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!) Anyway, 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!
I have to admit I prefer the British version’s cover, to this bland design. 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! Compared to that, the blue cover doesn’t really come close. But it’s what’s in it that counts.
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 “1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die” 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.
Add you comments here, in the Amazon forum.
My Daily Random Question:
What would be in your top 1001 book list? Here’s the beginning of my 1001 books to read AND here at Library Thing, which I’m slowly updating.
The Happiness Manifesto:
My way of calming down after a hard day of being SASSY, and part of my 43things to do list, which I’m writing here instead.
Today I’m grateful for:
1. Books ~ Today I welcomed my newest edition to my humble home – the above “1001 Books To Read Before You Die”. 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…
2. My dog. She’s so faithful, and I feel really cruel today as I’m waiting for a delivery and can’t take her out until it’s been. (Yes, we’ve all been there; those unhelpful blighters turn up when they’re not wanted, and don’t when they are!) My dog’s sitting by my feet looking all forlorn, watching my every move, giving me the “you don’t love me anymore” look.
3. My son’s smiley face ~ I bought him a pencil sharpener/paper shredder in the shape of a panda. It’s useful, cute and has suction feet to hold it steady whilst turning the handle that sticks out of his bum. The problem I have with this, is that no pencil remains unsharpened, and he is now ripping up bits of paper to make them small enough to fit into the shredder! Why, oh why, didn’t I see this coming?
4. Pencils. Yes, because every pencil in my house is sharp I used each and every one of them to write with last night. It felt like redisovering an old friend, albeit a slightly old-fashioned, uncomputerised one. And it doesn’t burn a whole through my legs like my laptop does.
5. Birthdays! No it isn’t mine, but it’s my dad’s today, and my mum recently had her 70th. I’m proud of my parents and I love them to bits, however, buying presents for someone who has lived that long makes the choice extremely tough. Does anyone else have this problem with their golden oldies? Thinking up that “special” gift can present the most mild mannered person (like me) with huge quantities of stress. Rushing around the busy town centre at the last minute like most of you do on Christmas Eve. (Don’t get me started on Christmas, you’ll have to wait for December for that). When all other ideas fail, my parents usually end up with books. However, which book to choose can also be disconcerting. Out of the trillions of books available, which ones will they like? Perhaps an exciting book token is the answer?