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Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You'll Ever Read

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  378 ratings  ·  89 reviews
Read This Next is a guide to more than 500 great books, many of which you have not yet read. (On average, 481.) After you have read even one of these books, you will be amazed you survived without it this long. Multiply that by 481, and you get a lifetime of value for just $14.99 or even more value if you don’t have long to live.

Each book is set among surprising anecdotes,
Paperback, 414 pages
Published November 2nd 2010 by Harper Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.56  · 
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 ·  378 ratings  ·  89 reviews

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Jeanette (Again)
If you've seen a few of my sillier book reviews, you'll understand why I loved this book. I'm giving it a slightly higher rating than I've given other books of this type. These people are juvenile, playful, heinously un-PC, and utterly hilarious. This book provided me with numerous late-night cackle sessions and a long list of wonderful book suggestions. In their more serious moments, they also gave me a lot of food for thought.
The authors' humor is sort of like Dave Barry, minus the booger joke
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Ever been betrayed by a pretty cover and a pair of alluring blurbs?"

YES! *shakes fists at Shiver*

"In a world where so many books disappoint - robbing you of your time and money, promising more than they can deliver - Read This Next is the wickedly smart, faithful, and attractive partner you've always dreamed would bring you true and lasting reading happiness."


Seriously, this book absolutely fulfills that promise. There is no other book about books like it.
Book lovers always love getting new reading recommendations, and I certainly love reading these books-about-books and "discovering" new authors and books. Despite the fact that I am obviously predisposed to loving this book, Read This Next is FANTASTIC!

Read This Next is organized into the following major sections: Love, Memoir, Family, History, Politics, Humor, Work and Money, War, Religion, and Death. Each section has 12 recommendations as well as several "Read These Too" suggestions, and "Bonu
Slay Belle
Mar 06, 2011 rated it did not like it
I have to wonder about the accuracy of the book suggestions/reviews when "Lolita" is described as a 'forbidden romance' and the message of 'The Feminine Mystique' is summarized as 'get a job' or ' Ender's Game' is described about 'being a great general'. I get that the reviews were supposed to be irreverent ("you need to be jewish or gay to be in the literary community. They make you pick when you join.") but there's a difference between being irreverent and just wrong.
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013, own-it, non-fic
I love lists. Actually, I should probably specify that I love reading lists written by other people – writing my own lists and following them? ha. haha. No. So, when I had a chance to grab a copy of Read This Next: 500 of the Best Books You’ll Ever Read by Howard Mittelmark and Sandra Newman? I thought: YES PLEASE!

So, the danger for readers like most of us is that these lists will be snobby and pretentious – “here are 500 classic and literary fiction books you should read, everything else is wor
Jan 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Of the 500 books recommended in this book, I've read 29 of them, have some on my to-read list, and glanced through a few more, which I don't think is too bad. Many of the books listed that I haven't read, I've never even heard of. This is a good place to look off the beaten track for literary finds, and such a wide range of genres and writers and writing styles are represented that there will be several books included to please even the most finicky person. I wish I had read this before I starte ...more
Apr 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books
I love to see what others are reading(would I be on a site like Goodreads if I didn't?)and I also love books about books. Read This Next scored very high on both counts. This book is full of great recommendations written in a witty and playful style that raises it miles above the usual lists of "Great Literature." I often shy away from popular and highly recommended books, but I actually have read about a quarter of the books suggested here and most of those rate five stars from me. I may actual ...more
Dec 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is not the kind of book that you sit and read from beginning to end; but, I basically perused the entire thing. The authors have a great sense of humor, which makes the books summaries a joy to read. There are also a lot of books I have never heard, as well as some classics. I look forward to starting some of the books they suggest. (And their book group discussion questions are a riot!)
Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
Great resource for librarians, book clubs and bibliophiles!
Carla Ruffer
Mar 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, own
loved it! The authors had funny little quips throughout the book. Make sure you have this site open to add tons to your TRB list. Also, don't read the discussion parts unless you've read that suggested book. My mom tried to do that and not surprisingly couldn't get through Read This Next. She said it was boring and made no sense - of course it didn't since she was reading discussion questions about books she hadn't read yet. Just read this to get excellent suggestions for your TRB. Mine is now o ...more
Daniel (Attack of the Books!) Burton
There's a lotta interesting information on a lotta interesting books in here...specifically, 500 books. I enjoyed learning a bit about these, the books that Howard Mittelmark thinks are the best you'll ever read. His commentary is witty, snarky...and occasionally even useful.

