1001 Books and Movies

A series of books has recently been released, listing the Top 1001 Books, Movies, and Paintings to _____ before you die. Obviously I don’t want to list all of them here, but you can find the complete list of books and movies on various blogs (with the movies list updated every now and then). It’s fun to go through and see exactly how many of these works you’ve read or seen, so that’s what I’m going to do here. Feel free to post your own lists in the comments!

Books (36/1001)

There’s a lot of books that I’ve only read parts of, but I can’t count them here. Usually though, I didn’t finish them because I simply didn’t like them, so who knows what that means. I can partly attribute that to a waning interest in fiction in general, of which this list is wholly comprised, interestingly enough. Also, I have to attribute a lot of these books to required high school reading. Particular favorites have marked with an asterisk.

  • Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  • Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  • Underworld – Don DeLillo*
  • The Wind-up Bird Chronicle – Haruki Murkami*
  • White Noise – Don DeLillo
  • Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie*
  • A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  • The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  • Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  • Gravity’s Rainbow – Thomas Pynchon** (favorite all-time)
  • Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon*
  • Cat’s Cradle – Kurt Vonnegut
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn
  • Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
  • Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  • To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  • Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  • Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  • The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  • Animal Farm – George Orwell
  • The Outsider – Albert Camus*
  • Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  • The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein
  • Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  • The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  • The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  • Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf*
  • The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  • Death in Venice – Thomas Mann
  • Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  • The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  • Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  • The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • Frankenstein – Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Somehow, I have not read 1984 yet. Also, I guess they excluded ancient classics, and Shakespeare and other plays.

Movies (75/1001)

Again, favorites marked with asterisks. I decided to exclude stuff like Disney that I haven’t seem while I’ve been old enough to have a functioning brain (not to say that Disney is mindless, or suggest that’s a bad thing, I just have no way of analyzing my feelings for them critically).

The updates to the 1001 Movies list, linked to above, have really made a lot of significant changes to this list, including removing some of my favorite movies (Fellowship of the Ring, The Passion of the Christ, Adaptation, etc.)

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Casablanca (1942)
  • Spellbound (1945)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  • The Third Man (1949)*
  • Rashomon (1950)*
  • Tokyo Story (1953)
  • La Strada (1954)
  • The Seven Samurai (1954)*
  • Vertigo (1958 )
  • North by Northwest (1959)
  • La Dolce Vita (1960)
  • Spartacus (1960)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
  • 8 1/2 (1963)** (favorite all-time)
  • Contempt (1963)
  • The Great Escape (1963)
  • Dr. Strangelove (1964)
  • A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
  • The Battle of Algiers (1965)*
  • Juliet of the Spirits (1965)
  • Blowup (1966)
  • Z (1969)
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
  • Chinatown (1974)*
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
  • Jaws (1975)
  • The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)*
  • All the President’s Men (1976)*
  • Rocky (1976)
  • Star Wars (1977)
  • Annie Hall (1977)
  • Life of Brian (1979)
  • Apocalypse Now (1979)
  • The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Airplane! (1980)
  • Blade Runner (1982)*
  • Return of the Jedi (1983)
  • This is Spinal Tap (1984)
  • Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
  • Brazil (1985)
  • Back to the Future (1985)
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
  • Down By Law (1986)*
  • A Fish Called Wanda (1988 )
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988 )
  • When Harry Met Sally (1989)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989)
  • The Crying Game (1992)
  • Groundhog Day (1993)
  • Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Toy Story (1995)
  • Princess Mononoke (1997)
  • The Ice Storm (1997)
  • Titanic (1997)
  • The Big Lebowski (1998 )
  • Three Kings (1999)
  • Being John Malkovich (1999)*
  • American Beauty (1999)*
  • The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • The Matrix (1999)
  • In the Mood For Love (2000)
  • Gladiator (2000)
  • Meet the Parents (2000)
  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
  • Memento (2000)
  • Amelie (2001)*
  • Spirited Away (2001)
  • Moulin Rouge (2001)
  • Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Good Bye Lenin! (2003)
  • Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
  • Children of Men (2006)
  • The Departed (2006)*

This is a strange mix of pop-culture required-viewing, and movies that I actually was interested in seeing. There is a difference, believe me.

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