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1,000 books to read before you die : a life-changing list /

1,000 books to read before you die : a life-changing list /
Book
Mustich, James,
Copies: 5; Reserves: 4

A celebration of the reading life presents a cross-genre, historically representative compendium of one thousand works of literature, complemented by essays on each book's particular relevance.
Add to Cart  Place Reserve    
 copies


Call NumberBranchStatusVolume
028.9 Mustich KL Due Feb 15 2019; On Reserve
028.9 Mustich KL Due Feb 15 2019; On Reserve
028.9 Mustich KL Due Feb 15 2019; On Reserve
028.9 Mustich KR Due Feb 15 2019; On Reserve
028.9 Mustich SP Due Feb 15 2019; On Reserve


 catalog record


Control No. 1411386
LCCN 2018036090
ISBN 9781523504459 -- hardcover -- alkaline paper
ISBN 1523504455 -- hardcover -- alkaline paper
Author Mustich James
Title 1,000 books to read before you die : -- a life-changing list / -- James Mustich ; with Margot Greenbaum Mustich, Thomas Meagher, and Karen Templer.
Varying Title 1000 books to read before you die
Varying Title One thousand books to read before you die
Physical Description xii, 948 pages : -- illustrations (some color) ; -- 25 cm
Series Statement 1,000-- before you die
General Note Includes indexes.
Bibliography, Etc. Note Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note In the company of books -- How the book is organized -- A-Z -- Acknowledgements -- A miscellany of special lists -- General index -- 1,000 books checklists -- Permissions -- Photo credits.
Summary Encompassing fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children's books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die moves across cultures and through time to present an eclectic collection of titles, each described with the special enthusiasm readers summon when recommending a book to a friend. The expected pillars are here, including Jane Austen and Toni Morrison, Virgil, Dante, Dickens and Tolstoy, Franz Kafka and Simone de Beauvoir--their works made fresh through the author's animated essays. Established classics are joined by new and unexpected choices like Citizen and Friday Night Lights, A Vist from the Goon Squad and The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon, The Day of the Jackal and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat. The result is a treasury of essential reading for expansive tastes. The book's alphabetical listing by author's last name results in the serendipity of juxtaposition--Cormac McCarthy's The Road next to Robert McCloskey's Make Way for Ducklings, John le Carre next to Ursula K. Le Guin next to Harper Lee. Following each entry are rich endnotes that include publication dates and preferred editions, other books by the same author, related books to try, and listings of worthy adaptations, including movies and audiobooks. In total, more than six thousand titles by thirty-five hundred authors are recommended.
Subject Best books
Subject Books and reading United States
Alternate Author Mustich Margot Greenbaum
Alternate Author Meagher Thomas
Alternate Author Templer Karen
Uniform Title 1,000-- before you die book.




 annotations (4)


Annotation 1 A celebration of the reading life presents a cross-genre, historically representative compendium of one thousand works of literature, complemented by essays on each book's particular relevance.

Annotation 2 A celebration of the reading life by the co-founder of the acclaimed A Common Reader presents a cross-genre, historically representative compendium of 1,000 forefront works of literature, complemented by essays on each book's particular relevance. 100,000 first printing. $200,000 ad/promo

Annotation 3
The ultimate book for book lovers: the 1,000 must-read books across genres and eras, each accompanied by a thought-provoking short essay on why the book is so essential.

Annotation 4
“The ultimate literary bucket list.” —The Washington Post
“If there’s a heaven just for readers, this is it.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
        

Celebrate the pleasure of reading and the thrill of discovering new titles in an extraordinary book that’s as compulsively readable, entertaining, surprising, and enlightening as the 1,000-plus titles it recommends.

Covering fiction, poetry, science and science fiction, memoir, travel writing, biography, children’s books, history, and more, 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die ranges across cultures and through time to offer an eclectic collection of works that each deserve to come with the recommendation, You have to read this. But it’s not a proscriptive list of the “great works”—rather, it’s a celebration of the glorious mosaic that is our literary heritage.

Flip it open to any page and be transfixed by a fresh take on a very favorite book. Or come across a title you always meant to read and never got around to. Or, like browsing in the best kind of bookshop, stumble on a completely unknown author and work, and feel that tingle of discovery. There are classics, of course, and unexpected treasures, too. Lists to help pick and choose, like Offbeat Escapes, or A Long Climb, but What a View. And its alphabetical arrangement by author assures that surprises await on almost every turn of the page, with Cormac McCarthy and The Road next to Robert McCloskey and Make Way for Ducklings, Alice Walker next to Izaac Walton. 

