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Sunday, May 29, 2011

1001 Books To Read Before You Die Challenge (Perpetual)

Have you ever heard of this book?

The book was originally released in 2006, and then updated versions were released in 2008 and 2010.

The book lists 1001 books that everyone should read before they die, and they give a little caption for each book explaining why the book was chosen.

With the 2008 and 2010 editions, some books were removed and some books were added. You can see a list of the original 2006 books HERE. In browsing this list, I see quite a few books on my "Fill in the Gaps" Challenge and also on my TBR list.

I figured, what the heck! This is a lifelong endeavour, so why not? I am the type of person who likes to challenge herself, so I am going for it!

Now, being the anal (what? me??) type of person that I am, I not only want to read the books on the 2006 original list but also the ones that were added in 2008 and 2010!

How do you keep track of that all, you ask? Arukiyomi (link to follow below) created a fantastic Excel spreadsheet that keeps track of it all! You can mark books as TBR (to be read), R (read), or W (wish list), and you can assign your star rating. The spreadsheet even has a handy-dandy formula where you plug in your age, country of residence (so it can calculate life span), sex, and the number of books that you read a month to determine how long it will take you to finish the entire list. You can choose whether to complete the 2006 list, 2008 list plus the 2006 books removed, 2008 list only, 2010 list plus 2008 books removed, all three lists, or the core books (the ones that were on the original 2006 list that have never been removed from either the 2008 or 2010 lists).

So, at my present age and at the rate of three books a month from this list, I am on target to finish the total 1,294 books and finish the plan when I am 75 years old!! Isn't that a hoot? I tried inputting only two books a month, and it told me that I needed to increase to three books a month in order to complete the challenge since I am likely to die in another 42 years when I am 82.

You can sort your books on this spreadsheet by author or title or even by rating, and each list of books is colour-coded. It keeps statistics for you to mark your progress!

You can also click on the book title or author, which takes you to a hyperlink (usually Wikipedia) to learn more about the author/title before you read.

I cannot rave enough about how cool this spreadsheet is! I wish I had something like this for all my books, LOL!

How can you get one, too? The Lite version of the spreadsheet is a free download, but you only get the 2010 list which it is not searchable or sortable and does not contain all the cool bells and whistles. The one that I am describing above is the Full version which is available by donation, and you choose the amount you want to donate, from £2 to £10. Pretty nominal charge, right?

Click on the button below:

Get your copy of the all new 1001 Books spreadsheet.

If this has inspired you to take up your own challenge, let me know! I would love to hear from you!

I am keeping track of my progress below (here are the ones first up on my TBR list - reviews will be linked up as they are read:

  1. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  2. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 
  3. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens (Christmas Books, Book #1)
  4. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  5. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  6. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  7. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  8. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  9. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  10. Interview With the Vampire by Anne Rice (The Vampire Chronicles, Book 1)
  11. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  12. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  13. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  14. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  15. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  16. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
  17. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  18. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  19. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  20. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  21. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  22. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  23. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings, Book 1)
  24. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  25. Emma by Jane Austen
  26. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
  27. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  28. Persuasion by Jane Austen
  29. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
  30. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  31. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  32. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  33. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  34. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  35. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  36. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  37. Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
  38. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Little Women Series, Book 1)
  39. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  40. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  41. Lord of the Flies by Sir William Golding 


  1. Hi, Darlene! I'm following you now! What a BEAUTIFUL blog you have!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and following!

    This is a great post. I don't even want to know how long it would take me to read that many books. If I start trying to make calculations, I'll stop reading In spite of this, I just can't seem to stop buying books! Can you believe it?

    Maria @

  2. Oh, and I LOVE your kitty widget! I discovered that, if I move the cursor up and down on him, he actually purrs! Lol!!

  3. OMG!! And he meows, too!! This is too, too funny!!!! (Not to mention cute!)

  4. Hi, Maria! Thanks so much for the kind compliment! You are so sweet :) Blogging is a "work in progress", isn't it? I'm still figuring things out and learning as I go!

    If I read three books from the 1001 list a month, it will not leave me very much time to squeeze in other types of books that I also want to read! So, I cannot see how this is feasible unless I become independently wealthy and quit my job and can read all day ;)

    I love the kitty widget, too! You can play with her with your mouse. Just circle it around her, and her head will move and follow you. She purrs and meows if you move the cursor over her, and even her pupils change! She looks exactly like my tuxedo cat, Trixie. I had to put her on there! Glad you had fun playing with her :)

  5. loving this spreadsheet.. and yes! I love the kitten!

    New follower =D

  6. Thanks for following, Lisa!

    The spreadsheet is awesome, isn't it? I am planning to upgrade to the Developer edition, which enables you to add your own booklists! Arukiyomi said that he can help me to set it up. I am not very Excel-savvy, but he has designed it so that it seems really easy to work with. I want to import the 813 fantasy books from the and the 100 books from Then I will have all my lists in one place! I can also input all of the books from my other reading challenges.

  7. Love this, and the cat. I'm a new follower. You can find and follow me at
    Happy Reading,

  8. Hi, Lisa! Thanks so much for following. I'm off now to check out your blog!

  9. What a hoot! I would drive myself crazy if I picked up that book. I would have to do the same thing, start with 2006 and work my way up. It would be interesting to browse through it to see what someone thinks we ought to read. Loved the post. New follower! Donna

  10. Loved this post--how inspiring! Unfortunately, I have a quite a few years on you, so I could not possibly cram in all those books...but you never know until you try, lol! I am following you and going to look up this book :) Rae

  11. Hi, Darlene. I'm here from Book Blogs, and I'm your newest follower. Great blog. I didn't know about this list. Very cool! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Hi, Donna! I believe that the list was compiled by a panel of 100 book critics. I am peeved that Memoirs of a Geisha was removed from the 2006 list. I loved that book! Unfortunately, I think that was the only book on the list that I read!! If you follow that link in my post, you can read the original 2006 list and see how many of them you have already read!

  13. Thanks for visiting, Rae! That's right - you never know until you try! You may very well have lots on the list already! Did you follow the link in my post to look at the 2006 list? By the way, I'm following both your blogs!

  14. Thanks for visiting, Kelly! I had never previously heard of the list either, but I thought it sounded pretty neat! By the way, I'm following you now, too!

  15. Holy cow. What a neat goal and inspirational blog ;) I LOVE it.

  16. Thanks, Elisabeth!! I just visited your blog and am following you. Good luck with your writing challenge! Wow, I don't think I could do that!!


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