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Search tags: 1001-books-you-must-read-before-you-die
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text 2019-06-14 16:44
1001 Books?
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die - Peter Boxall

I bought this reference probably 5 years or so ago, and scanned through it at the time I purchased it. I took a second look at it last night.

 

Any list of this sort is going to have deficiencies, and this one definitely does. It is extremely heavy on "contemporary" fiction, particularly fiction published in the 1990's and 2000's, and some of the choices are really strange.

 

For example, there is only one Willa Cather selected - My Professor's House - and the compiler completely ignored My Antonia, Death Comes For the Archbishop, and her Pulitzer Prize winning WWI novel, One of Ours. There's one Agatha Christie - The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which is a great one, but not And Then There Were None

 

And my edition has 7 entries by Paul Auster. I don't  know who he bribed, but that's ridiculous. There is no way that he has written 7 books that are worthy of inclusion in a list that purports to be 1001 of the greatest books ever written. 

 

I think that perhaps we need a BL crowd-sourced list. What do y'all think?

 

 

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review 2018-12-02 14:16
Only For Slackers: "1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die" by Peter Boxall
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die - Peter Boxall


(Original Review, 2010-04-18)



I found this list rather heavy on very recent fiction. There is also no way of knowing whether books published a few years ago will withstand the test of time, and I suspect many won´t. This is a reason why, apart from a handful of favourites, I tend to restrict my (sadly limited) reading to more established authors. 4 times out of 5, when I believe the "hype", I end up disappointed.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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text 2018-03-11 00:58
Still Reading
1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up - Julia Eccleshare

So, I stopped posting reviews here after #70 last year. I did manage to read 100 books in 2017, but getting them reviewed, let alone posting the reviews in two places, proved to be too much for me. I knew that "something would have to give" when I became a mom in July, but it's still hard to actually make those choices and decide what to let go.

 

I am not letting go of this blog, but I will no longer cross-post all my Goodreads reviews here. You can still read them on my Goodreads page, of course.

 

Although I am writing less about books these days, I am still pursuing various book-ish projects. They include --

 

  • The 2018 PopSugar Reading Challenge - Just for fun; I am not going to be crushed if I don't manage to complete it.
  • The Into the Forest Reading Challenge - Into the Forest is a Goodreads group I belong to for fairy tale/mythology enthusiasts. They do a 12-item challenge every year within the genre that is fun to keep me reading widely within one of my favorite book categories.
  • 1001 Books to You Must Read Before You Grow Up - I am working my way through the recommended books in this tome with my son. Right now we are just focusing on the age 0-3 chapter. I am really surprised by how many of these books are NOT in my public library! My plan is to buy my son a big box of any of the books we weren't able to find in the library at the end of the chapter. In the meantime, I've also begun scouring used booksales to help fill in the gap.
  • The cookbook project - In an attempt to actually USE more of my cookbooks, feed my family well, and save money on eating out, I've been marking recipes I want to try since I was pregnant. I rate every recipe I try, and eventually hope to pare down my cookbook collection by getting rid of the books with only a handful of intriguing recipes after I have tried them.

 

I am also working on a "book adjacent" project, which is listening to all 150 albums on NPR's women's music canon. The reason I consider this to be a book-adjacent project is because a) I am getting most of these albums from my local library and b) I am listening to a lot more music these days because my son is more content on drives with music than audiobooks. I am sad to have fewer audiobooks in this season of my life, but I am excited to start exploring music again, and to, you know, have a baby.

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review 2016-04-26 15:23
A window into another world
Der zerrissene April - Ismail Kadaré

It's Gjorg's turn to murder a man in the blood feud. There are many rules to be adhered to in the Kanun, the codex that governs life in the mountains of Albania. How to proceed with the murder, how to deal with it's aftermath, the cost of a missed attempt... We learn about this from Gjorg as he considers his act and from Besian Vorpsi, a newly married writer from Tirana visiting the mountains of his homeland to investigate how life is governed by the Kanun, the codex nearly as foreign to him as it is to us.

 

The title - Broken April - refers to the period of grace accorded the murderer, before he is fair game for retaliation.

 

Though the topic is really terrible, the rules that govern this life that feels so foreign to me are presented through the eyes of the people that uphold it as a way of life without being judgemental.

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review 2016-03-24 21:44
The End of an Era
Radetzkymarsch - Eva Demski,Joseph Roth

The story of the Trotta family is a stand-in for the end of the Habsburg monarchy. As a lieutenant in the army the grandfather saves the emperor's life in the battle of Solferino and is raised from a commoner's situation to a barony. His son would like to enter the army, but is forbidden by his father and does duty as a civil servant. He in turn drives his son into an army career that does not at all fit him. Trapped in circumstances he cannot break out of, the grandson's life spirals downwards and reflects the imminent decay of the empire itself.
The execution achieves it's aim brilliantly. It paints a portrait of a era that has lost vitality and purpose. However for long stretches I felt disconnected from the story. For some parts of the book I switched to an audio version, which embodied the text perfectly with it's slight Austrian tinge and a very measured pace.
The rating reflects a 4 for execution and a 3 for enjoyment.

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