Pub Writes

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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on December 6, 2010

I am hosting my first challenge!

I got this book for Christmas a couple years ago and am slowly making my way through the list. I have discovered some amazing books and writers. I don’t expect to ever read all of the books – but I do want to make a dent in the list and want to open it up for other to join me! The list is so great because it has a huge variety! There are classics that you may have read in school, but there are also some great books we have all missed and some fantastic world literature.

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+


Challenge runs January 1 2011 – Decemeber 31 2011.

You don’t have to make a list beforehand.

You can use any version of the list, not just the current, since they update it every couple years

Sign up in Mr Linky!

I hope you will join me in reading some great books!

You can post your reviews at this post

56 Responses to “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge”

  1. Amanda said

    Ooh love the link! I’m trying not to sign up for challenges, but I couldn’t help going through the list to see what I’d read from it (125 titles). I’m surprised at the small amount of under 1700 titles. It didn’t even have Dante on there! Or Homer. Crazy. I’m bookmarking that list for later perusal.

    • Caitie F said

      Yeah, I have noticed that a lot of titles aren’t there that I expect, but there are some gems too. I am glad I could share the link, let me know if you find anything great!

      And even if you dont officially participate, i have a feeling you will end up in the 16+ category anyway!

    • Falaise said

      I had this thought when I first looked through it but it turns out that the list is only supposed to include novels and doesn’t include verse or drama. What is irritating is that, having limited themselves like this, the authors then allowed a couple of non-fiction books and at least one verse volume slip through.

  2. Erin said

    A ton of the books on this list are eligible for my classics project, so I have a feeling I’ll be reading many of them! I’m not signing up for any more challenges (one official one and one casual one and I’m already getting overwhelmed!), but I love the idea of this challenge and will probably end up “participating” unofficially. I look forward to seeing what you read!

  3. mee said

    I’ve been working my way through this list for a couple of years now and try to read about 10 books per year. Even though I’m off challenges next year, this one matches my own personal project, so sure, I’ll sign up. Why not?! 🙂

  4. Great challenge idea! I’ll unofficially try to read some too. Based on the first 100 or so I’m batting at only about 1/4 so far.

  5. katrina said

    Hi, I run this type of challenge over at bookcrossing, my pledge is for 30 books a year, I’ll come back and sign up via mr linky later in the week when I have time to make a post – looking forward to seeing what other people are reading. This year I want to spread my reading across the various centuries so that I’m getting to some of thos harder books.

  6. leora said

    Hi, I saw this link on Goodreads and am thrilled! I don’t have a blog, but I am excited to participate! Thanks for thinking of it and using your blog to host.

  7. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Literary Lines, Bree Edwards. Bree Edwards said: @justaddbooks Thinking of doing this challenge too…. I have 30 books on the list that I own and have never read […]

  8. Laura said

    Some really great titles-a good number of the 18th and 19th century titles are books I’ve been meaning to read, so it’s finally time to dust them off!

  9. […] is hosting the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge. Curious, I loaded up the List just to see how many I’d read. The answer to that is 29 (quite […]

  10. Just signed up! 🙂 I’m aiming to read some of the books I already own that are on this list and haven’t gotten around to yet. Sounds fun!

  11. Brenna said

    Yay I just officially entered and blogged about it! I’m really excited about this one. I’m thinking I should track down the actual book.

  12. Gina Beirne said

    I do not have a blog, but I’d like to earn my PhD!

  13. […] to say that I have read very few.  Here’s a chance to up that percentage.  To join click here.  Here are the […]

  14. […] […]

  15. […] Ass’s Project Fill-in-the-Gaps and Pub Writes’s 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die: I definitely feel like I have gaps in my literary experience. While my classics project will cover […]

  16. GiniJudd said

    This is a great idea! Sign me up!

  17. […] 1001 Books Challenge – Ph.D level: 16+ books […]

  18. Falaise said

    I’ve only ever done one Challenge and failed miserably but, as my long term project is to read through the 1,001 Books, this sounds like a challenge I will be able to meet! I choose the order I read them in via a random number generator to stop me from getting bogged down in a particualr period so tend to hop all over the list.

  19. Sara W. said

    My personal goal is already set at reading at least one book a month from the list, so this challenge dovetails nicely with that goal. Thanks for hosting!