There are nuts and bolts, too—best editions to read, other books by the author, “if you like this, you’ll like that” recommendations , and an interesting endnote of adaptations where appropriate. Add it all up, and in fact there are more than six thousand titles by nearly four thousand authors mentioned—a life-changing list for a lifetime of reading.

“948 pages later, you still want more!” —THE WASHINGTON POST

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 reviews (4)


Booklist Reviews 2018 August #1
*Starred Review* Every so often, a reference book appears that changes the landscape of its area of focus. In the case of reading and readers' advisory, this is one such book. The lively, witty, insightful prose covers 1,000 titles across all fields of literature, from fiction to philosophy, nature to technology. The entries are alphabetical by author and various in length, though most run to about 3/4 of a double-column page. At the end of the conversation addressing each title, there is a short section with bibliographic information, including the subject of the book, publication date, edition information as well as other books by the author, notable film and dramatic adaptations, and further reading. Of particular interest are the suggestions for similar reading experiences, with a page number given if a suggested title has an entry in this book. An indispensable aid for librarians recommending titles to their patrons, but beware: the unwary library professional may find him- or herself browsing long after the patron has departed. Or an enamored patron may just wander away with the book. It might be wise to invest in several copies of this wonderful meditation on life lived with and enhanced by the written word. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.

BookPage Reviews 2018 November
Choose your words wisely

Imagine being asked to cull 1,000 volumes from the shelves of a library to represent a lifetime of reading. Where would you start? What principles would govern your selection? How would you explain the reasons for your choices?

That thought experiment will give you some idea of why it took me 14 years to get 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die between covers. Since I have been a bookseller for most of my adult life, I knew from the start that my project could never be the last word on a reading life, nor should it attempt to be. What I most hoped it would convey are the pleasures of browsing and the serendipity that bookstores nourish—pleasures that are a preface to all the stories readers compose out of their own lives.

One of my first jobs was working in an independent bookstore in Briarcliff Manor, New York. I learned to listen to customers and, eventually, to make useful, interesting and potentially life-changing recommendations. That last hyphenated adjective may sound grandiose, but the truth is that devoted booksellers—as Roger Mifflin, the protagonist of Christopher Morley’s The Haunted Bookshop (one of my 1,000 books), put it—are missionaries who seek “to spread good books about, to sow them on fertile minds, to propagate understanding and a carefulness of life and beauty.”

With that mission in mind, in 1986 I co-founded a mail-order catalog called A Common Reader and spent the next two decades running that venture, which, luckily for me, consisted of writing about books old and new, of every subject and style—an occupation that prepared me as well as any could for the task of writing this book.

Still, that task was daunting: A book about 1,000 books could take so many different shapes. It could be a canon of classics; it could be a history of human thought and a tour of its significant disciplines; it might be a record of popular delights (or even delusions). But the crux of the difficulty was a less complicated truth: Readers read in so many different ways, any one standard of measure is inadequate. No matter their pedigree, inveterate readers read the way they eat: for pleasure as well as nourishment, indulgence as much as well-being, and sometimes for transcendence. Hot dogs one day, haute cuisine the next.

Keeping such diversity of appetite in mind, I wanted to make my book expansive in its tastes, encompassing revered classics and commercial favorites, flights of escapist entertainment and enlightening works of erudition. There had to be room for novels of imaginative reach and histories with intellectual grasp. And since the project in its title invoked a lifetime, there had to be room for books for children and adolescents. What criteria could I apply to accommodate such a menagerie, to give plausibility to the idea that Where the Wild Things Are belongs in the same collection as In Search of Lost Time, that Aeneas and Sherlock Holmes or Elizabeth Bennet and Miss Marple could be companions, that a persuasive collection could begin, in chronological terms, with The Epic of Gilgamesh, inscribed on Babylonian tablets some 4,000 years ago, and end with Ellen Ullman’s personal history of technology, Life in Code, published in 2017?

Readers read the way they eat: for pleasure as well as nourishment, indulgence as much as well-being.

