Wednesday, 28 February 2007


AUTHOR: Peter Boxall (General Editor)


NOTES: This is a great book for “dipping into” rather than reading from start to finish. One of the members of the reading group I belong to brought it along to one of our meetings and I knew I had to buy my own copy. Like many people I had to do a count of how many of the 1001 books I had actually read – it was about 140. So I have a long way to go……

However I don’t think the purpose of the book is to spur us on to competitive reading or to demoralise us if we haven’t read a lot of the books selected. What this book is great for is to alert you to works you may want to read at some time in the future but have simply never got around to – such as To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf or The Idiot by Dostoevsky (both sitting on my bookshelves gathering dust).

It is also a good reminder of some books read long ago – The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, Germinal by Zola and The Razor’s Edge by WS Maugham.

Obviously any list of this type is contentious and we all bring our own prejudices to such a venture. (No William Boyd? Shame on you! Six Margaret Attwoods….hooray)

And it is beautifully illustrated throughout with pictures of writers and original book covers.

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