Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The Bucket List


I first saw this meme on Diane of Bibliophile By the Sea's blog and then on Book Psmith's but it originates from Bookalicio.us. Like Diane and Book Psmith, I am not creating a list of the 10 Books to Read Before You Die but putting in writing my bucket list, the 10 Books I Want to Read Before I Die. I am excluding Dante, Proust and Tolstoy from my list and limiting it to modern classics whose unread, pristine states have been haunting me for some time.

All of these 10 books already have a place on my bookshelves, all are ones that I have been desperate to read, and all are -coincidentally- on the Guardian's 1000 Books You Must Read [Before You Die]. I am hoping to read a few of these before year's end and the remainder next year as I have waited too long... besides, you never know, I may be hit by a bus.

My bucket list:

1. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
2. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
3. Blindness by Jose Saramago
4. Ada or Ador by Vladimir Nabokov
5. At Swim-Two-Birds by Flann O'Brien
6. The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford (in one volume!)
7. Shame by Salman Rushdie
8. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
9. The Vagabond by Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette
10. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

A decent choice of books to read before I kick the bucket, do you think?

29 comments:

verity said...

What a wonderful concept. Do you own all of those books? And do you think it might be subject to change. Off on a tangent, I wonder what I would chose if I could only read 10 more books before I die - would I want to read TBRs, would I want to buy more books or would I want to re-read...

Jenny said...

Can I ask, why Shame out of all Salman Rushdie's books?

Paperback Reader said...

Verity, I do own them all. It is probably subject to change; The Famished Road by Ben Okri very nearly made it onto the list.
Obviously it is a hard question to answer and rereads would be another list as would those books that I think I SHOULD read before I die (where Proust, Dante, and Tolstoy come in).

Jenny, of course you can! Shame appeals to me the most. I have read (a couple of times) and loved Midnight's Children and yet the only other book by Rushdie that I have read so far is The Enchantress of Florence. I plan to read all of his books at some point but Shame is at the top of the list. Would you recommend something else?

Book Psmith said...

Some of these books are new to me, so I will have to check them out. I thought long and hard about putting Rushdie on my list but for some reason I am more interested in reading about him or seeing him in interviews than reading his work. I hope that changes because I have a feeling I am missing out.

Eva said...

I've read three of those: The Master & Margarita, Shame, and To the Lighthouse. They were all excellent! :)

Pam van Hylckama Vlieg said...

I've read none of these but quite a few are on my list of things I want to read before I die. That list however is endless and is always growing.

Michelle said...

This is a great idea. I'm wondering: How do you limit the bucket list to 10? And what keeps you from reading them all now?

By the way, Nancy Mitford is one of my favorite authors, so much that I'd tell anyone to start The Pursuit of Love immediately. I hope you enjoy!

Steph said...

I've only read Song of Solomon off of your list, but it really is magnificent. Really, with Toni Morrison, you can't go wrong in my opinion!

I also want to read Master & Margarita and Blindness - both books that I own and have yet to get to!

farmlanebooks said...

I think my list would be quite similar, although I have read Blindness and Master and Margarita. I hope to read To The Lighthouse soon - but I've been saying that for years!

Birdsong has been on my shelves since my sister read it at school (10+ years ago!) I have no idea why I haven't got round to it yet!

JoAnn said...

The only one on this list I've read is Birdsong and, sadly, remember very little about it. This is a great idea...will have to do this one of these days, too.

claire said...

As you know Song of Solomon is my favourite Morrison, and am hopeful you will love it.

Excepting the COlette and O'Brien, all of those on your list have been long languoring on my list as well! Although the Mitford was a very recent addition, mostly due to you (from a comment you made on my blog) and Rachel (from a recent post of hers on seasonal reading).

Paperback Reader said...

Book Psmith, Rushdie is certainly one of the most interesting authors alive but I would say that Midnight's Children is a novel you should add to your list.

Eva, that doesn't surprise me in the slightest but fabulous to know!

Hi Pam, thanks for commenting. Great meme! It never ends, does it? It's sad to think that some of those on the never-ending list will never be read...

