1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
1,000 Books to Kill You.
I don't know if this list is quite as life-changing as it purports, but I will grant it this: It is very eclectic and a wide-reaching list of true classics interspersed with the best of the best B-List books you've probably never heard of or you might have heard in passing before they slipped beneath the waves of all the other books on the high seas.
That being said, this book is a beautiful doorstopper. Enormous, picturesque, fully annotated and researched, and each book is picked with love.
Do I have any issues with this tome? Perhaps. There is a pretty obvious bias to it that may not be fully realized because of the preponderance of outright classics herewithin.
The unknowns are generally packed to the gills with 30's to 50's popular books.
It wasn't obvious to me until fairly late into my reading, from first to last page, alphabetical by author, because the old classics were heavily represented and the new modern classics are also there like quota victims. You know, like the random science text, a book or ten on travelogues, or ones that kind of surprised me like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Quicksilver, and Underground Railroad. Others are a gimmie like Hitchhiker's Guide and Harry Potter... even Among Us!
But for the most part, the heaviest weight of the books belong to the beginning of the Baby Boomers. The kinds of books that might have been on the shelves of that generation's parents. Growing dusty and perhaps picked up right at the time that those children hit their 20's.
I'm not saying this is wrong or that this list of a thousand books to read before you die ought not to be targeted to this aging population. Indeed, that sounds about right. They might pick this up and be proud of themselves as they go, "Hey! I read that!"
I know I did. I've probably read around a 1/3 of these books, myself. I also made a huge list of books I want to read, too, sinking my To Read shelf to new and unplumbed depths.
Still, I'm quite happy to have read this. Even with the reservations. And not all books tickled my fancy... by a long shot... but it was very fun to browse.
I just ask one thing... Did SF just peek it's head out during the 30's and 50's and then just GO AWAY or something? So silly. There are only a FEW SF books in here. Definitely a major failing.
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