1001 Books to Read Before You Die

As I write, the most emailed article on The New York Times offers a few reflections on Peter Boxall’s book, 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The Times piece makes a couple of logical points: First, there’s no time to waste if you hope to read every book on the list. Reading a book per month, you’ll get through 1000 books in a mere 83 years. So you had better get started now. Second, this “best of” list is bound to be controversial. (Do you really need to read Anne Rice’s “Interview With the Vampire” before it’s lights out?) The 1001 books on Boxall’s list can be previewed here. The book itself, which runs 960 pages, is obviously more than a raw list. Each entry is accompanied by an “authoritative yet opinionated critical essay describing the importance and influence of the work in question.” And also there’s apparently some nice illustrations. If you’re a bibliophile, it’s worth a look.

For more great books, see the collection of Life Changing Books created by our readers.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.