British newspaper The Guardian recently brought together their review team and a panel of "expert" judges to determine the "1000 Novels Everyone Must Read Before They Die". The list is broken up into 7 different categories (War & Travel, Science Fiction & Fantasy, State of the Nation, Family & Self, Comedy, Crime, and Love) and chooses authors and novels from just about every time period and nation.
At first, this seemed like a rather doable list. Let's say that the average life expectancy is 75 and you begin reading the novels when you are around 15. That's only about 17 novels a year. But then you add in all of the other great novels out there, not to mention all of the non-fiction, the epics, the short stories, the poetry, and the plays! No way on earth I'll ever get to read them all!
I guess that I'll just have to read as many as possible in what little time I have. I am comforted by the fact that I'm only 21 and have already read 38 novels on the list including:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Bleak House by Charles Dickens
So, that's 38 down and only 962 to go! How many have you read?