Hi Michelle, thanks for commenting. To be honest, the 10 were limited to those that I most want to read at this given moment and those that I have been wanting to read for the longest. There's nothing to stop me reading them all now and I desperately want to now! Once I have I'll create another list.

The Pursuit of Love is definitely going to be read soon and I hope I love it!

Steph, you really can't go wrong with Toni Morrison; I'm going to read all of her books that I haven't yet read as soon as I can. I can't wait!

Hopefully we'll both read The Master and the Margarita and Blindness soon.

Jackie, I thought our lists would be quite similar and I know you're a fan of the two you have read. I haven't had Birdsong on my shelves for quite that long but it has been a ridiculous amount of time. Reading the WWI section of The Children's Book inspired me to finally pick it up soon.

JoAnn, hopefully I'll read Birdsong soon and refresh your memory! I have a hopeless retention for books at times which is why I now keep a blog.

I'd be very interesting in viewing your list if you do make one.

Claire, I have such high hopes for Song of Solomon but it's Morrison so it is *very* unlikely that I will feel anything less than love for it.

Have you read the Colette or O'Brien or do they just not factor in your books to be read? I hope we both adore Mitford.

anothercookiecrumbles said...

Oh, I really want to read four of those titles myself:

1. The Master and Margarita
2. Birdsong
3. To The Lighthouse
4. Blindness

I haven't read any of them, but hopefully, like you, I can change that soon.

Paperback Reader said...

anothercookie, here's hoping! This list has made me more eager to read the titles on it.

Bellezza said...

Such an interesting concept: books to read before I die. I'm not sure what I'd include on my top ten list, but it was good to peruse yours. Of all of them, I've only read Blindness which was such an interesting commentary on society, rather than being blind, in my opinion. I don't know if I'd put it in my top ten, though, myself.

softdrink said...

That's quite a list...a haven't read a one!

Paperback Reader said...

Bellezza, it is a fabulous concept and one I enjoyed although now I am feeling the pressure to read the books on it! Actually, I'm more excited than stressed.
Interesting point about Blindness; I look forward to comparing thoughts once I have read it.

Jill, well neither have I! That's why they're all there ;).

Rachel said...

Great list! I should compile a top 10 out of my unread books and get onto it. I want to read Love in a Cold Climate and Master and Margarita too...so many books, so little time!

Paperback Reader said...

Rachel, there are too many books and too little time but I don't understand why I am not using the time to read those books that I really want to read instead of reading the ones that are on prize-winning longlists or shortlists or that fit the criteria for a challenge or two. Sigh. I require a Paperback Reader challenge where I only read the books on my TBR pile that I am desperate to read and nothing less.

savidgereads said...

I am resisting copying you and doing a bucket book list as I would be fearful that I might then read them all and drop down dead!

it does worry me that when you die there will always be a book of fifity you just wish you had read... moving swiftly on from taht point though! Lovely to see you yesterday.

Paperback Reader said...

I must admit that the idea occurred to me! Perhaps I'll keep just one back to read when I'm the ripe old age of eighty...

Lovely to see you too and I'm looking forward to book group tonight.

Darlene said...

The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate (in the same volume!) is one that I'm dying to read one of these days.

Paperback Reader said...

Well, hopefully not DYING to read, Darlene! I really must read Mitford this month and it'll be the next rain day, I promise...

Tracey said...

The only one of these I've read is Birdsong - after a slow start I would count it as one of the most memorable books I've ever read. A great choice for your list 0:)

Paperback Reader said...

Tracey, so glad to hear that! I have high hopes for it and do fancy something set in WWI soon (after a very brief taster in AS Byatt's The Children's Book).

Diane said...

Thanks so much for joining in on the 2010 challenge. Have fun too! Great list!

Paperback Reader said...

Diane, thanks for hosting! I'm really looking forward to getting on top of the main titles on my TBR list.

Dana said...

great list. I don't thinnk I've read any of those either.

Paperback Reader said...

Hi Dana, thanks for commenting. I'm excited about my list and looking forward to finally reading them.