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1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge Sign Up: 2012 Edition

Posted by Caitie F on December 29, 2011

This challenge was such a success last year (well, for a lot of people, I only read two…but still success!) that i am running it again and it will be new and improved!

Here is a run down of the origins of the 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.

Sine this year is an Olympics year, I thought the structure would change…so here are the levels this year!


Got to trials:  5 books from the list
Made the Olympic team: 6-10 books from the list
Bronze medal: 11-15 books from the list
Silver Medal: 16-20  books from the list:
Gold Medal: 21+ books from the list


Challenge runs January 1 2012 – December 31 2012.

You don’t have to make a list beforehand. 

You DO need to choose your level at the beginning so you have a chance to win the prize!

You can use any version of the list, not just the current, since they update it every couple years. I figure, once a book is on the list, it is always on the list!

Books that cover other challenges are not only permitted, but encouraged!

**ADDED*** Non bloggers are welcome to participate! Just sign up and leave a comment on this post letting me know what you are going for. At the end, provide a list of what you read this year via shelfari, LibraryThing, goodreads, or just a list of books! But if you review anything on those sites, link to the review post so we can see what you thought!

You do NOT have to review every book you read for this challenge – it is an etra so that the rest of us can see what you thought!

You can link to your here on this post! 

Sign up in Mr Linky!

But wait, there is more! I will be posting a review post with another Mr Linky link, so if you want to link to any reviews of 1001 books you have read! And please do, I love seeing which books you all loved and I am sure I am not the only one.

And this year there will be a prize. One lucky person who reaches their goal will win a gift card to either Barnes and Noble, Books a Million, or The Book Depository. So now there is an incentive to finish!

Can’t wait to see what you are reading!

Any updates or links will be added to this post

If you are done, please head over to the completion post!

52 Responses to “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge Sign Up: 2012 Edition”

  1. Gabrielle said

    This sounds like a lot of fun. I love trying out new authors but I never know where to start. I can’t wait to dig in! I also joined a couple of reading challenges for kids, you can find the links on my blog. Thanks for the fun challenge!

  2. J.C. said

    I did this for 2011 and it helped challenge me to read more than I would have otherwise. So I’m going for it again this year. I’m hoping to “make the team” by reading 6-10 books. Between what I’d read before I joined the challenge, and last year, I’m up to 53 books off the list. Thanks for hosting this again!

  3. Count me in! Just wrote a post about the challenge!

  4. Diane said

    Any provision for participation by non-bloggers? I’d be happy to post a review at Shelfari and provide a link to it here. If this is possible, I’ll go for the gold.

    • Caitie F said

      Ha, didn’t think of that. Just link at the end to your bookshelf on Shelfari and show the books you have read – and please link us to any reviews there (you don’t HAVE to write a review for each one, but I would love to see what you think of the books( Gold – WOW! can’t wait to see what you read!

    • Diane said

      This is the link to my shelf on Shelfari.

      These are a few reviews of books read.

      Books read from the list so far this year are:
      1. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, not as much fun as I remember it being as a child
      2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, 4*, very good youth book
      3. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, strange coming of age story with made up vocab – copy the glossary from the back and keep it handy while reading
      4. Life of Pi by Yann Martel, 4*, I enjoyed this one and must say I don’t like the alternate ending presented even though I acknowledge it to be more likely.
      5. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, 2.5*, interesting format with the start of a story, then start another, then another, etc through about 5, then the sixth is told entirely, the number 5 finished, then 4 all the way back to the finish of the beginning story. Some of the stories I liked and some I couldn’t get into.
      6. The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, been reviewed plenty by others, a classic with 4.5*
      7. The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, review link above, loved this book, 5*
      8. Watchmen by Alan Moore, graphic novel, it was okay but I have never been a comic book reader.
      9. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, finished only because it was the monthly challenge, Nabokov wastes beautiful writing on putting his reader into the head of an unrepentant pedophile
      10. This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeusz Borowski, Polish concentration camp survivor’s story of his experiences, he recounts not just the brutality of the system and the guards but of the prisoners toward one another
      11. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, 4*, review link above
      12. Animal Farm by George Orwell, 4*, read the author’s forward, it really makes the book more enjoyable since you understand his thinking at the time of writing.
      13. The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark, review link above
      14. Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton, excellent story of Apartheid South Africa told through the eyes of a native Anglican priest trying to find and save some family members who have migrated to Johannesburg.
      15. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte, classic gothic novel
      16. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, very long classic novel, part one was more interesting to me than part two. I enjoyed the early adventures that were figments of Don Quixote’s madness, I didn’t care of the later ‘adventures’ that were created by those mocking a mad old man.

