A list of the 1,001 books you absolutely, positively, must read before you die or else you will be banished to the Danielle Steele section of heaven has been released on the Internet.

And I’ve read 37 of them.

Nice, eh? In fact, it’s 34 if you don’t count the two books I started but never finished (Catch-22, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes) and the one book I’ve read an extended excerpt from (Austerlitz). And it was even less than that, until I reached the Steinbeck/Orwell era.

Of course, everyone’s going to find fault with this list. Your favorites aren’t going to be on there. The list is really overloaded with 2000-2006 selections – I swear that every single novel both Ian McEwan and Philip Roth has written is featured, but only three Steinbeck novels made the cut (leaving out my personal favorite, East of Eden, and, while they were at it, cutting The Pearl and Tortilla Flat).

But it’s kind of a fun little game. See how many you’ve read. There are a lot of random, obscure books on there, and I’d be willing to guess that there are very few people who have read more than 150 books on the list.

Meanwhile, I’ll be working on this list.

On second thought, no I won’t. I’ve got my own list to work on. Some feats are better to just let go.

This was lovingly handwritten on October 19th, 2006