You may have come across 1001 Books You Must Read, edited by Peter Boxall (or at the very least, read about it on Sharon's blog). Patrick T. Reardon from the Chicago Tribune did, and he came away feeling rather miffed:
What got me was the word "must" in the title. I see that, and I feel guilty. I mean, I read a lot -- a lot -- but all I have to do is open this book, and I find hundreds of works whose covers I've never cracked.So he decided to make his own list.
"Roxana" by Daniel Defoe, "The Thinking Reed" by Rebecca West, "The Judge and His Hangman" by Friedrich Durrenmatt, "Blood and Guts in High School" by Kathy Acker
-- I've never even heard of these, much less read them.