My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I did a very naughty thing today. In fact I’m still hiding the evidence from my husband. I bought a book. Not any old book. An expensive “do I really need another?” book, aptly named “1001 books you must read before you die” – Preface by Peter Ackroyd, and general editing by Peter Boxall. Advertised as a comprehensive reference source, chronicling the history of the novel and it’s an absolute beauty.
For a smallish book it’s thick, weighing the equivalent to two, or three 1lb bags of sugar. (I don’t know, I’m useless at things like that – they either heavy or they’re not!) By the way, as it’s so weighty it’s definitely not for reading in bed when you are sleepy, unless you want to knock yourself out for a week!
Not only does it look good with a cover designed (in primary colours) by David Pelham for A Clockwork Orange, written by Anthony Burgess (1972), it’s smooth, shiny and smells good, too!
I plan to go through the book and read every single novel the two Peter’s recommend, and share my findings on my website. Starting from Aesop’s Fables, (4BCE), which I own and have never read – to Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005) that I admit to avoiding when it first came out because it sounded too pepped up by those wealthy critics I love to hate.
It’s going to cost a fortune if I can’t these recommended books in any of my local libraries, however, I’m a bibliophilist and it’s the price I’m (almost) willing to pay! Anyway, I’m a reviewer. It’s my job!
From what I have read so far, this is worth every penny. I’m not bothered if I do or don’t agree with the two Pete’s findings – it will be fun testing each and every book out.
This book alone gives a bibliophile a sense of direction, a new chance to discover critically acclaimed masterpieces, cult classics, and an introduction to some contemporary fiction titles that may have passed you by.
Featuring over 600 full-colour images of books covers and frontispieces, posters and other contextual images, this is a dream come true for me. It also supplies you with quotes from authors and their novels, which makes this even more of delight to read, considering this is a reference book. I gave this book five stars because just the thought of it gets me excited!
Incidentally, as I rushed out of the shop with my book clutched tightly to my chest, scanning the car park for my car (wishing I’d taken more notice where I parked), I couldn’t help but wonder how ironic it would be if I died in a car crash on the way home, and they discovered this book “1001 books you must read before you die” in the boot of my car…
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