Peter Boxall, who teaches English at Sussex University, asked 105 critics, editors and academics — mostly obscure — to submit lists of great novels, from which he assembled his supposedly mandatory reading list of one thousand and one.
1001 books I must read before I die? What are the benefits? What the punishment if I don't? Will I regret, on my deathbed, not having read number 613 The Revenge for Love by Wyndham Lewis? (number not chosen at random)
I've read maybe fifty of the books selected, although I seem to have read quite a few other works by authors that are on the list. Guess I like going off the beaten track. There are only a small handful of Dutch books on the list - and I haven't even read those! (so far I've noticed books by Cees Nooteboom, Hella Haasse and recently deceased Belgian author Hugo Claus, there could be one or two more, it's a long list...)
If you're interested, here's the full list.
Although every list you compile will be completely unfair and this one even more so, because some authors are just better than others, I would like to see what a list of 1001 books by 1001 different authors looks like. And perhaps we can repeat Professor Boxall's excercise a few more times with different "experts" and see what happens.