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The New York Public Library's Books of the Century

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3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  61 ratings  ·  9 reviews
What are the books that helped shape and define the last hundred years? This was the question put to the librarians of The New York Public Library as part of the Library's 100th anniversary celebration. Which books had influenced the course of events for good or ill? Which interpreted new worlds? Or delighted millions of readers? Their answers to these questions formed "Bo ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 2nd 1997 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published 1996)
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Muzzlehatch
Jan 21, 2008 Muzzlehatch rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for ideas of books they "should" read
Shelves: books-on-books
These days everybody's putting together lists: top 100 this, best 500 that, my top 10 which is better than yours, etc. Even a dozen years ago when this little volume was first published, the trend wasn't quite so extreme as it is now. Blame the Internet I suppose. But this strikes me as one of the more useful "books you should read" books; divided into a dozen themed chapters, each containing somewhere between 10 and 24 titles, there are 182 books in total, most of which the educated adult will ...more
Muphyn
A selection of publications that had a substantial influence on (Western) thinking, spanning the time period 1895 to 1995. Books are divided into categories, ranging from feminist writing to utopian to economic to (post)colonialist works. Of course, the focus is largely on American (or rather anglophone) writings, and few writers from other continents are considered (except for a few European ones).

Still, it is nice snapshot of 20th century writing and I found it quite interesting. Not having re
...more
Laura Verret
Another book about books. This one gives a very short synopsis of what the authors believe to have been the most influential books written from 1895 to 1995. Some of them are quite scary - 'Mein Kampf' by Adolf Hitler, Sigmund Freud's 'The Interpretation of Dreams', 'Why I am Not a Chtistian' by Bertrand Russell, John Maynard Keynes' 'The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money' and 'My Fight for Birth Control' by Margaret Sanger. I enjoyed reading this book, but the world-view critique ...more
Brian
Not necessarily "Greatest Books of the 20th Century", but not exactly random. Books are grouped by category (War, Psychology, Humor, etc.) and include anything first published between 1895 and 1995, with only one book per author. I've read a several of these, but I'm not gonna try and knock all of them out. "Mein Kampf" may have been an influential book, but I'm not reading it anytime soon.
Susie
Short summaries of good books broken up into categories such as "Women Rise" and "Utopias & Dystopias" and "Favorites of Childhood and Youth" and more. I did not read every summary but read many and enjoyed the book.
Kaethe
A truly strong list of impressive books, with interesting comments. Not ideal for a protracted read, though, more of a reference.
Jim
excellent book. unlike most of its kind it has children's literature.
Bryce Wilson
Alright.

Could stand a bit more depth but it's alright.
Andy
A resource that should be on every reader's bookshelf.
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