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Best books lists....

By Dave Riley

If you a into lists here's one that will stretch you:1,000 Novels Everyone Must Read is a recent aggregation by The Guardian. While I've tended more to read genre fiction -- as we all do tend to -- it strikes me that literary or classical novels aren't treated with the respect I learnt to defer to them.

Even novel reading per se is threatened by digital media and film.

When I left high school my aim was indeed to read 1,000 of the very best Novels Everyone Must Read or some such profound attainment. En route I got sidelined I guess and besides everyone's list keeps changing.

However, changes in educational management have downgraded such quests and I doubt that my own children --of the WWW generation --will ever muster a desire to pursue even a middling version of such a quest.

This one is nonetheless eclectic enough to relate to maybe most of us such that we can tick off what we've consumed and mentally note what we might.

My attainments are in bold.How do you fare?

Leastways we get out of this a few suggestions for next time we search the library shelves. I now keep a running record of my bookshelf on GoodReads.

That way I don't get confused between what I've read, not read and intend to...With more books published everyday and the deference to the classics faltering it's much harder to locate yourself in the "read any good books lately?" paradigm. Among a good portion of the list I'm totally lost as I've never heard of so many of these titles or many of these authors.

Nonetheless some of my favorites sneek in:
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
  • The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
  • The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
A favorite has to be a book you read more than once.

However there are others here I'd wish I hadn't read.

If I may, while passing, refer you to a quote from Goethe's Faust (and that's another book I've read)which used to inspire me away from solitary bookishness -- because reading aint everything you know. I learnt that early on. So I once upon a time committed this to memory -- when I had such a thing:

Is it not dust that fills my hundred shleves
And walls me in like any pedant hack
Fellow of moth and worm that delves
I drag my life through learned Bric a Brac.
But shall I here discover what I lack
And learn by reading countless volumes though
That mortals mostly live on misery's rack
That happiness is known to but a few.

The Face of Another by Kobo Abe
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Anthills of the Savannah by Chinua Achebe
The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Silver Stallion by Junghyo Ahn
Le Grand Meaulnes by Henri Alain-Fournier
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Death of a Hero by Richard Aldington
Non-Stop by Brian W Aldiss
The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
Fantomas by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre
The Mask of Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
Journey into Fear by Eric Ambler
Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis
Money by Martin Amis
The Information by Martin Amis
London Fields by Martin Amis
Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand
Foundation by Isaac Asimov
Dom Casmurro Joaquim by Maria Machado de Assis
Behind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson
Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Emma by Jane Austen
Persuasion by Jane Austen
The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster
In the Country of Last Things by Paul Auster
Epileptic by David B
The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge
According to Queeney by Beryl Bainbridge
Master Georgie by Beryl Bainbridge
Room Temperature by Nicholson Baker
Darkness Falls from the Air by Nigel Balchin
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

Empire of the Sun by JG Ballard
The Drowned World by JG Ballard
Crash by JG Ballard
Millennium People by JG Ballard
Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac
Le Pere Goriot by Honore de Balzac
La Comedie Humaine by Honore de Balzac
They Were Counted by Miklos Banffy
The Crow Road by Iain Banks
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Consider Phlebas by Iain M Banks

The L Shaped Room by Lynne Reid Banks
Weaveworld by Clive Barker
Darkmans by Nicola Barker
Regeneration by Pat Barker
Nightwood by Djuna Barnes
Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes
A History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters by Julian Barnes
A Long Long Way by Sebastian Barry
A Kind of Loving by Stan Barstow
Augustus Carp, Esq. by Himself by Henry Howarth Bashford
The Garden of the Finzi-Cortinis by Giorgio Bassani
Love for Lydia by HE Bates
Fair Stood the Wind for France by HE Bates
Carrie's War by Nina Bawden
The Time Ships by Stephen Baxter
Darwin's Radio by Greg Bear
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Malone Dies by Samuel Beckett
Molloy by Samuel Beckett