The problem is, I've not read enough of the books on his list, yet. I'm putting it next to my desk so that the next time I need a book, or need some commentary on the book, Mittelmark's book will be there, fully of short, q
Sarah Goodwin
Words cannot express how much I loved 'How NOT to Write A Novel', it got me through my undergraduate years when every tutor wanted me to quote from 'non-fiction sources' like Stephen King's 'On Writing' which I still haven't read. So, in the midst of trying to educate myself by reading everything and anything that comes well recommended, I snapped this book up to guide me.

It's worth noting that my copy is now dogeared and written all over, because I got quite a few good recommendations out of it
Oct 23, 2017 marked it as xx-dnf-skim-reference
If you like this, you'll want to own it, because of all the discussion questions and bonus trivia for so many rec's. I was put off by the witticisms... not sure if they 'tried too hard' or were just too relentlessly cocky, but either way imo annoying.

Some of the rec's I've already read. A few are on my to-read lists. Many I have already decided I have no interest in. Among the ones that are new to my consideration I will investigate further:

Biting the Sun

Tales from a Traveling Couch: Psychothera
Julie Ehlers
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As a lifelong bibliophile and veteran of several book groups, I've read a lot of these "what to read" books, and this is by far the best, for a few reasons. First of all, most of these types of books recommend the same titles over and over again. In contrast, the vast majority of titles featured in this book I've never seen recommended elsewhere, and in many cases, I hadn't even heard of them--very rare for a lifelong bibliophile and veteran of several book groups like myself! This book is also ...more
Nov 24, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you're not already overwhelmed by great books on your "to-read" list, this kicky guide is an easy way to pique your interest in something new at the library. Divided by genre (history, politics, romance, religion, etc.), this compilation of short book reviews also includes book club-style discussion questions, occasional historical notes and additional lists of "read this too" book in more specific sub-genres. Recommended books range from those published in the last few years to classics from ...more
Taking a look at this partially because I like books like this one. Also need some ideas for the Book Group for next year. I like the sometimes serious, sometimes snarky comments by the authors too. E.g. regarding Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman, she says "...he is just this witty, and this pleased with himself, leaving us to wonder if he might not have won a second Nobel Prize for Self-Esteem."
Denise Smith
Jan 01, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mymap
I loved the idea of this book and enjoyed the writers' witty style. I was hoping this book would give me some good ideas for our book club. Though there were many interesting titles suggested, there were very few I would want to read or suggest for our book club. The list of "to-reads" I collected from this book is pretty short considering they suggested 500 books.
Aug 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anybody looking for a good book
Shelves: reference, 2011
I want to be in this author's book group! I bought it for the book list, never imagining the writing would be so entertaining. Also, I like that the books are a nice mixture of fiction and non-fiction, "classics" and lighter fare.

The title is a tad misleading. Just over 100 books are described in detail. The rest are in sub-lists with no reading group questions or detailed description.
Dec 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Granted, I wouldn't give this five stars compared to saaaay, Proust or something along those lines, but not judging this as literature, or historically significant non-fiction, it's actually quite excellent. Lovely little humorous book recommendations. What more could a person ask for?
Mar 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
Not nearly as well done as the books by Nancy Pearl. The authors pushed their political agendas with their recommendations, even going so far as to recommend a book by someone one used to date.
Hilaaaaaarious book. All books should come with wry recommendations with the odd turning up of a nose here and there.
Julie Bestry
Sep 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
I love reading books about books, especially "book list books" like Nancy Pearl's. Read This Next is in the same family as those, but it's like that weird cousin whom you don't always invite to the family reunion. Perhaps that's why I've had this book on my shelf for ten years, unfinished, but occasionally dipped-into at random moments.

