Bill's Reviews > 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die by Peter Boxall
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's review
Jan 12, 10

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bookshelves: reference
Read in January, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

I read this book over the course of several months. It's a collection of 300 word articles on 1001 different books, so it's not the type of book you necessarily read from start to finish. I began with the section on books published in the 2000s, then moved to the 1900s, then to the 1800s, etc.

I decided to read this book because the list included many by Paul Auster, who is my favorite living American novelist. I thought I'd get some ideas for books to try, and that is definitely the strength of this list. There are some familiar canonical choices here, along with some cult titles, and plenty of feminist texts.

Some of the 1001 300-word articles included are more interesting and better written then others. I'd occasionally get irritated when a string of these articles would state that the author in question did something "effortlessly." How can any of this book's contributors know if a novelist did something without effort? Don't all works of art require a certain amount of effort on the part of their creator?

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