For the Love of Books, Reviews

Review: 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List1,000 Books to Read Before You Die: A Life-Changing List by James Mustich

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review James Mustich’s 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die. There are, I am aware, myriad books out there that aim to create the quintessential reading list. I think that this one, which was released on October 2, does an excellent job of formulating a list that contains, along with works so classic that any list is incomplete without them, something for everyone – History, Sports, Memoir, Biography, Science, Philosophy, and every genre of Fiction. I particularly loved the inclusion of Children’s Literature from picture books to young adult classics.
The author’s descriptions were accessible, short, and just tantalizing enough to make me want to pick up each book I read about and start reading then and there. Along with the descriptions of the collection’s highlighted entries were lists of authors other notable books, suggestions for similar or related books, and, my favorite as a film lover, adaptations. The suggested adaptations included not just films but also adaptations for the stage, opera and stand out audiobooks. Most of the entries also included photographs and stunning illustrations from some of the seminal editions.
I’ll admit that I didn’t read every entry, focusing instead on books that I’ve read, that are on my to-be-read list, or that simply piqued my interest as I scrolled through the pages. Even the appendices, which include a Miscellany of Special list (such as books from the list that you can Read in a Sitting or Family Read Alouds) and the 1,000 Books Checklist made 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die a joyous bibliophile experience. The checklist alone has me longing for my own hard copy of this book.

If you enjoy 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die or if you, like me, love reading about books, I highly recommend DK Publishing’s The Literature Book which chronicles the evolution of literature and explains its many movements and styles.

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Review: How to Find Love in a Bookshop

How to Find Love in a BookshopHow to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wanted to love Veronica Henry’s How to Find Love in a Bookshop and it begins promisingly, feeling like a love letter of a novel written to all book lovers. There’s even some name-dropping of intriguing books and authors that I marked to look into later (I’ve already added Jilly Cooper to my TBR list). However, for the most part How to Find Love in a Bookshop was a disappointment. It seemed like it took forever for anything to happen. I couldn’t figure out what I wanted to root for because it took so long just to introduce each of the storylines. I think there were just too many. Personally, I would have been happy with a novel just about Thomasina.
The descriptions were wonderful making me wish I were in this pleasant Cotswolds village, spending the afternoons browsing around Nightingale Books but I wish more time had been spent developing the many relationships. I feel that that would have made the ending, which was somewhat predictable yet heart-warming, more satisfying.

If you enjoy this story of Emilia attempting to make sense of life after the death of her beloved (by so many people!) father, you may also enjoy Lori Nelson Spielman’s The Life List, a personal favorite of mine.

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