View Full Version : The Guardian: 1000 novels everyone must read

26-01-2009, 13:37:14
Quite a daunting list:


With a little help from excel i found out i have read 104 of them.

Now the debate rages over those left off...

26-01-2009, 14:01:23
I've read 89, more than I thought it would be.

Special mention to the love section where I'd only read Norwegian Wood.

26-01-2009, 14:11:43
My spread of read books is fairly lopsided. :D

Sci-fi/Fantasy 30
Crime 24
War and Travel 18
Family and self 7
Comedy 6
State of the nation 3
Love 1

26-01-2009, 14:44:18
yeah crime was my lowest. only 5. i have to say i find it highly dubious to have a whole section for that, even though they have been quite broad in their genre boundaries. No doubt SB will disagree.


Comedy: 9
Crime: 5
Family and Self: 18
Love: 14
Sci-fi and Fantasy: 28
State of the Nation: 12
War and Travel: 18

26-01-2009, 14:59:47
If I've read more than 2 I'll be stunned.

26-01-2009, 15:11:36
I'm puzzled

I recall someone posted a few years ago a Top 100 novels list from the Guardian
Can't recall the thread name tho

I know I posted in it a [ code ] table 'x' checking those a few of us had read

I found the links I had bookmarked


Those articles are from Oct 2003
I still have my Excel table stored with the same date

I expected to find a thread here I had posted in, with the last post a few months later (some poster added his updates).
Not finding it I browsed the whole 1010 threads in this forum "from the beginnning"... (in case someone bumped it recently)
No way


maybe some of you can remember it?

26-01-2009, 15:17:01
I remember a thread about films like that, can't recall a books one.

26-01-2009, 15:19:06
Originally posted by King_Ghidra
yeah crime was my lowest. only 5. i have to say i find it highly dubious to have a whole section for that, even though they have been quite broad in their genre boundaries. No doubt SB will disagree.

I thought war and travel was a bizarre category. Maybe there weren't enough in each section to have one for war and one for travel?

26-01-2009, 15:20:43
maybe we should ask darkstar
he and zmama were out top readers with 40 out of those 100, KG 3rd with 28, you had 14..

anyway, to this one

3 Comedy
5 Crime
10 Family and Self
9 Love
20+ Sci-fi and Fantasy (maybe 25)
8 State of the Nation
13 War and Travel

more than I thought
and on several it was hard to tell whether I had actually caught up with the book after watching the movie, I've kept conservative...

26-01-2009, 15:42:33
Rough count for me, about 20. Mostly Sci-Fi. Most of th rest because school made me.

26-01-2009, 15:58:34
Lol, "The Betrothed"... what the hell is that?????

Ah, yeah: our National Novel "I Promessi Sposi"!
Our school doesn't just "make us" read it (say as a summer assignment or for a single essay): it's the *subject* of half the first or second high-school year literature course

26-01-2009, 16:03:32
comparison of KG, Funko and me, who so far have posted it by category


9 6 3 Comedy
5 24 5 Crime
18 7 10 Family and Self
14 1 9 Love
28 30 22 Sci-fi and Fantasy
12 3 8 State of the Nation
18 18 13 War and Travel

26-01-2009, 19:10:02
I'm shocked at the number of books on that list my high school english teacher managed to get me to read. "These are the books you're looking for" /mindtrick

I didn't see Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank, which was one that always stuck out as a favorite on my "force-fed" book list.

The Shaker
26-01-2009, 19:23:38
War and Travel - Asterix the Gaul?
1 Asterix but 3 Tintins?

I found the crime section to be a bit dodgy. A distinct lack of decent books in any of the categories i read a lot,
too much Dickens (9 books!) 1 Dickens is too much.
And i can't be arsed adding mine up, but assume it's a lot less than anyone elses.

Immortal Wombat
26-01-2009, 22:51:20
Comedy: 15
Crime: 14
Family and Self: 8
Love: 4
Sci-Fi: 33
State of the Nation: 2 :lol:
War and Travel: 13

89, same as Funko, and with a similar distribution.

27-01-2009, 08:50:18
Originally posted by The Shaker
War and Travel - Asterix the Gaul?
1 Asterix but 3 Tintins?

If there are 3 Tintins I might have read 92. I didn't save my spreadsheet and can't be fucked doing it again.

27-01-2009, 09:36:30
Yeah i didn't see 3 tintins either...

btw on that point, i was thinking if they were going to include graphic novels (i saw Maus in there as well) then Watchmen should have made the list.

27-01-2009, 09:58:43
Yeah, I was actually coming to the thread to make that point but got distracted by tintin.

27-01-2009, 12:29:37
I don't think I have counted Maus, as I thought it could be a prose novel different from the comics (which I have read)

oh, and
"1 Dickens is too much"
I think they should at least make for good crime novels: as they say, "the plot Dickens..."


Greg W
27-01-2009, 13:09:51
Comedy: 1 (School oddly enough)
Crime: 1 (maybe 2. surprising since I read a bit of Sherlock Holmes when I was young)
Family and Self: 1 (School)
Love: 1 (School)
Sci Fi & Fantasy: 13
State of the Nation: 1
War and Travel: 1

Now that's what you call a large bias towards a particular list. :cute:

27-01-2009, 13:22:07
Originally posted by The Shaker
A distinct lack of decent books in any of the categories i read a lot

Male erotica?

27-01-2009, 17:51:59
Comedy: 1, possibly more (I would have to look at what was in some of the books to know whether I read them or not)
Crime: 10, possibly more
Family: 5, possibly more
Love: 5, possibly more
SF: 46, possibly more
Nation: 6, possibly more
War/Travel: 15, possibly more


27-01-2009, 23:26:13
Comedy: 6
Crime: 13
Family/Self: 7
Love: 12
SciFi: 35
State of Nation: 4
War/Travel 19

30-01-2009, 12:42:46
Comedy: 1
Crime: 3
Family/Self: 1
Love: 0 :D
SciFi: 8
State of Nation: 2
War/Travel: 9 (Including the Asterix and the 3 Tintins!:D)

For a grand total of 24 out of 1000, or which at least 1/3 were the force-fed at school or parents variety!

Fairly conclusive proof that I basically don't read books.

Mr. Bas
30-01-2009, 15:28:34
I'm at 44 books, with a large bias towards two categories.

Comedy: 3
Crime: 13
Family: 4
Love: 4
SF & Fantasy: 13
State of the Nation: 3
War & Travel: 4

Scabrous Birdseed
30-01-2009, 15:30:11
I'm not QUITE bored enough to do this one yet. Maybe next week.

30-01-2009, 15:56:54
Comedy: 6
Family & Self: 3
Love: 8
Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 9
State of the nation: 2
War & travel: 4

I think

30-01-2009, 16:19:47
therefore you are?

30-01-2009, 16:30:46
Therefore my head hurts

11-02-2009, 18:10:37
Comedy: 9
Crime: 32
Family & Self: 3
Love: 4
Sci-Fi & Fantasy: 31
State of the nation: 2
War & travel: 4


Immortal Wombat
11-02-2009, 20:06:40
War and Travel++

12-02-2009, 10:17:39
Could be shortened to blitzkrieg.

12-02-2009, 10:22:04
See the world and conquer it!
- Alexander the Great