08 July 2007

Book Review: "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"

I'm a big fan of lists. I make them all the time. Whenever I want to learn something new, I like to find a list of steps to take. I know that most lists are subjective, especially the ones that try to define the best of a genre. Still, I like to have some sort of guidance when starting on a new venture. This blog is no different, so when I saw "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" at the library last week I thought it would be a great help.

This book is a collection of short reviews written by a variety of international critics. The reviews are divided by era, with 3/4 of the books reviewed coming from the 20th century. The surprising thing is that the book has a picture on every other page. There are portraits of authors and photos from film adaptations of the novels. For the older books, there are posters announcing stage adaptations and even sketches of costumes for some shows. The presence of so many pictures makes for a much more lively reference book.

I am in the process of making a progress list for the sidebar. Although I haven't made it all the way through the book, I'm sure there are books that I have already read so I might as well cross them off right away and see what I have left. The earlier books (pre-1700s) may be difficult to find, so I may have to eliminate those. One of my biggest challenges will be not dismissing books that look unappealing from the review. My goal is to stop reading the same old books and broaden my knowledge. Welcome to the University of Dani!

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