Vathek by William Beckford
A Legacy by Sybille Bedford
Zuleika Dobson by Max Beerbohm
Oroonoko, or The Royal Slave by Aphra Behn
The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow
More Die of Heartbreak by Saul Bellow
Herzog by Saul Bellow
Humboldt's Gift by Saul Bellow
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett
Clayhanger by Arnold Bennett
Queen Lucia by EF Benson
Trent's Last Case by EC Bentley
G by John Berger
The Poisoned Chocolates Case by Anthony Berkeley
Extinction by Thomas Bernhard
The Stars My Destination by Alfred Bester
Lorna Doone by RD Blackmore
The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake
The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolano
The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen
The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen
The Last September by Elizabeth Bowen
Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles
The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
The Ascent of Rum Doodle by WE Bowman
A Good Man in Africa by William Boyd
An Ice-Cream War by William Boyd
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
The History Man by Malcolm Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Lady Audley's Secret by Mary E Braddon
No Bed for Bacon by Caryl Brahms and SJ Simon
Room at the Top by John Braine
When the Wind Blows by Raymond Briggs
A Dry White Season by Andre Brink
Lost Souls by Poppy Z Brite
The Death of Virgil by Hermann Broch
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Vilette by Charlotte Bronte
Shirley by Charlotte Bronte
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Look At Me by Anita Brookner
Wieland by Charles Brockden Brown
Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan
Greenmantle by John Buchan
Rogue Moon by Algis Budrys
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Coming Race by EGEL Bulwer-Lytton
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The End of the World News by Anthony Burgess
Earthly Powers by Anthony Burgess
The Neon Rain by James Lee Burke
The Tin Roof Blowdown by James Lee Burke
The Asphalt Jungle by WR Burnett
Evelina by Fanny Burney
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
Kindred by Octavia Butler
Erewhon by Samuel Butler
The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
The Sound of my Voice by Ron Butlin
Possession by AS Byatt
The Virgin in the Garden by AS Byatt
The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M Cain
Double Indemnity by James M Cain
Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell
The Baron in the Trees by Italo Calvino
Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino
The Influence by Ramsey Campbell
The Outsider by Albert Camus
The Plague by Albert Camus
Auto-da-Fe by Elias Canetti
Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey
Illywhacker by Peter Carey
True History of the Ned Kelly Gang by Peter Carey
The Kingdom of this World by Alejo Carpentier
The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
A Season in Sinji by JL Carr
The Harpole Report by JL Carr
A Month in the Country by JL Carr
The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll

Wise Children by Angela Carter
Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter
The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
Mister Johnson by Joyce Cary
The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary
The Professor's House by Willa Cather
My Antonia by Willa Cather
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather
One of Ours by Willa Cather
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine
Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Monkey by Wu Ch'eng-en
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
No Orchids for Miss Blandish by James Hadley Chase
The Wapshot Chronicle by John Cheever
The Man who was Thursday by GK Chesterton
The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie
Childhood's End by Arthur C Clarke
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Les Enfants Terrible by Jean Cocteau
What a Carve Up! by Jonathan Coe
Disgrace by JM Coetzee
Waiting for the Barbarians by JM Coeztee
The Vagabond by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Claudine a l'ecole by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
Cheri by Sidonie-Gabrielle Collette
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins
Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett
The Manchurian Candidate by Richard Condon
Hello Summer, Goodbye by Michael G Coney
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
Under Western Eyes by Joseph Conrad
Victory: An Island Tale by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
Nostromo by Joseph Conrad
Sharpe's Eagle by Bernard Cornwell
Postmortem by Patricia Cornwell
Girlfriend in a Coma by Douglas Coupland
Microserfs by Douglas Coupland

The History of Pompey the Little by Francis Coventry
Being Dead by Jim Crace
Quarantine by Jim Crace
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
Just William by Richmal Crompton
Poetic Justice by Amanda Cross
House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski
Pig Tales by Marie Darrieussecq
The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir
The Princess of Cleves by Madame de Lafayette
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Roxana by Daniel Defoe
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

The Ipcress File by Len Deighton
Bomber by Len Deighton
The Provincial Lady by EM Delafield
The Einstein Intersection by Samuel R Delaney
Underworld by Don DeLillo
White Noise by Don DeLillo

