Book lists to read before you die

Although you should have your own way of choosing books – reviews, word of mouth, gifts or impulse – or in my case an attempt to catch up and diligently read the classics in a themed way, it can be interesting to see what other people recommend.

Because I have two young children I have taken a keen interest in the lists of books that authors feel every child should read and it was both frustrating and instructive to see who came out on top in the BBC’s top 100 book list, in the Big Read, a couple of years ago.

Having recently purchased the 1001 Books to read before you die (such a motivating title) by Peter Boxall. I sat down and started going through the index to see what I had read and still needed to get through.

Some great books I enjoyed are not in it and some authors get a great deal of their work listed because of their position as ‘greats’. It is a useful companion but just like those other lists from authors and BBC viewers it is ultimately a beautifully packaged list.

For anyone serious about reading it is something worth having as a reference guide but for someone who has read very little this might actually put them off not just through the thickness of the book, which is so substantial you might die before even finishing flicking through it, but the ambition of reading 1001 books is a very steep one.

For further coverage of recommended lists cut and past these into your browser:

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