1000 Novels You Must Read

Early last year, Guardian selected their own 1000 novels one should read in their lifetime. It was only recently that I stumbled across this list. The list is divided into seven categories: Comedy, Crime, Family and Self, Love, Science Fiction and Fantasy, State of the Nation and War and Travel. I won’t post the entire list here but I’ll post up the titles I have read which is 78 all together.


Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding

And that’s it. I scored a very dismal ONE (!) in this category. It might say a lot about my reading although some titles included here surprised me.


Lady Audley’s Secret by Mary E Braddon

The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Total – 10

Family and Self:

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

The Outsider by Albert Camus

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Les Enfants Terrible by Jean Cocteau

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Washington Square by Henry James

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

Total – 12


Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Persuasion by Jane Austen

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Vilette by Charlotte Bronte

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Atonement by Ian McEwan

Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

Lolita, or the Confessions of a White Widowed Male by Vladimir Nabokov

Delta of Venus by Anais Nin

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

Total – 19

Science Fiction and Fantasy:

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Beloved by Toni Morrison

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Total – 13

State of the Nation:

The Plague by Albert Camus

Disgrace by JM Coetzee

Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Silas Marner by George Eliot

A Passage to India by EM Forster

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

Total – 9

War and Travel:

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Crab with the Golden Claws by Georges Remi Herge

Tintin in Tibet by Georges Remi Herge

The Castafiore Emerald by Georges Remi Herge

Slaughter-House Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Total – 5

I like the list and I especially love the inclusion of Tintin! I don’t think a list has ever included Tintin and I think it’s unfortunate. Tintin has a lot of literary appeal that perhaps goes unappreciated.



  1. Wow… I think I’m going to use this list of books you’ve already read as my own checklist! I’ll also be checking out that complete list and see how many I’ve read. Although I’m quite sad to say I have not read all the ones you have. 😦

  2. I think the Guardian 1000 Novels is a fabulous list and I’ve been referring to it since it was compiled early last year. I have read 185 of the titles listed and have many of the unread ones already on my shelves (coincidentally I am currently reading one of the featured books, finished one yesterday, and have another two lined up this week!) Of our shared reads, there are 50 🙂

    1. Wow! 185! That’s a lot more. I also have many titles lingering in my TBR pile but I guess they’re already the sort of books I would read in the first place.

  3. Thank you for the link! It’s not like I’m running short of titles that I want to read, or anything, but it is good to peruse the lists that are deemed worthy. You’ve got quite a few under your belt already! I was surprised to find how many I’ve read in Sci-fi/fantasy because that’s not a genre I would consider one of my favorites; apparently, it is!

    1. I know, I really don’t need anymore book lists too but they’re always fun to check out and to discover new titles. I’m still a bit iffy about the headings and I’m still miffed about having read the titles listed under ‘love’ which is one category I would not at all consider my favourite!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s