ATG Book of the Week: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List

by | Jul 22, 2019 | 0 comments

Title: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List 
Author: James Mastich
Hardcover: 978-1523504459, $14.79
Imprint: New York: Workman, 2018

“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.”




“If there’s a heaven just for readers, this is it.” — O, The Oprah Magazine


★”Mustich’s informed appraisals will drive readers to the books they’ve yet to read, and stimulate discussion of those they have.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review


★”A treasure chest for book lovers everywhere” —Library Journal, 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….lively, witty, insightful prose…It might be wise to invest in several copies of this wonderful meditation on life lived with and enhanced by the written word.”
Booklist, Starred Review  


“All in all, the literate public—what novelist Robertson Davies dubbed the clerisy—can only be grateful for, and awed by, this product of 14 years of reading and research…It’s hard to imagine that such a massive compendium could have been done better.”—Michael Dirda, The Washington Post 


“Absolutely impressive…. This book is not just a source of information; it’s a wellspring of wisdom, intelligence, empathy and generosity.”—Ingrid Rossellini, author of Know Thyself: Western Identity from Classical Greece to the Renaissance 


“As the owner of a 90-year-old bookselling institution, I am not easily fazed by 1,000 books, but Mustich’s literary bucket list stopped me in my tracks. His expansive scope is coupled with a delightful wit and a perfect eye for the surprise detail. Never again will you have to wonder what to read next. A book you’ll cherish for a lifetime!”
Nancy Bass Wyden, Proprietor, Strand Book Store


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