Arg! This is a tough one. I am going to assume books that haven't been written can't be included right? and i can't just say "all of them?"
What one literary work must you read before you die?
Hmm. Of the books I personally already own, I'd say The Wind Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. I've loved his books so far and would be disappointed if i never read another.
As for books I don't own...wow. All of Tolstoy? All of Dickens? Dostoevsky? I haven't finished all the Bronte books! I haven't read Emma! Homer! that isn't even counting the modern people i haven't read! Toni Morrison! Salman Rushdie! Sarah Waters! Margaret Atwood! Franzen! why am i on the internet right nowihavetogoread!