jacky'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
May 26, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-about-books, interlibraryloan, 2011
Read from June 03 to 12, 2011

I love lists, especailly top lists, so this book was right up my alley. In general, I loved reading all the titles. It was fun to see books I've read and to see books I've always wanted to read. I wound up reading some of the mini-essays. Most of them were on the books that are my favorites, but others were about books I'd never heard of or famous titles I knew, but nothing else. I'd love to read more of this and hope someday to own it. It would make a great class room library book, especially for teacher of advanced, honors, or "gifted" students. I can think of many a student from past years who would have loved to skim this for ideas on what to read.

I disliked how often more than one work by an author is selected. For example, almost all of Wharton, Austin, Dickens, Hawthorne, and Morrison not to mention many times three or four selections for many authors I've never heard of.

There is a lack of plays and poetry, yet short stories and essays are counted as books (Modest Proposal, The Yellow Wallpaper, and two Poe stories). I disagree with the essay in the beginning that claims there is a blurred line about what makes a novel. To me, page length is a key contributor. Thirty pages does not a novel make. But, I will say I was happy to see the inclusion of all the examples I listed.

I was disappointed to not see Shirley Jackson, but not surprised. I was surprised not to see Maus, Watership Down, Hiroshima, Ender's Game, or anything by Ray Bradbury (I need to double check that one). The only graphic novel was Watchmen, which I can't argue with, but was still surprised not a single other one made the list. I was impressed by the scoop of the titles; not just what would be considered the cannon. There were pivotal sci fi books as well as thrillers like Casino Royal.

If my count is accurate from the tiny fonted title index, I've read 76 of the 1001.

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Reading Progress

06/04/2011 "Read the whole list once. Going back and reading some of the mini essays."

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