Authors Newman and Mittelmark are snarky. I don't usually address tone before content, but if snark is not your cup of tea to drink while reading your books, the
Kim Lockhart
Mar 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't planned on writing a review of a reference book, but this is no ordinary "read these X number of books before you die" lists. First off, it's extraordinarily funny, and not just in the humor section. From prologue to epilogue, it's madcap fun.

Second, it's organized in a useful way, divided into twelve subject areas. Info. on authors, titles, and further reading is provided, as well as potential questions to help with casual literary criticism.

Third, it's written by a duo, a respected w
Jennifer (JC-S)
May 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
‘As you read them, your mind will be nourished and your spirits refreshed.’

This is an interesting and eclectic selection of books to read, from a fairly wide range of categories. While the book is geared more towards reading groups or book clubs, there’s no reason why a solitary reader wouldn’t enjoy some of the choices and considering some of the questions suggested.

The suggested books are organised into ten chapters: Love; Memoir; Family; History; Politics; Humour; Work and Money; War; Religio
Jan 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: people who enjoy quality literature
I picked this up because I really enjoyed the other book by these authors, How Not to Write a Novel. While the reviews in this book contained were often very funny, they rarely came up to the standard I had come to expect. I did, however, appreciate the literary suggestions Mittelmark and Newman made. They covered surprisingly few of the expected classics, but there were many books, both old and new to pique my interest, as well as a few familiar favourites to make me smile. The book is divided ...more
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
'Read This Next', though structured to be for book clubs, is a great read for anyone looking for books to read. The book is organized in a way that makes it easy to find certain genres of books. Only some books are highlighted and given questions. Most are quickly summarized in a small sentence or two before the authors move onto the next title.

I didn't mind the format of the book so much, but some of the questions had spoilers for the books. Details like spoilers can't be unread, you know. The
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
No doubt about it, this book may not have the best list of best books to read, but it definitely has the cleverest presentation. Newman and Mittelmark name their favorite reads and offer a list of questions for discussion.

Here's an example:

What Makes Sammy Run? by Budd Schulberg is a suggested read in the Work and Money category of books. Here is question one: "Is there anything admirable about Sammy Glick? Do you ever wish you could squash people without remorse? Did you ever just go ahead an
Feb 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, own-this
For intelligent, wide ranging, and beautifully snarky recommendations on what to read next, pick up this guide. I found it at the library, but will need to find a copy for myself, as adding all of these books to my Goodreads "To Read" shelf will be just too much bother. They make books I never thought would be intriguing sound like rollicking good reads, so I may have to see how many of their recommendations I can read. I think it may inspire a whole new shelf in my Goodreads collection.
Dec 06, 2010 rated it it was ok
Another book about books written by a couple of writers who love to read. Geared primarily to book groups, it provides a list of books on a theme complete with questions to facilitate a discussion. Does not have the reputability of other books written by librarians but could serve as an adjunct resource.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
I picked this up for a pound in Waterstones and consider myself to have found a very good little bargain. It would be useful for reading groups who are looking for inspiration and includes lists of entertaining questions after each recommendation. Even with a bedroom full of books, I often ask myself, what shall I read next? So this is perfect.
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I moved to NYC in the eighties to be where they made books, and I've been working in publishing, either writing or editing, pretty much ever since. About ten years ago, I took everything I figured out reading hundreds, possibly thousands, of published and unpublished novels, and wrote How Not To Write A Novel with Sandra Newman. It's sort of an encyclopedia of mistakes every beginning writer makes ...more

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