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A Book of Book Lists: A Bibliophile's Compendium

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  135 ratings  ·  26 reviews
This is a book of book lists. Lists that make you smile, make you wonder, and see titles together in entirely new ways. From Bin Laden’s bookshelf to the books most frequently left in hotels, from prisoners’ favorite books to Member of Parliaments’ most borrowed books, these lists are proof that a person’s bookcase tells you everything you need to know about them, and some ...more
Paperback, 204 pages
Published February 1st 2018 by British Library Publishing
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  135 ratings  ·  26 reviews

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Jul 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2018
Bookish people tend to like a good list. A list of books by your favourite author, or even better selections of titles that they would recommend, the latest prize lists too. There are also books scribbled down on a piece of paper whilst in a bookshop and in my case the never-ending list of books that is my TBR. What is even better is being able to sneak a look at the list that other people have made, it is like being given an hour to examine their shelves in minute detail.

Alex Johnson has collec
Quite an interesting group of lists. It covers banned books, Bowie books, among others. Nice tie in to pop culture as well. Really fun.
Odette Knappers
Jun 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Lekker random, maar boordevol leuke en interessante boekenfeitjes.

Allerlei leuke projecten komen aan bod, en het laat heel goed zien dat je veel van iemand (of een groep mensen) weet als je weet wat er gelezen is.
Rebecca E.
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Simply wonderful!

This is now my go to if I need inspiration on what to read next! And I love the stories that are told through book lists. It makes me wonder what stories could be told about me through my own book lists...
Oct 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Never new a list of books could interesting reading, but it is!

If you were ever interested in a list of book-lists this is the book for you. Though not al that inserting on it's own. This book provides context and some explanation to some of history's most interesting lists of books. And that in itself makes it interesting for any reading enthusiast. Among others are list of the following:

- Books burned by the Nazi's
- Books most often forgotten in Hotels
- Books read in prison
- Books in obscure
Jan 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If there's one thing I love more than a book.... It's a book about books.... And this is a great example. Where else would you find a list of the made up book titles Charkes Dickens had displayed on a hidden door. "Noah's Arkitecture" my absolute favourite. How about a list of books in Richard III's library! Just so much to set the cogs going.

Love it, love it, love it.

Pity about the typo in the last sentence though, giving Nick Hornby a sex change!
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
To be offered an arc of A Book of Book Lists has to be a booksellers dream!! What's not to love about it? Okay, so maybe I say this because I am a big fan of lists and a big fan of books but actually this little book is surprisingly interesting and addictive.

Written by Alex Johnson and published by The British Library, this book contains some really different lists and my favourites included 'NeRD: The United States Navy's e-reader' which talks about how Navy personnel need to use Navy specific
Dec 10, 2017 rated it liked it
I love books about books about books about books. I can’t get enough of them. I buy a lot of books already, but then I read a book about books and I go out and buy more.

This new one from Alex Johnson takes a breezy look at the most fascinating and weirdest reading lists of the world. It goes from Bin Laden’s bookshelf or books burned by the Nazis to the most-unread and the most popular out-of-print books. My personal favourite was probably the list of books that have won the Diagram/Bookseller
b talbot
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
a coffee table book to flip through when you have time, or a book to read on a sunny afternoon.

very enjoyable compendium of lists ranging from david bowie's 100 influences, to books checked out from the ny public library by george washington and j.d. salinger, books banned from guantanamo, books people lied about reading...a very fun and informative read.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had a great time reading this book. In one hand I was holding a pen (so I could cross the books I already read) and in the other hand I was holding my post-it's to mark the books I want to read in the future (one of them I just bought today - "A Sentimental Journey" by Laurence Sterne).

My favorite list in the book has to be "the most-unread books". It includes - among other books - Melville's "Moby Dick". A very personal book, well I will call it challenge, for myself. According to the list, "
Becky Kelly
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it, an eclectic mix of book lists and interesting facts about them. Stuff like what was on Bin Laden's bookshelf and what books were burnt by the nazis. Really fascinating stuff, very well written. 4.5 stars.
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: in-my-collection
As a person who gravitates toward any bookshelf, this was full of fascinating lists even though many of the British titles were unfamiliar to me.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Had a lot of laughs over who had what on their shelves,one that made me blink was the fairy's tale on the underground london ...I have just been reading this for a review
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: britian, library, m, non-fic
Interesting little book of British/US book lists, such as Darwins to read list, Oscar Wilde's prison reading, international space station books etc...
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
Mildly entertaining with some interesting snippets of information.
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Lisa Simpson, George Bernard Shaw, Margaret Atwood
Recommended to Kate by: 011 JO
Neglected Books:


Lisa Simpson Book Club: http://www.lisasimpsonbookclub.tumblr...

The Shavian Alphabet:

Sanja Medić - De Batvier:

Mike Stilkey:

Scotland's Secret Book Sculptures:

“Libraries might as well not exist; they’ve got endless shelves for rubbish and hardly any space
Kurt Fox
Oct 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting eclectic book of book lists.

It's not a goodreads list, but a bizarre collection of lists. Some lists offer a window into the thoughts of places (eg. space station, Kansas City parking ramp), nations (eg Nazi Germany banned books) and lots of people (eg. David Bowie). Some are non-existent books fabricated from lists gathered from novels... and lots of curious lists.

One of favorite book titles: The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Field Guide to Identification

A fun,
Anna Belsham
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is not your usual sort of book list collection (which frankly make me anxious and a tad morbid. You know the sort: 1,000 books to read before you die. Ugh)

Instead these are book lists with a story. Ones in people like Osama bin Laden’s library, ones used as window dressing in shops, ones left in hotels and spotted in the background television shows.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone.
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
I’m a huge fan of “Books About Books” however this one wasn’t for me!

The only parts I liked where chapter 5 and 6.

I’m looking forward to possibly doing the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge!
Lee Crampton
Jan 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent take on books and more than just a list.
Aug 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
An interesting book, full of lists about books and reading. It is a great addition to my “books about books” collection and has some fascinating tidbits. Not something you really want to read straight through, although easy, but good to have on the go in the bathroom or handbag for those odd moments.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got this at daunt books in London. Written by an English author and published by the British library there were a lot to English reference which I loved. But the wide survey of lists and books was fun to read and learn about. I love books about books!!
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
A quick, fun read.
Paul Van Tuyl
Jul 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I love me some book lists, and this book is chock full of them, and I got it at the British Library. Fun read.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult
Less interesting than it sounded
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Sep 10, 2018
Amy Carew
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Dec 20, 2018
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Feb 28, 2018
Thea Annie
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Nov 28, 2018
James Bowman
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Dec 28, 2018
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I am a professional blogger and journalist, part of The Independent newspaper's online team in the UK. I run Shedworking ( which inspired the book 'Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution' published by Frances Lincoln, The Micro Life (, and curate Bookshelf (, which was published as a book in 2012 by Thames & Hudso ...more