Good article on the '1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die' by Peter Boxall.
I agree that the book is lacking in a lot of areas while overdoing others. Even I, massive Jane Austen fan that I am, don't really think it's necessary to include all of her novels.
Of course, these lists are completely arbitrary. No-one is ever going to be satisfied with such lists unless they've created them themselves (and possibly not even then). I still always enjoy looking at them though - maybe it'll introduce me to an author I would otherwise never have noticed.
So far I've read 52 books from the list (a measly 5.19%), with a further 104 books on my TBR pile (either hard copies or ebooks), and another 114 on my wishlist. That only adds up to about 27%, which is fine by me. Despite creating a 1001 Books Challenge for 2008, I have absolutely no intention of ever trying to complete this list. As with all of these lists, the interest for me is in the novelty of it. I like to count up my numbers and feel pride (or, more often, disgust) at the how many I've read.
Incidentally, Arukiyomi's website contains a spreadsheet that you can download containing a complete listing of the 1001 books. It's set up in such a way that you can keep count of what you've read (hence me being able to give a percentage). I've tweaked it a little to customise it for my own needs.
Arukiyomi also has great book reviews of the 1001 books, which I've been neglecting for about a year. Looks like I have a bit of catching up to do.