Monday, August 19, 2013

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (and Other Imperatives)

I'm a list maker. I know this is monumentally uncool, but I like lists. A few years ago, I picked up a book at the library called 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. (As a then nascent blogger, I probably blogged about it.) Here is the 2012 version  of the list.

Canons get a bad rap these days. I'm fine with the canonical -- as I've said before, I feel a bit unmoored without one -- but there needs to be open discussion about why some things are considered "important" or "essential" while others aren't. It's not a bad list, but it fails where most book lists fail: dead white guys are grossly over-represented. I will say that the updated version is a bit less obvious in its choices. It's also a little less USian, which is a good thing.

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