  20. […] Books You Must Read Before You Die. Since joining the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge I got pretty interested in the actual book itself. I got it ordered in through my local […]

  21. […] books on the 1001 books to read before you die list that I want to read. I am signing up for the 1001 books to read before you die challenge and hoping to reduce the size of my TBR list. I aim for High School Diploma which requires me to […]

  22. Shonna said

    I bought this book a while ago and now have to go back and check how many of them I’ve already read. Once I’ve done that I’ll commit to a level!

  23. Terri said

    I’m signed up. I’m hoping I can accomplish the Bachelor’s Degree level.

  24. Jennifer G said

    Thanks for hosting. Looking forward to the challenge.

  25. mee said

    I just updated my sign-up post link if that’s okay! You can delete the first one.

  26. Kymmie said

    I’ve been meaning to read from this list for years, maybe joining this challenge will encourage me to get on it!! I’ll be aiming for PhD level… we’ll see how that works out for me.

  27. Kristi said

    I’m excited to participate in the challenge. Thanks for hosting. I’m aiming for PhD level!

  28. Selene said

    Signing up as I’ve just taken on the whole list! So I’d better aim for PhD level. Thanks, I’m loving the links to other great book bloggers, too!

  29. Nicole said

    Thanks for hosting! I have many books in my TBR pile from the list. Do I need to post a review or link something when I’ve read one?

  30. Jacob said

    I’ll sign up too since I have just decided that I am going to be reading the entire list. My aim is 10 years so I am hoping to put away 100 of them this year.

  31. I’ve been in a 1001 Books… group over on Goodreads ( for a while now and I finally ordered the book the other day so when I saw your challenge, I was thrilled! Thanks for hosting!

  32. keatsbabe said

    I have read a fair few on the list over my 40 something years but will definitely give this a go. I love a challenge!

  33. […] on January 17, 2011 by keatsbabe I have literally just come away from a post by Caitie on the Pub Writes blog. She is hosting her very first ‘challenge’ for 2011. It is based on the fabulous […]

  34. Just stopping by, I wanted to let you know I linked to your blog and this reading challenge from my blog. You have inspired me to make a Children’s version of this challenge! 🙂 (

  35. literaryescape said

    Just signed up! I just made a blog since I decided to try the 1001 books to read challenge and I’m really excited 🙂

  36. Interesting list. I noticed several authors had multiple books on the list. I’ve read 55, started 13, and can’t remember about 8 of them! I just started re-reading Caught by Harlan Coben yesterday. I assume the authors of the list explain why they chose each book? Most of the books I’ve read are in the 400-900’s. Guess I need to increase my reading of more recent books!

    Elisabeth, I’m heading over to check out your children’s challenge now. When my second daughter was in kindergarten, she read or had read to her, 1000 books. Daughter number three managed 500 in kindergarten.

  37. Danna F. said

    I bought this book with a gift card at Christmas time, and last year I started working my way through the top 100 books written. Since there were sooooo many lists of the top 100 I just started with the books they ALL had on them. I just finished “To Kill a Mockingbird” my son just read it in High School English so asked me to read it.

  38. […] is one of the novels in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and qualifies for the challenge I am undertaking this year to read (hopefully) 10 novels from the book that we currently already […]

  39. Masanobu said

    I’ve finished 5 books already! I’ve posted the reviews with Mr. Linky, in the other post. As we are still in June, I’m going to see whether I can achieve at least a Bachelor’s degree.

    Thanks for hosting this challenge 🙂

    • Caitie F said

      Wow that is awesome! I have read…0 so far. But I am starting to read off my shelves so it will happen!

      • Masanobu said

        I honestly thought I was going to do far worse. But, except for Sister Carrie, the rest were really little fast-paced books. Not that impressive, trust me! 😉

  40. […] Well, since you asked….yes, there is.  It’s 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall and Peter Ackroyd.  This 960 page tome has spawned numerous blogs and online reading challenges.  If you want to join one, here are two to choose from:  The Bookworm Challenge and the Pub Writes Challenge. […]

  41. […] Heights is one of the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die so it counts nicely for my challenge! I aimed to read around 10 books from this list that we already own but so far I’ve only read […]

  42. […] listed in the 1001 Novels You Must Read Before You die so it also qualifies as part of my challenge. It’s the third novel from the list that I’ve read this year. LikeBe the first to like […]

  43. […] Rock is listed in the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die and therefore fits in with the challenge I am doing this year to try and read a few books from this list that we own. Brighton Rock is the […]

  44. Book Publisher…

    […]1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge « Pub Writes[…]…

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