RobAroundBookLists: The Guardian’s ‘1000 novels everyone must read’

Typical for this time of year there’s a veritable feast of recommended reading lists doing the rounds at the moment, all of which could have been chosen as the focus for this week’s RobAroundBookLists feature. However there is probably none more impressive right now than The Guardian’s 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read.

For the past week The Guardian (and Sunday Observer), have been including an insert in each day’s newspaper, detailing a number of their recommended reads. Split into subject genres, with a different subject being presented daily, the Guardian’s ‘1000 Novels Everyone Must Read’ has also been posted online every day, albeit in a less aesthetic version, for the benefit of those outwith the newspaper’s circulation. Today’s subject – War & Travel actually brings the series to an end, and although at the time of writing this last day’s recommended reads has still to be listed online EDIT: NOW UPDATED!, I can tell you, following an early visit to the newsagents, that it’s a real highlight to end the series with (but then again I am quite bias when it comes both of these subjects :o)).

So what else has been covered in the series? Well it’s a bit too easy to say everything but in all honesty the Guardian has pretty much covered everything, with something on these lists to suit everyone. The subject genres of ‘Family and Self‘, ‘State of the Nation‘ and today’s aforementioned ‘War & Travel‘ have been the real highlights for me, but I’ve taken something away from every list (even the ‘love’ genre. Seriously! I picked up a copy of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary yesterday, solely on the strength of the recommendation in the ‘love’ supplement :o)).

I’m not going to steal the Guardian’s thunder, or worse, plagiarise their hard work, by re-listing their recommendations here so I invite you to go and check out the 1000 novels list yourself. You can get to the main series index page directly from HERE (or clicking the screen shot at the top of this post) or you can get to the introduction pages for the individual genres as follows:

I just want to finish by thanking the Guardian for giving its readers what must be one of the literary highlights of 2009 already. I’ve got to confess to hardly even scratching the surface with researching these recommendations, but with a 1000 titles to sort through it’s going to take a bit of time.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).


  1. Hamish Gorgonzola says:

    1000? I make it 997 in the final list (or my spreadsheet does).

  2. Rob (Twitter: robaroundbooks)

    Hamish – You’re a man whose obviously studied this list a lot more than me. 997 you say? I wonder where the other 3 disappeared to and why the Guardian would make such a fundamental error.

  3. I usually sit with an open wish list when I go through these recommendations. And Madame Bovary is a fantastic book!