Yet Another Challenge

So far I've only signed up for one 2011 challenge (The Classics Challenge) because I'm not a huge challenge girl. Until I stumbled across the 1001 Books To Read Before You Die Challenge, hosted by Pub Writes:

The challenge is simple – read some books from the list! If you don’t own the actual book, you can find a simple list online. For the most basic, check out the Listology list. There are spreadsheets outs there that you can look at too that are more complex.


High Schoo Diplomal: 5 books from the list
Bachelor’s Degree: 6-10 books from the list
Master’s Degree: 11-15 books from the list:
PHd: 16+

I am going get ambitious and aim for the PHd level, 16+. I'm pretty confident I can complete it. I counted, and from list I have already read 60:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon
The Book of Illusions – Paul Auster
Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Disgrace – J.M. Coetzee
Glamorama – Bret Easton Ellis
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Nervous Conditions – Tsitsi Dangarembga
Beloved – Toni Morrison
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
White Noise – Don DeLillo
The Color Purple – Alice Walker
The Bluest Eye – Toni Morrison
The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
Franny and Zooey – J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Rabbit, Run – John Updike
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
Bonjour Tristesse – Françoise Sagan
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
Their Eyes Were Watching God – Zora Neale Hurston
Passing – Nella Larsen
All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Ethan Frome – Edith Wharton
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
The Awakening – Kate Chopin
The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson
Daniel Deronda – George Eliot
Around the World in Eighty Days – Jules Verne
Middlemarch – George Eliot
The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
Silas Marner – George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot
Adam Bede – George Eliot
Uncle Tom’s Cabin; or, Life Among the Lonely – Harriet Beecher Stowe
Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
The Pit and the Pendulum – Edgar Allan Poe
Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
Pamela – Samuel Richardson
Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Swift
Love in Excess – Eliza Haywood

Ok so that leaves me with 940 titles to choose from. I am more than confident that I can find 16 or more titles I want to read from a list of 940. I already own some of them as well, so this should be fun.


  1. Good luck on this challenge! This looks like an awesome one. Can some of your books from the Classics Challenge count for this one, or would that be cheating?

  2. Red, I'm not sure it didn't mention in the rules if overlap is allowed or not.

  3. I think that means you can double count them if you want to OR if it's getting towards the end of the year and you haven't met the challenge requirements yet.

    Challenges look like a lot of pressure.

  4. Well, if you're already post-doc with a studying chair in Harvard (you have triple PHD number), it kind of defeats the purpose no? Here's my challenge to you (I'm sure I have at least 32 books from that list, will count). Make it to 100 in 2011.

    Damn, now I have to go count. Good way to kill my last hour at work. Thanks!

  5. Ben, Now THATS a challenge. If I overlapped from The Classics Challenge, I think I could do it - or at least get pretty close. Now that you've upped the ante I'm even more excited! Let me know when you figure out how many of the list you have read. Also, you should probably sign up too :)

  6. I am so glad you are participating! It should be a lot of fun. I would def encourage you to get the book - it has beautiful illustrations and a lot of really interesting commentary on the books.

    I didn't put it in the rules, but yeah, you can overlap with other challenges.

    When I thought of this challenge I thought of picking a number and making it a perpetual challenge, but I like this per year thing! Have fun, I can't wait to see what you read!

  7. Catie, Good to know! I think now that Ben has challenged me to hitting 100 off the list (reading 40 more) I may try to do that! In which case, I will need to overlap with my classics challenge. And thanks for more detail about the book. Now I've got to get it.

  8. One challenge will suffice me dear.

  9. It is an incredible list... I couldn't possibly do anymore "challenges", but this could be a sort of perpetual goal for me.... I think many of the books I'm already planning on reading this coming year will be on the list... I need to check it out more thoroughly!

  10. Good luck - I think I might go and buy that book!

  11. Part of me is so tempted to start this challenge - and the other part of me knows that I would never rest until I had read all of the books, so I don't want to get started! Good luck with your 100 off the list!

  12. I have been pseudo following this list since before blogging, but I've kinda fallen away from it. It's such a crazy list though! For the most part, the reads have been great experiences and things I would have never really picked up but am glad I did.

  13. Ben, Ok :(

    Sarah, How many challenges do you have lined up? It sounds like a lot.

    Becky, Me too!

    L.L., I'm a little scared of that myself to be honest. However I know there are over ten titles on that list I have no interest in reading ,so I think I'm ok :)

    historyofshe, I saw the list about a year or so ago and the titles I've read since seeing it, because of the list, I have loved. However, the titles I have read before hand and didn't enjoy makes me question it a little.

  14. Technically I'm doing 4 - My Classics Challenge, The Victorian Literature Challenge, What's in a Name 4 Challenge and the 50 States Challenge. That last one is just periphery though and more of a curiosity. Between these challenges, and my own wants, I am already planning on reading 15 books off this list next year. So if I join this challenge, I'll feel like I'm cheating!

  15. Ok. You keep posting these challenges and then I'm thinking that I should definitely do it. Then I'm thinking- when in the hell am I going to have time to read these plus what I have for the two book clubs I'm in, and the possibility of getting another degree?!? I've only read like 25 books this year- pathetic, so it seems like a perfect way to ensure that I am reading. Anyway, I have a ton of these books just collecting dust on my shelves. You've got me thinking about it...

  16. Sarah, I guess you can just keep track as the year goes on how many you cross off the list.

    Beth, You should try it! You can always sign up for the 5 level which isn't too bad.

  17. I thought I was all done adding challenges (heck, I've been trying to cut way back on them) but these are, after all, book that I have to read. I'm going to have to check out the list and see if I can do it without adding too many more books to my reading plans.

  18. Lisa, Check out the list. I think there could be overlap with your other challenges which may help.

  19. Wow best of luck with this. I am sooo glad to have found your blog. We don't find many blogs these days that review titles that aren't YA so it's always a nice score. Can't wait to see more.

  20. Padfoot and Prongs, Thanks! I know what you mean about the YA blogs. There are about 100 of them to every Literary blog. Did I mention I was happy to find you as well? :)

  21. I joined this one too. Even though I'm trying to resist most challenges, it was something I do anyway.

  22. Avid Reader, I'm so happy you joined! I try to resist challenges too, but I think two for 2011 isn't bad.

  23. This is a lovely list! I've read half of it,and I've got the other half down on my to-read-mind-list.:D