. Collected Poems by Mark Strand


    (** on books already on the shelf)

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