    • Diane said

      Link to my shelf didn’t get pasted I guess…


  5. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die […]

  6. I found 12 that are on my TBR list so I’m going to give this a go and aim for 5 books this year since I’m working on some other challenges too. LOL

  7. […] Here is a run down of the origins of the challenge (from Caitie at Pub Writers): […]

  8. novelkatie said

    It’s great to meet other people who are interested in this list of books. I’m going to aim for the Gold Medal, here’s my sign up post:

    Happy New Year!


  9. Heather said

    I stumbled upon your challenge while looking for list of books to read. I am going to aim for Making the Team. I need to be realistic with my goal!! ha ha

  10. Susan M Kaltenbaugh said

    I’m ready for the challenge! I’m going to make the team. This is a fun idea, thanks!

  11. Stacy said

    I’m In.. Sounds Fun. I am shooting for a Gold Medal.

  12. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die 2012 Challenge (Level Made the Olympic Team: 6 – 10 books from the list) […]

  13. Hi! This is my first year doing a reading challenge and the 1001 challenge is the second one for me to join. I’m really looking forward to it. I’m shooting for making it to the Olympic Team (6 – 10 books) Thank you so much for hosting this!

  14. Cindy said

    I had a great time with this in 2011 and can’t wait to go for the SILVER in 2012

  15. JoV said

    I’m signing up! I’ll try made for the Olympic team. I’m not quite sure which list to follow (before I die), as every 2 years there seems to be a change of list! Thanks for hosting.

  16. JoV said

    I have this list on my blog page:

  17. ashlee taylor said

    I think I can make it to Silver… ambitious for me, but that’s what goals are for, eh?

  18. fredaherrera said

    I have been looking for a challenge just like this! Thank you for doing this. My goal is bronze medal.

  19. jess said

    I’m going to try to make the team, 6-10 books.

  20. Joe D said

    I read 33 books from the list in 2011, so does that mean the platinum medal? 😉

  21. Issa said

    I have been wanting to read so many of the books on this list anyways so I am going to try for the gold.

  22. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge Sign Up: 2012 Edition […]

  23. mlit12 said

    Going for gold and here is my list:

  24. […] I will be doing the 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge (hosted here…)  I’m aiming for gold medal status (21+ books). There are some amazing classics on the list […]

  25. I’m going for gold!! Some fantastic novels on here (and coincides with wanting to read lots more classics this year!) Thanks for hosting this.

  26. […] 1001 Books 2012 Edition […]

  27. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die […]

  28. Susan said

    I’ll be working on the first level (Got to Trials).

  29. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge Sign Up: 2012 Edition […]

  30. I went for level 2 – Made it to the Olympics. I’m excited and hopeful! Thanks for hosting!

  31. asthma tips…

    […]1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge Sign Up: 2012 Edition « Pub Writes[…]…

  32. […] The 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge (hosted at Pub Writes): I’m shooting for the “Silver Medal” level (16-20 books from the […]

  33. A Modern Girl said

    I’m a bit late, but I’d like to join the challenge! It’d be great to have a little more encouragement. 🙂 I’ll be shooting for the silver medal level.

    I just posted about the challenge on my blog:

  34. Filipa said

    Ok, I’m in too. Im shooting for silver medal level 🙂 .

  35. GW said

    Hi, I just found this website… I wanted to join the contest is it to late? Also, how do you know for sure if someone reads the books? I love to read so I think this would be fun. Can you email me please I am not much of a blogger:).

  36. […] 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die […]

  37. engelsigh said

    I’m joining in if that’s ok. Better late than never.

  38. lnatal said

    Just reached my goal for 2012:

  39. joseph said

    anybody know the new books added for the 2012 edition? can’t seem to find anybody who can tell me. I know it’s not due out to Oct 1 (tomorrow), but would love to be able to add the new titles to my “masterlist.” anybody out there?

  40. […] of 62 books. This year, I also took on a couple of “sub-challenges.” The first was the The 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge (hosted at Pub Writes), which I wanted to tackle at the “Silver Medal” level (16-20 […]

  41. Fiona Flynn said

    Great Idea, love the list and am going to give this challenge a go for 2012…..Am onto my second book…usually read about Silver Level in one year but do you get extra points for 1Q84 by Murakami…..Just adored reading “The brief Wonderous life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz over the Christmas break….

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