I came upon the clue I needed in a passage written by the critic Edmund Wilson, describing “the miscellaneous learning of the bookstore, unorganized by any larger purpose, the undisciplined undirected curiosity of the indolent lover of reading.” There, I knew instinctively, was a workable framework: What if I had a bookstore that could hold only 1,000 volumes, and I wanted to ensure it held not only books to be savored but also books that could be devoured in a night? A shop where any reading inclination might find reward, and where a reader’s search for what to read next would be guided by serendipity as well as intent. I’d arrange my books alphabetically by author, so that readers could find their way easily but make unexpected discoveries as they turned the pages, from, for example, D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson’s magnificent work of scientific observation and imagination, On Growth and Form, to Flora Thompson’s celebration of life in an English country village, Lark Rise to Candleford, followed by Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Kay Thompson’s marvelous children’s book Eloise at the Plaza.

For a long time as I labored over building my metaphorical bookstore, a thousand books felt like far too many to get my head around, but now that I’m done, it seems too few by several multiples. Which is to say 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die is neither comprehensive nor authoritative; it is meant to be an invitation to discovery and a tool to prompt conversations about books and authors that are missing as well as those that are included, because the question of what to read next is the best prelude to more important ones, like who to be and how to live. Happy reading!

 

Along with his experience as a bookseller, lifelong book lover James Mustich worked as an editorial and product development executive in the publishing industry. His popular mail-order book catalog, A Common Reader, ended publication in 2006. He has collected a sweeping compendium of significant books in 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die, a brilliant guidebook that’s filled with thoughtful essays and delightful asides. Mustich lives in Connecticut with his wife, Margot.

Author photo © Trisha Keeler Photography.

Copyright 2018 BookPage Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2018 August #1

Between 1986 and 2006, Mustich put together an eagerly awaited mail-order catalog, A Common Reader, that every three weeks highlighted notable titles old and new. Now the author has drawn on his lifelong passion and knowledge, creating this compilation of 1,000 must-reads. Not a list of classics or "great books," this is instead a wide-ranging selection of literary and nonfiction classics as well as best sellers, popular mysteries, sf, romances, and YA and children's books. As Mustich planned, his work is "expansive in its tastes, encompassing revered classics and commercial favorites, flights of escapist entertainment and enlightening erudition…novels of imaginative reach and histories with intellectual grasp." Discursive annotations of each book range from 300 to 500 words, with longer entries on some authors (from Margaret Wise Brown to Henry James, Herman Melville, William Shakespeare, and others). VERDICT A treasure chest for book lovers everywhere. (Not to be confused with Peter Boxall's 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, rev. ed.), which includes only fiction, with annotations by more than 100 contributors.)—Marcia G. Welsh, Dartmouth Coll. Lib., Hanover, NH

Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2018 August #1

This compulsively readable reference work from Mustich, cofounder of the Common Reader book catalogs, is sure to send bibliophiles hopscotching through its pages. The 1,000 entries (actually more when taking into account the book's recommended reading lists and many sidebars), ordered alphabetically by author, include classic and contemporary works, literary and genre titles, fiction (mostly) and nonfiction, and children's and adult reading—each fleshed out with several short but insightful paragraphs of critical commentary. Some selections are no-brainers, among them Fahrenheit 451, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad. Others are slightly more unusual: John Updike's The Maples Stories but not his Rabbit Angstrom novels; Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye but not The Handmaid's Tale. There are also some surprising omissions, with no works by Joyce Carol Oates or Raymond Carver making the cut. Throughout, Mustich shows a knack for getting to the gist of his subjects, as when noting "the intense drama and disregard for orthodox morality" that distinguish Wuthering Heights, or acknowledging the myriad objections of Dan Brown's critics but touting "the sheer energy of his invention" in The Da Vinci Code. Mustich's informed appraisals will drive readers to the books they've yet to read, and stimulate discussion of those they have. Agent: Paul Feldstein, the Feldstein Agency. (Oct.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly.

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 author biography


James Mustich began his career in bookselling at an independent book store in Briarcliff Manor, New York, in the early 1980s. In 1986, he co-founded the acclaimed book catalog, A Common Reader, and was for two decades its guiding force. He subsequently has worked as an editorial and product development executive in the publishing industry. He lives with his wife, Margot, in Connecticut.
 



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