Last Seen Wearing by Colin Dexter
The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter
Ratking by Michael Dibdin
Dead Lagoon by Michael Dibdin
Dirty Tricks by Michael Dibdin
A Rich Full Death by Michael Dibdin
Vendetta by Michael Dibdin
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick
The Man in the High Castle by Philip K Dick

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Martin Chuzzlewit by Charles Dickens
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
Bleak House by Charles Dickens

Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
Hard Times by Charles Dickens
Little Dorritt by Charles Dickens
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

Deliverance by James Dickey
Jacques the Fatalist and his Master by Denis Diderot
Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion
Camp Concentration by Thomas M Disch
Sybil or The Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli
Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin
The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
A Fairy Tale of New York by JP Donleavy
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky
USA by John Dos Passos
Three Soldiers by John Dos Passos
My New York Diary by Julie Doucet
South Wind by Norman Douglas
A Study in Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle
The Sign of Four by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Commitments by Roddy Doyle
The Millstone by Margaret Drabble
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Sister Carrie by Theodor Dreiser
My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
The Parasites by Daphne du Maurier
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
The Lover by Marguerite Duras
My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell
Justine by Lawrence Durrell
The Pledge by Friedrich Durrenmatt
The Bamboo Bed by William Eastlake
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco
Ennui by Maria Edgeworth
Castle Rackrent by Maria Edgeworth
Middlemarch by George Eliot
Silas Marner by George Eliot
Adam Bede by George Eliot
Daniel Deronda by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
The Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
LA Confidential by James Ellroy

The Big Nowhere by James Ellroy
A Quiet Belief in Angels by RJ Ellory
Cheese by Willem Elsschot
Silence by Shusaku Endo
The Gathering by Anne Enright
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Under the Skin by Michel Faber
The Siege of Krishnapur by JG Farrell
Sanctuary by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding
Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
Caprice by Ronald Firbank
The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
Tender is the Night by F Scott Fitzgerald
The Blue Flower by Penelope Fitzgerald
Bouvard et Pécuchet by Gustave Flaubert
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert
Casino Royale by Ian Fleming
Goldfinger by Ian Fleming
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathon Safran Foer
Effi Briest by Theodore Fontane
The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
The Sportswriter by Richard Ford
Independence Day by Richard Ford
The African Queen by CS Forester
The Ship by CS Forester
Howards End by EM Forster
A Room with a View by EM Forster
A Passage to India by EM Forster
The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
The Magus by John Fowles
The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Flashman by George MacDonald Fraser
Towards the End of the Morning by Michael Frayn
Spies by Michael Frayn
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Hideous Kinky by Esther Freud
The Recognitions by William Gaddis
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico
The Man of Property by John Galsworthy
The Beach by Alex Garland
Red Shift by Alan Garner
Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell
Ruth by Elizabeth Gaskell
Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Polygots by William Gerhardie
Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon
Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons
Neuromancer by William Gibson
The Immoralist by Andre Gide
The Vatican Cellars by Andre Gide
Strait is the Gate by Andre Gide
The Counterfeiters by Andre Gide
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Odd Women by George Gissing
New Grub Street by George Gissing
The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang Goethe
Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
To The Ends of the Earth trilogy by William Golding
The Vicar of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
July's People by Nadine Gordimer
Mother by Maxim Gorky
Asterix the Gaul by Rene Goscinny
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass
Count Belisarius by Robert Graves
Lanark by Alastair Gray
Brewster's Millions by Richard Greaves (George Barr McCutcheon)
Living by Henry Green
Squire Haggard's Journal by Michael Green
Love on the Dole by Walter Greenwood
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene
Brighton Rock by Graham Greene
A Gun for Sale by Graham Greene
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
The Third Man by Graham Greene
Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
Travels with My Aunt by Graham Greene
The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
A Time to Kill by John Grisham
The King of Torts by John Grisham
Life and Fate by Vassily Grossman
Diary of a Nobody by George Grossmith
The Little World of Don Camillo by Giovanni Guareschi
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

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